Adventure & Activity Marketing Pros - The Podcast

PicThrive & Glacier Raft Company with Brandon Gonski | Episode 15

April 13, 2021 AAMP Agency Season 1 Episode 15
Adventure & Activity Marketing Pros - The Podcast
PicThrive & Glacier Raft Company with Brandon Gonski | Episode 15
Chapters
Adventure & Activity Marketing Pros - The Podcast
PicThrive & Glacier Raft Company with Brandon Gonski | Episode 15
Apr 13, 2021 Season 1 Episode 15
AAMP Agency

This episode of AAMPodcast is sponsored by PicThrive! Tune in as we discuss what PicThrive is, why we like it, and how we can see it being very useful for tour operators. Not only that, but we sit down with the general manager of Glacier Raft Company and fellow PicThrive user, Brandon Gonski. As a PicThrive user himself, we talk about what it's like to be a rafter and how Glacier Raft Company successfully operates. He also describes how the platform has increased revenue to the business, captures valuable marketing data, and improves their marketing efforts.
Have any questions or want to let us know your thoughts? Send us an email at hey@aamp.agency and don’t forget to subscribe!

Show Notes Transcript

This episode of AAMPodcast is sponsored by PicThrive! Tune in as we discuss what PicThrive is, why we like it, and how we can see it being very useful for tour operators. Not only that, but we sit down with the general manager of Glacier Raft Company and fellow PicThrive user, Brandon Gonski. As a PicThrive user himself, we talk about what it's like to be a rafter and how Glacier Raft Company successfully operates. He also describes how the platform has increased revenue to the business, captures valuable marketing data, and improves their marketing efforts.
Have any questions or want to let us know your thoughts? Send us an email at hey@aamp.agency and don’t forget to subscribe!

Stephen Edwards:

321

Jaden Cymbaluk:

What's up everybody? It is Jayden Steve here on the app podcast adventure and activity marketing pros.

Stephen Edwards:

What is happening?

Jaden Cymbaluk:

What's up? I mean, not much, man. Not much. It's been tired. I got moved in, moved into the house.

Stephen Edwards:

It's a struggle moving is the word. I don't envy anybody who has to move. I've said, My Next Move, I'm going to be at a point where I can just pay somebody to come pack everything up. And for me, I know, I never want to move again.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

It's totally the thing. So this is kind of funny because we were talking about this about TVs and stuff like that. I see on new TVs. Now you can put the pictures, you know what I mean? On the wall. Like where it's like the art gallery thing. I thought that was kind of dumb, but I think that's kind of cool. Now,

Stephen Edwards:

it's cool. Unless you've got stuff in your camera really shouldn't have.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Well, you could just download like, it's a whole model of like Samsung TVs, like you pay to pay to pick a picture. I can. Okay, it's kind of like the NF t thing.

Stephen Edwards:

You know what I mean? Now, nobody knows what that means.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Nobody want I'm not gonna put it man I was gonna buy the LeBron James like his dunk or and then it's just gonna play on loop.

Stephen Edwards:

You should do that I you should spend whatever it's probably $1,000 for that. NFT just a number right because Mike, it's just made up Bitcoin numbers.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Or is it Where is Bitcoin as high

Stephen Edwards:

as 63 grand today?

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Do you think it's gonna go to a million? or whatever? I mean, a million just like an absurd number for goes to a million. Like, wouldn't everybody be fucking rich? Like,

Stephen Edwards:

yeah, don't call me Don't call me bench.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

That's funny. So yeah, I yeah, I was messing with the hat. I got my TV's hung. Did some, you know, home improvement projects.

Stephen Edwards:

Moving is basically one giant home improvement.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Yeah, we got to get a shout out yesterday, or a couple days ago was national pet day. So Tito, Tito Edwards. He made the gram Tito was famous that day. He made the gram. Everybody was getting the love on him.

Stephen Edwards:

He gets a lot of love as it is. But yeah, he's he's a photogenic little pub.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

He is a photogenic. He is. Yeah,

Stephen Edwards:

he ever you know, cuz he's always happy. So he's smiling. He's happy to be here. I mean, he didn't make it today. He he has a VAT appointment this afternoon. Because he got got his balls snipped off. Which is sad if your dogs but a little throw him a little party or something. Yeah, throw a little like tumble welcome back party. Yeah, but he'll be back. be back tomorrow.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

That's cool. So uh, so yeah, so Okay, so listen to this. So I was, Well, honestly, actually, this This podcast is we're sponsored.

Stephen Edwards:

Dude, we got a sponsor.

Unknown:

He got a sponsor.

Stephen Edwards:

So like, I mean, type money sponsor is like our first sponsor type.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

It's like our first spot. I mean, they said, they listened to the podcast, it was good. It was fun. It's in our vertical of marketing. It's in our vertical of tourism. And, but honestly, we aren't going to be we're going to fluff it. You know what I mean? Like, I want sponsors of this podcast of things that we actually like.

Stephen Edwards:

Well, sure. I mean, unless it like Diet Coke, diet, coke could sponsor us but you like it? I do like that, but I don't feel like they're probably going to sponsor us. It's probably not our niche. I mean,

Jaden Cymbaluk:

but uh, but yeah, but uh, pick thrive. So pick thrive. Yeah, we were talking about pitchers too. It's kind of all comes together.

