Ensemble Announces Schedule for 2015 Conference

Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsgateEnsemble Travel Group has announced the details of its 2015 Ensemble Travel Group International Conference, which is set for October 25-29 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate.

Topics range from selling to the affluent and determining the value of your agency to cruise hosting and time management. In addition, an executive supplier panel will tackle tough industry issues and trends on Tuesday, October 27. Moderated by industry veteran Jeff Drew, panelists include Alex Zozaya, CEO of Apple Leisure Group; Dan Mahar, CEO of Tauck; Bob Somers, vice president global sales of Delta Air Lines; and Vicki Freed, senior vice president sales, of Royal Caribbean International.

Conference keynote speaker Anthony Bourdain, Emmy-winning chef and host of CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, will deliver a talk entitled “Travel Changes You.” During the presentation Bourdain will share his insights into the cultures, food, and current events gained from his worldwide travels. Sponsored by Holland America Line and Princess Cruises, the keynote speech is set for Monday morning, October 26. More details on conference speakers will be announced at a later date. 

Designed around the theme “Beyond Boundaries,” this year’s conference is meant to explore a variety of ways for Ensemble members to look beyond the norm, the usual, and the expected to become more successful, Ensemble said. 

Other highlights of the 2015 Ensemble Travel Group International Conference include:

- Supplier “Happy Hours” are back by popular demand. Each day, members will choose two, 20-minute product and destination sessions to attend. By the end of the four days, attendees will have gained greater insight into eight Ensemble partners.

- Prime-time events such as the Marketplace (Sunday-On Location and hotels), Exchange (Monday-On Location and hotels), and Tradeshows (Tuesday-land/tour, On Location, business, specialty; Wednesday-air, cruise, car, rail, insurance, destination, On Location) will connect attendees with suppliers. 

- Those who arrive early will participate in experiential learning tours on Saturday. Hosted by the Kissimmee CVB, many of these tours present the “unexpected” Orlando with airboats, safaris, kayaking, zip lining, and wildlife tours, in addition to the always-popular shopping outing and golf tournament. These free activities are for members only and available on a first-come, first served basis. Advanced registration is required and many are expected to sell out well in advance, Ensemble said.

- Evening events start off with the opening reception held poolside and featuring the band, Savannah Jack, sponsored by Celebrity Cruises. Other events at the conference: Tuesday’s Circle of Excellence gala and Make-A-Wish auction, the closing party sponsored by Walt Disney Travel Company, and a laid-back, free-to-enjoy-Orlando night on Monday.

- Conference attendees can reach out, connect, and converse with each other before the conference begins with a new opt-in, downloadable attendee email list for all registered members and suppliers. Available on the conference website, the list will be updated regularly and be the go-to source for setting up formal and casual meetings while on-site. In addition, attendees will stay engaged at conference with the Ensemble mobile app, featuring new messaging and lead-retrieval features.

Ensemble Travel Group members can register for conference via the Ensemble Extranet.