Tuesday Newsletter – Oct. 13, 2009
October 13, 2009
Volume 29, Issue 41
Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
A Message From Your Convention Chair
Meetings2Go Offers New Mobile Tool in Reno
Make the Most of Your Convention Experience
Getting Around Reno — Update on Convention Transportation
Working the New Convention
WRTA Will Be in Reno: What Does it Mean to You?
Partner2Partner Online Business Community Launches in Reno
Fun Times Beyond the Convention Floor
Convention Webinar Online
Get Ready for MONTAGE; A New Kind of Spring Event
"Now" Topics, Hot Markets and More on Tap for Convention ’09 Seminars
NTA’s Executive Program Provides Firsthand Experience of Convention
Support NTA Advocacy Efforts Through the 50/50 Fundraiser
NTA Members and Tourism Cares Give Back to Reno
It’s finally here — just about a month left before we meet in Reno for our Convention. Working on the Convention this year was certainly exciting and challenging with the enhancements to the format and budget considerations for all members. While we’re in Reno I look forward to all the business and social events planned — and some activities as your Convention Chair that I probably don’t even know about yet! All the events I participate in will surely include more networking opportunities and great conversations with my NTA friends and family both old and new. And I also look to new networking opportunities with the participants of the WRTA Expo.
As we move to the final few weeks before Convention, I want to shout out and thank all our partners in Reno who have worked so hard to make this Convention a success. Safe travels to all as you make your way to Reno and when you see me running around at Convention please take the time to stop me and say “Hi” as I make the most of my 2009 NTA Convention experience!
—2009 Convention Chair Suzanne Slavitter, CTP
NTA has teamed with Meetings2Go to offer a cool new feature for Convention attendees — the ability to access important convention information right in the palm of your hand using GoNTA.mobi.
This will be an incredible tool for delegates to enhance your network opportunities, stay connected and get up-to-the-minute information on what’s happening in Reno.
- Access the Convention Schedule and view what’s going on by the day and by the hour
- Look up contact information of all tour operators, DMOs and suppliers to create additional buying and selling opportunities on the spot
- Opt-in to receive NTA alerts. All Convention ’09 delegates will have the chance to opt-in to receive instant text messages from NTA on Convention events, updates, etc. while in Reno. It’s a great way to stay informed and make sure you don’t miss anything. An email with instructions on how to opt-in will be coming soon
- Purchase an enhanced listing — For only US$195 you can purchase an enhanced listing on NTA’s Meetings2Go portal that will include your cell phone number, photo, a 250-word profile, links to social media pages and more. Go to www.ntamobileconvention.com or contact Andy Uhlig of Meetings2Go for more details
- Suppliers and DMOs can give NTA permission to publish their cell phone numbers on their basic profile. By doing this, tour operators or fellow delegates who are looking for you can easily send a text message. Click here to provide NTA with the information needed to publish your cell phone number.
This great new on-site communications and marketing tool is sure to make business at Convention ’09 even more successful. Contact NTA if you have any questions about this new feature.
Even though there is just a month until Convention ‘09, it’s not too late to become a sponsor to receive premium exposure to NTA’s tour operators. Sponsoring at NTA’s Convention has always been a wise investment — 71 percent of tour operators who attended NTA’s Convention ’08 indicated a sponsor introduced them to potential products/destinations (source: 2008 Convention Evaluation).
This year there are two more great reasons to sponsor:
- NTA tour operators are mobile this year. For the first three days of Convention, tour operators have the ability to shop the floor. Sponsor at the US$5,000 level to place a booth on the NTA show floor for the entire Convention.
- NTA has co-located with the World Religious Travel Association and WRTA buyer delegates (predominantly travel agents) have the ability to visit the NTA show floor at any time. When you sponsor at the US$5,000 level, you receive a booth so the buyers know just where to find you.
Sponsorships are sold on a first-come, first-served basis so call today to reserve yours. Available sponsorships include the Saturday or Tuesday Luncheon, Coffee & Tea Station, Water Bottles, Wine Reception and more.
Additional opportunities at Convention ‘09 include registration bag inserts (NTA will include your insert in every tour operator’s bag) and Pavilion presentations (a 10-minute presentation located in the Destination Pavilion on Monday).
Contact NTA Vice President of Sales and Sponsorship Karla DiNardo today at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4232 to learn more about how you can be sponsorship savvy or click here for additional information.