Stephen Edwards:

Well, I mean, I know we chatted with him. Like, you know, like, what was the last week or whatever. And it's interesting. I you know, I had my doubts. I have to be very honest, I had my doubts going into it, because I was like, does anybody really need this, but I'm pretty convinced after going into it, where I can see some value.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Well, not only like some values like the analytics, the marketing profiles, like why it makes sense for an agency. Like sometimes we talk about it too and even I think I bring ideas to your table you're like oh, that doesn't make sense. Oh, no visitor but nobody's gonna use that or whatever. And I'm like not actually kind of make sense here.

Stephen Edwards:

I really have my doubts about it. I mean, I you know, I think I'm far more convinced of what it does. And hey, if they want to be our sponsor, I'm an even bigger fan guys put pic thrive on your stuff. It's it's the best thing the best shit ever.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Yeah, so put it check it out. So pick thrive pick thrive.com pick thrive is a everything you need to sell pictures and videos online before the tour after the tour. You can buy from home from check in to check out and beyond catcher capture every sale with pic thrive. If you guys are interested in getting a live demo, you can go to their website, click get live demo. They can schedule it with you. We did a live demo. It was awesome. The cool thing about it is it helps your guests relive the magic. It's simply the best part of the retail experience, easy to use, grow sales, retail power, make sales from everywhere because you know You go on that trip and Grandma, you know what I mean is like, Hey, I'm gonna buy your trip to go rafting. And then what do you got to do? You just got to send pictures to grandma afterwards. So

Stephen Edwards:

Dude, you know how serious I am about my Instagram?

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Yeah, so you're gonna post it on your Instagram. But why not send grandma some photos? Well put her email and buy it for grandma $29 or whatever, they're gonna charge you for it, send it to Grandma, send it on down the line and Grandma will get it instantly in her inbox right away.

Stephen Edwards:

I care way more about my social cloud.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Well, you know you can do with your social clout. The great thing about this as well as with pic with our app, is you can actually share your photos instantly to social media platforms. And you can check them out, upload them on Instagram, upload them on Facebook, share them on your website with this make me an influencer. You know what? It could make you an influencer? Or have you I have a better chance of becoming an influencer because your photos are going to look great. And they're going to look awesome. So check out pic thrive.com for more information,

Stephen Edwards:

you know where? Where was it? And we discussed it on a previous podcast. Where is it in Mexico? Where all the chicks have gone? out to loom to loom to loom should have picked thrive? Four to loom like you showed up in tolu

Jaden Cymbaluk:

I think Pixar is gonna hire me after that read. I just didn't.

Stephen Edwards:

That doesn't get you guys we're accepting applications for sponsorship after that read if that doesn't get you guys like excited.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

That was the best read. Yeah, anybody if anybody wants me to do their read, like I'm good at doing those

Stephen Edwards:

will come out on Fiverr on Fiverr for as a

Jaden Cymbaluk:

job shall read this is your dm dm direct to me, but uh, yeah, so pick thrive. So we talked we did the demo we went through and honestly it was we do a lot of demos. It's like it's not like we're just reaching out to pick thrive and whatever it is. We reached out to a lot of platforms, a lot of stuffs junk, you know, a lot of junk out there. stuff doesn't make sense. Like I said on this before on our podcast, like I said I hate I sounded like I sound like Brian they're like that was a good thing but uh we we Yeah, we checked it out it was legit it was real so I totally think you should should check out we're gonna bring on actually next here in actually a couple minutes I'm just gonna get them added to this but we're gonna actually bring a customer that uses picks arrive it's Brandon from glacier raft company. So yeah, let's talk to him and let's kind of

Stephen Edwards:

should be interesting cuz I know absolutely nothing about rafting I'm a little bit scared of it.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

I know I don't know anything my rash neither have

Stephen Edwards:

you ever been rafting? No. No, we

Unknown:

we talked I don't know both

Stephen Edwards:

like we both lived in Colorado neither of us have been rafting Isn't that like what you do when you're in Colorado?

Jaden Cymbaluk:

There's so many things that I haven't done in my life Steven I'm I'm almost having like midlife crisis is and my 3030 year old cuz there's like things I should have done. So I'm going to be that God's like living it off later. So 55 Yeah. So let's talk more about pig thrive. Let's talk more with Brandon, an actual user of this and let's bring him on the podcast.

Stephen Edwards:

Perfect.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

All right. So yeah, we're actually going to bring in Brandon here, Brandon Gonski. He's actually from Glacier National Park rafting, or glacier raft company. He is the general manager. I wanted to bring him on the show today because we were talking and he kind of picked thrive kind of mentioned that you're kind of like a brand ambassador for them, and recommended that we should talk to you and get us on the podcast. So hey, thanks for joining us today, Brad. Hey, Brandon. Welcome,

Stephen Edwards:

sir.

Brandon Gonski:

Thank you really appreciate you guys having me on.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Awesome. Awesome. So so we were looking Okay, so we were looking at this and knowing a little bit about you're up in Montana, correct. You're in a glacier is a glacier, Montana or is what's the city? That's where that is Glacier Park.

Brandon Gonski:

West glacier, Montana West glacier. That's

Jaden Cymbaluk:

beautiful up there. I've heard is that it's Have you always have you always lived there.

Brandon Gonski:

It is unreal average to the view out of my office window. But no, I haven't always lived here. I grew up in Alaska and grew up guiding and kayak and exploring and made my way down to Colorado over time, worked for a big rafting company out there as a general manager and actually just got up to Montana about four months ago.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Okay, awesome. Awesome. So so you guys. So before we go into a little bit of like, your operations and stuff like that. You worked for you. You lived in Colorado and worked for a place that was pretty big, as well as a pretty big operator. Right? It was a VA is that what it was?

