Flourish in a Flash: When Events and Destinations Return
Updated: May 29, 2020
Please note: transcripts are computer generated
Kristen Thiry 0:17
All right, we are live Thank you everybody for joining us for a another episode of flourish in a flash. Very excited to be here with two special guests. Both Peters we've got Peter Friend with Global Hotel Card by Expedia and we've got Peter Cannon with Ticket Jones. So thank you guys for joining me.
So we wanted to address a really timely topic. Obviously travel and events and live live experiences is something that is a challenge right now because we can't do it right now. So wanted to bring both of you guys into the mix and have a conversation about how are people you know really responding to this power. Businesses reacting. How are your businesses doing and kind of what are you doing to address the current situation? And, you know, to kind of have a conversation around that. So maybe if you guys could both take a minute, introduce yourselves kind of tell us a little bit more about what it is you do. And then we'll kind of get into the meat of it.
Peter Friend 1:26
Anyway, should she's wandering around in the background. That's Annabel, you guys might hear her and definitely have already seen her. Go ahead, Peter friend. Hi, everyone. My name is Peter friend. I've been in the industry for about 15 years, started out with the first company to launch a gift card powered by an online travel agency for incentive loyalty programs and promotions. At that time, our booking engine was Travelocity. we migrated to orbits and then about five years ago. Our new branding is Global Hotel Card. by Expedia. So our businesses been involved in many different channels, including the b2c channels with Blackhawk and Incomm. But it's really primarily focused now on b2b channels, loyalty programs, employee engagement, and is also International. We're in 30 currencies in about 50 countries worldwide.
And finally, just to add one more thing is that two weeks ago, we got certified by TripAdvisor. We were working on that project for about six months. We now have a second product which is global experiences card powered by TripAdvisor same business model.
Kristen Thiry 2:42
Fantastic. So what about you, Peter Cannon tell us a little more about ticket Jones.
Peter Cannon 2:46
Hi, I'm Peter Cannon. I am the owner of ticket Jones. We've been in the incentive recognition industry. Gosh, 21 years time Time flies and essentially what We do is a white label. Event access rewards option to dozens and dozens of your friends and competitors and pals in the incentive space. So it's sporting events, concerts, theater, and even theme parks which are very popular. And we do primarily events based in North America. But on any given day, we're probably three dozen countries around the world Japan, Australia. I know Hawaii is now the country but I'm just saying why a little bit in the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, UK, Europe, very easy. Little bit Eastern Europe little bit Middle East a little bit Hong Kong and been very active in the industry for 20 years and on the IMA board, and we have a cig on ima the incentive engagement solution providers so I'm involved in that kind of the think tank of the IMA and it's just very interesting strange time so I'm happy to talk about it and tell you what I know and what I don't know.
Kristen Thiry 4:15
That's fantastic. So thank you both for that introduction and maybe kind of jumping off to your last point Peter cannon kind of talking about the fact that these are strange times obviously, what you both do is is centered around travel and you know, Peter cannon you mentioned how you're, you know, tickets, live events, theme parks, all that kind of stuff. You know, how how has this impacted your business and you know, what have you maybe done to to address the current situation.
Peter Cannon 4:42
We're used keeping like everyone else keeping our heads down. I, we have a year left 16 and a half, we have one part time person, staff. So we laid off to three people there on unemployment, and fortunately About half of my customer service reps have office phones at their home. So we are open because we have to be we had somewhere between four and 500 orders in the pipeline just a typical people doing their point redemptions. Mostly, we do gift codes, but it's mostly point redemptions. With again, dozens of companies so we're fully opened even though no, as many of you know, no income coming in. And no new events being listed. We're kind of in limbo. Now what's interesting Peter Friend, and I talk weekly because we are friends and we like each other and we chat to compare notes. I don't tend to be overly optimistic about things. kind of take it day by day but it's fascinating. The incentive companies that are my clients are all functioning and over half of them have brought in new programs in the last two months, which is just remarkable. I don't know how they've only seem to have dropped a few programs from what I understand, which is great. For us, it's just waiting for events to be listed, so people can start redeeming again.
