Be the Hero of YOUR Invited Guests
7 Jul 2015
Hi. I am Barbara Armstrong and I would like to teach you how you can cruise the world for free with your own Highly Profitable Extraordinary Event at Sea.
This is available for anyone who wants to bond with their Audience; with their Peers, Prospects, Clients, Customers and Students. It is perfect if you have a company, organization product or service. It’s even perfect if you don’t, but just want to cruise with your friends and family. It is a perfect bonding experience while visiting amazing exotic destinations around the world or close to home.
Today’s cruise ships are destinations unto themselves. They are floating mega resort cities on water, many 12 stories high and two football fields long. They might have ice skating rinks and rock climbing walls as well Vegas and Broadway style shows. Some repeat cruisers don’t even want to leave the ship, entranced with the waterslide and miniature golf; spas and all that there is to do on board. The stabilizing systems in the ships are so advanced you barely even feel you are moving, as your ship acts as your floating hotel, transporting you from one exotic port of call to another.
Also on a cruise ship, you, as a host to a group, avoid all the nickel and diming a hotel will charge for space, equipment, draped tables, stage, curtains, water and microphone systems. The cruise ship will provide this free. Just bring your people onto the cruise. Cruise Ships set up everything for you so that it is a turnkey situation. You just go onboard and start having a good time with your guests.
Families are more than welcome. Business can be conducted either with families invited or while the families enjoy the ships activities and the children enjoy the onboard kids camps, crafts, babysitting and activities that all cruise lines offer for children aged two and above. These Extraordinary Events can be Working Business Seminars with occasional breaks on shore and with the ships amenities or they can be pure pleasure like a Family Reunion or hobby club. Most group hosts find a balanced approach works best with at sea mornings or appropriate port mornings dedicated to business. The rest of the time can be spent with family and friends or networking during free time.
Most business sessions work best on sea days between 10 am and 1 pm. Making the sessions optional, (but alluring), keeps the tone carefree and actually encourages attendance. Avoid information overload. Even invite spouses to work shops if they want to come so that they will know, first hand, what type of work is being done. People will end up networking at the bar, by the pool and elsewhere on the ship in a relaxed atmosphere and retain and exploit more of the seminar information.
Because there is so much to do on a cruise ship you really need at least 7 days to have enough time to get any work done. This way it can become the big annual vacation. For best results avoid peak summer months and holiday weeks where prices are higher and air fare is most expensive. At these times ships get sold out so far in advance that planning for Your Event becomes more difficult. If this timeframe is necessary for your project then you can still be accommodated but you must plan a year in advance and market early to your guests to assure that you can be accommodated by the ship.
A week is the perfect work and play balance. It is also the time frame used by the newest ships with the best staff and newest hardware. You will really get a top of the line experience. You and your guests will come back relaxed and ready to tackle life. A cruise vacation includes almost everything except your bar bill, optional donations at the casino, gift shop and spa treatments. What is included are your meals, including breakfast in bed if you want it (or on your private balcony) and 24 hour complimentary room service on most cruises.
You also have included nightly entertainment, Broadway style shows, spas and fitness centers, plus other entertainment activities nonstop, morning til night. Your deluxe stateroom is included. It can be an Inside state room, an Ocean View Stateroom, or the wildly popular Balcony staterooms allowing you privacy and romance in the ocean breeze. Various different cruise lines are available for your Extraordinary Event. These ships can take you all over the world but the most popular destinations are the Bahamas, the Caribbean and Mexico. You can debark from any port you would like, so, it could be the most convenient from your home or it could be the one at the exotic destination you have decided to cruise this time. The limits are only with your desire.
There are about 25 ports you can sail out of from the United States alone. These Events can create friendships that will last lifetimes at the same time giving you the benefits of discounted group rates, gifts and amenities and upgrades from the cruise line and even a free cruise for the organizer. As the host and organizer, everything is set up for you and your guests behind the scenes. You can relax, cruise the world for free and maybe even get paid to go on vacation.
Most cruise lines provide a complimentary cruise ticket for the host if they bring enough cabins onto the ship with them. The exact amount will differ from one cruise line to the next and this can be discussed further on an individual basis as we discuss if you qualify to host an Extraordinary Event. The more people brought by the host, the more free cabins are available. That might enable you to bring along staff or other family members free. The specifics may vary from one cruise line to another but this is the basic concept most often used.
That’s just the beginning. Above that you can get paid to cruise by providing a value added event. You are going to be hosting your own niche theme cruise. You can now mark up the price of the cruise. For example, you could mark up a $1000 cruise fare by $100. If you had 16 rooms or 32 people, we’re not going to count your room so let’s say 15 rooms with 30 people. That is a minimum sized group and very easy to do. You now have earned $100 times 30 guests for another $3000 above any free rooms that this provides you. You just got paid an additional $3000 on top of any free rooms you have earned. Furthermore, the cruise line will collect it for you. With 30 cabins that $3000 becomes $6,000.
