Ensemble Conference Offers Educational Program



The 2011 Ensemble Travel Group International Conference will offer members, suppliers and guests nearly 40 highly targeted learning opportunities over the course of its four-day annual event that kicks off at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on October 19.

Topics range from social media, cruise hosting, and the Gen Y employee to branding, succession planning and attracting the luxury consumer, plus an update on the organization’s private-label products and programs.

Ensemble Travel Group member and supplier feedback weighed heavily in the development of this year’s loaded agenda, according to Barbara Ellenberger, senior director, event planning and transportation/insurance partners, who expects as many as 1,000 participants to attend the 2011 annual meeting.

“We really listened closely to what our audience was looking for,” said Ellenberger. “Across the board we heard ‘continue to make it relevant and unique. Something we can’t get anywhere else.’ This year’s agenda does exactly that – and more.”

Ensemble’s line-up of conference speakers is a collection of well-known industry executives such as Royal Caribbean’s Vicki Freed who’ll be addressing how to discover and articulate agents unique brand on Saturday afternoon, October 22, as well as global authorities like keynote speaker Peter Sheahan on Thursday morning, October 20. Sponsored by Holland America Line and Classic Vacations, Sheahan’s presentation will focus on how to gain a better understanding of the strategies and tactics needed to seize opportunities and create competitive advantages in our industry.

He will also moderate the “Young Minds in Travel” panel on Friday morning, October 21, composed of a group of 30-something-year-old Ensemble members who’ll continue the discussion started at last year’s conference on the savvy new breed of employee and customer.

In addition to Freed’s branding workshop, the Saturday afternoon program features travel attorney Rose Hache who will lead a breakout on succession planning, including the pitfalls, scenarios and strategies in developing a course of action for your agency’s future; and Greg Furman, founder and chairman of the Luxury Marketing Council, who will provide a global perspective on luxury, changing buying habits, trends, and the marketing strategies of some companies to capture more of the luxury consumer’s wallet.

Even before the conference officially begins on Wednesday afternoon with a state-of-the-organization address by Co-Presidents Libbie Rice and Lindsay Pearlman, a series of social media workshops is expected to draw large audiences earlier in the day. Among the topics covered: “Social Media Choices & Applications” and “Social Media Planning,” both with Nolan Burris, president of Visionistics Enterprises; and “How to Build Your Own Facebook Page,” set up lab-style for participants to work on their laptops to create their very own business presence on this popular viral platform.

Attendees can also choose between two, two-day educational tracks. Frontline Selling Skills is an intense, interactive learning experience, taught by Burris, to help agents learn how to "beat the Internet" using service and advice and how to impress clients with consultative selling skills. Ensemble Certified Training for Frontline Agents is a two-day course focused on fully understanding the Ensemble extranet and the organization’s benefits and exclusive programs in order to generate more revenue and build a life-long client following.

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