(Boston, MA – December 5, 2017) With just over 100 hand-selected top performing travel sellers in attendance, the 2nd annual Family Travel Advisor Forum concluded to rave reviews, and an energized jumpstart to the 2018 vacation sales cycle. The event, which took place at the Moon Palace Jamaica in Ocho Rios from November 29 – December 3, featured an array of interactive and immersive educational and networking offerings along with a successful debut Owner Idea Exchange for select owner delegates.
The Owner Idea Exchange was facilitated by Sally Black, Owner, Vacationkids with participation from Maria Anderson, Escape With Us Vacations; Demitra Bryant, Harmony Travel Getaways, LLC; Kim DalPonte, Pixie Dust & Paradise Travel, Inc.; Nancy Damianeas, Hermes Travel; Valerie Gossett, Premier Resources; Gina Jimmink, Moonstruck Vacations; Kimberly Milnes, Family Travel Boutique; Margie Lenau, Wonderland Family Vacations; Heidi Marlowe, White Glove Destinations; Sandy Nussbaum Giercyk, Instant Impressions Travel Services; Kelly Ortiz, Guru Travel; Kristie Paulson, True Bliss Travel; Kathleen Scallon, Somerset Tours & Travel; Terry Strauss, Dedham Travel; and Melissa Ulrich, Trips to the Mouse.
“The Owner Idea Exchange proved to be a timely and successful addition to this year’s Family Travel Advisor Forum, and certainly a valuable inclusion for our upcoming Forums. Not only did this closed-door discussion connect savvy business owners for candid idea exchanges, but it afforded the Travel Show Marketing Group team the unique opportunity to learn first-hand how we can better support our agency owner partners in an ever-evolving travel business landscape. We are already implementing new initiatives and dedicating resources to support these efforts” said Jennifer Fernandez, VP Events & Content, Specialty Travel Forums, a division of Travel Show Marketing Group (TravelSMG), and parent company of the Family Travel Advisor Forum.
While the Family Travel Advisor Forum employs a stringent qualification process for any travel seller interested in attending the event, participants for the Owner idea Exchange were further vetted for participation in this closed-door discussion. Although various business models were represented, all featured topics proved to be relevant, stimulating an ongoing dialogue to position agencies for growth. Topics included: Acquiring and qualifying talent (IC/employee); small business back-office solutions; lead generation; sales and marketing and more. It’s important to note that while the discussion was originally scheduled to last an hour and thirty minutes, the conversations extended to three hours, with more topics uncovered for future Exchanges.
The 2nd annual Family Travel Advisor Forum received well over 500 applications from travel sellers interested in participation and narrowed down to 102 participating agents from across the US and Canada. All agents were hand-selected based on a rigorous qualification process, and collectively represented over $85 Million in annual bookings. In addition to the various educational offerings, over 40 supplier companies exhibited, showcasing hotels, resorts, cruise lines, destinations, DMC partners, attractions and other family-friendly vacation products and services.
The 2017 Family Travel Advisor Forum was supported by an impressive line-up of partners, including: Host Hotel Partners: Palace Resorts and Moon Palace Jamaica; Premier and Educational Partner: The Family Travel Association; Destination Partner: Jamaica Tourist Board; Official DMC Partner: Jamaica Tours Limited; Official Airline: Delta Airlines; Event Sponsors: Beaches Resorts; VIP Attractions; and Reggae Tours.
ABOUT SPECIALTY TRAVEL FORUMS
Family Travel Advisor Forum is produced by Specialty Travel Forums, a division of Travel Show Marketing Group (TravelSMG), an independent event organizer who caters exclusively to the North American travel agent community. The Specialty Travel Forums division offers innovative programming and content to support the professional growth of travel agents eager to cultivate their business and expertise through specialization. Comprised of a series of exclusive independent programs in key destinations, each is focused on individual niche markets providing in-depth training, brand certification, intimate networking, supplier relations, product knowledge and more. These exclusive programs offer limited space, allowing delegates to gain focused niche training while experiencing a full familiarization of the host destination to increase the breadth of their specialty offerings. The TravelSMG team has a proven track record in producing some of the most acclaimed leisure travel trade shows and events, working collaboratively with the industry’s leading organizations and experts, to provide top-notch education, networking and supplier engagement. For more information on TravelSMG visit www.TravelSMG.com
Supplier sign-ups for the 2018 Family Travel Advisor Forum are already underway. Suppliers interested in learning more or securing space should contact Jennifer Fernandez, Vice President Events & Content for Specialty Travel Forums at (718) 979-1952 or email Jennifer@SpecialtyTravelForums.com.