HOW TO CREATE WOW MOMENTS WITH MITCH BACH

INTRODUCTION 

Today I’m so happy to be talking to Mitch Bach about what makes a great guided experience and how you can create wow moments in your programmes. Mitch is one of those people you meet and instantly get on with. He’s warm, witty and whip-smart. We met in New York a few years ago and have been friends ever since. We share the same passions about making guided experiences interactive, participative, memorable and even, transformative. 

Mitch is the co-founder of TripSchool, a community of 6,000+ tour guides, tour leaders and entrepreneurs committed to lifelong learning. He’s also the leader of Tourpreneur, a community of 4,000+ tour operators. Both organisations offer training, mentorship, meet ups and a wide range of other resources to empower and encourage experience creators.

And that’s what we’re talking about today – guided experiences and tours. We discuss what makes a great guided tour and what makes a great guide. Then we spend some time exploring what a ‘wow’ moment is and how you can create them to make your programmes more memorable and, even transformative.

This is a longer chat than usual as we had so much to talk about. You will definitely want to grab a notebook as there are so many takeaways from this chat. So, here it – enjoy!

LINKS 

Support the Show

Join the Slow Looking Club Community on Facebook

Tourpreneur Community Group – facebook.com/groups/tourpreneur

TripSchool – thetripschool.com

3 books that Mitch recommended:

  • The Experience Economy – B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore 
  • The Power of Moments – Chip Heath
  • Interpretation: Making a Difference on Purpose – Sam H. Ham

The Art Engager Episode 32 – 6 Ways to Create Awe-Inspiring Moments

Tourpreneur Podcast episode with Joe Pine about experiences: The Experience Economy in Tours and Activities with Joe Pine

TRANSCRIPT

Claire Bown 

Hi. Mitch and welcome to The Art Engager podcast.

Mitch Bach 

Claire, it is a huge pleasure to be here. I am an avid listener. And I’m so happy to be talking with you today.

Claire Bown 

Brilliant. Where are you right now?

Mitch Bach 

I am in a neighbourhood called Dumbo in Brooklyn, New York. It was named as a joke, and it has stuck. And it stands for ‘down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass’. So I’m living between two iconic bridges in New York City.

Claire Bown 

Fantastic. And we met in New York, didn’t we? We bonded over cocktails, I think,ooh, pre pandemic, maybe 2018. At a guess?

Mitch Bach 

I didn’t know if that sigh was about the cocktails that we had, or if you’re trying to remember. But either way, that was a wonderful evening. 2018. You could say 1928. It feels that long ago, because what we’ve been through since then has been a lot.

Claire Bown 

Yeah. So let’s get into talking about what it is that you do and sort of how you came to be doing this amazing combination of roles that you have.

Mitch Bach 

Yeah, so thanks. I run two organisations, essentially two communities, one for tour guides, and one for tour businesses or tour operators, experience creators. The tour guide organisation that I run is called Trip School. And we’re about 6000, tour guides, tour leaders, people who are out there on the frontlines delivering experiences you might be in a museum, you might like so much of your audience is, but you might also be a food tour guide, you might be an adventure guide. And really, we offer courses, lifelong learning meetups, you name it, in person trainings, fun destination trips, just to enjoy each other’s presence. But we’ve really tried to create a global community of tour guides who are often working in sort of isolated situations alone or for their one operator or for their one museum. And then I also am now the leader of an organisation called Tourpreneur, which is a community of about 4000 tour operators. And so they’re the business side. They’re the entrepreneurs, the people that are running, sometimes fairly large businesses, and sometimes they’re just solo operators, their tour guides with a website, but they’re trying to figure out how to make it a go as as an actual business. And so, together really, I’m just trying to offer community support, mentorship, coaching, training, you name it, all focused on experience creators and trying to …trying to offer lifelong learning in in a new way. Right? I don’t know if in the past, there have been organisations that are trying to gather us all together around the globe when we all work so locally, if you know what I mean. You know, usually you you join a Guides Association, or you might know other operators in your area. But I’ve tried to hopefully create a space where we can all come together and learn from each other, whether I’m in New York, and you’re in the Netherlands or someone’s in New Zealand. And just that sense of being a global community, I think is really important. And it’s probably a lesson we all learned over the last couple of years, particularly,

Claire Bown 

I think so too – community is so, so important, especially when we often work in parallel to each other, getting together, being able to share our experiences. I think, for us, we’ve chatted so much in the past and just today before we came on air about what makes a great guided tour or a great guided experience, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. It’s certainly something that I’ve been thinking about for the past 25 plus years, and it’s been the subject of studies. I’d love to hear what you have to say about it.

