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Contact Education

  • Thursday, April 19

    SPOTLIGHT SESSION: Finding the Funny in Change
    1:30–2:45 p.m.
    General Session (All)
    Speaker: Jan McInnis, The Work Lady

    Whether it’s going green or the myriad of new rules that govern the industry, we are constantly reacting to a new playing field. Changes in industry rules and regulations routinely have professionals reassessing and re-evaluating their practices. All of this change causes fear, tension and miscommunications! Using humor, Jan will show you how to diffuse tension instantly, kick off tough conversations, and facilitate communications. Additionally, she will share with you the latest research between laughter and health–yes they’re actually studying this stuff!


    In Real Life: Connecting with People in a Gadget Crazed World

    3:15–4:15 p.m.
    Speaker: Thom Singer, The Conference Catalyst

    There is more to creating business relationships than a like, link, share or follow. While the popular social media tools can make it seem like we have countless friends and business associates, it is real human engagement that leads to opportunity. This program is designed as an opening keynote and will bring the audience focus back to the basics on establishing connections that will lead to more success in business, sales, and life. Make your event a human laboratory for connecting.


    AFEX Session

    3:15–4:15 p.m.
    Speaker: TBA

    Description Coming Soon!


    China Market Forum: TBA

    3:15–4:15 p.m.
    Speaker: TBA

    Description Coming Soon!

  • Friday, April 20

    Public Relations in the Digital Age
    8:30–9:30 a.m.
    Speaker: Gina Stouffer, Lou Hammond Group
    Melanie Mathos, Lou Hammond Group

    Description coming soon!


    Ask the Group Leaders

    8:30–9:30 a.m.
    Moderator: TBA
    Panelists: TBA

    In an interesting twist on our “Ask the Operator” sessions at Travel Exchange, NTA is welcoming local group leaders to Contact to share their perspective on travel for their groups. This is your opportunity to learn more about what destinations and activities are on their radar, how best to communicate with and market to them, and how best to serve their needs.


    China Market Forum: TBA

    8:30–9:30 a.m.
    Speakers: TBA

    Description coming soon!


    Legal Session

    10–11 a.m.
    Speaker: Jeff Ment, Silver Golub & Tietell

    Description coming soon!


    Owners Network Top-shelf Discussion

    10–11 a.m.
    Speaker: TBA

    The members of NTA’s Owners Network call their group the association’s best-kept secret. Acting as business consultants for each other during two highly productive meetings per year, members solve problems in a collaborative setting. For the past several years, they have brought their in-depth, owner-insider discussion to NTA’s operator events. Join the conversation of the top trends and issues impacting tour operations. You’ll also have an opportunity to get your topic on the table.


    China Market Forum: TBA

    10–11 a.m.
    Speakers: TBA

    Description coming soon!

  • Saturday, April 21

    Tour Operator Power Hour
    10–11 a.m.
    Tour Operators Only
    Facilitators: NTA Chair, J. Chriss Babb, The Group Tour Company; Paul Larsen, Ed-Ventures

    This open forum is your opportunity to talk business, get opinions, ask questions and share ideas with your fellow NTA tour operators. Your NTA Chairman and Vice Chairman will facilitate the conversation. Have a topic you want to include on the agenda? Send it to Phillip Strunk at phillip.strunk@ntastaff.com.


    Tour Supplier and DMO Power Hour

    10–11 a.m.
    Supplier and Destinations Only
    Facilitators: NTA Supplier and DMO Directors

    Suppliers and destinations, this is your time to pose questions, toss out ideas and seek input from your NTA supplier and destination colleagues. Besides discussing what comes up on site, you can submit your questions or topic in advance. Please send those to Phillip Strunk at phillip.strunk@NTAstaff.com.


    SPOTLIGHT SESSION: All-Member Power Hour

    11:15 a.m.–12 p.m.
    General Session (All)
    Facilitators: TBA

    Description coming soon!


    Historical/Heritage: Boone Hall Plantation
    2:15–5:30 p.m.
    Speaker: TBA

    Boon Hall Plantation is the only site in the South Carolina Lowcountry to offer a live presentation of the area Gullah culture adapted by African slaves. The tour allows guests to see how this Colonial Revival home blends recovered materials and antiques furnishings to recreate a 19th –century rural atmosphere.


    Agritourism: Charleston Tea Plantation

    2:15–5:30 p.m.
    Speaker: TBA

    Hop on the trolley for a tour of the many acres of tea plants and state-of-the-art greenhouse. Attendees will walk through the entire tea-production building and see all the equipment tit takes to make tea. Last but not least is the gift ship to sample the tea flavors and shop for unique tea-related items.


    Faith: Why They Call Charleston the Holy City

    2:15–5:30 p.m.
    Speaker: Jeff Caplinger, All About Charleston Tours

    Jeff will lead the group to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, the oldest church in the city built in 1761, where George Washington once worshipped. Historical Circular Congregation Church and Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the United States and birthplace of American Reform Judaism, also are on the schedule.

  • NTA has provided us the research and atmosphere to brainstorm new ways of doing things and fresh additions to trips, which has led to successful business development. Rachel Ranck, WorldStrides, NTA member since 1985
  • What NTA does is provide the right buyers. They provide the right people who make decisions. This is what makes this organization one I can’t afford to take off my list. John Stachnik CTP, Mayflower Tours, NTA member since 1979
  • I came to NTA to build a business, and that’s exactly what it did for us, as sales came in. For me, it’s the only outlet for new ideas. Matthew Squire, Select Travel Service (UK), NTA member since 2002
  • NTA membership and our attendance at the convention have provided us with more clients, more business relationships and more ideas. We are proud to belong to NTA. Daniele Panzarin, Target Travel (Italy), NTA member since 2007
  • The No. 1 member benefit of NTA has to be all the great professional and personal connections we’ve made over the past decade. Taunya Wolfe Finn, CTP, Wolfe Adventures & Tours, NTA member since 2005
  • We have not found a more reliable, more profitable or more consistent tourism venue in which to acquire new business than NTA. Diane Hohnstein, Hospitality Management Services, NTA member since 1999
  • I believe attending the NTA conferences allow me to create valuable relationships and work together with U.S. operators in creating great Scotland product. Maggie Anderson, VisitScotland, NTA member since 2003
  • NTA events provide us with beneficial networking with many top tour operators. It’s national and international in scope providing a global perspective. Tim and Elaine Moulder, Brilliant Edventures, NTA member since 2015