BUYER POWER: LESCONCIERGES
Only those buyers who really understand the LE Miami mindset make it into our collective each year. One of these is Bryan Hair, agency manager for the travel division of LesConcierges. Discover what makes him part of the LE collective and what he’s looking for in the 2016 edition below…
What do you do and how did you get here?
I’m the agency manager for the travel division of LesConcierges, and the Head of our Private Membership program. We are a membership-based travel company, predominantly focused around the customer-loyalty or employee-loyalty space with a goal to enhance the loyalty of our members by offering programming they may not find in the retail space. Getting to this place really started 16 years ago with a curiosity for other cultures, and a thirst for seeing the world through new lenses. Bringing that passion to our business has allowed me to help reshape our value proposition from one that was previously around a client’s day-to-day life to one that focuses on our customers’ travel lives. Every day, I and my team get to share our passions with our culture-hungry customers.
LE Miami’s tagline is Rebels With Cause. What makes you a rebel and what would you describe as your (professional) cause?
I’ve never been one to follow trends. I know what appeals to my mind, and I’ve not set my heart on being just one of the “in” crowd – instead offering a unique voice. As a leader I want to be able to inspire, and that requires being someone that my agents aspire to be and being a singular resource for our customers. So my preference, in business as in life, is to be a category of one – to look at everything possible and bring something unexpected and ultimately more creative than the simple (travel) solution. That is what makes a concierge travel business-worthy of its customers – and that is my cause.
What makes the people who work for your company different?
As a global concierge company, our customers aren’t regional, or a single demographic. We, every day, are faced with new challenges. We truly sell the world and we consider all parts of our clients’ lives, and we don’t just deliver in the travel space. It allows us more intelligence about our clients, and suggests a deeper involvement in our clients’ travel planning. We want to help select the right restaurants, or the best shows, as part of the overall planning. This is a much more active communication than ticking a box, or expecting our suppliers to be advisers in a vacuum. To do that we wear so many hats, and each day is a surprise as to what each customer will desire. We must be different for every single client we touch.
What are you looking for when booking travel for your company?
Inspiration. The world is full of it, but without a narrative it’s just noise. Each year when I come to LE Miami, I’m looking for something that is surprising and unique. I see travel the same way I see fashion. There is a new collection to be created each year. If not, why would customers come back if they were going to see the same thing over and over again? So when I find inspiration, I build a vision about who these travelers are and what they are about – stringing them together to build a narrative. That narrative will speak to people more than a list of favored hotels (which we also have) or suggested destinations – taking thousands of options and inspiring travelers with a particular story.
What are you hoping to discover at LE Miami 2016?
The next “season”, or the thread that will lead me to a new narrative. I’m so excited by people who are changing the face of travel. I look forward to what this collection will be this year – and the conversations about the emerging and changing world. The avant garde is bubbling in this collective of buyers and suppliers – and from that I hope to discover the inspiration for the year ahead. And, my hope always is to be a contributor to the dialogue.