Posted on July 10, 2017 in Podcasts
Joe Drost: Shofur Providing Complimentary Transportation at GBTA
Shofur’s Director of Business Development recently announced that Shofur is providing complimentary transportation in Boston during next week’s GBTA Convention. Stop by booth #345 and learn how Shofur, the nation’s most trusted bus reservation technology platform, is the ideal partner for corporate travel. Catch a ride with us and see why!
Mike: Welcome to this month’s “Shofur Podcast.” Each month we look at different topics that impact the transportation industry, as well as current trends in business and technology. This week we’re featuring the upcoming Global Business Travel Association Convention, which will be held in Boston the week of July 15th, coming up here soon.
Global Business Travel Association, or GBTA as we call it, is the largest network of business travel professionals in the world, reaching over 10,000 corporate travel buyers, who represent an annual travel spend of over $345 billion. Wow. So if you sell stuff to people who buy travel for their companies, this is the show where you’re showing off your wares.
Shofur will have a booth at the show. And joining me today is our very own, Joe Drost, Shofur’s Director of Business Development. Welcome, Joe.
Joe: Hey, Mike. Thanks for having me on.
Mike: You’re welcome, brother. This is gonna be an amazing show. This show’s huge.
Joe: It’s gigantic. We got behind on attending the show. We found it kind of last minute, but we got set up at a great booth. We’re gonna be in a spot where new attendees are at. We’re gonna get a lot of major traffic walking by and I think we’re really gonna steal some thunder and be the talk of the show.
Mike: I mean, tons of companies are coming here, right? I went to the website like Accenture is gonna be there, Little Caesar’s, Lufthansa, which I just put on my list because I like saying Lufthansa. NASCAR, CNN, and so forth. Tons of companies because companies need to move their people around.
Joe: Correct. And, you know, this list is just growing and growing every time that we look at it of people that need our service. And the really cool thing is seeing that some of these companies are already working with us that are attending. So we’re gonna be really excited to get there and show them how much more we can help their company, and what more we can do and provide for them with efficiency in moving people.
Mike: Right, right. We’ve met them. We’ve started the relationship just with baby steps, now it’s time to break bread together as it were.
Joe: Exactly. We’ve got a little bit of the iceberg chipped, and now it’s time to go out there and just really wow people and let them know what our technology is all about, and how unlimited our capabilities are.
Mike: Because we are arguably the best in the world at getting a bus for people quickly, for companies quickly, for getting them to get their people from one place to the other. And, you know, a lot of our competitors can do that at a small scale, but we…Shofur is unique in that we can…we are uniquely outfitted and uniquely capable of coordinating, say, 60 buses across 10 major cities, you know, in a 24-hour period.
Joe: Right. And what separates us from our competitors is our technology, which allows us to do that. We’re the only ones that have it. Some of our clients right now are starting to understand what it is, but the backbone behind all of it is our technology that allows us to do exactly what you just said.
Mike: Right, because, you know, when you’re booking buses, somebody who does this and is a corporate buyer or a travel buyer for a…I’m just gonna keep dropping names here, PayPal or Buffalo Wild Wings, woo woo, then you’d lack the information as to what places have inventory and which don’t. You’re like you don’t know…you don’t have visibility into what buses are available and what aren’t. But we know that stuff, don’t we?
Joe: Exactly. And that’s what blows everybody out of the water with working with Shofur, is some of these companies, they’re sourcing with 8, 9, 10, 11 different companies that do ground transportation, whereas Shofur, we’re your one-stop shop and there’s no limitations to it.
Mike: We’re here 24 hours a day, man.
Joe: Seven days a week.
Mike: Like 15 feet from you and me right now is a bunch of folks answering the phones, they got their little headsets on.
Joe: Yeah. The other day, we actually filled out about 1,100 inbound phone calls for people that needed last minute on-demand transportation and it was really unique that, you know, we were getting phone calls from everywhere from Seattle, Washington, to Miami, Florida, to New York, New York, right here in Atlanta, Georgia. And we’re the only people that can make it happen.
Mike: Every time I host the show, I always ask Armir, “Okay, so drop some names. Tell me some of our bigger clients.” And we’ve even gone as far as putting these logos on our booth, right? So drop some names for me, Joe, who have we reserved buses for? Who has Shofur worked with?
Joe: So right now, we’ve got FEMA, which is great. We love working with FEMA. We’re really making an impact in getting people out of disaster-affected areas. The NFL, Southwest, Facebook, Spirit, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and even Google.
Mike: Dude, that’s amazing. And, again, when these companies have needs, corporations have different needs than, say, weddings, which we also do. We love our brides. But when a company needs to move like 1,000 people for a giant corporate meeting, you know, from some place simple, whether it’s just from the convention hall to the hotel, we are uniquely suited to do that.
Mike: That’s what we do.
Joe: Yeah. And, you know, most companies, they can’t move 1,000 people. So our customers kind of like, you know, Facebook, when they called us, they were expecting us to say, “We can only move about 300 people.” So when we told them that we can move 1,000 people, it was an absolute yes. It makes my job easy in sales, saying there’s no limitation on what we can do.
Mike: And this all…I mean, you and I know all these stuff. We work here. But at this show, I mean, we’re gonna be talking to executives from… I’m gonna drop more names. Let me see. Lockheed Martin, Johnson&Johnson, Ace Hardware, I was just in there the other day. And so they don’t know us from Adam, I think. I’d have to look on our database. Maybe we have booked for them. I don’t know. So they’re gonna come into our booth, they’re not gonna know the first thing about us. And we have a whole bunch of people going, like we gotta train these guys up in our elevator pitch.
Joe: You’re right, right.