Brandon Gonski:

Yeah, okay, fine.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Yeah. And that one's pretty huge, but this one's about just as big isn't it? Tell us a little bit about how many because we were not raft people

Stephen Edwards:

I'm not I'm actually a little terrified. So we're gonna dig into that in a minute. But all I can. What does that What does a show on vacation where they go on the bus and they go, they go tubing down? The River and the gods having a bad day and take some off the water. Well, that's kind of what I'm scared of. I mean, I'm sure that doesn't happen in real life. But that's what I got going on

Jaden Cymbaluk:

how many how many life jackets? Are you? Were you a guide to or how many guides you guys gotten? Like, yeah, tell us a little bit about that.

Brandon Gonski:

Yeah, so I was a guy used to be the dirtbag and lived in my car and spent every day just taking guests down the river and working for tips, but don't do a whole lot of that anymore. I've got a fantastic team out here of about 95 raft guides and Fishing Guides whole

Jaden Cymbaluk:

95

Stephen Edwards:

that is so many guys. I can't 95 guys, it means that is not a small mom and pops operation anymore.

Brandon Gonski:

Yep, we're, we started 45 years ago, the original owner and founders still here. But yeah, it looks a little different than it did back in 1976.

Stephen Edwards:

I'm sure.

Brandon Gonski:

Okay, so space and a lot of people.

Stephen Edwards:

So to that, I mean, you know, just because I'm curious, what gets you into rafting like, how did you get started? Why is that your thing? Go on? Tell me that. That's what I'm curious about?

Brandon Gonski:

Sure. So I'd say for most people, there's there's two different paths. Either you were born into it, or someone, someone got you excited while you were in college. So I was born into it. My dad was a raft guide in Colorado back in the early 80s, late 70s, even probably Sandy's older than he is hopefully he doesn't listen. But anyway, so I was born into it. I did my first rafting trip, like six months old and get a picture on my phone of that actually, and started guiding and teaching kayaking at 15 years old. So I ran my first commercial trip when I couldn't drive myself to the river and use it as a way to travel. That's really what keeps a lot of people excited about it is you get to get out on the river and have a lot of fun. But I've lived in Ecuador, South Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Colorado, New Hampshire.

Stephen Edwards:

It's so this is the the world just being a RAF junkie. So basically, you're just chasing so it's almost like being a rock climber. rock climbers are the same, nor they just end up going everywhere to climb rocks. I mean, you guys are up. We're in Glacier. So there's some pretty interesting stuff up there to that regard, but you're just gonna travel over and getting a raft on.

Brandon Gonski:

Yep, yeah, lifestyle is really similar to the rock climber. We just found a little bit of a better way to pay for it. I think.

Stephen Edwards:

probably true. It's probably it's probably way harder to take people up on rock climbing than it is on a on a water raft.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

That is true actually. That is a great is that kind of like a little inside joke on rock climbing and

Stephen Edwards:

no, I know

Jaden Cymbaluk:

but rafting that you have you have to they can make money on

Stephen Edwards:

they make more money on it. You guys trolled you guys troll rock climbers.

Brandon Gonski:

So when I worked in Colorado, one of the sections or ever we did actually went right by this crag Clear Creek Canyon. And we'd always see climbers up there. And I think we're having more fun than them. So let them know.

Stephen Edwards:

I'm sure you guys are I'm sure you guys are tips are probably better too.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

That is true. So I was looking so tell us So besides wrapping I mean, it looks like that you guys offer fly fishing, lodging. Stuff like that as well. Right. Is that? Is that correct? I know we were talking a lot about the rafting but it looks like fishing is also in there to

Stephen Edwards:

what appears to be a hold resort lodging outdoor store, Glacier Park holson.

Unknown:

Yep. Yeah.

Brandon Gonski:

All of the above there, we have a big wedding venue, we can save about 165 people on this property. We've got another property that sleeps another. What is it at? Oh, and then the flyfishing we've got some ponds on property for the families and do a little like, learn to fly fish. We rent spin rods and then the guy did fly fishing here. And the Middle Fork of the Flathead is a pretty unreal River. And so we also do these multi day trips where you fly into the wilderness. And we bring all your gear put you on some rafts and we'll take you out for four days, five days and you don't see anybody but fish and bears.

Stephen Edwards:

So this is I mean this is like so many bears. I mean some people probably want to go see the bears. But this is some next level like outdoor adventure tourism. Um, just you know even the amount of stuff you guys are doing and a lot a lot of moving parts for a tour operator. And now your hotel now your multi day you're doing a lot of stuff.

Brandon Gonski:

Yeah, like you said a lot of moving parts and that's, that's really my job now so I don't spend a whole lot of time and about on the river at least not getting paid for it anymore. My job is to keep you know, keep the grease, keep greasing the wheels. Yeah, sure and keep track of those 95 guides and the, you know, 100 plus support staff to move all the people all those guests to where they need to be when they need to be there.

Stephen Edwards:

Pretty impressive.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Yeah, it's from present. And so, so where we were talking because we were talking about this earlier, before we brought you on, we were talking about, like, you know, ways to cap and I thought that this is why it's a great thing ways to capitalize on revenue that maybe that some tour operators haven't thought about, or they are doing or they're not too sure about it. So we were actually introduced, we've known about it for a while through pic thrive, and you guys actually use pic thrive there glacia raft, right, and you've actually been super familiar with it. And you is kind of the operation guy sees how that it makes you revenue by capturing, you know, to mean guests experiences, and then it's also a good add on. I mean, it's a good way to use some of the marketing data with that as well. I mean, us as an agency understand that, and I know that you're pretty well versed in that. So maybe tell us a little bit or let's kind of talk about that pig thrive kind of scenario. Like why you guys use it, why it makes sense. And, you know, maybe tell us maybe some ins and outs of it, and then we can kind of maybe look into the platform a little bit cuz I know Steve, you looked into it.