Now, briefly, what's interesting and again, I'm not an overly optimistic person is we're still getting a few orders a day price 10% of what we normally do, but people are ordering college football, because that's still listed, and theme parks because it's good forever. And it seems like there's pent up demand. So I don't know if events are going to start in two months or six months. We'll see it's day by day. But as you know, up here in Seattle, we believe in social distancing, and we wear our masks and we're that kind of demographic we'll see locally. Once things are listed, how many people come out and what the rules are, there'll be different rules for different teams to adhere to. You know, like I say, day by day, Peter friend, what do you see in my friend?
Peter Friend 7:18
Well, we had a lot of business on the books for people. And beginning in early March, they started to finally come to the realization that travel was not going to happen for them. That the nature of the booking website on hotels is different types of booking rooms. So a lot of people booked non refundable. And the hotels are involved. So my booking engine Expedia is an intermediary between the 350,000 hotels that we have worldwide. Many of them are chains, but many of them are independent. So we have a very fragmented type of business with different types of policies down to the hotel level. So the first thing that we noticed was a tremendous amount of stress on Expedia, something like 50,000 calls per hour coming in on a customer service basis, to the point that they had to stop their agent support and just go to online only. And our biggest challenge is waiting for them to tell us how to handle the refunds and the cancellations. After I think only about several days, they did a very good job of convincing their hotel supply chain to change all reservations to flexible policies and to refund everybody regardless of the original. It didn't happen immediately. People were a little impatient at the beginning.
But I would say the consumer patience became manageable, and we we probably canceled 3 or 4000 reservations and fully refunded those during the time of February March in April. And Expedia just also extended that same policy through June. So as far as the supply chain and our partners with Expedia, it's been a manageable situation, but the business has dropped off significantly, of course. So in March, our business might have only been down 20%. In April, it was down 95%. But in May, we're only down 85%. It's hard to say only down 85%. But at least it's trending in the right direction. And we expect that to go to 60% and then probably 50%. How to project beyond that is, of course impossible. On the TripAdvisor side, it's been a different type of a story, again, an intermediary again, an incredibly fragmented supply chain, in fact, much more fragmented than Expedia because there's not a lot of chains or centralized event planners, all those fit in 50,000. cooking classes and Vatican tours and other types of stuff are usually individual operators. So we found that TripAdvisor really is more expediate. They shut down their booking engine, because they didn't have any consistency. They didn't have confidence. They weren't able to know what was going to happen with the ability of people if they did go online to be able to book an event, and then if the event was safe, and we have not seen that really unlocked yet. We see a little bit of events coming out of Europe because they were hit harder. Asia is more active in terms of unlocking than the United States. But if you go to the TripAdvisor site and try to book an event today, you won't be able to do it. But the hotel stayed open, most of them very low occupancy, but they were also taking care of essential workers. So you have you have so many different types of situations in Peter canons, business and in my business.
You can't really speak about it as one category the way you may be able to with a large retailer, because you've got fragmentation, you've got franchisees you've got so many different states. emitted from policies. And that's one of my biggest concerns is trying to figure out how are we going to communicate that type of fragmentation to our customer because we can't say to them, okay, booking a hotel is now this policy of rules. So they have to go deeper into finding out certain types of conditions at a hotel. And just one more point towards that to find to explain how complicated it can be is Expedia came out with a new rating systems we all know about star rating and reviews with TripAdvisor and this type of stuff. Now they're starting to rate and review hotel properties in terms of their safety and cleanliness. So they're trying to get their hotel suppliers to explain to them in and then they can communicate to the individual traveler. Are masks being worn are gloves being offered, are they renting the room on a daily basis are they stopping to rent a room and taking a two day delay? By the red thing every every third room, and it's it's again, very fragmented. So there's progress, but it's by no means stabilized.
