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It’s time to think outside the box, said Michelle Saegesser, v.p. of sales for Viking during the recent Cruise Planners convention. During a Viking session, Saegesser offered tips on how you can think outside the box, and score high revenue and leads while planning a Viking Cruise Night. Here’s a fact: There are about 900 cruise nights planned a year.

Saegesser told the audience she was there to help them build their business by building their client list. “We know how to plan Cruise Nights for you,” she said. “The Cruise Night in a Box unlocks all the magic in how to do this.”

Viking's Cruise in a Box.
Viking’s Cruise Night in a Box.

Though you might be thinking, “How much is this going to cost me? Let us tell you it’s minimal when compared to your return. Viking will support you with a really good marketing plan,” says Saegesser. “We know that when you start doing Cruise Nights, you’ll do anywhere between $100,000-$200,000 in bookings pretty fast.”

 “Make sure you are going to places where Viking’s customers are.” — Michelle Saegesser, Vice president of sales, Viking Cruises

Event Ideas
Saegesser’s team helps agents come up with places to host events that won’t cost them a lot of money. For example, events can include tea in a retail outlet (hint: complimentary space), and if working with boutique shops, for example, the owners can invite their client list, which, in turn, helps you. Other ideas that have worked in the past is a fashion show in a town’s community center; and events at car dealerships—Tesla, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, etc. Car dealerships are a good option because the dealership wants customers to come in to see their cars. One example Saegesser suggested was an event at a Jaguar dealership, for which the agent rented chairs and an AV, and brought in basic food, and set up a bar. The agent packed it with their contacts, and the dealership invited their contacts as well. This event resulted in 200 attendees, of which about 60 were from the agent’s list. These dealership events are great to plan around the end of the month when the dealership needs customers. The venue was free, and the food was affordable. Another out-of-the-box option was a partnership with LifeSquire—an exec concierge service. A “take two hours off” event was planned for busy execs, which resulted in a new range of wealthy clients added to that agent’s list.

“Make sure you’re going to places where Viking’s customers are. We’re a 55+ customer,” she noted. “We’re high income. We have a client base that’s very interested in cultural enrichment. Those are the key things you’re looking for. Hang out where that kind of money is,” she told agents.

Cruise Night in a Box with Viking Cruises.
Viking Cruises wants you to think outside the box when creating Cruise Nights.

Cruise Night in a Box
In order to help agents plan a Cruise Night, Viking provides agents with a Cruise Night in a Box. This box has everything you need to plan your Cruise Night, from a “Get Started Letter” that explains how to get started with your planning, and a “Please Join Us Letter” to use as an invite, to shipboard credits information, a marketing plan, a day of show form, and two powerpoint presentations—the Danube and the Rhine. If you need more help beyond this box, your Viking sales director can help guide your or give you ideas on the types of events you can host to help build your leads.

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