If you have never been to RTV Tour Con, you may wonder if the time and expense are worth it. If you have been to an RTV Convention, you may wonder what you will gain by attending again. After all you learned so much last year that you can’t possibly imagine that there’s anything left to learn.
For us, there is absolutely no question about whether we will attend. Our virtual tour business was successful before the convention and was successful after the convention. But something fundamentally changed for us as a result of attending last year’s RTV Convention.
We are a national virtual tour provider and we specialize in healthcare and hospitality virtual tours. In the past two years, we have photographed in 33 states. We celebrated our two year wedding anniversary last week and “our song” is Zac Brown Band’s “Free”. The lyrics to the song — We live out of our old van, travel all across this land – just me and you — describe our life perfectly except that we travel all across the land in a 2010 Dodge Caliber. We drive everywhere we go — we have over 107,000 miles on our two year old car.
We love our life but as our song says, it was just the two of us. We would talk to other RTV providers occasionally and we had a great phone relationship with Jason LaVanture but we had never met in person. We were active on the Facebook group and had preconceived notions of who was who in the RTV world.
All of that changed the day we arrived in Traverse City. Facebook allowed us to put faces with names so we immediately connected with the faces we had come to know so well. We walked into the lobby and for the first time since we joined RTV, it was no longer just us driving around the country. Suddenly we were a part of a group and over the course of the weekend, we became part of a family.
That may sound corny but tonight we had dinner in Valparaiso, IN with Mike and Debra Higgins. We are doing a joint job with Patti Hessing this week. We spent two nights with Bobby Goolsby and his beautiful wife this spring and later attended the University of Georgia/University of Missouri football game with Bobby and his son. Buffy Crosby cheered me on during the training for my first half marathon. I helped Jacque Burke negotiate a barter for her wedding anniversary trip and I helped Cyndi Ingleton close her first healthcare virtual tour. We’ve all watched baby Emerson grow and we all rejoiced with Nancy Bain as she welcomed her grand baby.
In the year since the RTV convention, we’ve cheered each other on, we’ve consulted with each other about how to improve our virtual tours and how to build our virtual tour businesses. We’ve watched our Facebook group double in size and we’ve seen our respective businesses grow and thrive with the launch of the Fusion virtual tour software system.
If you attend the RTV convention, you will learn about building tours and processing images in Photoshop. You will learn about social media and sales and marketing. But more importantly, you will realize that you are a part of something much bigger than your own little (or big) virtual tour business.
When you leave Vegas, you will be energized and you will be encouraged and you will be challenged. You will still be an independent virtual tour business owner but you will no longer be alone.
What happens in Vegas (or the hospitality suite in Traverse City) stays in Vegas but what you learn and experience at the RTV Convention goes home with you and stays with you throughout the year.
Looking forward to getting lots of hotel photography shoots next year!