Kristen Thiry 12:10
That's really interesting. And just Yeah, those considerations are really important. And I'm sure for travels for travelers to feel, you know, confident making those bookings and really knowing what those policies are. You know, to that point, we actually had a question from our live audience. Have you or your partner's made any changes to expiration terms, or provided additional incentives, bonuses discounts to drive consumer spend during these uncertain times? Have you guys had that experience at all?
Peter Cannon 12:40
We haven't, yet what we plan to do. As soon as we see some light, more light at the tunnel right now, teams are talking about when they're going to start their training camps or renew spring trainings are different things and talking about either having games originally with no fans or limited fans. So Peter brought up a bunch of topics that I wrote down which are great, we'll see what the rules are for each state and city and team. And the communication is essential to let our participants know that we should come back to this but on this tangent, so I don't forget, and I want to have a middle aged moment on YouTube. Peter also inspired me when he was talking about his clients and customers there for us the incentive space, incentive recognition as a participants, they're redeeming their points. And just generally, it's so much nicer than retail. They're also happy whether it was a loyalty program or recognition, incentive casino whatever. They're getting access to some catalog and not just tickets, luggage. jewelry electronics, they're happy, happy people.
Along that line of the hundreds of hundreds of people that we've talked to who had orders in the pipeline, about less than 1% are unhappy and want to blame and point fingers and everybody else. First is just generally mellow. And surprisingly, in terms of travel and events, like oh, no, keep the points in the event category. As soon as something is scheduled. We're going whether it's Pittsburgh Steelers or Disneyland or Sacramento State girls basketball, I mean, it's a collective but they're planning to go which is really interesting use hearing this feedback from this 450 500 people. raring to go. One other little side note about pent up demand. Don't think bad have me out there. Many years ago, I was a ticket broker before I went into the incentive space. So I still retain a few season tickets around the country for different NFL teams. As I've told Peter, friends, the schedule for the games, as it is now went up went up several weeks ago, we've been selling tickets, not just for points, but for cash and big bucks. And we're kind of shaking our heads going, Wow, this Don't they know, we're going to be in a recession one way or the other. It's a matter of time. And the health considerations, but it's it's strong and continuing.
So I don't know what to make of it. I can just give you the daily report of what we're seeing. So didn't mean to go off on the tangent because your question about rules and what's coming up. We could we could spend hours on so yeah, but I mean, it is interesting that you're still seeing people with enthusiasm for that. Whatever.
Kristen Thiry 16:00
Was that they were interested in before they're still interested. And you're like, That hasn't changed sort of the, I mean, maybe the appetite or the demand has changed a little bit just volume wise, but those people who, you know, we're always kind of sports fans and like to cross five
Peter Cannon 16:15
Yeah, they're going to the Tennessee Titans or, again their college game or concert tour that got postponed or canceled rescheduled get me you know, similar tickets, I'm you know, content going. Yeah. And they appreciate the customer service of their incentive companies, I think are communicating very well with them. So, yeah, it's, that's encouraging.
Kristen Thiry 16:43
Yeah, that's great. That's great to hear. You know, and the fact that like, it is like, you guys manage, you know, incentive companies and stuff. So it's like your people are still wanting to give incentives to people right. So I think that's something else too that you know, the the demand to offer. incentives isn't hasn't changed, necessarily, you know, it's just that maybe choosing travel and that kind of, you know, a live events is not maybe as high on the list as it was before.
But, you know, we actually did a flourish into flash a couple weeks back where we were talking about how are How are companies engaging their employee base right now given remote working, and the stay at home orders and stuff, and I think incentives plays a huge part in that, you know, so being able to offer something, if sporting events and if travel and, you know, if going to theme parks with your family as an important thing to you, you know, we know that at some point, those things will go back to normal, if you're a patient and are willing to kind of, you know, store up your points or your, you know, your rewards to, to use for that, you know, at some point they'll go back to normal and people are, you know, still being motivated and sort of incented to you know, work towards that, you know, given the current environment.
