Arival 360
What I learned launching virtual experiences
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Shane Whaley gives you the rundown of the sessions he is most excited to attend at Arival 360 – Arival’s virtual event.

Arival events (sadly) are all virtual this year. I would much prefer to be boarding a flight to Phoenix, to meet with you all but it is, what it is. Arival has designed a virtual event called Arival 360 and in this episode of the Tourpreneur Podcast, I share with you which sessions I am most excited to attend.

Arival 360 is billed as ‘five great days. 60 plus sessions and one engaging virtual event.’

I know money is tight for many of us, so Arival is offering a 75% discount which is great because it means you can access all five days for $99

Use our promo code PTTR36020 to receive a 75% discount and pay as little as $99 for all five days.

This online event includes 4 jam-packed days of insights and practical advice plus a full day of networking and business meetings, over two weeks.

With 60+ sessions planned between 26th October to the 5th November there’s a lot of learning available! Non-stop connections are available throughout the two weeks providing you with great opportunities to build new partnerships and strengthen your existing ones.

Register here –

Before you select your sessions, ask yourself, what do I need to learn to survive and hopefully thrive as a tour operator in 2021?

Shane Whaley – Host of the tourpreneur podcast

So, I took a look at the agenda because I was mapping out my schedule and I thought it would be fun to share with you the 15 sessions I am most looking forward to attending at Arival 360. I am not suggesting you attend the same sessions as me though.

Ask yourself, what do I need to learn to survive and hopefully thrive as a tour operator in 2021?

Checkfront is giving away a multi-month free trial for Tourpreneurs so that you have plenty of time to explore the software and see how well it can support your business. Go to to claim your free trial for the rest of the year.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Arival 360

Ask Me Anything: GetYourGuide with CEO Johannes Reck

Thursday, October 29, 2020 10:35 AM to 11:15 AM

Reality Check: Operators Respond

Thursday, October 29, 2020 11:30 AM to 12:05 PM

Operator Voice: The Tour (in a Box) Must Go On

Not to be stopped by a global pandemic, this food tour operator of 13 years has sold nearly $250,000 worth of food boxes since March, and she’s just getting started. We’ll discuss how she did it, and where she’s headed. 

Workshop: Make Your Viator Listing Excellent

Viator launched new quality standards for its product listings this past summer. In this workshop, key Viator team members review live listings and provide actionable feedback to help you improve your listing quality and get more bookings. 

Grow your business with in-market partnerships and targeted local marketing.  Drew Barrett of FareHarbor

Grow your business with in-market partnerships and targeted local marketing. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Hot Topics

OTAs, Google, res tech, Amazon, virtual, COVID, recovery, sustainability… and let’s not forgot the U.S. election. This panel will explore and debate the biggest trends affecting travel and experiences in 2020 and beyond.  

Monday, November 2, 2020 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Tech Talk: The Mobile Self-Guided Tour Landscape

Like it or not, technology will continue to change touring. Some predict automation will replace tour guides altogether. Just how much of our industry will software eat? What are the limits of automation? This talk provides a big picture overview of self-guided tours, the landscape of products and providers, and the role for – and risks to – tour and activity operators. 

Monday, November 2, 2020 10:30 AM to 10:50 AM

Keynote: Marketing without Money

If our industry ever needed a hack to bring in customers on the cheap, that time is now. This short talk tackles key strategies for digital marketing on a shoestring – or no-string – budget.  

Monday, November 2, 2020 11:10 AM to 11:30 AM

Buzz Session: Direct Sales are More Important than Ever

Direct sales in these times are more important than ever. Those who own the transaction have more resilient business models. Every operator has a different channel mix. Let’s learn from each other what is working and what is not during these times.

Monday, November 2, 2020 12:00 PM to 12:45 PM

Workshop: OTA Listing Optimization: A Merchandising Masterclass

This session is designed for operators that already work with OTAs. It will examine listing optimization strategies across leading platforms such as Viator, GetYourGuide, Musement and others, explore OTA strategies as travel emerges from the pandemic, and help operators improve their performance and outsmart the competition. 

Monday, November 2, 2020 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM

Virtual Reality (or the Reality of Virtual Tours)

Virtual tours and experiences have been equally espoused and derided as a viable pivot for tour and activity operators during the pandemic. In this panel, we’ll delve into the detail with operators who’ve been running them to see what they’ve learned, what makes a great experience, how to market and price them, and what the future holds.  

Monday, November 2, 2020 2:00 PM to 2:25 PM

Operator Talk: Distribution’s Other Dirty Word, Content

As distribution channels have grown, managing content has become an increasingly unmanageable problem for operators. In this talk, Travel Curious founder Alex Grant pulls back the curtain on the challenges they face and the approaches and workarounds they are implementing. Warning: there’s no happy ending to this story – yet. Just an unvarnished look at a very real challenge confronting tours and activities.  

5 Practical Tips to Increase Local Visitation by 20%

Locals have become the cornerstone and lifeblood of tour operators because of recent events. We will discuss practical ways to increase sales by 20% and talk about ways operators have changed their focus to the local markets. 

Monday, November 2, 2020 3:10 PM to 3:55 PM

Thursday, November 5, 2020

The Future of Experiences: Empowering Guides and Engaging Guests

TripSchool is a training company focused on helping guides and operators create and lead phenomenal travel experiences, from storytelling to product development to guest experience. We’ll start this Boot Camp day with a series of expert discussions about how their companies are empowering their tour guides to create exceptional experiences, as well as creative pivots to new possibilities they’ve explored during the covid-19 pandemic. This discussion will set the tone for the day, as we offer practical and creative ideas for rethinking and refreshing your tour experiences. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020 10:00 AM to 10:50 AM

Guest Experience is Everything: The Power of Creating “Wow” Moments

The “wow moment” is really the soul of the tour. It’s the moment when a place comes alive; it could be a story or a shared experience, but it’s always involves emotion, surprise, and delight. Tours focused around wow moments are transformative for your business; they help a guest to feel that you’ve exceeded their expectations, and can make up for a lot of the lower moments on tour. Creating wow moments aren’t a mystery; they can be done with creativity and calcuation to achieve better ratings and a richer experience!

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Shane Whaley is the Producer and Host of the Tourpreneur Podcast. He is also the curator in chief for the Tourpreneur Daily Brief. Shane has worked in the travel industry for almost twenty years.