Mike: The Shofur elevator pitch. How is that gonna go?
Joe: Well, it’s gonna go very simple. We’re gonna get right to the point, which is, one, we’re the only transportation company that takes a technology-first approach. We’re 24/7, 365, and we’re not regionally based, we’re globally based. We can get you buses in anywhere North America, and we’re expanding into UK, Australia, and other areas right now, too. That’s it. It’s that simple. Those three questions: Technology, 365, 24/7, and we don’t have limitations on where we go.
Mike: And if I’m a corporation, I want to know that there is a person at this company, at Shofur, their sole job is to focus on a corporate account and so who’s that?
Joe: That’s gonna be…it starts right here with me, and then it kinda just goes through and for on where you’re at in your company. How many trips are you gonna be booking annually? How many people are you moving annually? And we’ve got dedicated reps to customize to each account. So we’ve got Daryl right now that he’s great with military and government. And right now, he has been our main point of contact for any army moves and Navy, and he’s just great with it. He understands how the government operates and he’s able to get those buses faster, and to the quality standards that they want.
Now, when it comes to other companies that are maybe not looking at as many moves as the army and the Navy, for example, as Delta, they’re gonna be looking for a very specific moves maybe in rural or low-key parts of the states. We’ve got another rep, Evan, who’s great with that, and he’s able to work with that. So we’re gonna be able to really keep you working with the same personnel, rather than just getting somebody randomly every time you call in to Shofur. And you’re not just gonna talk to somebody that has to transfer you or take a message, and get your information down and then wait to get back. You’re gonna call in, you’re gonna talk to somebody that’s dedicated to your account, and go ahead and get the results and the service that you’re expecting, right then and there.
Mike: Right. And if it’s something immediate and urgent, somebody at Shofur will answer the phone, night and day, and that’s through the quick, rudimentary stuff. And if it’s something high level, then they’ve got you as a rep?
Joe: Correct. Correct.
Mike: Right. If they wanna have the deep conversations.
Joe: Correct. So right now, we’re working with a couple…
Mike: Like which after-party should we go to when we go to GBTA?
Joe: Exactly. Where is it happening and how are we gonna get there? All these after-parties at GBTA, how are people gonna get there? Well, the answer is real easy, it’s Shofur. Some of the transportation that’s being provided is very limited on where they go and what hours they operate until. Some of these parties, you know, they go until 1 a.m. I don’t know if you’ll make it to 1 a.m. at some of these parties, but i sure as heck will be, and, you know, who’s gonna be there to transport everybody?
Mike: At 1 a.m., that’s rookie stuff, man.
Joe: It’s gonna be Shofur. Yeah, so 1 a.m., Shofur’s buses are still gonna be running.
Mike: Right. I know we’re bringing at least one college-aged intern. I think he’s just gonna be waking up from his nap at 1 a.m. He’ll just be getting started.
Joe: Yeah, he’s gonna have…
Mike: He’s working for a shift.
Joe: We’re throwing him right into the deep end, too. He’s gonna have fun though. He’s gonna do great.
Mike: Okay. So wait, so you’re saying…so Shofur is providing transportation at the show? We’re bringing buses to the show?
Joe: Yeah, it’s actually really cool. What we’re gonna do is we’re gonna bring some of Shofur’s very own wrapped buses to the show, and if you are a buyer at the show, you’re Mike’s Association, and you wanna go the Chestnut Hill, Boston, but the convention’s only limited you to X amount of miles. Well, you’re gonna be able to get on that Shofur bus, and I’m gonna say, “All right, well, let’s take you there. Get your company together. Get your employees that are there and let’s go.” And it doesn’t matter what time it is, it’s gonna be right then and there.
Mike: Okay, so wait a minute. So you’re saying that if I’m a potential customer and I’ve got 10 people and we all need to get to an after-party, we should come to your booth. We should come to the Shofur booth and talk to you…
Joe: Yeah, we’re gonna be…
Mike: …to get a ride.
Joe: We’re gonna be at booth 345. We’re gonna be in the section of new exhibitors. So we’re gonna be there, we’re right on the corner. We’re gonna be in our black and green logos. We’re gonna have the TV going of videos of our buses in LA, in New York. We’re gonna have some display boards. We got plenty of handouts and cool stuff to get. So come by, let me know where you wanna go and what time in a full size motorcoach with Wi-Fi, and electrical outlets, and DVD players will be there.
Mike: What? Man, that’s enormous. Well, that is amazing. So, folks, if you’re at the show, if you are at the Global Business Travel Association Convention in Boston, the week of July 15th, you gotta go to booth, what, 345?
Mike: Come see Shofur. Come see us and get a ride. Get a ride. We have buses. We’re bringing buses to the convention. That’s so cool. Well, thank you, Joe, for being here.
Joe: Thanks so much for having me on. Very excited for the convention, and hopefully, we’ll be able to do another one of these afterwards and let you know how it went.
Mike: Oh, yeah, we’ll absolutely do a post-show podcast. It’s gonna be a huge show. Global Business Travel Association Convention in Boston. Let me see. Let me read some of the numbers before we go, 2,300 companies represented, 7,000 attendees, 400 exhibitors, 70 education sessions, 1,300 business travel buyers in attendance. This is a huge show.
Folks, we’ll be back again soon with more news on transportation and technology. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Android, or other sites so that you don’t miss it. Thank you to Shofur for sponsoring this podcast. Shofur is the most trusted bus reservation service in North America. The company currently serves more than 100 cities nationwide and has logged more than 5 million miles with no accidents to help more than 1 million customers get from point to point faster.
Looking for your next company transportation need to be fulfilled, contact Joe and us today at 1-800-436-8719. Peace out.
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