Mitch Bach 

Yeah, and I realised I kind of missed the second part of your earlier question, which was how did I get to what I’m doing, which factors into this, I was a tour guide for 20 years and a tour operator. I started out in Paris, France when I was a student at the University, and I realised that all of the knowledge that I was learning could be expressed not only in essays, but also out on the streets, sharing what I loved with travellers that were coming to Paris and I became a tour leader and travelled all around Europe. I did that for almost a decade, worked throughout Europe, started my own tour business. And for me, it was, through fault of not knowing any better, that I made up my own way of doing things. I didn’t go to a school. My school didn’t exist, nothing existed that I knew of. And so I was just out there making it up and I think inadvertently you can become particularly creative and interesting, when there’s no rulebook that you know of, and so I think I’ve developed an approach or a perspective, that sometimes feels very different, but it also feels, like after 20 years, it’s, it’s what I know works for me at least. And when you, you know, when you ask what makes a great guided tour, the word that always always pops into my head is connection. And the way I teach it is think of a triangle, you’ve got the guide, you’ve got the guests, and you’ve got the place. So you want connections to happen between all of those things, you want the guide, and the guests to connect through interaction, through personalisation, or customisation, through that sort of emotional bond that happens through powerful storytelling. You want the guests to feel not only connected to the guide, because if it’s that, then it’s just a good entertainment, right? You want the guest to also feel a sense of the place, a real sense of discovery, of deepening of an understanding of, of the place, or of the work of art, or whatever it is. Now, for me, the phrase, which has become very popular ‘a sense of place’, really captures it, which is just all of those things, the feeling of being in the city of Paris and discovering what a croissant means in their culture or, and that’s much more for me about feeling than it is about information. That that and it’s about connection. And then finally, that final part of the triangle is is the guests connecting with the guests. And I think that’s so important. I mean, listen, again, we’re recording this after the pandemic. And so we all know what it’s like to not feel connected to people. And so I think, a great guided tour, if it’s guided within a group setting, if it’s not just one on one, then don’t forget that those are individuals standing next to each other. And the arrows should also be pointing to each other, which might just mean group sharing. But it also means that you’re creating a collective shared experience. And when 10 people experience something together, that’s different than me going off on my own and discovering the Louvre or discover in, you know, the streets of Italy, or whatever it is. And so I think the greatest guided tours, have the arrows going between all of those different sort of ends, whatever the ends of a triangle are, points, to create something really special. And when that’s happening when, when all of those are firing on all cylinders. It’s just it’s an unbelievable experience.

Claire Bown 

I like the visual model model that you created for us there. Yes, absolutely.

Mitch Bach 

..on a podcast! It would have been, it would have been easier with a slide.

Claire Bown 

Exactly, to show it. But, yes, I mean, I don’t know how many times on this podcast, I’ve talked about connection before content, doing a great guided programme, a great experience, a great guided tour, is more than about your knowledge, it is about connections. And whether they’re, you know, connections between you and the organisation, maybe the museum you’re in or the group you’re with, but also between the people in the group as well. And without that, no fireworks, no relatedness, no magic can really happen. So it’s so so so important.  Listening to your background, as well. And you’re talking about how you came to be doing what you’re doing and realising that I started out as a tour leader, as a tour manager, and then moved into guiding and doing all sorts of guiding for walking tour, city tours, and museum guiding, and then managing guides as well. And I can remember way back when in the 90s being in charge of city guides in Europe and and trying to make the city guides to be more interactive and less about the talking, the walking and the talking and more about the connections between the people. So yes, you can say, see, this is a sort of a lifelong passion of mine. And it moves us quite nicely onto what makes a great guide – I mean, so many things. Can you distil it for us what makes a great guide?