Stephen Edwards:

Yeah, I've messed with it a little bit. I've got a I've got obviously my own stuff. And then we've got some clients that I think it makes sense for and after talking to pick thrive, I just think it makes you know, I was super excited to talk to you about it. Because I think as an operator, you want to make sense of how this is going to bring more money in the door. And not be you know, not be another tool you're paying for you have sitting around that you're not using or not getting the most out of. And when I heard how many photos and how much you guys are doing through it, I was pretty amazed. So here we are. So go ahead Brandon Talk Talk to us about this.

Brandon Gonski:

Yeah, so Pixar has really been a game changer for me visa to different companies now and talked to a number of other people about how they they've experienced with it. Because like you said, getting into those logistics and every all the moving parts that have to come together. There's a lot going on, so picked out there's a lot to help with that. And then also the revenue. Getting rafting trips is a lot of fun. Sure. And yes, when you run a lot of people, you know bring in a lot of money, but you get to watch a lot of that money go right back out the door with all the support structure takes so buying rafts, buying buses, paying guides. So finding other ways to capture revenue is key. So we've really improved our retail component here at glacier raft over the past decade and a half. And pictures are a big part of that. So selling photos is not a revolutionary concept. You know we've all been to them amusement park, seeing the pictures, anybody who's been on a zip line tour, Ben rafting acba all those things, a lot of them sell pictures, it's not brand new but simplifying the way to do it is really the key here because you don't have time it's not efficient to pay five people to go take one picture and get it to your customers. So the picture I've we've been able to simplify it where we get the picture so we may you know pay a contractor or take the picture ourselves on the river on the fishing trip. send it back. Sometimes we send it online of us that installation in some scenarios, sometimes you want to just bring a hard copy of the photo back but then you just send it right up to pick the picture of cloud and so what that does is I've got tablets around the room in my retail space that a customer can come back and they type in the name of their guide their pictures for that day of their of them on the water an hour ago are right there on the tablet form they can flip through it. See all the pictures click a button by them and it goes straight to their phone their inbox you know, however they choose to get it but everybody now is walking around with their smartphone and computer and and it's fun you get that same day you satisfaction instead of getting a CD to go you know plug in and everything which who's got a CD drive and a computer on vacation with them you know maybe we've got our laptop but we don't even have one doesn't have a dv CD ROM anymore. Isn't that so we do that and they get it and then you get the marketing component. Like you just said people are excited they get it go straight on Instagram straight on to Facebook.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

And isn't that isn't that funny too? We were talking about this we like to have our little random side talks but things that you don't use anymore or that are just gone like DVD like we watched I watched the blockbuster documentary. I don't know if you've seen that on Netflix and like yeah DVDs when DVDs came out I mean for VHS. People didn't even have VHS like VHS or DVD player at their house anymore.

Stephen Edwards:

I we have an Xbox at our house which is the only way to play a DVD. The other day I needed one here because I have like an old DVD from back in the day. We quite literally do not have a computer that has a DVD drive or CD ROM or anything Did you need a DVD for? Got some fun videos back in the day back when I was

Jaden Cymbaluk:

idea? That's funny.

Stephen Edwards:

But yeah, we have no way of plants So, but you know, now everybody wants that stuff. So immediately on their phone, I, I, that picture I think is super, I'm way more impressed with it. Now after messing with it and seeing how it works and seeing how this stuff comes back to you. The one question I had for you, and I'm really curious if you guys, you know what mechanisms of it, you've noticed the biggest improvement, but I know they have that ability to collect reviews. So do you guys use that and glacier? Or are they getting to that portion? Where the you know, I know, there's a couple different ways you can set it up where they get to see the photos, and then they can leave your review? Or if they buy the photos? Explain that. Are you guys getting review collection out of your guys's pic thrive setup? Or am I maybe I'm thinking about it wrong.

Brandon Gonski:

I actually haven't used the review component, too extensively from where I get the most value is actually through the analytics and insight of how many times the photos have been viewed. Okay. I think that the review collections great, I just had an existing review platform that was already really woven into the business,

Jaden Cymbaluk:

because you get that you get that email anyways, with your your booking, you know what I mean before, right, so Exactly.

Brandon Gonski:

But where I did get some great information was seeing how actually, you know, significant the engagement was to certain photos and certain guides is another thing too, it actually helped us understand which guides are performing the best, you get reviews, that's great, you have your own opinions. But seeing who's really having the best time even though they didn't tell you about it, if I go back and look at those photos a bunch, they're having a great time. And if I see that my top, you know, two of my top five albums are the same guide that says something

Jaden Cymbaluk:

that's a good, that's a good way to put a point on it too. We we look at review collection too, for some of our operators of just pointing things out that maybe they weren't aware of while their tour guides are out there. You know what I mean? Like, if you have a crappy tour guide, you know what I mean? The review collection is able to kind of kind of do that. And then you can make adjustments in your business. That's a very good insight of what you're doing of looking at probably like the most of you at albums, or you know what I mean, if people had a good time and seeing how many times they that's a good, good, good point.

Stephen Edwards:

Are you incentivizing? Oh, I'm sorry. Go for it.

Brandon Gonski:

Yeah, you beat me to it. That's what I was gonna say we make it a contest to we have fun with it. So we tell our guides, you know, whoever can get sell the most photos this year. And this, we actually do it three times a year. Whoever sells the most photos this month, you know, gets a prize, and we'll give him you know, couple 100 bucks for

Jaden Cymbaluk:

that sounds that sounds like that magical keyword. We'd like to add those into our podcast sometimes when when someone says something great with the insight. It's a good thing to do.

