|At our recent Cruise Roundtable are, from left, John McMahon with Mitch Schlesinger, Voyages to Antiquity, and Ken Watson, Silversea. In the background is The Travel Group’s Neil Strickland.|
In my experience, some of the best and most productive discussions have usually happened over a good dinner served on a round table. How many times have you sat for a meal and not really been able to interact with other guests because they are seated further down at a square table? When I make dinner reservations for more than four people, I always request a round table, which is more democratic—no one is at the head seat, everyone is considered equal. And that’s the premise behind our industry roundtables.
Over the last year, we have had several cover stories highlighting these roundtable discussions, which bring together top travel advisors and leading suppliers for an exchange of ideas, concerns and forecasts. If you haven’t been involved in a forum of this kind, I suggest you create a roundtable discussion with peers. The exchange of information is amazing, and once the momentum builds and engages the entire group, it is hard to slow down and bring it to a halt.
Our most recent of these events assembled some of the best minds in the cruise industry today. On equal terms, they tackled issues that are affecting travel agents today and discussed how to sell more cruises.
I know you will find the group’s discussions thought-provoking, informative and educational. To experience the entire roundtable session, we recorded a video of the event that you can find at www.travelagentcentral.com/video, search “Cruise.”
Hawaii Travel Exchange
Another opportunity for travel agents to share ideas and business concerns will take place next month when we kick off the inaugural Hawaii Travel Exchange in Honolulu.
The event will bring together 150 hosted, pre-qualified agents, who are actively booking and/or have future business in Hawaii, and local suppliers representing hotels and resorts, spas, destination management companies, destinations and tour companies servicing the area.
During the three-day event, agents and suppliers will be able to take part in exciting networking opportunities, a top-notch educational program and prearranged one-on-one meetings. Topics to be covered during the educational sessions include island-chapter seminars, tour operator seminars and working roundtable discussions.
We’re looking forward to this networking event, as well as the many roundtable discussions planned for 2011—and to bringing you what we learned through them.