Mitch Bach 

Yes, I can absolutely distil it down into the following 27 things…. You’re absolutely right, that that type of connection is just a different way of guiding. And I will say that I’ve met many guides for whom it’s a threat. It’s a threat to what they think they bring to the equation, which is their knowledge. And the minute you’re saying it’s about something that isn’t knowledge. I often hear two things. One is that ; ‘My guests want to hear everything, they want to learn’. Well, we’re not not saying you’re not learning. And I think the other thing is that it’s a different skill set. It’s a skill set that is about human traits that aren’t just about reading another book on New York City or on Paris, or wherever you are learning another fact about this, but rather about how you present it, and what the bedrock of that guided experience is, which is a human connection. And without that, for example, I’ve been taking many tours over the last couple of months now that the world at least that I operate in, which is largely Europe, and the United States has reopened. I had a guide that was fantastically knowledgeable and forgot to tell me what her name was, at the beginning of the tour, there was no welcome. I didn’t even learn their name, because they were just ready to launch into everything that they knew about the city that they loved. And they did love the city. But if I don’t know your name, and if you haven’t, at least pretended to be interested in me, then it’s just a much harder ask. And so when you asked me, What makes a great guide, I really, I like to think of it a little bit like cooking, right? I’m, I’m a New Yorker, which means I do not cook, I would prefer if I didn’t have a kitchen, it would mean more living space. And so I’m not a great cook. There are there are people for whom cooking is an art. They’re a chef, it’s their absolute passion. And I think guiding works a little bit similarly – there are those for whom it’s a job and I have nothing against, for example, here in New York, the Broadway actor who’s just looking to pay the bills, until they get to the next job, that that they really want. And for others there, they might be a university student, they might be 20 years old. And, again, it fits into their college lifestyle. And so they learn the script, they learn the recipe and they deliver it very well. And so that kind of guide, which I wouldn’t call a professional guide, on the level that it’s their career, it’s their passion, it’s what they want it, you still need to have those basic skills, you need to be punctual and know where you’re going and have decent memory and be able to project your voice. Sometimes guides for whom it’s their absolute passion, they forget that lowest level of a pyramid, where they might be fantastic, but I can’t hear them. Or they don’t have a certain sense of dynamism. They haven’t mastered what I call the difference between the friend and the leader, for example, you need to have moments of asserting authority over the group of truly commanding the group so that they feel like they’ve got a leader, otherwise, you’re going to start to get what I call ‘history dad’, shouting out whatever he wants to add to the equation. And it’s because, subconsciously maybe, he’s seen an opportunity to assert himself because you haven’t asserted yourself. And I see the opposite as well, where a guide is focused on just delivering their knowledge. And they forget that small talk is important, engaging along the route to the next spot, just a little casual banter, being a friend, I want to enjoy your presence for the next few hours. And, and so that sort of, you know, part one of guiding skills is so important for everybody. But I guess if I were to look to that person that says, I know what this job can be, and I want it to become at least a passion of mine for the next five years. Well, then I think that’s where there’s opportunity for greatness. And I really distil it down to four things. So a great guide for me, first of all, has empathy. And that means everything from being a good listener. It means reading the room understanding when you’ve got the audience, when you’ve been talking too long. It means also sensing what their needs are sensing what a group’s needs are, and, and all of those sorts of things that we as humans naturally do when you’re with a lover, or you’re with a good friend, you read each other. And that kind of reading, I think, is kind of an emotional or human foundation for a great guided experience. We’ve talked about connection. But beyond that, the you know, the other word for me is is facilitation. In other words, a facilitator isn’t a dictator. It understand that learning happens in the individual’s mind. And it happens through building bridges between what you know and what you love, and where your guest is at. And it might be as simple as making sure that before you talk about a croissant in Paris, I was just in Paris, so all my examples are French right now. But that’s okay. You know, before you share what a croissant means in France, you ask your guests, what does bread mean in your culture? Is bread part of your culture?You might have a guest from Korea, a guest from New York City and a guest from, you know, Morocco. Well, the minute bread forms as an image in their mind first, and they start to understand what bread means for their culture. And then you can say, the work that goes into a croissant, what it has meant, where it got its origins, well, then it’s not, you’re not just delivering information, but you’re facilitating a connection between not an idea much more than an object or a sense of feeling. And it’s a feeling that begins with me, my sense of home, my sense of place, and then I reevaluate my sense of place in light of what you as the guide, have have, given. You’ve shed a new light on my own my own perspective in life. And so that kind of facilitation happens with everything with food with an art object, which I know you’re so passionate about, with a city building. And all that, all that usually takes is is a real question. All it really takes is is genuine empathy, and caring for that guests perspective. And when I say something like personalisation, well, from there, the guided tour can go any number of ways. If you have a group of..you’re in the Netherlands, if you have a group of Dutch guests in New York City’s financial district, well, for me, the best guides are going to deliver a very different financial district to or to group from the Netherlands, when you’re in a colony called New Netherland. When you understand a little bit about the history of let’s say, the Netherlands and what, what, what, what it meant for the Dutch to come over to the United States. And start to personalise your storytelling and in your facilitation in a way that genuinely pays homage to the perspective of your guests. And not just hey, you’re from the Netherlands, well, we used to be called the New Nether New Netherlands and now my scripted story, right. And I think the less we can get away from the more we can get away from the script, the more we can get away from thinking I’ve got my schtick, as we call it in New York City. And more we can start to understand the light bulb, the light bulb going off in your guests minds is what your goal is – not them to laugh at you and give you a five star review, the more you start to see the true transformative power of what guiding can be in what a guided experience can be.

