Trip Advisor is great. Not only as a tool for me to use when I travel, but as a business owner, I’m in love with Trip Advisor.
However they work their algorithms – it’s genius. It’s not about the number of reviews you get somehow, but the quality. So a little company like mine can get right up there with the big boys when it comes to being ranked. Huge places, like the boats or CAF, get thousands of reviews – I have yet not 100. But somehow, due to the quality of the reviews, I have been holding at a solid 6 (oooh, I just checked, I’m 5) out of 160 activities in Chicago. I get a lot of business from Trip Advisor and it’s just been a really nice relationship.
I recently received the “Certificate of Excellence” from Trip Advisor. Only 10% of the businesses on TA receive this award. I was pretty psyched. You get a widget for your site! I put mine up, it’s right over there>>>>
Last Thursday, Trip Advisor had a party for the Certificate of Excellence winners in Chicago. HOW FUN! It was at The Roof on the Wit Hotel - so, that’s pretty fance. I walked in and immediately found my friend Marlin from City Running Tours. Yeah, that’s right, you heard me, Marlin does running tours. He’s awesome. I highly recommend it, Marlin is so fun and has been consistently in the top 3 of Trip Advisor for MONTHS. He’s all in his running gear still, so I didn’t worry too much about my jeans and sneakers, I had given 2 tours that day so I wasn’t all dressed up, I dress for comfort!
Then we met the guys over at Bobby’s Bike Hike – yeah, that’s right, BIKE TOURS! They even do a beer tour, how fun is that? Then I met Christopher at Chicago Beer Experience Beer Tours and Jeremy over at Bike and Roll – they also do bike tours but they also do SEGWAY tours!! You make a lot of time on those things, great way to travel the lakefront.
I met some neat people from Trip Advisor and chatted up a few hotel people, but we tour guides really stuck together. And I was laughing because as I looked around – all the hotel people and restaurant people were all dressed up, so pretty and handsome and every single tour guide there was definitely a little alternative looking, either running clothes or jeans or crazy hair from riding bikes all day. It was really neat, there’s a nice community popping up of guides, there’s so many of us now and so many different types, competition isn’t so severe.
And then on the way out I got to pick up my award. And I thought, you know I don’t have an office, there’s nowhere I can put this award where any customer will see it. And then I realized that it mattered not – and when I opened up my award I was so happy. I’ve never won an award in my life – for anything, ever.