All the hard work preparing your group trip paid off: Everyone had a fantastic time at your adventure, and you are looking forward to running the trip again soon. One month later, you can’t believe your own eyes: Eugene, one of your participants, just posted a very similar itinerary. You are furious: He stole your trip!
The above is a typical “nightmare scenario” of a 1st time champion.
Let’s make three things clear:
- You cannot prevent this.
- Eugene is not a bad person.
- It doesn’t matter!
Let’s explain each.
Why you cannot prevent this,
You cannot “patent” your trip so no one else can run it. Your trip is out there in the public domain for everybody to see, so there is no way you can “protect” yourself from this happening (although we have yet to see a case in which this did actually happen!).
why Eugene is not a bad person,
Let’s get this straight: Eugene is free to post a similar itinerary. Your operators are free to work with Eugene as well. This is a free market at work. Thinking differently would be like saying “Hey I was the first one selling my collection of Michael Jackson CD’s on E-Bay. How dare anyone else do it!!” …it really doesn’t make sense.
Here is where the line is though: Eugene must not copy&paste parts of your adventure description into his post. If he does so, we will remove him from our platform for plagiarism.
But let’s remember: All of us trip organizers sit in one boat. We are one community. If Jane does well, in the long run it will help you because Jane’s customers will talk about their trip with their friends, eventually getting more eyeballs on to YOUR trip. And besides, life is simply more enjoyable if we help each other out :).
…and why it doesn’t matter!
Your trip is NOT your itinerary.
Your trip is all the little details that make it YOUR trip.
…the way you managed expectations with your group before the trip via pro-active communication
…the way you made everyone in a diverse group feel welcome and safe
…the way you managed that difficult conversation with a difficult participant
…the way you enabled those friendships to form
…the way you managed that day with the thunderstorm where y’all couldn’t leave the hotel
…the guitar you brought along for karaoke at night around the campfire
…all those little stories you told about your childhood memories of the place
…that way you found that tiny hidden café, where your group got to sample all those local sweets
…the way you taught everyone how to watch out for great nature shots
…those spaghetti meatballs per your great grandmother’s recipe that you cooked that one night in the trailer
I think you get the point, but here it is again:
Your trip is so much more than your itinerary. What makes your trip different from all the others out there is HOW you choose to run it. This is what will your participants make come back to you over and over again.
So, help everyone have a good and safe time, and make your trip unique by being you, and you’ll be fine.