My Big Fat Greek Wedding Party

John Hawks, ARTA president You probably noticed that “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” hit the video shelves recently. Many ARTA agents saw this heartwarming movie, in which a Greek-American travel agent (Nia Vardalos) finds true love despite the help of her large, boisterous, and extremely traditional extended

By: John Hawks, ARTA president

You probably noticed that “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” hit the video shelves recently. Many ARTA agents saw this heartwarming movie, in which a Greek-American travel agent (Nia Vardalos) finds true love despite the help of her large, boisterous, and extremely traditional extended family. Besides its positive portrayal of a hardworking, successful travel agent, however, I’m recommending this movie to you for another reason: You can use it (and other movies, music albums and pop culture events) to find pied pipers in your city group leaders who can generate significant new business for your travel agency this year.

First, go out and buy a copy of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” Second, sit down and plan a “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” party, which you can host in your agency or an inexpensive community room. Plan on lots of Greek appetizers and nibbles, plus soft drinks (no alcohol) and no showing of the video itself, which you cannot do outside your home. Partner with your preferred supplier reps, if you can to split costs, and make this an event that’s open to the public. Third, invite your best clients and prospects, anyone who might have access to a workplace, a civic club or hobby group, a large extended family, or other ties that could turn into a group tour or cruise booking this year.

Once the party starts, welcome everyone and pass around a one-page flier from your agency that explains: (a) benefits like free cabins or tour spaces for any guest who comes to you with a group booking; (b) the ways you can work with a guest to promote the trip; and, (c) a list of possible destinations or cruises, including pricing if possible. Attach your business card. Tell them that you will give a copy of the movie to anyone who comes to you with a group booking.

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