Bound Round: The end of an era

This update about the failure of Bound Round is all I have the energy for right now. I want to fill some of the gaps in the story that the publicly available liquidation documents don’t tell.

Not only am I sad and disappointed to see 7 years of hard work and significant cash investment from family, coworkers and friends go down the drain. But I also feel a bit battered and bruised from the stress of trying to mitigate the impact of the business failure on the lives of the people who worked with me as employees and contractors. 

Before the administrators were appointed, only 2 team members were made redundant. The others were all offered roles in different organizations. Some chose to take those opportunities. Others chose to leave. 

I documented the business history, including explaining a couple of significant, poor, strategic decisions that I’d made over the past couple of years for the liquidators. It was a cathartic, if not at times, heart wrenching process.

But what it did show me was that despite the fact that Bound Round failed, over the course of the last 7 years we did some pretty awesome things. Things that the people who were a part of making it happen should be proud of.

Since 2012 the Bound Round team:

  • Built the world’s first (and award winning) by-kids-for-kids travel app. It remains aligned to the Australian primary school curriculum and can be used for free in classrooms.
  • Worked with cutting edge technologies  to experiment with and test some super cool features like 3D globe interfaces on websites and digital stamps 
  • Developed a school excursion portal for teachers and educational experience providers
  • Sponsored Wave Warriors for 2 seasons, supporting an inclusive nipper competition around Australia
  • Created over 1,000 videos giving everyday families an opportunity to share their home town. And providing opportunities for them to experience things they may not have done otherwise tried.
  • Worked with the Direct Group to create their travel agency brand MyDiscoveries. Turning it into a thriving business unit before handing it back to them to manage in-house.
  • Created the Families of Australia web series, showcasing more than 70 cities and towns around Australia and their family-friendly attractions.
  • Injected hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Australian freelancer community, providing income and opportunities to micro and small business owners.
  • Created Family Travel as a brand with an increasing readership and subscriber base  within a competitive market
  • Designed and created a series of teacher education resources for the NSW Department of Environment & Planning
  • Helped Julie Jones launch Australia’s first accessible and inclusive travel magazine, Travel Without Limits

My decision, with the unanimous support of Bound Round’s shareholders, to appoint an administrator in July 2019 was not taken lightly. The decision was made knowing that the shareholders would lose their money. It was made knowing that there were creditors who would likely lose their money. It was made knowing that I’d done my best to minimize the impact that making the decision would have on other people. 

It was also a decision that, once the liquidation process is complete, will hopefully allow me to simplify my life and focus on my new priorities – my husband, baby, family and friends. And now I’m a mum I will be able to write from lived experiences at Family Travel.

If my personal circumstances hadn’t changed dramatically in 2018 or if I were still able (or wanted) to give the business my undivided, 24/7 attention, I might have investigated alternative options for continuing Bound Round more thoroughly. But the entrepreneur in me is burnt out and that’s not the best state to try and transform a business. Nor is it an ideal state to be bringing up a baby. 

So…

To the people I’ve disappointed by letting Bound Round fail, I’m sorry. 

To the people who genuinely supported me along the way – staff, contractors, family, friends and industry colleagues – thank you. I’ve learnt a lot and will be forever grateful for the guidance and support.

To my husband and daughter, I promise I’ve now got the time to put you guys first.

Bound Round unveils new look Family Travel website

Family Travel website refresh November 2018

Family Travel website refresh November 2018
Family Travel website refresh November 2018

SYDNEY, 20 November 2018 – The number one editorial family travel platform in APAC, Family Travel, today reveals it’s website redesign, putting user experience front and centre.

Since the original launch in 2015, the Family Travel website has evolved from kids-only to whole family focused. Today the website includes high quality, focused content directed by Family Travel’s (ex-AAP) digital editor Alison Godfrey, and curated family-only hot travel deals. Family Travel is the obvious choice for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, carers and friends to find the best holidays and things to do with the kids in their lives.

“Quality, meaningful and useful content is what the Family Travel audience craves,” said Bound Round CEO, Janeece Keller. “In today’s hectic family life, time is a precious commodity. Our audience are actively searching for a specific type and depth of content and need access to it quickly and efficiently. The refresh of the website brings our breadth of content and products to the fore and puts what our audience wants and needs within easy reach.”

Family Travel has undergone numerous changes in the past 12 months from a rebrand in December 2018 (from Bound Round to Family Travel) through to this most recent unveiling of its website that delivers key functionality to better service the site’s rapidly growing audience.

New features of Family Travel include a modernised design with improved search, filtering and smoother navigation to improve consumer experience and offer enhanced commercial opportunities for branded content and holiday product offerings.

– ENDS –

Travel Bound – Australia’s newest family travel publication launches

Bound Round, today launches its first eMagazine, Travel Bound, to Australian consumers. This family focused, digital, quarterly publication is available on all Virgin Australia flights through the carrier’s in flight entertainment system and is also available for consumer download via the Family Travel website. Continue reading “Travel Bound – Australia’s newest family travel publication launches”

Are You Confident That Your Online Activities Are Working?

This won’t shock anyone: families, like other travel segments, are researching their next holiday online. But what may come as a shock is that multiple studies show that over 70% of purchasing decisions are made online before a consumer engages you directly. That’s a big chunk of the market that you may never hear from unless you can engage with them online.

You’re probably already running multiple online activities, but how do you know they’re working effectively? Facebook suggest that a 2% engagement ranking is around average for a travel campaign. At Bound Round we’ve been able to deliver rates as high as 10% on recent campaigns. Online engagement is a numbers game but here’s my 3 proven guidelines to maximise results.

Targeting the right audience

The most common mistake is trying to target everyone. Be specific; start with your ideal customers in mind and focus on the most appropriate medium to get in front of them. For example, we target travelling families and we have over 19,500 subscribers, so we know it works.

Create engagement through content

Content is still king. Families make up around 30% of the travel market yet they’re mostly forgotten and barely catered for on the popular online portals. Boundround.com has been designed specifically to address this issue. In fact, we’ve built tens of thousands of hours of content so families, especially the kids, can research and explore a host of travel and activity options.

Strong call to action (CTA)

Especially within this industry, customers carry many apprehensions when it comes to making a definitive decision on where to go or what to do when they get there. That’s why it is imperative to have a strong call to action to drive your customers to book. Avoid being iffy or open-ended so as to make holidaymakers more compelled to hit “purchase”.

Our recent campaign with partners Club Med Bintan and Scoot Airlines was the most successful campaign we’ve run yet– and shows what’s possible when you tick all three of those boxes. We achieved better than average benchmark scores across all categories and generated over 2,500 new subscribers.

Want to connect better with the family travel market? We have the experience and platform to help you maximise your online activity. Contact us today to see how you can work with one of Australia’s top booking sites for family travel.