As you may have heard, Arival has made the challenging and painful decision to cancel the Arival Phoenix 2020 in-person event. We had hoped by the time Phoenix rolled around, we would be able to hold an in-person event, but we also knew we needed a back-up plan. So we have been working on this one for quite some time. However, we don’t plan to do what most other events are doing, that is, produce an online version of the same event they would have presented live. We thought about the “next best thing to being there for the Best Part of Travel” for a long time, and we came up with Arival 360.
Arival events are known worldwide as unique and the most productive events in the world for our sector of creators and sellers of tours, activities, attractions and experiences. World-class content, thought leadership, and practical workshops help operators grow their business, and the Arival Magic of connecting the industry in one place, make Arival events memorable and productive.
When we announced that Arival Phoenix was canceled, Chris Woodruff posted this on Facebook:
“Traded in my Arival Phoenix 2020 ticket for a future in-person and digital experience. If you can live without the cash you’ve already spent, I think it’s a great value. Still get to go in person when it’s safe, and get all the online content. I signed up for Phoenix immediately after Arival Orlando 2019, what an incredible experience. They couldn’t have taken my money fast enough after that event. Honestly, I would have signed up as I was walking out the door.”
Then came the question, “what’s so special about Arival”?
“The in-person event is head spinning. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being in a room with 1200 tour/activity operators and industry leaders. *This experience was pre-Covid.* The energy is unbelievable. Everyone I met shared ideas and techniques freely and candidly. It didn’t matter if you’re a multi-million dollar company or a field of dreams startup. I literally watched two huge OTAs court a small operator that just started. We all have the same passion, Arival is the place we all get to connect and be better at what we love doing. (This is not a paid ad, even though it definitely sounds like one after I reread it. I freely share this exact feeling with every operator I know or come across).”
So we have a big challenge ahead of us, we know there are high expectations. Translating a live Arival Event online won’t be easy. But we produced two beta events with excellent feedback to work out the kinks and began making our plan. In June, we created our first virtual event, and we just wrapped up our second one based on the Asia Pacific and Oceania markets (and time zones). We have learned a ton, and we are more than ready to deploy that knowledge, and the market knowledge we have of the In-Destination industry, as well as collaboration with thought leaders from across the globe who are joining us as speakers and ArivalExperts to produce the best virtual event ever created for the industry.
We know this can be successful
The feedback we have received and the data that we have says it will work. During our two beta events, we had almost 2500 attendees, 67 speakers and 38 ArivalExperts. Those attendees made 12,720 connections, with 36,731 discussions and messages exchanged within the Arival Event App. People told us they liked being able to watch sessions live and/or on-demand. They also loved being able to connect, whether it was new prospects or current partners. We are all craving social connections. Our event app provides that with one-on-one video meetings, group meetings, and 10-15 person topical roundtables all built into the system. Sponsors with proactive, engaged teams in the app reported ROI that was off the charts, with targeted prospect meetings.
So what is Arival 360?
Arrival 360 represents our biggest and most comprehensive global virtual event of 2020. The event takes place on five days over two weeks. Each day has a specific theme.
- Monday, October 26 – The Way Forward
- Thursday, October 29 – Digital & Distribution Day
- Monday, November 2 – Our Self-Service Future
- Wednesday, November 4 – The Networking Accelerator
- Thursday, November 5 – The Tour Operator Boot Camp in partnership with TripSchool
Not just another virtual event
We are rethinking the virtual experience from the ground up to make Arival 360 more actionable and accessible online.
Personal profiles and company profiles are key. When meeting people at a live event or an online event, you want to know (ahead of time) who else will be attending and who you should choose to meet with. Compare this to looking at badges and starting up a conversation at a live event: The profile system has filtering and search capabilities, as well as utilization of AI to help you find the best contacts, making your time during Arival 360 super effective if you decide to spend the time and effort to connect with people.
We aren’t asking people to spend 2-5 days in front of a screen. By spreading out the event, you can join us for one day, parts of a few days, or the whole 5-day program. That’s up to you. And the content and attendee list will be available throughout the two weeks of the event.
So what do people want from an industry event?
- Great content from leaders in our industry and operators who have had recent success in dealing with the challenges of Covid. —- Check
- Workshops with fantastic presenters where you gain practical knowledge to help you grow your business — Check
- Small group discussions where operators learn from other operators and professionals throughout the industry. In these Roundtables, no one feels like a competitor. Everyone is there to share their knowledge and learn from each other. Each Roundtable is facilitated by an ArivalExpert to ensure a productive 40-minute discussion. —- Check
- Connections with people throughout the global industry. The ability to meet with prospects and partners in a condensed and user-friendly environment for video calls within the event app.. —- Check
- Meeting each other for random conversations over coffee, beer, cocktails. —– Well no, we can’t check this box. But we will be scheduling some virtual happy hours, so stay until the end of each day and raise a drink to the industry and people you love.
While we, of course, wish we could see all of you in Phoenix (a destination we are excited about), and can’t wait to return to our events in Berlin, Dubai, and Bangkok, Virtual is currently the only way to go and based on the success of our previous two Virtual Summits, we are confident that Arival 360 will be a great event and hope you can join us.