As always, NTA will provide transportation for Convention ’09 delegates and there are a few changes this year we want you to be aware of as you make your final plans.
The biggest change is airport transportation. Because all host hotels are just minutes away from the airport, every hotel offers a complimentary airport shuttle service for delegates. Here are the details:
- Silver Legacy — Daily airport shuttle service runs at the bottom of the hour from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Upon arrival, proceed to baggage claim and follow the signage directing you to the general airport shuttle area to board the Silver Legacy shuttle. Shuttles leave the hotel at the top of the hour from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Circus Circus — Daily airport shuttle service runs every half hour on the quarter hour. The first shuttle leaves the airport at 5:15 a.m. and the last at 12:15 a.m. Shuttles leave the hotel every half hour from 5 a.m. to midnight.
- Atlantis — Daily airport shuttle service runs at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour from 5:15 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. The shuttle leaves the hotel on the hour and half hour from 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
For daily convention center shuttles, delegates staying at the Atlantis will not have a daily shuttle to and from the convention center since that hotel is just across the street. The other two host hotels — Circus Circus and Silver Legacy — will offer a daily shuttle. There will be continuous shuttle service in the mornings and afternoons, with a staggered shuttle schedule during the day in keeping with NTA’s green efforts. During the non-peak times, shuttles will depart the convention center and hotels every 30 minutes. Your Convention schedule will have specific times.
You’ve likely heard a lot about NTA’s modified Convention format. Here are some tips for making sure you get the most from this dynamic new Convention that you’ve helped NTA create.
Tour Supplier and DMO Tips:
- Suppliers, work with your DMO for their two days in the Destination Pavilion. This is critical to ensuring your DMO can properly represent you during their appointments.
- Be on the floor at all times. Now more than ever the Convention is conducive to doing business in and outside of scheduled appointments. For suppliers, your DMO may want to introduce you to a lead during their appointment or shopping time. The collaboration and business opportunities are endless!
- Make sure you’re at the only appointment scheduling session on Monday to fill your schedule with additional appointments.
Tour Operator Tips:
- Take advantage of the Destination Pavilion and open shopping time. There will be representatives from 23 countries on the Convention floor — that’s a lot of product ideas waiting to be had.
- Bring extra people. With the low hotel rates, the buy one, get one free offer and the great ideas waiting for you in Reno, having more planners on the floor means a bigger return with the incredible new products you can build.
- Utilize the Fast Pitch session to meet new and unique suppliers that can add greatly to your arsenal of products.
- Make sure you’re in the Buyer-to-Buyer Exchange. You’ll be able to schedule one-on-one appointments with other tour operators and WRTA buyers.
For more on how to maximize your time in Reno, visit the Convention ‘09 Web site.
In an innovative move for the industry, NTA and the World Religious Travel Association will co-locate their annual conferences this November in Reno. What does this combined event mean for you? It’s simple — more business in one trip.
Convention ’09 is your one-stop shop for buying and selling inbound, outbound and domestic product, and, with WRTA delegates in attendance, you’ll have even more business opportunities. Faith-based tourism and hospitality attracts 300 million travelers annually and is an US$18 billion market segment. With nearly 35 percent of NTA tour operators currently offering faith-based product, this strategic relationship makes smart business sense. All NTA members will have access to WRTA buyers through a number of combined networking events and WRTA buyers can take part in the Buyer-to-Buyer Exchange. Additionally, WRTA buyers also will have free access to the NTA floor during the days of the Destination Pavilion.
NTA operators can access the WRTA Expo floor for no extra charge or pay a small fee to access all aspects of the show, such as meal events and seminars. Suppliers and DMOs can purchase a full registration to the WRTA Expo for US$300 — that’s 50 percent off the regular registration fee!
To learn more about the World Religious Travel Association, click here.
Earlier this year, NTA announced plans to introduce a new, no-cost member benefit that will enable you to do business with other NTA members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This new system, the Partner2PartnerTM portal, will officially launch in Reno, Nevada. Be there to see how this online business community can help you find new partners, send out requests, and advertise specials and incentives.
In Reno, NTA also will kick off a free iPhone giveaway. Use the P2P program to post a partnering opportunity, a classified ad or to send a proposal between Nov. 14 and Dec. 15 and you will be entered to win the Apple iPhone.
Demonstrations of the P2P program will take place throughout the week of Convention at NTA Central. Stop by to see how the system can work for you. Here are a few things the P2P portal offers:
- Tour operators can post tour packages and other potential partnering opportunities for other tour operator members to view and make inquiries.
