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Travel Exchange Presentation Stage

  • Friday, Dec. 15

    Livestream Spotlight Session: Lasting Travel Industry Relationships
    2–3 p.m.
    Speaker: Thom Singer, The Conference Catalyst
    Coming live to you from the seminar: In St. Louis you learned how to begin to build an enduring relationship with your potential clients and partners in the travel industry. And in a July webinar, Thom walked you through the steps of maintaining those new relationships between conventions and the next time you’d meet face-to-face. Join Thom in the last of his Travel Industry Relationships workshops to see how you, too, can creating lasting connections that help grow your business and expand your circle. If you missed the earlier sessions, don’t let that keep you from checking out this livestream.

    Want More Social Shares? How to Elevate your Photos
    3:15–3:30 p.m.
    Speaker: Catherine Heeg, Customized Management Solutions
    Gain social traction by understanding what makes a photo irresistible. We’ll uncover color and style secrets to ramp up your social shares.

    NTA Career Center Demonstration
    3:45–4 p.m.
    Speaker: Morgan Maravich, NTA
    The NTA Career Center offers members an easy-to-use and highly targeted resource for online employment connections. Join Morgan for a step-by-step demonstration of the NTA Career Center and how you can begin using it today!

    Updating your NTA Profile
    4:15–4:30 p.m.
    Speaker: Todd Probus, NTA
    Having a strong NTA Online profile is one of the keys to making invaluable business connections. Stop by for a demo at this time, or come to NTA Central for assistance at any time.

  • Saturday, Dec. 16

    Member Solution Talks
    9–9:45 a.m.
    Emcee: Paul Vitale, Vital Communications
    Consider these Member Solutions Talks to be NTA’s version of the popular TED Talks. Stop by for a series of mini presentations from your NTA colleagues as they share their perspective on this year’s topic: experience. Beloved NTA speaker Paul Vitale will emcee this engaging session, so please join him and support your fellow members.

    National Parks Service Update
    10–10:30 a.m.
    Speaker: Donnie Leadbetter, National Parks Service
    Description coming soon.

    Got Video? Now what?
    10:45–11 a.m.
    Speaker: Catherine Heeg, Customized Management Solutions
    Video is hot, and Catherine will move through ways to repurpose your video for other platforms and uses. Learn how to reuse your videos and make the most of your video production time.

    Livestreaming Video Secrets
    11:15–11:30 a.m.
    Speaker: Catherine Heeg, Customized Management Solutions
    Shake up your social presence with these tips for livestreaming video. Whether you go live on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat understanding basic marketing, lighting and sound elements will ensure your fans find value.

    Introducing NTA’s China Preferred Partner Program
    11:45 a.m.–12 p.m.
    Speaker: Lin Wang, NTA
    Through market information, education, tools and resources, NTA’s China Preferred Partner Program will prepare members for the rapidly-growing China market. Come learn how to become one of the “China-ready” certified partners ready to best serve the Chinese travel trade and travelers, as well as the 200 tour companies registered through the NTA China Inbound Program.

    Travel Exchange 101 (Repeat)
    2–3 p.m.
    Speakers: Clayton Whitehead, CTP, Sports Leisure Vacations
    Frances Manzitto, Visit Clarksville
    This session, designed for both first-timers and veterans, will help you maximize your convention experience at every function: sales appointments, free time and social events. Learn the right questions to ask in appointments when time is short. Make new connections as you find out how, when and where to buy and sell.

    Livestream Session: Ask the Operator for Suppliers
    3:30–4:30 p.m.
    It wouldn’t be an NTA event without our Ask the Operator sessions! This is a great opportunity for tour suppliers to get answers from a diverse panel of tour operator members with years of experience in the industry. They are ready to share their ideas, expertise and opinions.

    Learn about Faith Travel Association
    4:45–5 p.m.
    Speakers: Rowena Drinkhouse, Reformation Tours
    Kay Saffari, FTA
    Faith-based travel is an important market with 37 percent of NTA operators packaging this type of travel. The Faith Travel Association brings together travel professionals actively working this market (or looking to grow into this market) with networking, business connections and education. Come learn about FTA and this viable market.