Brandon Gonski:

Yeah, magic moments, you got to keep your staff motivated. Yeah, there you build your whole income stream on play you

Jaden Cymbaluk:

got Well, you also got 95 of them.

Stephen Edwards:

So I wanted to go back to that. I mean, 95 tour guides, you know, helped me understand the metrics, because obviously, you're in the business of selling tours, you're selling now photos, or you've got a retail piece of this. So you're probably selling some merchandise to go with that. I mean, 95 tour guides, how many people are you guys running a year? Like, what's a good year of like, people?

Brandon Gonski:

I'm hoping to run more than 35,000 people out of one office.

Stephen Edwards:

I mean, that's

Brandon Gonski:

the biggest thing to go into the sun road and Glacier Park. It's Montana where we're real close to Canada, and it is cold. So there's a lot of snow here and the park doesn't get fully open until the first week of July usually going to the sun road opens. So almost all of our business comes in July and August. Wow.

Stephen Edwards:

So this isn't like a whole launch you're gonna run through. Because today is there. I mean, stupidity.

Brandon Gonski:

25 to 30 of those people in 3025 to 30,000 of those people in July and August.

Stephen Edwards:

Is there if I wanted to go rafting today. Do you have a tour?

Brandon Gonski:

No. Oh, heck yeah.

Stephen Edwards:

Oh, no, do okay. Okay.

Brandon Gonski:

Well, I'd rather take you fishing than rafting right now.

Stephen Edwards:

Yeah, yeah, we

Brandon Gonski:

got to we just just flew out the door on Saturday. They had a great time. Oh, we just talked about North Dakota

Jaden Cymbaluk:

and it snowed and so we know that so it's like it's my snowed up there too, but that

Stephen Edwards:

water is pretty brisk right now.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

It's do where you were. Well, I'd

Brandon Gonski:

rather take you fishing.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Do you wear a wetsuit when you go rafting?

Brandon Gonski:

Yeah, it depends on the time of year. Yeah, July in northern Montana might also be 95 degrees. Yeah. So we might have 40 some odd degree water but 90 degree air air. So dry off. It's kind of refreshing.

Unknown:

That's true. That's true.

Stephen Edwards:

So 30,000 people you're taking you know So help me understand today. How does the tour go out? You know, of, of a day you guys, how many are you running a day? If you're running 30,000 people in two months, that's that's three 4000 people a day. Now. That's horrible math, though. Could nobody call me out on that. That's terrible. And not

Jaden Cymbaluk:

a day. 100 people day, if you're going 30 days,

Stephen Edwards:

that's a day. That's only 3000 they're running 30,000 times 1000 people a day, right? Close.

Brandon Gonski:

I mean, it's close. Yeah, big day here be seven 800 people,

Stephen Edwards:

okay, yeah,

Brandon Gonski:

please. Run will fluctuate, you might have a 250 person day. And that's when everyone catches their breath. And then I call my God, what a what an easy day. And then the next day, you might run 750 people and it looks a little crazy.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

So how many how many times? Okay, so tell us a little fun, fun facts, like how many launches? Do you do then a day to run? run those run that through? Oh, that's insane.

Brandon Gonski:

Yeah, I think it's about 16 launches, so. And then our fishing trips are their own thing to civil run, we might have 10 Suburbans and expeditions and fishing boats lined up out the red at 8am every morning to go fishing. And so we count those as each has their own trip. But the rafting trips, the you know, the half days and the full days, I think there's about 16 a day going out about every half hour. That's crazy.

Stephen Edwards:

But that is I mean, just the logistics of running. That is insane. And I mean, and it's funny, we're having this conversation because you sell photos, I want to I want to dig into your guys's stuff, I want to I want to wrap my head around how you run 1000 you know, even at that 700 people a day. That's ridiculous. That's a lot of moving parts. For a lot of people. That's a lot of staff. Um, we'll come back to that Brandon, you're definitely coming back on the show because we have to dig into this. But so. So to that 700 people you're taking all these photos, what's a good day of selling photos like how many of those people are buying photos

Brandon Gonski:

so I try to measure my photo sales and actually all of my retail revenue You know, a lot of retail metrics centered around like sales per square foot or average basket size. Most of the people who work in rafting retail stores do not have a retail background and may not be making a retail career out of it. So I try to make it really simple for them. So I measure our total retail sales based on dollars per head. So if I can get to about $7 ahead in photo sales on a season that's what I'm shooting for.

Stephen Edwards:

That's pretty solid extra money that will be coming

Brandon Gonski:

in do that math yourself.

Stephen Edwards:

Yes, I can that I can do what I did that pretty quick. That's pretty solid extra money. I mean, you got you've been with pic thrive and you used it at your previous company that you came from. So you obviously have a lot of experience. But something had to push you to this like have you I mean, is the photo sales always been a big thing carrying into the RAF business? or How did you guys used to do it before pic thrive.

