Expanded specialist initiatives, emerging trends, marketing tactics, marketing-technology interface, and corporate communications were among key topics discussed at the 2013 Ensemble Travel Group's U.S. Marketing Committee Meeting held March 1-5 at the Shelbourne Dublin, Ensemble reports.
“We look to this group of Ensemble members in the U.S. for input on a number of critical issues relevant to maintaining our organization's competitive position in the marketplace,” said Georganne Shirk, vice president, marketing.
“They serve as Ensemble’s ‘direct connect’ to what’s happening at a retail level. And, because the committee is balanced in terms of geography and business model, we feel we’re able to truly deliver solutions that can benefit the entire membership," Shirk said.
In addition to the business sessions, the committee members benefited from a number of CIE Tours in Dublin and Belfast, including the new Titanic Museum. Events were held at the Shelbourne Dublin, The Westin Dublin, and Fitzpatrick Castle. Major sponsors included CIE Tours International and the Shelbourne, a 5-star property located in the heart of Dublin.
Ensemble Travel Group members participating in the U.S. Marketing Committee Meeting were Tiffany Freitas of Travel of America, Robbie Gold of Travel Center Tours, Peg Haskins of Viking Travel/The Cruise Shop, Jamie Hoff of Montrose Travel, Scott Kertes of Hartford Holidays Travel, Chuck Maida of All Seasons Travel, Karen McCrink of Atlas Travel International, Ryan McGredy of Moraga Travel, Ryan Ranahan of Crown Cruise Vacations, and Kate Urekew of Circles. In addition to Georganne Shirk, Ensemble staff participating in the meeting were Co-President Libbie Rice and Senior Directors Susan Gannon (cruise), Suzanne Hall (land), and Marc Jacobsen (technology).
Prior to the marketing meeting, seven of the members and staff participated in a three-day familiarization tour in Liverpool, sponsored by Visit Liverpool and Paull Tickner & Associates. The trip was a result of the interest in the destination following the 2012 Ensemble “Come Together” conference in Las Vegas, where Liverpool and The Beatles were showcased.
Among the FAM highlights were visits to The Beatles Story, Tate Liverpool, childhood homes of Paul McCartney and John Lennon, Liverpool Football Club Anfield Stadium, Casbah Coffee Club, Cavern Club, and a live recording session at SAE Institute. Evening events included receptions and dinners at A Hard Days Night Hotel, the Anglican Cathedral, and FAM tour host Hope Street Hotel. During the tour, Ensemble members Peg Haskins and Scott Kertes were guests on a BBC radio morning talk show to share their feedback on Liverpool.