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GANYC Presents

GuideWeek 2021

Three days of virtual education, recruitment, and networking focused on empowering local guides around the world – the first virtual event to specifically focus on the needs of local guides.

Education Sessions - May 10, 11
Recruitment - May 14

9:30am – 10am Live Stream Virtual tours
10am – 3:30pm EDT (with breaks)

Get inspired and set yourself up for success for when tour guiding rebounds stronger than ever!

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Learn

Two days of panels and speakers, to raise your guiding game to the next level.

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Connect

Meet other guides, socialize, and connect with new friends.

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Virtual Job Fair

Meet operators, DMCs, OTAs, Marketplaces, and remind them you exist!

Educational Sessions

Keynote Speaker

Evita Turquoise Robinson

Evita founder of the NOMADNESS Travel Tribe, an online social community primarily for travelers of color. The group currently surpasses 25,000 international members, with over thirty regional Ambassadors. Along with Issa Rae, she Co-Executive Produces The NOMADNESS Project web series on YouTube. 

Evita’s accolades include National Geographic’s 21 Most Visionary Women Throughout Travel History, AFAR Travel Vanguard Award recipient, The Root 100, and being noted as one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs of 2018. She now serves as a Contributing Editor of CondeNast Traveler Magazine, TED Resident, consultant for Destination Marketing Organizations, and continues her love of seeing the world while writing her first book and developing her own travel television series.

Two Days of Presentations and Panels (10am - 4pm EDT)

Each session is 45 minutes, with a 15 minute break. There is a 1 hour lunch break in the middle.

Monday, May 10

Anne von Osterhausen, Koma Darira

Business Plans are something everyone knows they should have, but no one wants to sit down to do. In this workshop, we’ll make business plans more user friendly, breaking it down in a way that shows exactly why each element is so important, and how setting up a proper business plan is vital for being successful next month, next year, or five years from now.

Your takeaway: Understand exactly what needs to be in your Business Plan and how to set it up for success.

Christian Watts, Janice Sousa

Whether you are a guide just starting to offer your own tours, a veteran guide looking for more out of your booking platform, or somewhere in between, this session will give you the inside scoop on working with booking software: How to pick the right one for your tour business, what features they offer, and tips on how to use your booking software to maximize bookings, repeat customers and reviews.

Your takeaway: How to select the best Booking Software for your touring needs, and a better understanding of how to maximize your Booking Software to make your business more efficient and profitable.

Kamau Ware, Seth Kamil, Tim Dolan

How do you design great tours? And how do you keep them fresh and current after months and years of leading the same tours? In this session, leading NYC tour operators will share their tips on how to create amazing, immersive tours, how they regularly keep their tours updated, how they find ways to innovate, and the payoff they see from that effort.

Your takeaway: Have a plan for how you can do regular maintenance on your tours that will keep them fresh and exciting (for both the client AND you). Also, tips on making tours immersive and memorable.

Cindy VandenBosch, Aisha Shaibu, Sofia Godoy

As tourism rebounds across the globe, now is the perfect time to reconsider how your tours impact your clients, your destination (i.e. culture, local economy, under-exposed communities), and the environment. This session will focus on Responsible Tourism, and will define the small ways that we as guides can ensure that our tours have a positive impact on our communities.

Your takeaway: Better understand the complex world of Responsible Tourism and have a list of specific things you can change on your tours to make a big impact on both your clients and on how tourism affects your city.

Jessie Festa

As a tour guide, you are your own brand. If you’ve ever wondered how to market yourself more effectively or how to communicate what makes your tours unique, this is the session for you. Longtime blogger and tour guide Jessie Festa from Jessie on a Journey will share her tips for creating a brand and how it’s made the difference in bookings.

Your takeaway: Understand your unique selling point and how to market that through social media.

Tuesday, May 11

Tour guiding can be a very competitive and, at times, solitary enterprise. Fortunately, volunteer-run, not-for-profit tour-guide associations around the world work to support and connect guides in their respective local areas. In this session, GANYC leadership will discuss its various initiatives and programs that promote, protect and connect NYC’s professional tour guides, to illustrate how participating in your local association can enhance your career as a guide.

