If FlyerTalk had its own seminars — with topics ranging from how to use FlyerTalk with one session for basic users and a separate session for advanced users, to tips and tricks to get the most out of FlyerTalk, to presentations by the “bloggers” of FlyerTalk, to FlyerTalk workshops — would you attend?
I ask this question based on my recent experiences at the Chicago Seminars.
I was already going to be at the Chicago Seminars on Sunday, October 14, 2012, where I moderated a hotel breakout session in the morning with the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program — which went very well, and I thank all of the participants for contributing to the session and being very informative and helpful — as the focus topic; and participated on a panel of “bloggers” in the afternoon, answering questions from members of the audience…
…that is, until a tornado warning abruptly interrupted and halted the Chicago Seminars at approximately 3:00 in the afternoon — but I digress.
Two employees of Internet Brands and Rick Ingersoll both asked me if I would be able to man a table in the registration area on Friday evening and again on Sunday at the Chicago Seminars, as well as do a ten-minute presentation on FlyerTalk to the hundreds of people in the audience. Internet Brands is the company which owns FlyerTalk, and Rick Ingersoll — also known as the Frugal Travel Guy — is the main organizer of the Chicago Seminars. Additionally, FlyerTalk was one of the sponsors of the Chicago Seminars. Well, I enjoy helping people and speaking in front of an audience, so I graciously accepted.
However, I thought to myself: What in the world would I be doing? What would I talk about at the presentation? Everybody already knows all about FlyerTalk — right?!?
As confirmed when I asked the audience who has not heard of FlyerTalk, not one of the several hundred people raised their hand — so what would I talk about? Ten minutes is an incredibly long time if you are not sure of what to say. Well, I spontaneously talked about how I benefited from FlyerTalk — including using frequent flier loyalty program miles to fly as a passenger aboard Concorde, the amazing deals with which I was fortunate enough to be involved, and my wacky itineraries to procure elite status for the next year — and let the audience know they can ask me how they can benefit from FlyerTalk as well if they were not already doing so.
Many people came up to me after the presentation. Some told me how they enjoyed hearing what I said and wanted to know more details. Others had questions about my experiences with FlyerTalk. Still others asked me questions about using FlyerTalk — some of which were what I thought rather basic in nature.
As for manning the FlyerTalk table, I thought I would sit there, bored with nothing to do. FlyerTalk member jackal graciously accompanied me on that Friday afternoon, as he wanted to be at the Chicago Seminars — and he brought his laptop computer.
Incredibly, the table was never empty. A steady stream of people came by to ask questions and share their FlyerTalk experiences. We met a lot of new people in only a few hours. Incredibly, jackal was asked to demonstrate how to use FlyerTalk on his laptop computer — or, if an explanation about the location of a particular function on FlyerTalk was needed to be shown and explained, jackal used his laptop computer to demonstrate.
The overall response about FlyerTalk amazed me. It then occurred to me: if people were asking questions about FlyerTalk which I took for granted as a veteran member, there must be a need for education for more FlyerTalk members to use FlyerTalk as efficiently as possible to get the best experience out of it — and there are probably many more FlyerTalk members who have questions but are unsure as to where to get their answers…
…so what if there were seminars based on FlyerTalk? Is there a need for them? Should they be centrally located in one place, or should it be an international road show at key locations around the world? Should the seminars be one major event per year, one major event every other year, or several smaller events per year? What do you think would be the ideal structure for FlyerTalk Seminars?
Sample topics could include but not be limited to:
- How to use MyFlyerTalk and other functions of FlyerTalk designed for efficiency and time savings
- How to decipher the cryptic discussion of “tricking” and negotiating special savings and “fuel dumps”
- FlyerTalk 101: a basic primer for the new or inexperienced user
- Moderators, TalkBoard members and Ambassadors: What are their roles and how can they be of assistance to you?
- What is a “mileage run” and how to use the tools available on FlyerTalk to construct one to your benefit
- Technical sessions: how to search on FlyerTalk, how to perform functions such as multi-quote, add a signature, formatting what you post on FlyerTalk, etc.
- The tone of FlyerTalk: how can it be improved?
- Presentation sessions by the “bloggers” of Frugal Travel Guy, FrequentFlier.com and — of course — The Gate
- All about FlyerTalk features in-depth, such as FlightConnect, LoungeConnect, live chat, photo gallery and calendars for gatherings of FlyerTalk members
If FlyerTalk held its own seminars, would you attend? Please participate in the poll and discussion.
Thank you in advance.