Travel Planners International (TPI) reports a record registration of nearly 300 agents and suppliers who will attend the host agency's conference, October 1-6, 2013, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando.
Several major changes and additions to the program are credited for the strong turnout, TPI says. The conference program has been expanded from four to five days, allowing the organization to offer more keynote speakers, multi-level training sessions, as well as extend the time for agents to network with TPI officials, industry executives and other travel counselors.
TPI owners Ken Gagliano and Tony Gagliano, Jr. will kick off the meeting with a keynote speech on October 2 that charts the company’s 25-year history and ends in several major announcements to benefit the organization’s growing network of independent agents.
Other industry executives scheduled to address the conference are Libbie Rice, co-president of Ensemble Travel Group (TPI’s consortium); Stuart Cohen, founder of Exclamation Points Inc.; and Cory Andrichuk, creator of “Branducoaching.” Andrichuk will also serve as emcee for all general sessions.
An expanded trade show will feature 96 TPI preferred suppliers on Thursday, followed by supplier roundtable discussions with 58 suppliers participating on Friday. Saturday and Sunday are devoted to more than 10 ship, hotel, and attraction inspections to strengthen TPI agents’ first-hand product knowledge.
Evening events round out the program, TPI notes, including the opening reception, a night on the town with agents choosing from Mamma Mia with Royal Caribbean International, Blue Man Group with Celebrity Cruises, Cirque du Solei with Norwegian Cruise Line, and Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner sponsored by Funjet Vacations. A farewell party at Planet Hollywood will featuring a Hollywood theme.
“Our strong attendance numbers tell us that we’ve created a conference program that is truly what our agents want and need … a time to get to know our staff better, interact with our preferred partners, expand their travel industry knowledge, and have some fun along the way,” said Michelle Reed, TPI marketing and business development manager.
TPI is a host agency servicing independent contractors and travel agencies since 1988.