Trailways will co-locate its 2023 annual conference with the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) next year in Orlando, Florida.
Trailways’ meetings will be held Jan. 9-11, at the Rosen Centre, near the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where the UMA Motorcoach EXPO takes place Jan. 11-14, 2023.
“We are excited to welcome Trailways to the premier event for motorcoach owners and operators,” said Scott Michael, CEO and President of UMA. “We hope that many of the attendees will choose to stay in Orlando to participate in the UMA Motorcoach EXPO for all of the education, networking, and of course the exhibit hall of industry vendors.”
The organizations have overlapping membership.
“As a longtime member, and having served on both UMA and Trailways’ Boards, I am especially excited to see Trailways co-locate their annual meeting in Orlando,” said UMA Board Member Alan Thrasher, co-owner of Thrasher Brothers Trailways in Birmingham, Alabama. “Not only will it save members of both some travel money, but there are also Trailways members who are line run carriers that haven’t participated in the best equipment show in the industry. We look forward to hosting those operators at the UMA EXPO.”
Looking to Trailways’ future
Amy Brooks, the first female board Chair in Trailways Transportation’s 85-year history, is overseeing initiatives to position the organization to better serve members, from adding a cloud-based charter lead-generation system to its Trailways.com bus ticket web platform this year to launching a new customer service training program for drivers.
She believes the new focus “will lead to greater growth for current members and help attract operators who never thought of becoming Trailways members until now.”
A Trailways board member since 2019, Brooks has had a 40-year career with Susquehanna Trailways, a third-generation, family-owned motorcoach company.
That’s why she believes Trailways’ future is mobile in more ways than one.
A ‘one-stop shop’
The goal, she says, is for “Trailways.com to become the one-stop shop for anything travel, whether a customer wants to purchase a bus ticket to a city destination or book a charter for a group trip or tour.”
Trailways established a new marketing division in 2019, focusing solely on digital growth innovation for the brand. The organization’s online ticket sales website connects with several software platforms and related interconnected line-run carriers to support easier city-to-city online booking and offers first-of-its-kind digital features, such as ticket rescheduling.
The platform also connects to Trailways’ Driven Rewards, a frequent traveler reward program heavily promoted via the site and in passenger email correspondence.
Trailways has also launched a new online Learning Management System (LMS), a five-course program to help drivers systemwide deliver a superior customer service and safety experience. Modeled on the comprehensive training Disney offers its “cast member” employees, Trailways’ new program incorporates key elements required to achieve a high rate of returning customers.