Peter Friend 17:56
In the in the hotel and hospitality area, we have a different type of a return to normal. , so where we might have had a base of business, it was highly International, I'm not directly involved in air, but people, obviously if they're going to travel, they are flying to a destination and then booking their hotel room. And that type of behavior i think is changed for the good, foreseeable future. Some people think, you know, air may not recover internationally for for quite some time because of the different rules and countries in terms of being able to being forced to stay somewhere for 14 days after you arrive in a country that's not convenient. And that and the initial launch that the airlines have had, I don't think has been enough a good customer service experience.
So we're finding that when people are looking at booking travel, the first the first activities will be much more localized They'll drive as opposed to fly. And we also think that there's going to be a stronger orientation back to the brands. Airbnb is having a much more difficult time in the hotel industry because you're then looking at reliance upon an individual host in terms of the type of safety and cleanliness versus a chain Marriott Hyatt even though there's your franchise, intercontinental etc, they're there you have more confidence in them and being able to deliver a safer, healthier products we think that people will be doing more rural or local within hundred miles of their of their residence because if something does happen, they want to be able to get home and be home safe.
We're seeing more people looking at types of motorhome and camping environments where they can go out and gather and be safe by themselves as opposed to urban which I think will be very difficult. In terms of the big stuff like conventions and conferences, you know, I don't think anybody's really, really even projecting what's going to go on there. So with respect to the recovery in travel, I think it'll be local. I think it'll be branded properties, quieter properties. With respect to TripAdvisor, I think there's an opportunity in the incentive industry because people have points. They can then go to a tour activity or experience that they've been wanting to do. Why haven't I ever gone to the Alcatraz tour and I live in San Francisco Alcatraz tour.
But the types of experiences are not going to be the same across the board. So there might be big bus tours, which are a tremendous part of every city's activity and experience, but I don't think the big bus tours are going to be coming back for as easy for people to participate in concerts and shows Peter cannon could speak to that better than I but I think With experience and activities will be the walking tours, it'd be the bike tours, the the classes and the workshops. It'll be the guided tours in the museums where they control with social distancing, the safety and the experience that people can have, as opposed to river rafting where you're going to have six people in a river raft. I don't think that's gonna happen.
Kristen Thiry 21:20
Yeah, those are all great points. I do think that's, you know, really important to say like the local aspect in the air travel, I do agree with you international travel is an it poses an interesting challenge, right, you know, trying to deal with I was actually just on a forum this weekend, because my husband and I are trying to plan a trip and, you know, people were saying like, oh, or are you allowed to, you know, being in Washington, we're close to the Canadian border. Like, are you allowed to cross the border right now?
Like, we don't even I don't know, you know, I'm just like, you know, that that's a hard question and that we were considering driving you know, so it's like, yeah, so air travels and interesting one, but the hotel chains your point about Airbnb versus the largesr chains is an interesting point as well because there are probably easier standards to implement and things that consumers can feel higher levels of confidence that you know certain things are being adhered to certain practices from a cleanliness and safety standpoint. So those are all really good points I think that's something important to think about you know, it's we're all right trying to read the tea leaves none of us have a crystal ball to say you know, when is this going to go back to normal?
What will normal look like? You know, I feel like the term new normal has been so overused lately but I don't know what better term to use you know, it's like that really is the situation we're in of, you know, trying to determine what is the new normal gonna look like and how is this gonna impact you know, this industry, you know, in the short term as well as in the longer term.
Peter Cannon 22:47
Peter, Peter Friend, if I can jump in again, gave me great notes again, hit a few things, things we've been talking about two points I concur with him about shorter trips people will be taking or going to local events seems to be the early clues we're getting from an I get these from two different sources. The few orders that are dribbling in for us are 100%. Local somebody in Columbus, Ohio going to, you know, an Ohio State event or a concert there. Same thing, you know, someone in the bay, they're only you're not going more than 30 miles you know it for an event that they want to go see where traditionally we have a high percentage of people who are in Florida, they're going to Missouri for a concert or a game or you know, not not even talking international but doing some degree of travel.