If you wanted to work a little harder with your value added program, let’s say more than just three mornings at sea, you could put on a full blown seminar. The sky is the limit for what you could charge. You know your followers and can judge accordingly. If you wanted to do a small intimate VIP coaching cruise or consulting cruise where you provide individual business or marketing consultations to your VIP clients, you could take that $1000 cruise fare and add a charge of $2000, $3000, or $5000 for the privilege of your selected guests to join you on vacation.
Obviously there is a lot of money to be made while you cruise whatever port you feel like anywhere in the world you want to see. Make a little or a lot on the front end and then even have a back end because you could record a product on board and sell it later. You call the shots. It is your audience. The mark up is for the value that you as host add to your group. There will be no complaints if your group understands your value.
One of the perks to having a group on board a cruise ship is getting advanced specially discounted group block rates. As the sail date approaches the prices go up. Even if you mark up the price by $100 your group may still be still paying less than anyone who will be booking the cruise close to the sailing date so the markup becomes invisible. Now if you decide to do a high end coaching cruise and add $5000 to a $1000 cruise ticket, then you have to run the credit card swipe for the additional money above and beyond what the cruise line is willing to collect for you. Of course you must provide a pretty good program and explanation why you command those kinds of fees.
All cruise groups must be finalized 90 days before sailing. Since ships sail at full capacity, especially the ones you want to be on, you have to plan 7 to 9 months in advance. In 9 months you can have a baby or your own group theme cruise. Who you invite on your cruise depends on what type of group model you have
. If you just want a friends and family with no value added but want to earn a free cruise, then the more the merrier is the way to go. Encourage those booked to invite their friends. If you are doing a theme group or an affinity group you could invite just your group and their families or you could also put it out into the community for their friends and families. There are hundreds of different themes. One idea is a murder mystery group, a bowling league or a quilting group.
Some groups are proprietary and therefore want to be smaller, intimate and private. Your guests will have a VIP feel for your Extraordinary Event. You can even decide to have a yearly event that just keeps getting bigger. To accomplish this you need someone who is an Event Planner.
There isn’t really any risk for you, but I, as the Event Planner, take the risk to make sure things go smoothly behind the scenes. I would recommend that you take NO RISK because if you decide to proceed with your group with me then my fee is zero. The marketing system we put together to help you get your group together is free. I provide an easy online booking system. I build a website for you whose domain name you have purchased. This is sophisticated marketing system can allow you to put 200 people onto a cruise ship for your program instead of a stuffy hotel space. We can make it happen.
Beyond all this, if you want to make it a more the merrier open invitation event, you will be supplied with Viral Invitation Postcards (VIPs for your VIPs). These are glossy two sided postcards imprinted with Your Event that you can send to your list. Everyone who books your cruise automatically gets 50 jumbo sized post cards with their names on it so they are cobranded with you. They can then send them to their friends and enhance the size of your group.
For your website you will need to register an easy to remember domain name. Then I can point it to the web page we provide for you with an automated online shopping cart and referral tracking. I provide the information about the ship and ports to be visited. You just need to add information about Your Extraordinary Event onboard the ship. This is really a turnkey situation. There is no catch.
If you are wondering how I get paid, I get commission from the cruise line and my event planning fee is built into the total Event package.
I can be reached at my website www.YourEventsAtSea.com. You can email me at Barbara@youreventsatsea.com.
You may be concerned that being a host to your cruise will be a 24 hour job while on vacation. No. I set up a system that goes on behind the scenes, leading up to the cruise, from my office and the cruise line’s back offices. Things like setting up bon voyage open bar parties for all of your people to meet up on the day they board the ship. Things like round robin networking dinners with prepaid gratuities so that the wait staff is taken care of and people can dine around in the best dinner times in the main dining room. Arranging conference facilities on the ship or taking over a lounge for a private party. If you want a karaoke night or talent show or a stage and a microphone you’ve got it. That is all arranged between my office and the cruise line and is usually all complimentary.
All the work is done behind the scenes. When you get on the ship we provide you with a liaison from the cruise line, a group coordinator who lives on the ship. This person will meet with you when you have your priority boarding of the ship and give you a tour of your facilities and put everything you need at your disposal ranging from hospitality desks, sign in boards, flip charts, video projectors, screens and sound systems. Anything you need will be at your disposal. You will walk on the ship with a printed schedule and this group coordinator will make sure that everything goes smoothly.
