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The Power of Perception.. and Marketing!

What Stood Out to Me the Most At the HGA Forum in Miami

Category: Xplor the World
Posted On: Thursday, August 4, 2016

Across innumerable articles strewn across the internet written about the idea of business networking, it is evident that the term is presumed as imperative to every successful company, ever. Networking is the interaction of business leaders for the exchange of information. There is a reason behind the fact that Xplor proactively searches for new opportunities to attend conferences and forums. Not only does the act of networking allow for new potential client leads, it also acts as a threshold for the transfer of business intelligence between these companies.

Xplor attended the 4th Annual Hosts Global Alliance Forum in Miami, Fl. In my past experiences at conferences, all the companies that partook were diverse in their professions. However, The HGA forum consisted of a variety of meeting planners, third party agencies and destination management companies with a common mindset. This is what made the system of networking in Miami that much more powerful, and what differentiated this conference for me from previous conferences I attended with Xplor. Needless to say, I did learn a lot from people at other companies specializing in travel, considering I am working for a company with the same specialization.

One of the things I learned during this trip that really fascinated me was how powerful perception is when it comes to the media but how marketers can learn to overcome it. The Zika virus generates enough headlines and controversy to create a worldwide panic. False internet articles do not help this situation, either. The capability of today's technology, along with the wide scope the media yields on our world, reveals how powerful their combination can be. This said, the Zika virus spread over the internet and the news more than the actual virus did. To much dismay, this had a significant impact on the travel industry. America's perception of the Zika virus led to an exponential influx in the amount of cancelled trips across borders. Especially in Puerto Ricp, the demand for vacations decrease significantly, causing millions of dollars to be lost to travel companies. However, these travel professionals were able to defy this perception. Speaker Milton Segarra revealed to us the process their marketing team developed in order to persuade their customers to desire to travel again. They targeted the media with a video to inform people about this misperception. It was impressive to see how a company was able to identify a solution to a major problem and dodge a bullet that was not necessary to dodge in the first place. Segarra's presentation reveals the power of perception and how a group of people was able to change a nation-wide perception in the efforts to save an industry.

Marketing is so powerful. And I needed this presentation to understand the extent of this power. The multitude of how a person's mindset is changed heavily depends on the message portrayed and how it is marketed to them. Something so significant as a nation-wide issue of the Zika virus can manipulate minds by the power of marketing.