On the Road Again
We've all had to do it. Let's face it, the promotional industry is one that clocks many, many miles. We are true road warriors. With every security check point passage and every mile traversed, little tricks and lessons are learned that will surely make the next journey easier. Probably one of the first lessons learned is having the right travel bag and business bag. They are the biggest weapons in the road warrior's arsenal. Not only do they make getting through airports, train stations, parking lots and hotels infinitely easier, the style of the bags also creates a perception of just who the professional carrying them is.
The Ideal Incentive
Mike Landry, director of special markets, TUMI, available through industry supplier Indigo, Mount Prospect, Ill., explained the landscape of the travel marketplace. "In the promotional products channel, smart distributors have learned that there is a market for upscale travel goods and business cases with any customer of theirs that has a 'road warrior' culture," he said. Bureau of Transportation Statistics show that more than two-thirds of those who travel for business are professionals in management and sales positions. "Sales managers love gifting and incentivizing their sales forces with something that they will use in the course of their day-to-day business," said Landry. "This drives a lot of our business in our business case segment."
What else is of the utmost importance to the road warrior? An appropriate place to stash the iPad, smartphone, earbuds, WIFI card, and legacy classics like documents, padfolios, folders, pens, etc. "The trend is definitely to design items which support features that functionally allow you to travel with your personal electronics," noted Scott Pearson, vice president, merchandise, Sweda Company LLC, City of Industry, Calif.
Cash In with Carry-Ons
In the not-so-distant past, airlines discovered they could charge weary travelers yet another fee, that pesky up-charge just for checking a bag. Since then, one item has become the dominate in travel bags: the carry-on. "Since the airlines have begun the widespread practice of charging for checked bags, frequent travelers know that to get everything that they need into a bag that they can carry on the aircraft is to save anywhere from $25 to $150 depending on the size and weight of the checked bag. The financially pressed airline industry has discovered this untapped revenue stream with no incremental costs attached to it and a little publicized IRS ruling in January of 2010 made this classification of revenue exempt from federal taxes," explained Landry.