On Site: Vacation.com's 17th International Conference and Trade Show

John Lovell
John Lovell at Vacation.com's 17th International Conference

Travel Agent is currently onboard Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, attending Vacation.com’s 17th International Conference and Trade Show. This year’s message is all about thinking bigger and looking at the “big picture,” in order to grow business, membership, relationships and the brand.

2015’s conference is also big in a very literal way. About 1,250 agents and suppliers are onboard the Quantum of the Seas, which makes it larger than the 2012 annual convention held aboard the Oasis of the Seas.

“It is the largest industry event ever held at sea,” says John Lovell, president of Vacation.com.

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During the eight-day cruise from Bayonne, NJ, to Nassau in The Bahamas, agents will be able to attend more than 100 hours of classes. Class topics range from understanding the travel needs of Millennials, learning about the latest updates from preferred suppliers and hearing about the benefits of working with charities.

And speaking of charities, Vacation.com announced that it has launched its first-ever charitable outreach program, Family Bonds Foundation Fund. Lovell was the driving force behind the new foundation, which aims to help those in need within the Vacation.com membership and members communities. Members will be able to nominate individuals in need of financial support. The 501(c)(3) is currently pending approval and will give out grants twice a year to those who have been affected by natural disasters, sudden hardships, fire and more.

We needed that avenue for when members see somebody in their local community or somebody they work with in need, members can nominate that person for Family Bonds, explains Lovell.

Another main message of this year’s conference affects just the members, and that is completing their “Agent Snapshot.” Agent Snapshots were introduced last year, and coincide with the new Vacation.com website, which went live last week.

The snapshots are agent profiles that highlight an agent’s specialties, bio, contact information and more. More than 800 members have completed their snapshots, but there is a large push to get more agents to complete their snapshots while onboard Quantum.

The conference’s next stop will be in Port Canaveral on Monday the 27th. Stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for more up to date information from this year’s event. 

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