Claire Bown 

Yeah, brilliant. And I’m glad I asked you to answer that very difficult question. And you so succinctly summed it up for me, I remember reading, it was a very good research project a few years ago, and they it was all about museum guiding and guiding is a profession and they identified 45 competencies. So yes, there’s, there’s an awful lot of competencies that you might say that are really important, but distilling it down to four really essential elements, as you just did was great to hear. And it leads us on really nicely to talk about those wow moments, those moments in in our tours and our experiences. When maybe people have an experience that could perhaps be described as transformative or memorable or, or something that will linger with them for a very long time. How can we create more of those moments in our tours and experiences?

Mitch Bach 

Yeah, if if there’s anything that I’m obsessed with, I think it is the power of a wow moment on a tour. And really, it’s it’s a moment, it’s one moment on a three hour tour, or a two hour tour, or a five day tour. And the reason it’s one moment is because it needs to stick out. The wow moment needs to be special. If you have a tour of nothing but what you’re trying to do as truly transformative moments then, nothing is, right. It needs to it needs to live in the mind of your guests in a very different way than everything else. And you know, this is something that’s been studied ad nauseam. It’s known sometimes as the ‘peak end rule’ where people don’t remember everything, they remember how they felt at the most extreme, and they remember the end of a moment. I would also argue with absolutely no psychological data that how you begin it’s really important too, if only to set the stage positively for a good while moment. But you know, this was this was studied, for example, people queuing up for something. Imagine, you’re all trying to get to a door and you’ve got two queues, well queue one, (I’m using European language, we’d call it a line) But queue number one is people that are walking just on the same pace until they get to the door. cue number two, the line moves slower. But then in the middle, it moves very quickly. Then at the very end of the queue everybody going into the door gets to move very quickly in the door. In both cases, they asked the they ask the people, how did you feel? Queue Number one, they said this was miserable. Queue number two, which waited exactly as long, said that was great. It’s because their minds could latch on to something special, something heightened and and, and then at the end, they felt good. And that then forms the impression of the entire experience. They don’t go through the data and say, How long was I waiting? How long did the other line wait? They’re just going off of feeling. And so the wow moment is about how can we create the conditions of this type of heightened feeling. And I really just began thinking about this through my own experience of what are the moments I remember about the tours that have led, and the things I realised I remember were really unscripted, they felt like a surprise, they felt different or special compared to what the expectations were for the tour day. You know, I remember one time I was with a group of old ladies, and we were in a chapel and there’s a piano, I play the piano. So just sat down, and it played Amazing Grace. And this one woman just burst out into tears. And she said, I’m so sorry, I’m crying. And she revealed that she had just buried her mother a few months before. And her mother was supposed to be on the trip with her. And her mother, when she was dying, said, I want you to make sure you go on that trip and see the rest of the world. Because I’m going to be watching through