 

Your takeaway: For NYC guides, a refresher on all that GANYC offers, plus how and why you should get involved. For guides from the rest of the world, sharing ideas that might be useful for your local guides association, and illustrating how your career will benefit by getting involved in your local guide association.

 

Price for the customers you want, price for the perceived value of your tours, price competitively, price with OTAs in mind…There’s a lot of advice and formulas out there for how to price your tours. Our panel will conduct a deep dive into how to price myriad types of tours, from public walking tours, to groups, to private luxury tours, discuss successful pricing strategies, and what missteps to try to avoid. .

Your takeaway: Clear methods and best practices for how to price your tours.

Anette Nielsen, Jeremiah Calvino, Marica Brewster

Marketing – the word sends chills down the spines of most tour guides. How do I market myself and my tours? How much time should I devote to marketing? How much will it cost to do it right? In this session, 3 experts who specialize in marketing tours and activities will discuss the principles of marketing, offer examples for what’s worked well in the tourism industry, and answer any questions.

Your takeaway: Have a clear idea of which platforms you want to be on and how you can best utilize them to increase your bookings.

Ariel Viera, Danielle Desir, Patrick Von Roosendaal

If COVID-19 has taught tour guides one lesson, it’s that tourism can be very fragile (and for most of us it has always been seasonal). It has never been more vital to be able to translate your tour-guiding skills into other streams of passive income. This session features 3 veteran content creators who will discuss how to monetize your skills in other arenas, such as blogs, book writing, podcasts and other areas, and how this can improve your tour business as well.

Your takeaway: New ideas on how to monetize your tour-guiding skills.

As important as your tour website is, it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In this case study, we paired a veteran GANYC guide in need of a website reboot with a professional web designer to outline what elements go into an effective, contemporary website in order to attract and retain clients.

Your takeaway: A list of elements that every website should have, and ideas for finding and working with web designers

Corey Schneider, Akila McConnell, Alex Brainbridge, Alice Shindelar

Virtual Tours offered a lifeline for many tour guides during the pandemic, and appear here to stay in some form, even as we return to in-person touring. So how do you make your virtual tours as good as can be, so good that they can compete with — and complement your own — in-person experiences? This panel features companies that have enjoyed great success with virtual tours, and plan to keep them a part of their regular lineup, as well as professional storytellers from the digital world who are experts at creating content for the virtual space.


Your takeaway: Fresh and practical ideas on how to perfect, optimize, and sell your virtual tours, and where the virtual tour space is headed vis a vis in-person experiences.

Just some of our incredible speakers

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Premier Sponsors

(just a sampling!)

Meet dozens of operators and recruiters.

Friday, May 14

After a week of education, virtual tours, socializing, and more, it’s time to meet new companies and prepare for the future. We’re hosting over 40 tour operators, DMCs, OTAs, online marketplaces and more to come and meet you.

Virtual Tours & Socializing

All Week Long

It can’t all be work and learning, so we’ve curated virtual tour and online experience events throughout the week.

 Puebla, Mexico • Vietnamese Coffee Class • Lisbon, Portugal • Yellowstone National Park • Rome, Italy • Sydney, Australia
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Cost & Registration

Registration Process

  1. Pay through the registration link below.
  2. You’ll create an account on Campfire, where the platform is hosted.
  3. By May 3: Be sure to fill out your guide profile for recruiters to browse.
  4. Show up here on the day!

What do I get?

How Much?

100% of your contribution supports the Guides Association of New York City, and hosting future sessions like this.

FAQ

GuideWeek 2021 is a virtual conference, taking place entirely online. It’s hosted on a platform called Campfire, where you’ll attend the sessions, network with other attendees and companies, and build your profile.

Yes! We expect attendance from guides around the world, as well as companies looking to meet and/or hire guides across North America and beyond.

The modest attendance fee gives you access to all three days of the event:

  • Two days of education, including talks, panels, and conversations on a variety of topics.
  • Social events: networking, virtual tours, evening activities
  • Job Fair/Recruitment, the chance to be selected by and meet with a global variety of tour operators, online marketplaces, local DMCs and other interested parties.

Since this is a virtual event, we do not offer refunds. It is not necessary to attend live, since you will have access to the session recordings, and your recruitment profile will be viewable by operators well beyond the conference.

Welcome! You can register above as a recruiter, and we will reach out to you.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at guideweek@travelcampfire.com.