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Arming the Rebels, How AllFly is Following in the Footsteps of Shopify

Third party meeting planners can compete with the bigger travel management companies by adopting AllFly Meetings.

Years ago, it felt like Amazon was going to complete its mission and become the everything store. 

While you can buy almost anything on Amazon, the question lingered…

Just because you can buy anything on Amazon, should you buy everything on Amazon. 

See, the problem with world-beating companies is that they create monopolies. And because of shareholder pressure, the folks at Amazon are under constant pressure to grow revenue and margins.

This often comes at a price. 

When a company starts doing well on Amazon, suddenly and magically, an “Amazon Basics” brand pops up to compete. This famously happened with the shoe company, Allbirds. 

Allbirds is a popular shoe company and who was flying high.

(Excuse the bird pun)

Amazon ripped off the design and copied them by creating an Amazon Basics version of the shoe popular in startup culture. The CEO of Allbirds famously trolled Amazon on Twitter– you can read about the saga here

Large incumbents like Amazon often make it harder for smaller, mission focused companies to compete. That is, until someone comes along and equalizes the playing field. For independent retailers, your choices were to sell on Amazon (which Amazon takes a cut of and if you manage to become too successful, Amazon than copies your product) or build your own e-commerce shopping platform. 

Most brands don’t have the technical expertise to build and manage their own online store. In 2004, Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke saw this and built Shopify, an easy way to build your own online store. 

This gives smaller, independent retailers the chance to compete with the global behemoths, like Amazon. 

We draw inspiration from this story and are arming 3rd party meeting planners the tools to compete with the large travel agencies for meetings and events. 

Big travel management companies (TMCs)  like TripActions have all the online tools to manage travel. You can book flights, hotels, and car rentals on the platform. However, the large TMCs like TripActions also have a division to book meetings and events…

There are over 135,000 meeting, convention, and incentive planners in the United States. Many of them are independent contractors who organize, book, and manage meetings on behalf of companies. 

Often, these smaller meeting planners don’t have all the technology some of their larger competitors do. 

For example, let’s say Cheryl is a 3rd party meeting planner booking a restaurant group’s annual meeting to Las Vegas. The restaurant group is going to fly in 250 people for the meeting. Cheryl is not TripActions and doesn’t have all of the technology needed to book and manage the flights.

But Cheryl can’t partner with the large TMC, because the large TMC has their own meetings division and can potentially snake her business down the road. 

We saw this as an opportunity. Cheryl uses a lot of tools and vendors to go up against the large TMCs.

The tech industry sees Shopify as “arming the rebels” to fight against the likes of Amazon. 

In travel, we are arming 3rd party meeting planners to go against the big TMCs like CWT, BCD, AMEX, and TripActions. 

With AllFly Meetings, 3rd party planners can offer their clients the ability to book and manage airfare in an easy to set up, lightweight booking software, all backed by our amazing service team. 

We offer all the technical trappings the legacy players do, with some awesome wrinkles built specifically for the modern meeting. 

Best of all, we stay in our lane and are focused on partnering with meeting planners to give them superpowers, while ensuring their clients have an easy to use and responsive travel management platform at their fingertips. 

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