Secondly, we'll see if it comes to fruition several incentive travel companies that reached out to us during the This low, saying, well maybe we should be adding events into our rewards catalog as a stop gap. Because we don't know when people are going to be taking these expensive trips or a lot of point trips or long trips. Again, with the plane or hotel, they may be more comfortable even though it's a large group going to the local concert or event, so we'll see but that's, I think they're thinking, trying to get ahead of the curve and be creative. And I would also add, I talk almost daily to people on the IMA and also RPI recognition professionals International.
And these companies are trying to be very proactive figuring out okay, this this work at home this new sorry, new normal, how do we help? How do we that business improvement and business survival? What skills what resources with data gathering Do we have to help them And there's just daily conversations. I mean, just a partner vendor. That's not my area of expertise. But it's fascinating.
Kristen Thiry 25:10
What are some of the techniques that they're proposing on how to help?
Peter Cannon 25:16
Well, I can tell you more of the pain points than the day. There, these are a lot of universities that have their recognition programs or large corporation sometimes do it themselves or medical facilities. And they're just kind of it's such a strange departure because they're very tactile, it's being together was what was everything based on in terms of recognition, not even talking about the rewards they're getting, or the data that they're collecting to help people improve, but just use
Seeing hundreds of people each day. And that, that physical contact, and how to maintain that level of communication to make their business efficient, and the changes that they're going through. They're struggling with that. Mm hmm. And they're, you know, you hear half a dozen different theories each day, how they're dealing with it. And then same with the more of the incentive world, which is more employee recognition or employee incentivize just a plethora of strategies, nothing that I remember verbatim or this or that, but literally from A to Z in terms of everything from furloughing employees, to a lot of places of reduced salaries, okay, how do we maintain productivity and get people back to where we all need to be?
Now, from what I understand. They've had very few cancellations in programs and both incentive and recognition and have even added some. So again, I don't know if the ads are because they've come up with new, new methods for this strange world. We're living in people. Oh, that'll help. Let's try that. In terms of our we've got a 10,000 person workforce. We used to be in four facilities. Now, you know, we're in 10,000. Homes. Yeah. So I'm afraid I don't have there is on the tip of my tongue. but everyone's working on it.
Kristen Thiry 27:46
Yeah. Peter, friend. Did you have something?
Peter Friend 27:49
Yeah, from our perspective. And going back to what Peter cannon brought up in terms of the structure of our company, it's always been virtual. We recently brought on Todd Tomlina as our chief revenue officer, so he's engaged in both the United States and Europe in terms of talking with the employee recognition loyalty programs in the aggregators, and the Chief Operating Officer Alex Richmond, out of the US helping to manage the previous things that I've that I've talked about, we haven't had a reduction, we've actually had an addition in terms of personnel. And we've been able to stay busy with our aggregator partners and our loan companies, because they seem to be having more time to take meetings to take calls, and to engage in programs.
I'm very optimistic about finally being able to get our aggregator partners domestically and internationally, being able to connect through API to our booking engine, which is a project that I've been wanting to do for two or three years and people never seem to have enough time for it. Now they're they're going back and everybody's new Looking internally in terms of their business structure, to try to maintain the employee base, they have to find projects that may not be daily revenue producing things, but things that have been on the books that they can, they can get ready for when the business Does, does come back. So I feel I feel good about our ability to have new agreements with people we're signing, probably two three a month now with tide that people have not been able to, to get to before because they have more time and more interest. As far as travel is concerned. That's where I become like Peter Cannon a little bit more of a pessimist because, you know, our company is b2b. So our products exist on these catalogs. And consumers when they have points are looking at something that's a little more essential to their life a little more Best Buy a little more Home Depot a little bit more potentially restaurant cards pickup and delivery are clothing oriented.
I'm less optimistic that we're going to get back to our fair market share in the hotel category, because that requires job security. It requires additional funds to plan a vacation. And I'm not sure people are at that point in their professional in their personal lives where they want to take the safety risk, or they want to take the professional risk to take a holiday, or they want to take the financial risk to spend their dollars. And that's where a second part of my concern comes in is, I have not really heard, but I have heard a lot it's going to be even better than ever, within employee recognition programs because people are going to incentivize like crazy with these budgets.
