Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said that its annual cruise3sixty conference and trade show is reaching "near sell-out status." Nearly 1,300 travel agents are registered to attend the June 19-23 conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Cruise3sixty is the largest cruise focused travel agent conference in North America; it attracts participants from nearly all 50 states and Canadian provinces. Internationally, it's expected there will be a contingent of 40 from Australia.
Approximately 46 percent of the agent audience will be Canadian while the total number of delegates at cruise3sixty 2013 is expected to surpass 2,000.
A comprehensive series of educational sessions and seminars will be offered alongside three days of general sessions led by industry leaders and a two-day trade show featuring more than 300 exhibitors and all 26 CLIA North America cruise lines.
Agents also will have the opportunity to tour 10 cruise ships and attend a dedicated CLIA Specialty Cruise Collection Showcase on Thursday, June 20.
CLIA members and non-members can register now at www.cruise3sixty.com. Upon reaching sell-out status, cruise3sixty registrations will be managed by wait-list with slots filled only through any cancellations.
The general session programming at cruise3sixty kicks off Friday, June 21 with a keynote presentation from CLIA president and CEO Christine Duffy.
American Express Travel Executives, Tony Gonchar, vice president, American Express Travel Network, and Mark Cooper, vice president and associate publisher of Departures Magazine, will present “Insights” on trends in cruise, leisure travel and the luxury market.
An interactive discussion will follow featuring Vicki Freed, senior vice president, sales and trade support and service; Royal Caribbean International, Dondra Ritzenthaler, senior vice president, sales and trade support and service, Celebrity Cruises; Andy Stuart, executive vice president, global sales and passenger services, Norwegian Cruise Line, Jan Swartz, executive vice president, sales, marketing and customer service; Princess Cruises/Cunard Line; and Vicki Tomasino, regional vice president, community and trade relations at Carnival Cruise Lines.
Joining these cruise line executives are travel agency leaders, Michelle Fee, CEO, Cruise Planners, Nicole Mazza, chief marketing officer, TravelSavers and Karin Viera, CTC, vice president sales, Vacation.com.
Saturday’s general session will feature a keynote address from speaker and author Nolan Burris, presenting attendees with client and business-building advice titled “From Agent to Advisor to Indispensable.”
Burris will later facilitate a discussion between cruise line leaders and advisors including Randall Soy, executive vice president of marketing and sales for Regent Seven Seas Cruises; Mark Kammerer, senior vice president of marketing and North American sales for Holland America Line; Ken Muskat, senior vice president of sales and marketing, MSC Cruises, and Scott Knutson, vice president, sales and marketing, North America, Costa Cruises.
On June 23, cruise3sixty will feature motivation and education in an entertaining format. Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, will present “Golden Nuggets of Sales and Service” in which she shares 21 customer service and sales techniques to help the attendees achieve excellence.
Also speaking is Kathleen Passanisi, a noted speaker and “therapeutic humorist” will also present on using laughter and life balance to boost employee productivity.
Evening events for cruise3sixty include a June 20 welcome reception at the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park, sponsored by Pacific Rim Cruise Association and American Express.
The annual Hall of Fame Dinner & Awards gala on June 21, will honor cruise industry individuals whose efforts and accomplishments represent a significant contribution to the development and growth of cruise vacations and feature remarkable cruise line entertainment.
Celebrity Cruises, in partnership with 54 Below – Broadway’s Nightclub, will feature a performance by stage and screen star and recording artist, Megan Hilty. Sponsored by Royal Caribbean International, an innovative vocal collaboration, MOSAIC, combines elements of funk, pop, rock, jazz, R&B, and opera to create a musical experience produced entirely by the human voice. The evening closes with a chic GlowH20 nightclub-style after party, sponsored by Norwegian Cruise Line.