your eyes. I want you to see it for me. And at her funeral, the song that they played pretty classic was Amazing Grace, which meant that we were all crying when she finished sharing that story. We were just we were just transformed that wow moment was really special. Because it didn’t say at 2:35pm we’re all gonna cry, listening to Amazing Grace, because at that moment, you know, we’d expect it. And so I think the wow moments involve us as human as we can…as human as we can be, which means involve our senses. It involves us smelling or seeing or touching or feeling. It involves a sense of surprise. We didn’t see it coming. It involves a sense of journey, usually, wow moments are stories. They’re not the Eiffel Tower. It’s something that happens. It’s something that is revealed over time. It’s something that you go home and say and then and then and then. And not just oh, what was the highlight of the trip? The Arc de Triomphe? No, nobody says that, because we know it. Sometimes it just involves creating a moment of poetry in silence. It’s sometimes a moment where you feel connected to the whole group, because it’s a shared discovery. I remember one time, I was a tour manager, and we were stuck in the Holland Tunnel in New York City, between New Jersey and New York and New York, were stuck there for three hours because there’d been an accident at the end of the tunnel. We were in this tunnel for three hours. We had used the bathroom on the bus so much that had begun to just become horrific. And so we banned anybody from using it. So we all had to pee. We were in darkness. And we finally arrived in New York City. We made it to our first stop. Everybody ran in and use the restroom. And I ran across the street to a bodega, which was just a little market. And I bought cheap flowers. And when they all left, when they all got out of the restroom, I gave each of them a little cheap flower. And I said, you’ve all been through a lot. And I don’t want you to think about how that bus smells. I want you to think of this flower and smell it. And I gave them their flowers. And we were all laughing because it was a stupid gesture. But it’s funny, because I took a photo of it, took a photo of that. And at the end of the tour, I looked at that photo and they said they are genuinely happy. And we just had a miserable three hour experience. And not only that, but on the review cards, almost all of them wrote that one of the highlights was that bathroom stop. The highlight was a miserable moment that had become a wild moment because it was shared. It was we all endured it together. But then it got us to feel something, luckily positive. And those little things I think if you go back in your mind as a, as a museum docent as, as a guide, whomever you are, the things that stick out in our memory, especially after five years, it’s never information because our brains aren’t programmed for that. Our brains are programmed to remember feelings and to imprint ‘feeled’ memories more than anything else. And so I can almost still smell that flower from that restroom break. But I don’t remember any of those people’s names. I don’t remember any of the salient information or details about it. And I think that’s a really important lesson for all of us as guides.

Claire Bown 

Yeah, what a great story and really good illustration of that. Maybe thinking about how we can create experiences that are more personal, that are more memorable, that are more relevant, turning a negative into a positive, you know, using the element of surprise as well, we may not be able to plan for all of these events, we may have to be flexible and think on our feet. But yeah, that could create the highlight of the tour, for example. So yeah, wonderful advice there. Thank you,

