Broken a few times but never shattered..
Lorraine Simpson, Two Time Magellan Award winning Travel entrepreneur and now Cityline TV Travel Expert started out as many Travel Advisors did, with a home based franchise, a computer and very limited resources. The death of her husband and father to her children, the youngest being two at the time had certainly left her broken both emotionally and financially with medical bills that would last for several years.
In a small unfinished basement in 2005 she set up her first travel company. She put a baby gate at the top of the stairs to keep the children away when she took important calls and set out to find business. Starting a travel business as Im sure you know isn’t easy and no-one would come knocking on the door to ask “do you have a travel agent in your basement? “. Needing to find clients she decided to specialize in groups from the outset.
Fast forward five years and with still no financial investment but lots of hard work she was surpassing $4 million in sales. Her focus was Destination Weddings before it was even a term. Success was great but alone at the top can also harbour fear of failure and when two offers came in from large multi national companies she decided to sell out in favour of what looked like more structure and more stability. This did not work as planned as they went out of business not long after and left her once again at the bottom. Broken but still not shattered.
Lorraine decided to start all over again.. still focussing on groups but this time more in the luxury escorted group market. Selfishly selling groups to where she personally wanted to go like Italy and Asia. She found a niche in Culinary wine and specialty luxury tours and is loving every minute. The pied pipers she finds help to sell the spaces and they all go on bucket list trips of a lifetime.. except Lorraine gets to live the dream and do them several times a year.
Lorraine spends a few weeks travelling with her specialty groups each year but the rest of the time she dedicates to teaching others how to do what she does. Sharing her secrets to success with her coaching and mentoring program and also taking small groups of like minded agents on Luxury Mastermind FAM trips to exotic places where each day is part learning and part experience.
She believes in constant education to keep up to date on the latest openings around the world and trends in travel and resorts.
Frequent Speaker at many conferences worldwide.
- Cruiseworld in Florida
- Travel Marketplace Vancouver
- Travel Marketplace Toronto
- Travel Agent Forum Vegas
- Romance Travel Forum
Lorraine was recently became the latest Expert on Cityline TV and now appears regularly with Host Tracy Moore.
She joins other experts who include people such as Jessica Mulroney, Colin and Justin, Massimo Capra and many more. Lorraine also plans travel with and for Celebrities such as TV Chef Hosts such as Massimo Capra -(food network, Chopped and Gourmet Escapes), Rui Paula (Masterchef) and Christian Pritchard, (Food Network and Breakfast TV).
Being named as expert on Cityline TV was my biggest win to date and I love every minute of it!
So you are thinking of being a Destination Wedding Planner?
Now get ready to strap on the armour and brace for impact as it is scheduled to be a bumpy ride!
Did that sound negative?.. well its not meant to be in any way. But if you want to seriously do this you have to have:
- Nerves of steel
- The Patience of a Saint
- The Creativity of Colin Cowie
- The Willingness to be on call 24/7
- Be totally educated on locations and be an EXPERT
- Be up to date on trends and be an encyclopedia of travel
- And not to mention the skills to negotiate peoples feelings during this emotional roller coaster
Destination Weddings are not at all easy to plan. Which is precisely why they need you!
The course is available for agents to take the program at any time but also be able to use our resources and be invited on FAM trips specifically for Weddings.
- It is aimed at people already in the travel field.
- The course can also be part of a week long classroom course which would be a fast track program.
"I believe Niche is the future of the travel agent and important for them to be the expert!"
In this course you will learn all the steps for you to take to help a couple plan their perfect Destination Wedding. I will teach you how to really look great to your clients.
And send you referrals!
You will learn how to get started, how to and what to research , the processes, the quoting, the pricing and how to maximize your commission.
You will also learn which places offer the best Destination Weddings and why.
It may sound easy but in this course you will learn how to be a travel agent, a wedding planner, an event planner and sales person, a creative math genius, a negotiator, a referee plus a little bit of a counsellor too!
If you want to be a Destination Wedding Planner you really need to be WEDucated
Sign up for our basic WEDucation Program and learn how to get started with a Destination wedding.
8 week course on getting started in Destination Weddings.
- 8 lessons delivered weekly with a different topic to help you get started.
- Quizzes and worksheets.
- Monthly Webinar with Q and A
- Newsletter with tips and tricks
- Opportunity to Co-op your wedding from start to finish with a mentor
- FAM trip invitation dedicated to weddings
- Invitation to Group Training Masterminds
Our basic Course includes:
- Where to find your potential Clients
- Follow up on leads
- How to set yourself above the competition
- Initial contact and meeting the client
- Asking. the right questions
- Digging deeper to understand their specific needs
- Match the client with the resort - remember it is not your day
- Getting quotes and making them work for you
- How to make a profit but still offer VAL-YOU
- Charging a planning fee or build it in
- Wedding shows and the tricks
- Research and best companies to work with
- Best times, best places, best services
- Price matching and securing the best price
- Quoting the client
- Closing the sale overview
- Planning the Wedding Day
- Working with the onsite coordinators
- Travel with the group and charging fees for planning
- Free planning service
- Managing the group booking
- Working on dates and group planning
- Never loose money on a Group
- Working with Tour operators
- Rooming lists and invitations
- Keeping the guests and the couple happy
- Finalizing the group and issuing edocs
- Follow up after travel
We are familiar with the laws and particular requirements for getting married in all countries and will assist you with any documentation required.
We have planned over 1500 weddings so far and are proud to help you in your own Destination Wedding Specialist journey.