When I think about companies that have layoffs, they have furloughs, they have pay cuts to come back to them and want them to take points as opposed to bringing them back into the company from furlough or bringing it back to their previous compensation level. I'm kind of thinking that's where the company employee relationship may be. So I think we may take a step back in terms of cash versus gift cards and incentives, unfortunately, because our industry feeds off of points in incentives, just because people people have needs now and our businesses kind of bit based on on motivational behavior beyond over and above the initial fulfillment of the needs.
Kristen Thiry 31:35
Yeah. Yeah. That's a really great point. You know, he did have one additional question from the live audience that I wanted to bring to your guys's attention. So for physical tickets and core card sales, have you or any of your partners or providers considered kidding, tickets or cars with things like disposable face masks, hand sanitizer, etc. as an option at checkout? Is that something you guys have explored it all or talked about at all?
Peter Cannon 32:02
No, that's a wonderful idea. I'm gonna bring it up to my staff, you had asked earlier about promotions or discounts or specials, we will probably do something, again, once things are scheduled again, you know, welcome back, get, you know, an upgrade or, you know, save points on this or that. But no, but that's, that's a good idea. And it also I was thinking about the question that I whipped out earlier, when you asked me what the incentive companies and recognition companies are doing. I've heard from a lot of them. And again, there are people I'm currently with, so it's not they don't need that tickets, but they're thinking of what additional things they can add to their catalogs. It's like, okay, we're back. You're back working.
And they want to make it appealing for that corporate client to maintain that budget for next year. In terms of behavioral Sciences and incentive from recognition. So we've added travel to the catalog that's coming back eventually, or the type of things, Peter friends talking about these new walking tours, and local things and even virtual things. So again, Peter and Peter friends, right again, they have time on their hands. It's not the minute to minute triage that we do every day in our normal life. So they're planning ahead. Okay, we may, you know, have lost something here.
What can we do to make up? What added value can we bring to our clients or participants, and all sorts of ideas just like face? I don't know if I want to sell, you know, when someone orders a Seahawk ticket and throw in a face mask I don't know if that's the right message. But I'm gonna think we'll talk about it because we both live in Seattle. I've been meaning to wear a face mask to Mariners games for years just because they're so bad That's just a protest.
Kristen Thiry 34:06
Yeah. I mean, maybe if it helps people get comfortable attending live events, you know, it might be interesting. I don't know. It'll be interesting.
Peter Cannon 34:15
Well, we'll talk about if you have a line on the 95 or whatever. Yeah.
Kristen Thiry 34:19
All right. Seriously, good luck getting them right now, right. It's like
Peter Cannon 34:23
Peter you do anything, any special things or thinking of?
Peter Friend 34:26
Oh, no, thank you for the comments. We do very little plastic. And we're not we're not b2c in any of these third party gift card malls. So packaging with other physical products is not something we do. However. On the hotel side of things, we're seeing the supply chain, offering discounts, but not nearly as much as you would think because you hear about people saying, My God, there's greatest deals I've ever seen on the airline industry and young people are going to start to travel because it's such a great value. On the hotel side of thing. Yes, we're seeing 20% off 25% off.
But to be honest with you, you could always find a find those deals during the course of the year anyway. So we're seeing discounting, but not the kind of deep discounting that you might have expected to see offseason in the past. But the discounts are coming in there on the website. As far as the other types of PPE things. I think that's going to be handled by the event organizers. And it's going to be handled by the hotels at at the at the venue themselves. So I don't think it would be practical for us to get involved in that. But being able to encourage that promoted communicated might make someone make a decision making thing you mentioned virtual Peter, and I'm quite excited about that as as an ongoing type of a change for TripAdvisor.