Brandon Gonski:

So photo sales and rafting has been around for longer than I have. They used to have a one of the companies I used to work for I saw a light table and I actually have a photo journalism degree and so used to spend my fair amount of time in the darkroom and I can't imagine shaking film between every trip. But that's how they used to do it. And so they just print contact sheets or, or give people a loop and negatives on a light table. Not the most efficient system. We started using pic drive, because back in about 2015 2014. My otter DBA was convinced that we needed to do something to capitalize on this whole imagery concept for the internet. You know, yeah, Instagrams blowing up super popular Facebook the whole world has now and because, you know, remember this is seven, eight years ago, or six years ago. And even then, like yeah, better It was around, but it was really exciting, really popular. So maybe we need to just consider our photo sales marketing expense, and let's start giving them away. We need everybody to get photos. So everybody can put it online because Who's your best? Your best marketer is your customer. No. Customer referrals are of the highest conversion rates. So I looked at that, and I was like, Yeah, but you're telling me that I'm responsible for the business and I agree that getting people in the door is great. But are you gonna get your quarter million dollars in sales from these people? Now they were gonna spend the money to actually distribute it and engage with it and support it. Plus the lost revenue. Yeah, that's a lot of money. Is there a way I can do this while still selling these pictures. And, you know, essentially, that's what Pixar did for me, they found a way that I could get photos online, get them there easily reduce my queue times in the retail store, and measure my engagement because that was the biggest hurdle for me for my boss worked straight at marketing lights and our mic numbers to and wants to see the results and we're actually able to measure the results. And yeah, that was a big deal.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

So you can sort of like Originally, it was almost looked at, like, hey, how do we break even, like, they're willing to take the photo, you know, side of it as like as like a breakeven point or a loss, you know, what I mean to do as as marketing, but then it's, I mean, it's kind of like, Hey, we're on to something here, you know, what I mean, or pick, thrive, kind of notice that as well, like, Hey, you can make some additional revenue, but also to with the digital age, just like what we do, you're able to capture some analytics, you know, what I mean, and some of the marketing side or, or for an agency to put put profiles, you know what I mean into it, too, that's what we were talking about beforehand of like, you know, how we can use it as an agency making marketing campaigns, not only with the redistribution of of the the photos, pick, thrive, you know, what I mean, you can use, you know, certain marketing campaigns with it to look at the different albums, see what your most viewed photos are, you know, different seasons, stuff like that as well, too. And you can gain some of the analytics off of it. So that's pretty neat.

Stephen Edwards:

What I mean, I think I have the same apprehensions though, that I know a lot of you guys have, and maybe, and I know pic thrive is address some of these. But when you're running that many people, how are you collecting these photos? Like how, how have you guys simplified the process? Because I think everybody in their brother wants to be in the business of selling photos. But they all struggle with how do we how do we make this as pain free as possible to collect the photos to get them into pics? Right?

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Yeah. What did you guys used to do before this? Tell us that part of it then?

Brandon Gonski:

Yeah, so it's been a very pain free. Because the way Yeah, I could go, I could probably tell you a number of stories. But one thing I'll tell you back on the Arkansas River, or sorry, the Colorado River when I was down there, what we would do is we'd work with a photographer, they'd be up on this cliff side that the you know, river flood stir Canyon so that the easiest way for them to get a good photo was this high shot up on the cliff. So they take photos, they take photos of the put in go to the cliff shoot photos of the boats floating down the river. Then they take the memory card out. But any case, put it in a waterproof box, put that inside of a nerf football. And then Huck the nerf football down the canyon to one of the raft guides cashed on his boat, they usually like to make a game out of it too. But we couldn't get photos of that. And they floated down with them with the trip, pass it off to the bus driver, everybody piled on the bus, they get the boats on, when they got back, the bus driver would park let everybody off, but he'd run off, go pass the federal card to a retail agent inside our resale salesperson would then take the pictures, download them to a computer as fast as they could then sort them into boats, then put them onto a thumb drive, then go plug a thumb drive into a TV. Yeah, and try and get the slideshow started. Before the customers were dried off and leaving.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Yeah, that's challenging. That's funny. Have you ever seen when they tied like those GoPros to those footballs and stuff like that? Throw them on the internet? Yeah, YouTube and stuff. That's funny that that almost be a fun experience. That almost be a cool actually marketing video, if you actually did do that on the raft. Make it follow the customer experience, but put the photos and then that'd be kind of cool. Actually.

Stephen Edwards:

I, I'm a tree. I don't even get how you guys get to this point. I mean, you know, I can see that I that's how everybody would start. And then now, you know burning them the CD ROMs back in the day, because that's the only option you had. This has got to make things a little bit easier. Can you walk us through? Like, how are you guys doing it today? How is somebody getting their photos? How do you guys collect these photos? Help? You know, obviously other operators are going to hear this. So I want to tell us how we start this.

Brandon Gonski:

Yeah, so for us based on our kind of internet situation, we're in the middle of nowhere. We still hand off that card. I don't toss the football but we do pass it over to the driver or actually rather the photographer runs it back up here. But we get it onto the pig thread platform at that point. So there's no more thumb drives, no more download upload, it just goes straight up. And from on from there anyone from any computer can log in and sort things out. If we need to rearrange it, label the trip, and then it's ready to go. And then you come back. There's tablets around the room. Yeah. Do you see?

