As an Independent Travel Advisor or Contractor in a host agency, you get to own your own business and work under the umbrella of the host travel agency. You can access the worldwide network, training, client benefits, support, and more through your host agency. (Read about the benefits of a host agency here.)
So why do some travel agents choose not to join a host travel agency?
Some worry that they will feel disconnected from the company and their voice will not be heard because they are remote – especially if the agency has in-house advisors as well as independent advisors (See other Host Agency Myths here!). Industry leader Brownell answered that worry with the innovative IC Advisory Board.
WHAT IS THE IC ADVISORY BOARD?
Brownell’s IC Advisory Board was designed to ensure that the needs and wants of the ICs (Independent Contactors) are heard. The Board represents the voice of the entire IC community, and brings their concerns and suggestions to the Brownell leadership team.
WHO IS ON THE IC ADVISORY BOARD?
Every year, the ICs elect three of their peers to serve on the IC Advisory Board for a one year term. The Board also includes: Troy Haas, Brownell President & CEO, Rebecca Willson, Senior Advisor and creator of the Hosting Program, and Sheri Selkirk, Vice President of Hosting.
WHAT DOES THE BOARD DO?
The Hosting team sends out an annual survey to all ICs for feedback and suggestions. During the Board’s annual in-person meeting, the six members review all of the survey results and then agree on action items, updates, and/or changes to the Hosting Program.
In addition to the annual meeting, the Board also has quarterly phone calls to discuss that status of any changes and action items.
For example, last year, the Board suggested a change to Brownell’s reward trip. Every year at our annual company meeting, Brownell Academy, advisors who reach certain sales goals are recognized:
- Devonian is the first level of recognition
- 1887 Club is the next level
- Griffins are the top selling advisors
The Devonian level was just the sales threshold recognition while the Griffins and 1887 Club got to go on a special awards trip. The 2015 Board suggested the Devonians also go on an award trip, and the 2015 Devonians got to go on a fabulous trip to New York!
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT AGAIN?
The IC Advisory Board is essential to the success of the Hosting Program. Since our ICs are spread across the country (and even into Europe!), the Leadership Team doesn’t get to see everyone as much as they would like. Through the Board, however, they make sure that the Hosting Program and support teams are doing everything it can to help our ICs be successful!