Midcounties Co-operative’s annual homeworkers conference will be held online this year owing to the coronavirus crisis.
The Personal Travel Agents at Co-operative Travel will hold its eighth annual conference virtually later this month.
More than 140 of the firm’s homeworkers will gather online for the three-day event, which will focus on helping agents to revive their businesses.
It will also serve as an opportunity for them to share their passion for travel after "the most challenging six months the industry has ever faced".
Revive will be theme of the conference over 15-17 September; it will feature a range of virtual workshops, looking at ways homeworkers can bounce back such as how to rebuild enquiries, revamp their marketing, boost sales and earnings, and inspire themselves.
Head Sheena Whittle said: “2020 has seen many a challenge thrown our way and, after the disruption to the travel industry and the changes we have all had to face these past six months, we feel it’s time to hit the restart button and explore what travel will look like in the weeks and months ahead and how our Personal Travel Agents can not only revive their businesses but thrive.
"We are in the fortunate and strong position of being part of the wider Midcounties Co-operative, and we are excited about helping our agents to utilise the consumer awareness and confidence in the Co-op brand to increase their market share and make the absolute best of the coming months.”
Speakers will include Midcounties chief executive Phil Ponsonby, travel group chief operating officer Rad Sofronijevic, and Whittle herself. The programme will also feature a homeworker panel discussion, and the conference will wrap-up with a virtual bar on Thursday afternoon (17 September).
Workshops will cover business revival, marketing, maximising use of Microsoft Teams to host video consultations with clients, product from Co-operative Holidays, taking bookings in the new normal, and an Atol refresher.
“Our annual conference is always the highlight of the year for both the head office team and our individual PTAs," Whittle added.
"Instead of getting together in an overseas resort, as we normally would, we have had to take the conference online this year.
"We’ll miss the physical interaction, of course, but everyone is excited and eager to share the experiences and learnings of the last six months and to make plans together to navigate our way through the coming months.
“That said, you can’t beat face to face contact, and we’re already looking forward to a return to the traditional conference format for 2021."