Mitch Bach 

Absolutely. But I want to make no mistake, you don’t have to wait for these things to hopefully happen. I did give you a few examples that are moments that appeared in a particular tour. But I used to lead as a tour manager a tour from Charleston, South Carolina, down to Savannah, Georgia. And along the way, there’s a stop and tell my guests at the beginning of the day, at a certain point today, something not on the itinerary is going to happen. And it’s going to be wonderful. I just start, I just start with that. And then every time the bus like slowed down for traffic, they say ‘Wait, are we going to the surprise now? Is this a surprise?’ And or ‘is this the stop?’ It got them wandering? They were just wondering when it is and then suddenly, the bus would make a right turn. And the bus would be driving down a road that used to be a dirt road. Now it’s paved and has all of these old oak trees with Spanish moss dangling off of it bristling over the top of the motorcoach bus and I’d get on the microphone, I’d say, “I remember the first time I drove down this road with my uncle, I thought he was going to murder me – it seems like the place where people go to disappear'” Suddenly off the highway, you’re in the middle of nowhere. And this is what most of the US South looked like for hundreds of years. It’s roads with this moss, and surprises everywhere. And this is a region of the United States that’s been ravaged. It’s a region that went through the Revolutionary War, through the Civil War, through battles that pitted brother against brother that destroyed the landscape. “And I remember, when my uncle first drove me down this road? He said, ‘I want to show you something that really explains what the South is’. And he didn’t tell me anything more than that. And I’m not going to tell you anything more than that”. That’s all I’d say. And then we drive and then suddenly we pull up. And as we were pulling up, I’d say when you look at the buildings that you see, and in much of this region, they’ve been rebuilt. But the townspeople, the people of this region purposefully left one not rebuilt, to show what as a landscape and as a people they have been through. At the end of that, that’s all I say, I don’t even name the church, I don’t give any information about that.  But the door to the bus opens and they see just these..this clearing, these old brick columns, an altar in a, what looks like could have been a cathedral or something, that’s got weeds, overgrown it, graves sticking up throughout this church, this ruined church landscape. I don’t say a word, but neither do they. They all just filter off and start wandering and weaving through the space. And then at the end of five minutes, I go to the rear of this kind of area. And I just sort of start saying, ‘All right, let’s, you know, let’s return’. And I say that to two people in the rear. And then they start to become the leaders going back to the motorcoach. I don’t wave my flag and say, ‘All right, you have five minutes get back on the bus now’. I just guide them and facilitate the sort of natural human walking off and walking back onto the bus. All in silence. And then we get back on the motorcoach. And then I say, Well, this is a church that was built before the Revolutionary War, it dates from the 1700s – whatever I add some details. But the experience comes first, the wow moment comes first, totally programmed. And I know at the end of that tour, back when I used to lead that, that was always the thing they remember, that was always the thing they remembered. So it’s really about how you stage the experience, more than about hoping crossing your fingers that something weird and wild happens that everybody remembers in a good way, you know, yeah. And so make no mistake, you can craft these wow moments, down to precision, because it just follows the arc of storytelling – I need to feel like I don’t know everything, there needs to be a knowledge gap. Or it’s not going to feel revelatory when I experience it, or when you tell me something. So a lot of the things that we know when we see movies, or when we experienced the world are, are the toolbox for us to craft these kinds of wow moments that make all the difference. Sorry, that was a long, that was a long aside for what are normally short podcast episodes for you.

Claire Bown 

It’s fine. It was absolutely perfect. And it reminded me of an episode and I’ll find it in the in the show notes as well I did on awe, and creating awe-inspiring experiences as well, and how you can lead up and set the suspense and set the scene, as you say, set the stage for those moments to happen and those moments to occur, which, as you know, might be transformative, and definitely memorable as well. So yeah, thank you for sharing those examples with us. I’m gonna wrap up a little bit and just ask you, if you could share a book or any books that you would recommend to any listeners, anything that’s been inspirational or something they could pick up to find out more about some of the things we’ve been chatting about.

Mitch Bach 

Yeah, I think there’s three books, if that’s alright. And I think they’re each a different kind of perspective on on this. And the first is The Experience Economy by Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore. It’s a book that I accidentally discovered back in the year 2000. And transformed everything about about what I think travel should be, a guided or facilitated experience should be. And, you know, it’s also good insight into why the heck we’re all always using the word ‘experience’ right now. But it’s about how you can add value to an experience to make something feel much more special than it might just be, which is the name of what a guide is doing, or a docent is doing, in a space we’re adding that extra value. Second one is a book called The Power of moments. And it’s really a detailed out analysis of what a moment is, and these are business books, but make no mistake, the lessons learned are completely applicable to what we do, in our businesses in our in our, in our careers. The power of moments is really focused on those wow moments. But what it is doing is just looking at the way in which companies could actually solve problems through crafting a human emotional moment, rather than thinking it’s more data or higher pay or whatever. And that’s, for me, the takeaway from that is, largely, you can get to a five star review and better tips, not by knowing more, or by adding more things to your tour, but how you stage it and how you present it. The third book is by a hero of mine named Sam Ham. It’s called Interpretation: Making a Difference on Purpose. And again, it is just a classic in the field, because what it does is try to snap us out of the modes of either entertainer or information-deliverer, to really dive into what a facilitated experience looks like. And I know these books aren’t a secret to you, Claire, but for me, they’re really my triad bible of what I think has unlocked a lot of these thoughts in me and really has made a mark on what I do as an educator.

