Thursday, April 19
SPOTLIGHT SESSION: Finding the Funny in Change
General Session (All)
Speaker: Jan McInnis, The Work Lady
Whether it’s going green, tackling technology or the myriad of new rules that govern the industry, we are constantly reacting to a new playing field. Changes in the industry landscape and 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
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 discussion will focus on the basics of establishing connections that will lead to more success in business, sales, and life.
International Payment Strategies for the Travel Industry
Speaker: Ned Donkle, AFEX
Do you make or receive payments in foreign currencies? If so, this session will give insights and strategies travel professionals should be aware of to cut costs, reduce risk and see better profitability while making international payments.
Ask the Suppliers and Destinations
In an interesting twist on our “Ask the Operator” sessions at Travel Exchange, this session will give tour operators the opportunity to turn the table on suppliers and destinations and ask questions. The mixed panel of suppliers and DMOs will share their perspective and it’s your chance to learn more from your fellow NTA members about how you can better work together.
Friday, April 20
Public Relations in the Digital Age
Speaker: Gina Stouffer, Lou Hammond Group
Melanie Mathos, Lou Hammond Group
Join a team from Lou Hammond Group, an award-winning marketing communications firm headquartered in New York, as they talk about how the internet has changed the travel PR industry. Explore the traditional media landscape and find out if communication tools like press releases are still important. Discuss the importance of working with bloggers and social media influencers and leave with tools for creating content that drives awareness and business.
Cyber Risk Solutions
Speaker: Thomas A. Widman, Identity Fraud, Inc./BIZLock Insurance Services
Cyber risks are running rampant and impacting businesses of all sizes and types. From cyber extortion and ransomware, to business hacking and theft of customer information, cyber insurance is now a ‘must have’ solution to help manage these growing exposures. If sufficient protections are not in place, a cyber event can result in expensive litigation, forensic investigations, breach response notification costs, PCI compliance fines and penalties, and more. Protect your business by taking appropriate measures to prevent losses from happening and by securing insurance coverage with expert resources to help survive incidents that inevitably occur.
China Market Forum: Chinese Outbound Tourism – Market Trends & Impacts
Sponsored by Delta Air Lines, Inc.
Speakers: Karen Tan, The U.S.-Asia Center for Tourism & Hospitality Research at Temple University
As one of China’s top long-haul destinations, North America has benefited from the rapid growth of Chinese tourists in recent years. However, Chinese tourists are transforming gradually, from the waning popularity of mobile payments to their waning preference for group travel when vacationing overseas. Join Karen as she discusses how this, together with the prevailing economic climate and government-related policies, are impacting the Chinese outbound travel market.
Guides: An Overview of Important Legal Issues
Speaker: Jeff Ment, The Ment Law Group, LLC
Does your company currently use tour guides or are you planning to in the future? Join attorney Jeff Ment for a look at important legal issues including: classification (independent contractor or employee), managing a tax audit on classification, liability created by guides’ conduct, wage and hour considerations, and crisis management for guides.
U.S. Travel – Project Time-off
Speaker: Katie Denis, U.S. Travel
Description coming soon!
China Market Forum: Roundtable Discussion
Sponsored by Delta Air Lines, Inc.
In this session you will have the opportunity to discuss a variety of topics as they relate to the inbound China market. Whether you are an operator, supplier or destination, this forum will connect you with the experts who can help you navigate the market challenges and obstacles. Roundtable topics include: changing Chinese traveler preferences, working with FIT and “mini” groups.
Saturday, April 21
Tour Operator Power Hour
Sponsored by Tulalip Resort Casino
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 chair and vice chair will facilitate the conversation. Have a topic you want to include on the agenda? Send it to Phillip Strunk email@example.com.
Tour Supplier and DMO Power Hour
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 a.m.–12 p.m.
General Session (All)
Based on attendee requests, we’re bringing everyone together for a conversation. Join all of your fellow NTA colleagues to expand on the questions, ideas, and conversations from your respective member power-hour sessions and share your key takeaways and experiences in Charleston.
Historical/Heritage: Boone Hall Plantation
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
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 it takes to make tea. Last but not least is the gift shop to sample the tea flavors and shop for unique tea-related items.
Faith: Why They Call Charleston the Holy City
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