They started a virtual experiences product about a month ago, and it started with about 100 of their organizers and it's growing significantly because People can charge for a cooking class virtually, that might emanate out of Italy, you might sign up for it and a normal cooking class in Rome might normally be 65 or $70 per person, this one might be $15 per person. So it's a whole different price point. And it's it's, it's engaged as interactive zoom activity. So the person who's organizing the class will send you the menu, two days before you'll go out and you'll buy all of your green ingredients. Then at a certain time of day, everybody will sign in. Maria will be organizing interactive class, it'll go on for an hour, hour and a half and you'll all end up hopefully with a great dish of pasta and a lot of fun.
I think that's going to maintain itself after this whole thing called normalizes because it's, it's fun. People are much more comfortable with zoom activities. And with summer coming up in the cancellation of camps and other types of activities, there's a lot of opportunity to offer virtual experiences to families in a tour of a museum, or somebody walking around that can and explaining in real time and engaging with people in it with questions that they might have an explaining, that's a lot more fun than a static YouTube function.
Kristen Thiry 37:22
I love that. I think that's such a great idea. I mean, obviously I've heard about fitness professionals and stuff offering you know, virtual classes, but I hadn't really heard about the cooking class. That's really cool. And I love that idea. I love the the tour idea and you know, I do agree with you that camps so many parents are, are pulled in so many different directions right now trying to do homeschooling and whatnot.
But we're, we're quickly approaching the end of the school year if we haven't already for some people. So you know, it's a what what do you do with with the kids at home while we're continuing I'll have to work from home and they're there and they're normally in camp and whatnot. And it's, I think, you know, virtual camp that, you know, isn't just a kid is sitting in front of a screen I know screen time something a lot of parents are sensitive to right now but if there's some sort of, you know, interactive element to that that's really interesting and you know if you're able to offer something like that, that's really fantastic.
Peter Cannon 38:12
Peter Friend Do you have a place to go yet to see the list of the virtual tours Have you set that up yet?
Peter Friend 38:29
Well it's it's it's it's it's still evolving. And the it started because TripAdvisor wanted to find a way to drive revenue to their supply chain partners. They started out without a revenue share to their affiliates. So two things need to happen is as they unlock to their affiliate networks and say said recertified, and our website is teed up and ready to go, but they haven't decided if they win or if they're willing to let us go public with our website. I'm hoping it'd be 30 days. 60 days, 90 days, but it's dependent upon the supply chain.
And so they need to they need to prove the concept that it works that it's a good experience for everybody. They need to then evolve to the point where they can create a revenue share to their to their affiliates like me, which gets passed on to my distribution partners as well. And then I think it'll be a viable product. But for the time being, there's such a sensitivity towards people ever seeming to exploit a situation. You know, the controversies over the restaurant delivery companies charging the restaurants too much, and everybody has a backlash towards that.
So I think TripAdvisor is very sensitive to the fact that they don't want to have be perceived as taking advantage of a commercial opportunity through the virtual product. They're trying to launch it as a goodwill product. And then I think it'll become commercially viable. For the time being there’s such a sensitivity for people seemingly to exploit a situation such as the restaurant deliver companies charging restaurants too much. If it’s launched as good will product then I think it will become commercially viable
Once again you gave me another thought, when you both were talking about discounts and additional things it will be fascinating this first phase of reopening if in the early season of games if they only allow certain percentages in the stadium. What is going to happen in place such as Green Bary or Alabama? There’s going to be riots in the streets, these folks live for this stuff. The seats are available are going to go up rather than a discount. We’re trying to stay on top of it as much as we can and serve our participant base.
You have capacity issues that the travel industry doesn’t see. Hotels may not have to limit capacity to 50 ot 70% because it’s a different type of product with a room and everything.
Yeah, I was talking with a good friend who is a coach in the NFL and we were talking this weekend that the NFL specifically is using the lowest common denominator start as a benchmark so whatever state is most restrictive will the the threshold and there’s going to be a challenge enforcing these things in states that are less restrictive.
Well at least getting into buildings, a personal anecdote, at the door they were checking temperatures and it was fast, it was maybe 10 seconds.
Well you guys thanks for joining me in this conversation it’s a challenging time especially for the industries you’re in. We appreciate you sharing what you know and trying to read the tea leaves with us. Thank you so much.