  • Sunday, Dec. 17

    Livestream Spotlight Session: Technology in Travel … Today and Tomorrow
    9:30–10:30 a.m.
    Although many factors have influenced the ever-changing travel industry, technology is at the top of that list. From swaying generational preferences and creating an instant-gratification society to disrupting the status quo of nearly every segment of the industry, technology continues to create waves. Join a panel of NTA’s tech-focused associate members for their perspective on how technology has changed travel, how professionals are using tech tools and what they’re missing, as well as what’s on the horizon for technology and integration in the travel experience.

    U.S. Hispanic Market
    10:45–11 a.m.
    Speaker: Kay Saffari, NTA
    The U.S. Hispanic population is the youngest ethnic group, the second fastest growing, and the group with the greatest purchasing power. Each year, Hispanics represent more than $56 billion in travel spending. Come learn what you need to know to attract Hispanic travelers: basics about culture, travel trends and tips for gaining their business.

    Understanding Millennials
    11:15–11:30 a.m.
    Speaker: Julie Payne, Hershey’s Chocolate World
    Millennials represent 73.5 million people and are the youngest generation of independent consumers. Who are they, what are their travel patterns and how do we reach them?

    LGBT Tourism
    2–2:15 p.m.
    Speaker: Julie Payne, Hershey’s Chocolate World
    The LGBT community includes more than 10 million people. Understanding this market and providing a welcoming experience are the keys to success.

    Travel and Risk Assessment
    2:30–2:45 p.m.
    Speaker: Chris Palmieri, Global Rescue (NTA Corporate Partner)
    Understand how to identify, assess, and mitigate the risks associated with your portfolio of tours to ensure travelers have a safe and enjoyable experience. Learn about the resources that are available to help sort through and evaluate the various risks that exist in certain locations and how to distinguish between high and low risks.

    Omni-channel Tourism Marketing on WeChat
    3–3:15 p.m.
    Speaker: Jeff Fish, The Momentum Group
    WeChat: the “Super App” that has become the center of all communication, commerce and customer service in
    China. Learn how you can connect online experiences to offline revenue and customer engagement on WeChat’s evergrowing ecosystem.

    Livestream: Women in Travel: Entrepreneurial Spirit
    3:30–4:30 p.m.
    An entrepreneur embodies passion, creativity and optimism with an attitude of “Let’s make this better,” and, “This is how we do it.” For women in travel, this spirit is strong and vibrant. Whether sharing these entrepreneurial skills with the companies they joined or running their own businesses, our panelists have important stories to tell. Join us and hear why they did it, how they did it and what they learned. All are welcome.

  • Monday, Dec. 18

    Livestream: Navigating ADA Compliance: How to Understand the Laws, Comply and Encourage Travel
    9-10 a.m.
    Enacted in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was created for the purpose of limiting discriminatory practices toward individuals with disabilities. This act and its amendments guarantee equal opportunity for person with disabilities in public accommodations, commercial facilities and transportation. Both public and private entities are affected by the ADA. Join attorney Jeff Ment for an update on the current state of the law, how compliance is determined, dealing with difficult planning issues, and adverse consequences for failing to comply.

    Learn about Faith Travel Association
    10:30–10:45 a.m.
    Speakers: Rowena Drinkhouse, Reformation Tours
    Kay Saffari, FTA
    Faith-based travel is an important market with 37 percent of NTA operators packaging this type of travel. The Faith Travel Association brings together travel professionals actively working this market (or looking to grow into this market) with networking, business connections and education. Come learn about FTA and this viable market.

    Engaging Customers & Communicating Customer Value
    11–11:15 a.m.
    Speaker: Lynn Burkholder, RLB Marketing
    Building strong customer relationships calls for more than offering a good product at an attractive price. To be successful, a business must communicate its value to customers. How can this be done effectively and cost efficiently?

    Importance of Using a Professional Tour Guide
    11:45 a.m.–Noon
    Speakers: Gilbert Noriega, National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations – USA
    Katherine Otten, National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations – USA

    Learn the importance of using professional, trained guides, how to identity the most appropriate guides for your tours, how best to team with guides and the current licensing regulations in major U.S. cities.

    Livestream Spotlight Session: All-member Power Hour
    2–3:15 p.m.
    After a full week of networking, education and entertainment, what can you take away from Travel Exchange that will help you overcome the obstacles and capitalize on the opportunities facing the industry? Join this session to compare notes, discuss ideas and share key insights from your experience in San Antonio.

  • 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