Its not easy to be an agent only and remain an agent throughout. You need some extra toppings also, stuff like various accreditation, memberships an extra membership and another accreditation just in case you are barred from the first one. In the beginning I was thinking that only important thing for an agent is to look for a good agent workshop and that was enough for me. We were aware of the fact that too many workshops can be harmful to our business and it is not good for those institutions also who are putting too much faith on agents like us. No one likes rivals, so do our partner colleges. They do want to make very sure that their beloved agent is not dating any of their rival institutes. One of my favorite fashion school does that always . Their marketing manager Mr. Mauro Cavagnaro, an expert fashion buyers consultant also used to sniff around during the whole workshop to see if I’m talking to any of his rival fashion buyers or design schools. I never did it also because I was getting paid very handsomely and on time and I was the exclusive agent for them in whole north of India, but not anymore, well that’s the another story. Either Istituto Europeo Di Design, an Italian Fashion School and St. Patrick’s London or any of my partner college or university never asked me ever about any kind of membership or accreditation I’m having or not. Neither during the face to face meetings in some agent’s workshop, nor during signing the contract. All they needed my hard work and expertise in the field and they knew that he’s the best as long as I’m delivering. There is no doubt about it that an institution is never going to dump their beloved agent just for the sake of some sort of membership which costs Euros 200 approximately. Than why do these players are in market and why are we feeding them year after year? They are not any kind of legal authority and one is not bound or obliged to take these memberships but still they are there. I think local agents bodies of our respective countries can take care of our welfare and rights very well and they are doing a wonderful job.
I still remember my very first agent workshop in Phuket, Thailand in Oct – Nov 2004. How I barged into that website of Language Travel magazine, I still don’t remember but afterwards there was no looking back. I signed my first real contracts with many International Colleges and Universities in my first Alphe Workshop in Phuket. The Alphe Conference involves face-to-face meetings of an half an hour each between agents (who recruit and advise students) and educators (who want international students to attend their institution). If you want to meet with educators and/or agents, then Alphe should be a part of your marketing strategy. Why I personally liked the Alphe workshops instead of other bigger names is because they are really professional people. There arrangements are really remarkable and their choice of hotels, food and sightseeing packages are all up to the mark. Its bad that they’d to stop the Alphe Asia workshops used to held in Phuket but still one can go the UK, Russia, Korea and Japan and last but not least, for agents like us it is all FREE OF CHARGE!!! apart from air ticket of course…….