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Do you see a lot of purchases like what's your animal Next on that on purchases 35 minutes after the trip compared to purchases two days after

Brandon Gonski:

significantly more purchases are same day. But as compared to the past, you know, before we had big thrive through the roof for you know two days later conversions, and then you also have the opportunity to to look at other sales opportunities we can remind people yeah, you went rafting and you know what grandma would love? pictures from your trip. So since you didn't buy them it's Christmas time.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Yeah,

Stephen Edwards:

I keep selling it down the road.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Yeah, keep selling them down the road to Yeah, that's

Stephen Edwards:

that's genius.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

You didn't think he didn't think about that? That's a No, I

Stephen Edwards:

haven't. But I'm not in one of those spaces. Yeah, I was true. We need to have Kevin on here because he came from that. What is it parasailing? So I mean, you know, I know who they sell to they sell to all these skydivers parasailing. Yeah.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

whitewater rafting, guys. And that's even to us talking to to to pick thrive and stuff like that before we brought brought you on. You know, I mean, it makes sense for marketing agencies to do cool stuff with that content. You know what I mean, as well, like exactly like what you're saying, like, we do monthly email blast for Jeep tours. And you know what I mean, ATV tours, it's like, Yeah, that's a great thing to add into your monthly email campaigns to send to your customers, you know what I mean, especially when you have that data profile, or that analytics of that customer, and then say, Hey, you know, I mean, it's Christmas time, I would

Stephen Edwards:

imagine your guys's agency just loves the fact that you guys have this and never have to fight for content. They're never begging you to send them new stuff. You've just got an endless supply of photos.

Brandon Gonski:

Yes, I actually just hired a new marketing coordinator here. And the first thing I did was, give her a log into pic thrive and said, Hey, you got to learn what we do. Go look at all the pictures and see what happens after content, you know, and honestly, lives in there. But you know, find 100 good pictures and add them to your library.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Yeah, know for sure. That's always what we do. And we're doing like new website builds and stuff like that, too. It's like, Hey, where? Where are we gonna get some of these photos from? Where are we gonna get some of this content from to tell your story.

Stephen Edwards:

And there's a lot of operators that have amazing businesses, but no strategy to a collect content and be you know, you guys have built a separate business model. In fact, you guys are doing more in almost photo sales, then, you know, there's some operators doing in their small businesses. So yeah, this is a seems like a brain, you know, a pretty bulletproof way to add this in. So do you guys have this integrated into your guys's booking engine, I know they have a few different ways of doing this with a direct integration or you guys, is it all on the side? I don't know how to best is

Brandon Gonski:

it's, it's integrated. So we do. Well, a couple pieces to circle back on the marketing point to access to the photos, a lot of people are creating that content. But the people putting together marketing don't have access to it because it lives on a single hard drive in a remote location, because that's where the rafting is that's where the activity is. But if your marketing team is either an agency, or you have a different office, or like your admin people work takes care of let them access it. And so you can see same day, what's going on that live updates to us new fresh content is great. I don't have to send someone in a car for two hours to go take a picture to post on Instagram day I say login effects I've pulled on the best I can picture and go post something interesting. But as far as other Sorry, what was the question?

Unknown:

About the excess?

Stephen Edwards:

No, no, I think it's great. I mean, as far as like, you know, I love how you guys are using it on the marketing side. You know, I'm the idea of being able to keep selling these and I and I would be very interested to learn how they sell down the road, like where you're saying, you know, send these to grandma for Christmas, or send as a reminder, obviously, those numbers dropped down significantly, but it's still like just dripping emails, you know, drip in revenue that was never anticipated. And anything you book is just extra cash flow coming in the door.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Questions about the booking engine? That's what it was integrating?

Stephen Edwards:

Yeah, we're you know,

Brandon Gonski:

we do two different things. One, you can book or you can buy your photos after your trip at the point of sale. Yep. You can book on through the either through the tablet that you're actually viewing them on where you can walk up to our retail person and our checkout and purchase them that way. Or when you book your trip online, or over the phone online, we actually have a pop up after you as you're checking out that just says hey, do you want to add pictures to this?

Unknown:

Gotcha.

Brandon Gonski:

And we say yes. Or the you know, the customer says yes, and it gets added and then operations or you know retail knows to just attach those photos or They get the link and you can. So that's one thing you can do is you can automate it. So when they buy that online pre sale, they can get a token is what we call it. Sure. And pick, it allows them to download their photos from picture if they just paste that token in. Now, sometimes they forget that, but I can look up that token right away, or I can send him a new one and deactivate the old one. It's pretty easy to manage. You don't have to worry about customers having that that vacation brain. Yeah,

Jaden Cymbaluk:

yeah, you wonder even Yeah, is that kind of like the token things kind of like kinda like also like a promo code like, hey, save 5% on your photos, if you if you pre buy or something like that, maybe? Or

Brandon Gonski:

Yep, so we do 10%? Save? Or? We do $10 20%?

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Yeah, yeah, get some off. Yeah, yeah.

Stephen Edwards:

That's amazing.

Brandon Gonski:

I mean, every one of our reservations, agents ask people when they call in to book you for the Hangout. Do you want to add photos to this? You said 20% when you buy him now,

Jaden Cymbaluk:

kind of like your bag and like your bag at the airport?

Stephen Edwards:

I am curious, because you guys are in in the space and doing the volume. While you are. I mean, what is the what is the split between our online reservations and over the phone?

Brandon Gonski:

We're talking about this yesterday. More on the phone than I'd like it to be. I think we're sitting at about 6040 sure, 60,000. I'd like to get it down to 5050 or 4555. We do have some pretty complex lodging bookings, and overnight trips, and that

Stephen Edwards:

those are always gonna

Brandon Gonski:

matter done on the phone. But it was all simple half days and full days, my goal would be to get it to, you know, 7030. Online, I,

Stephen Edwards:

I hear your struggles. And we've got some operators that do some pretty large volume and like ATV tours and stuff. And same argument. I mean, that's probably 6040 or 5050. They're definitely not. They're definitely not doing as much online as they'd want. Because I think the more advanced or the more in depth your stuff gets, the more people just want to talk to a live human on the phone. And I would bet your guyses sales of photos happen significantly higher over the phone than it does online.

Brandon Gonski:

You know, it's a pretty similar conversion rate.

