Craig Curran has been a successful travel agent for thirty years by always keeping ahead of emerging trends. One of them, thanks to Virgin Galactic, is space tourism. Now, instead of selling airline tickets to Paris, he's selling suborbital flight tickets to space:
It’s not like it was back in Curran’s travel agent heyday in the ’80s and ’90s, when customers would actively seek him out. For space tourism, he’s had to be creative. “I do speaking engagements,” he says. “I’ll speak in front of anybody who’ll have me.” He gives presentations about Virgin Galactic for country clubs and socials groups across upstate New York. [...]
But the best networking opportunities, Curran says, come in unexpected places. During a recent visit to Las Vegas, he was playing poker at the Wynn Hotel when the subject of space travel came up. “I took out my iPhone and showed [the other players] pictures of the SpaceShipTwo,” he says. “I showed them pictures of me and Richard Branson shaking hands, and it was the talk of the table.” He ended up meeting a potential customer—the managing director of a “very large firm involved in capital markets” that he declines to name. He didn’t make a sale (yet), but he still considers it an important lesson. “You just never know where you’re going to make that important connection,” he says.