What does it cost? Nothing! The minimum size group you will need is 16 cabins. You can shoot for 32 if you are ambitious and it will surely grow with a second or third event. This modest size is even achievable without the Catch a Wave marketing plan.
To achieve all of this there are some requirements of you, the Group Leader/Event Host. You must have been on a cruise before. The only upfront investment you have is a deposit on your cabin. The group leader goes first and MUST ATTEND. This is fully refundable up to 90 days before sailing. Your risk is still zero. If you in fact do put together a group, even a small one, YOU MUST GO ON THE CRUISE. You cannot let them go without you. You must sign a group leader agreement and make sure that you have a backup to go in case you become ill or can’t make it for any reason.
Your deposit and the deposits from your early guests will help leverage other cabins you are holding so the rest of your guests can come and join your group.
The first step to implementing your cruise is deciding where you want to go. Not where your group wants to go, this is your decision. Don’t disappoint any of them by asking for and then rejecting their request. Don’t do that. Choose your cruise for 7 to 9 months in the future.
Once you choose the CRUISE DATE, SHIP AND ITINERARY, you will fill out a brief form on the website and you will be the first to deposit your cabin for the sailing. That will start the ball rolling for the marketing assistance to help you invite the rest of your guests. To determine proper pricing for Your Event, keep in mind that most cruiselines will allow a $100 mark up so if you are doing something simple like a presentation or a workshop for a hobby and just talk for 3 hours on sea mornings then the $100 mark up is best. Later on as you get more comfortable doing Your Events you can put on a more exclusive VIP coaching or consulting cruise that has a more intensive program that justifies a much higher mark up that you would be doing on your own.
You will need some idea of the group size you want or think you can get. You will need to reserve more rooms than that because if you get more people you may not be able to add rooms later and any rooms you do add will be at a higher cost. As far as deposits go, we block a minimum of 30 cabins under your name and you have 30 days to sell just 3 rooms. Of course you are the first cabin so you really just need to sell two more. That will give us enough of a deposit to hold 30 cabins for several months and give you time to start inviting other people. If it takes a really long time to get people deposited there is a danger that the ship could run out of desirable cabins like balconies, so the trick is to promote your group as early as possible and get the best selection of cabins at the best prices. 32 cabins is a good doable number to start.
IF you would like, we can set up for you an affiliate program. That means that when someone books and deposits for your cruise event, they will be asked on a drop down menu who invited them since Your Event is by invitation only. This is after all a private group. If someone tries to get into your group that you don’t want, you don’t have to take them. Tell me and we will refund their deposit. But, if they have been invited by you or one of their guests, they can choose that from the drop down menu and show who they were invited by. That way we can track the people your guests have brought onto the cruise.
This next part is great. You, as an event leader can decide how to reward your guests that refer others. Most people are happy to refer their friends to your cruise without compensation. If you want to, buy them a little gift. I believe though that if someone brings enough couples to fill enough cabins besides themselves to have earned a free berth or cabin, you can reward them. The cruise line will turn those cabins over to us and it should be given to them as a reward for bringing that many people to the cruise. You can do this without penalty because you have added the $100 markup per person. You have already sold your own cabins and gotten a free cruise plus you have these additional free cruises from the cruise line and an additional $100 per person from the additional invited guests.
The affiliate program I provide that tracks this does not costs you anything. Since we are planning this together 7 to 9 months in advance, a lot can happen down the road. During that time you can make changes in names and even cancel the cruise with a full refund from the cruise line up to 70 days before the cruise. The one exception is that the Group Leader must attend their cruise. For everyone else it is wide open and they can do as they please. At that final payment day mark, anyone who has deposited the cruise will have their credit cards automatically billed for the balance and you will know exactly who is going on your cruise. This is another seamless free feature.
We can count how many people are coming and how many free cruises will be awarded. Now we can start making special arrangements. It is time to start the dining lists and arranging the schedule for your Event. This is the time we submit for event space, audio visual equipment and other needs. Now it gets exciting and people start counting down to the big vacation.
Because our total fare has included pre paid gratuities, people will not have to worry about tipping at the end of the cruise and prepaid gratuities also makes it possible to have round robin seating where your guests can sit wherever they want within your assigned seating area instead of just at a specific table with the same specific people the whole time. Also they can skip formal meals at any time and dine in other venues on the ship.
Free cruises are not awarded right away because before sailing cabins could cancel and then the free cruises would be lost. If there is a big margin of extra cabins, then a free cruise could be awarded up front so you, the host, wouldn’t have to pay a balance on your cruise and you might even get your deposit refunded. The only things that you, as the host, are responsible for in awarding your productive followers a free cruise, are port charges and government fees. These are usually little more than $100 per cabin and can easily be absorbed by just one cabin’s small mark up.