Stephen Edwards:

Yeah, okay. Well, that's, I mean, that's good. It means obviously, your guyses like, booking flow is functioning properly, I would be, you know, there's always something about having that person on the phone to hard pitch you a little bit of like, hey, do you want to add those photos, but I get it, that's cool.

Brandon Gonski:

This is I mean, if I had the same reservation staff, 12 months, a year, for five years, I guarantee that the conversion rate would be higher on the phone, but it's just one of the challenges of the business, you get a lot of younger people who are using the job the same way I did when I was younger. And so they've got a lot of time to learn. So sometimes, you know, your online platform can be very consistent. It's it's a computer, it's always going to be the same thing. We try to make our people the same thing every time. And, you know, that's a whole another topic we could get into. Absolutely. traders. Yeah, I spend enough time on trading.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

So so before, before we kind of we kind of let you go and kind of kind of wrap up things. I mean, I kind of have a couple and questions or some predictions for you, especially in the in the tech space. And you know what I mean, the tour space, you know, pictures, kind of a nostalgic thing, right? You know what I mean? Like everybody's talking about videos, everything like that. Do you see? People just deal enjoy pictures? You know what I mean? Rather than like the video side? I think they do, too.

Brandon Gonski:

I found salutely. Yeah, so I mentioned the tablets, but we also put big screens up like, you know, 30 inch TVs in a couple spots and just run a slideshow after each trip. And 30 people gather around those things just to watch the slideshow,

Jaden Cymbaluk:

just to watch the pictures, you know what I mean, too, and like, it's, it's something I mean, not to sound cheesy or corny, you know, picture pictures or describe a million words or whatever, you know what I mean, however they say, but it is it isn't people love it. It's like looking at like some of the pictures on like the websites or some of the photo galleries. And it's like, sometimes a good old fashioned picture is better than like a put together video.

Stephen Edwards:

I don't know, maybe I'd argue that with you. Well, I mean, I think that there's so many people that live and die by that like Instagram life now. And I would imagine, like, what's your guys's average age? client customer? Not trying to have you dispel all your secrets, but about 45 Oh, wow. Okay, so that's, I mean, that's honestly older than I was gonna guess.

Brandon Gonski:

Yeah, I get it. But think about who's planning vacations and whose mom and dad's fine vacations. Yeah, I gotcha.

Jaden Cymbaluk:

Okay, and then, then another thing for you like any predictions like you know what I mean? Anything like with, you know what I mean? I mean, we had the crazy year of you know what I mean? Last year in 2020? Where do you see yourself in like 10 years? Like, where do you see your your industry in 10 years? 15 years down the road?

Brandon Gonski:

Oh, man,

Stephen Edwards:

so no pressure behind that one.

Brandon Gonski:

But yeah, 10 years, that's a long time, especially for technology.

Stephen Edwards:

How about what can you do in five?

Brandon Gonski:

And I think we're gonna see some consolidation of booking platforms, there are so many options out there, and it's just not going to happen. We've already seen some acquisitions, and some things get folded together, I think that's going to continue. And I think photos will remain relevant. Yeah, people tried to tell me 10 years ago that people weren't gonna buy photos anymore, and it was all about video, or they could get their photos on their own phone. I think photos are gonna stay relevant. And we have to remember what we're selling in this industry. We're not selling just activities. We're selling an experience and an ocean and like you said, you know, photos still do something for people. Yeah. Because you get that emotional response to a photo. And that's what our trips are to. It's an emotional experience. It's an emotional response. That's they don't remember that they saw, you know, this bald eagle flyover. They remember how they felt when they saw. Yeah. And so I think that's, you know, we could talk about technology, but what drives the technological innovations, money, but it's really it's that emotion that experienced that why why are we doing what we do?

Stephen Edwards:

You know, what I what I love about why I think you you know, why your why you got to in the industry and why you are where you are, it's kind of the same reason why I love the tourism space. I mean, you know, you're dealing with people that are coming to you to have a good time. They, their entire reason for visiting your business and choosing you is because they're looking for a positive experience, and it's your guys's job to deliver it. You know, very rarely are people showing up like mad at the world. They're coming to just have a great time on vacation and your guys's job is just to make sure that happens. So I applaud you. This is great. This has been very, very interesting. I hope we can have you get back on sometime sooner than later. Because I mean, has run a lot of damn people through it. That's pretty insane. Yeah, way more people than I ever would have guessed. So you start talking 30,000 people here. That's, that's insane.

Brandon Gonski:

We have a lot of fun doing it. And I couldn't have said it better myself what you just said there's key Wyatt, you know why we do it? And we're just desperately trying to have a good time. Cool. Well, Brandon,

Stephen Edwards:

you know, again, thank you for coming on. You know, our conversation about pig thrive was awesome. We're glad you chatted with us. And

Jaden Cymbaluk:

yeah, we'll definitely bring you back on again. And for anybody else that wants to check out glacier Raff company. Make sure you guys go to it, visit them online glacier glacier raft company. Brandon, thank you for coming on. Thanks you for also for talking about pig thrive. If you guys want to learn more about pig thrive, we are going to be putting this link in the bottom of the description here. And yeah, hit us up here at amp agency. Thanks again for listening. If you guys have any questions about pig thrive, we are more than happy to introduce you guys to the right people. Brandon I think gives a pretty good review as a operator and general manager for the company. And I think it makes sense for a lot of people's businesses. So thanks again for being on Brandon. And thank you guys all for listening. We'll see you guys next time here on the app podcast, adventure activity marketing pros. Everybody be safe out there and tune in, listen and check out the links in the bio