Claire Bown 

Yeah, fantastic recommendations. I was just looking at my bookshelf and seeing all those books there as well. So I’ll put a link to those books in the show notes. And you’ve just interviewed Joe Pine as well. Haven’t you for your own podcast?

Mitch Bach 

Yes. So I recently became the leader of Tourpreneur, which is a podcast and a community and really, for our first podcast episode we wanted Joe Pyne that me and my two other partners in Tourpreneur said it’s it’s it’s kind of our statement of what we think not only about the travel business, because there is a business elements to this. And that business element is we’re fighting the pressures of commoditisation. Guides rarely are the ones earning more profits from a business success. Guides are often asked to do more and a guided tour is often you know, something that is is is is shopped around by a customer based on price and that’s because they see it as a commodity: any guided tour, it’s the same as the other. And so when I’m looking for a guided tour of the Louvre, I’m just gonna go for the cheapest ticket. And really what the Experience Economy book does and what Joe Pine does, is say, creating an experience means you can price your experience on value. And the more you become known as a value, not cheap, but as in something special happens on this experience, then it doesn’t matter how much it costs, because people are coming to it for a very different reason. They’re using a different part of their brains to judge that you’re the, you’re the guide, or you’re the experience for them. And so and so he really, for us is the is the statement about how we foresee, hopefully, the travel industry, and the experience economy to go in the future.

Claire Bown 

Brilliant. I can’t wait to listen, I’ll put a link in the show notes, because it’ll be out already by the time this episode airs. So tell us what’s next for you? And how can listeners find you? Where can they find you on the web, and on social media?

Mitch Bach 

Yeah, two places, you can go to thetripschool.com, the trip school.com. And we have tonnes of free resources, free courses, all sorts of things for you to dip your toes into the waters of our community. And that’s really our community for people that are guides or docents. We have storytelling courses, we have articles on wow moments, we have all sorts of things like that, I have a free course on crafting wow moments, for example. Beyond that, love if anybody here joins Tourpreneur, joins our Facebook group of about 4000. It’s exceedingly active, there’s about 15, to 20 posts a day of just people asking questions, and your fellow docents, guides, operators answering those with their own experience. And to me that’s what’s so magical is it’s just peer to peer learning completely uncommercial. We’re just there to support each other and really create a sense of shared, you know, shared, shared, shared life, when we’re out alone. It’s fun, as much as Facebook is fun, to just log on and see that other people have other struggles, and that they’ve always got your back. And so I invite people to check out those two sorts of sides of what I do. And then beyond that, please just feel free to reach out to me, you can always email me, [email protected] You can just join the community. I’m there every single day. And it’s just really, for me a joy to meet as many people as I can to hear your perspectives. Because what I do is just in reaction to what the needs are for our industry around the world, and that’s why I love what you’re doing, Claire, because you’re just providing another perspective, which is so needed in our industry. And my real, my real hope is that you know what you do, especially with museum facilitation, trickles into the way an ATV rental operator in the American Southwest thinks about how they greet their guests and what they’re doing on a tour, because it’s all the same. It’s really all the same. It’s just expressed in very different ways. And so, you know, breaking down these silos and these silos of knowledge and creating these connections is for me what this is all about. So I really appreciate, you having me on here.

Claire Bown 

Brilliant. Hear hear, back at you Mitch. It’s been lovely chatting to you. We could chat all day. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much for sharing so much gold in this episode. And yeah, I’ll see you soon. Bye.

Mitch Bach 

See you around, maybe even in person.

Claire Bown 

That will be lovely. Bye.

SLOW LOOKING CLUB

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