You as the event host will not get your overage money until after the cruise, as it is held by the cruise line for 45 to 60 days so they can do their accounting and are sure that there are no charge backs. Then they will cut you your check. The free cruises are also awarded as reimbursements 45 to 60 days after your cruise debarks.
Just before the 90 day mark when we really have a good idea of how many people will be attending Your Event, you and I can have a brief talk and then you can email me a list of your special requirements. They can range from an open bar cock tail party on the day of embarkation to customized logo T-shirts so your group will be able to identify themselves from the other 2000 passengers on the ship.
The costs of these arrangements are also included with my services that come with the small mark up in the cruise price. This is great for networking and it is all done for you, by me, behind the scenes. When people deposit the cruise they will get information on where to find the lowest air fares. They will be responsible for their own flights. They will get information on accepting or declining the recommended travel insurance which is generally less than 10% of the cruise cost.
I provide suggestions for pre-cruise hotel stays if they want to come in early. You as the host do not need to concern yourself about these issues. They are part of my services. Even the shore excursions can be pre booked online. This cruise can be all fun or business AND vacation. Your guests can frolic on land in any way they want. They can snorkel, visit Mayan Ruins, go deep sea fishing or just sight see and shop. That would be their time.
As a fun thing, if you would like, you could choose perhaps one specific shore excursion and have it as a group trip with a private guide. This would be just for fun and of course it would be optional. If you would like to arrange this just contact me. I will make it happen. You as the Host will tell your friends and clients that it is their vacation. Go have a blast. They can do what they want on shore whether booking an excursion from the ship, from your cruise website or negotiating their own deal on shore. It is their vacation.
On the days at sea you will see that the cruise line will deliver to each cabin a newsletter of the ships daily events. These may include art auctions and bingo and napkin folding classes and trivia contests as well as nightly entertainment, meal venues and hours; even Jumbotron movies at night on deck. This is above and beyond what you are specifically offering your Cruisers. There is no dearth of events. It is even Ok just to get a good book and sip a Pina Colada by the pool or on the private balcony of your cabin.
You can make a newsletter for your specific events to your specific clients. You will have a master list of all your guests and their cabin numbers. You or your staff can deliver it to the cabins or you can hand them out at dinner when the group gathers. This is a good time to verbally summarize the activities you have planned. It is important to have something preplanned and a schedule given out the first night.
For purposes of your own events, the best time is between 10 am and 1 pm on sea days. This is conveniently after breakfast and before lunch. Unless this is an intensive consulting cruise, people need the rest of the time to unwind, relax and enjoy their vacation. Make it optional. The less you pull on them the more they will gravitate to your program.
If you need to, the ships purser’s desk has a copy service and they can print these for you. Computers and printers are available on the ship so new schedules can be printed on the fly if there are changes in plans.
Here is where you can also make money on the back end. You can make an audio or video of your meetings on the ship. For this you must bring your own equipment and can jack into the ship’s system. Make it as sophisticated as you would like and decide what to charge for it. You can sell this information later for back end revenue.
If you do intend to record, let us know so we can attempt to get the most suitable venue for your meetings with this purpose in mind. You can even bring your own products on board to sell on the ship as long as you sell it only to your Guests at your private Events. Bring a sample and take orders as because you already have enough to pack for your trip. Then you can drop ship them later.
All wonderful things eventually end and at the end of the cruise it is important to have a farewell breakfast while waiting for customs on the morning of disembarkation. At this point you should already have your next voyage planned. Also you should have a way that your guests can book their next cruise before they leave the ship. You will find many people will already be asking, “Where are we going next?” This way you can maximize experience for everyone.
With the re-upped guests you can work with them to establish periodic meetings or conference call with your group for brainstorming about your topic and encourage inviting additional future cruisers to your next Event by keeping alive the excitement during the year. You can do this with a service like www.instantlivewebcam.com . You can all keep in touch while planning and counting down to the next annual event.
People don’t realize the power of getting together and spending relaxing time together. This is powerful from a business perspective and can really catapult your business to the next level. Vacations are no longer a privilege they are almost considered a birthright. You may feel that it will be a lot of work to put together Your Event and vacation for all your clients and friends but wait, The Catch A Wave System I have described to you, offered free of charge, will take care of that.
So don’t be worried about not having 40,000 people on your list. It is a viral thing. It just takes off. The very next thing for you to do is go to contact me at www.YourEventsAtSea.com . Fill out the custom group analysis and view your choices. I will contact you for a free consultation to see if your group can qualify for this system. Then we choose your cruise, deposit your cruise and get to work marketing to your people. How exciting is it going to be just 7 to 9 months from now when you earn your very first free cruise to anywhere in the world that you choose. You bring your group of your best friends, peers, students, prospects and clients, whomever with you and you even get paid to go on vacation.