- Tour operators can send out a request for a proposal or quote to any NTA members.
- All members can post special offers, incentives or last-minute opportunities.
- All members can access a directory of all NTA tour operators with links to their profile information and Web sites.
- All members can track the business and inquiries they receive through the program.
P2P enables members to connect instantly using an easy and hassle-free program to enhance relationships and, ultimately, grow business. Learn how to get started at Convention ‘09.
NTA is proud to work with our Convention host city and sponsors to offer exceptional networking and evening events. This year will be no exception. Here is a quick look at some of the fun in store for Convention ’09 attendees:
- Jim Santini Appreciation Dinner — We will celebrate the Honorable Jim Santini during an appreciation dinner Saturday night at the Reno Ballroom. Current and past members of Congress, noted industry representatives and NTA leaders will be on hand to recognize Santini for his more than 25 years of service as NTA’s legislative counsel. Tickets are US$50 and seating is limited. To purchase tickets, contact Government Relations Administrator Ken Goode at 800.682.8886, ext. 4284 (U.S. and Canada) or +1.859.226.4284.
- Icebreaker at the National Bowling Stadium — Sunday night delegates will visit the “Taj Mahal of Tenpins,” a 363,000-square-foot, 80-lane facility for fun, food, and more. Special Reno events like Hot August Nights, the Great Reno Balloon Race, the National Championship Air Races, the Reno Rodeo and more will be showcased with themed food and beverages.
- Tourism Rocks —Tourism Cares, NTA’s official philanthropic organization, will hold its annual dance party Monday night. Tour operators get free tickets thanks to the event sponsors — the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the Nevada Commission on Tourism and Hard Rock Café International (USA) Inc. Tickets for DMOs and suppliers are available for US$40 in advance and US$50 on site. Additionally, every member will receive their first drink free, courtesy of the sponsors.
- The Legendary King of Blues — Saturday evening, you can see B.B. King at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino. NTA members can receive a US$5 discount off the regular ticket prices, which range from US$65 to US$85. Advance tickets may be purchased by calling 800.687.8733. To receive the discount, you must identify yourself as an NTA member.
- Return to Woodstock — In honor of the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, NTA is planning a flashback to the ‘60s event Tuesday night.
If you are a first-timer or a veteran delegate needing information on the new Convention and you missed the Webinar, no fear — you can access the PowerPoint and audio from two Webinars through the Convention Web site and hear all of the great information that was shared.
Go to the first-timers’ tab to find links to both the Aug. 5 and Oct. 6 Webinars.
We look forward to seeing you in Reno. If you have questions when making final preparations, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Forget what you know about the Spring Meet. NTA will be launching a revamped spring event, MONTAGE, in Seville, Spain, April 14 to 17 that will offer more business for all NTA members. Register while you are in Reno and save US$50 off the registration fee.
For operators, you’ll still have education and relaxed networking with your peers. What’s different is there will be more partners from all corners of the world looking for inbound, outbound and domestic product.
For suppliers and DMOs, your opportunity to network will increase not only with NTA buyers, but also with new buyers as NTA collaborates with partners to invite buyers from Europe, India and other areas to MONTAGE.
Unlike the Spring Meet, DMOs and tour suppliers pay the registration fee to attend rather than having to be a sponsor to gain access to the event. DMOs and suppliers can purchase a booth in the half-day marketplace where buyers can shop destinations and services, and they can increase their exposure through sponsorship. All of these choices at this new event in Seville offer ways to help members find new business.
More information about MONTAGE will be coming your way soon. Click here for pricing on the various registration options.
Social media. Crisis management and H1N1 preparedness. The $18 billion faith-tourism market. Tips for thriving in the current economic environment. Green travel and ROI. Developing a “Diamond Touch” for customer service. These are just a handful of the topics you can explore and discuss during the slate of seminars at Convention ‘09.
NTA’s dynamic lineup of industry, professional and member speakers are prepared to help you walk away with thought-provoking tips and ideas that you can implement right away when you return to the office. As always, NTA will offer perennial favorites such as the Tour Operator Crackerbarrel and the Ask the Operator sessions for DMOs and suppliers. New this year, there is a Best Practices table topics session where you can participate in small group discussions on a variety of subjects including customer care techniques, the impact of technology and creative sales and marketing.
Several of NTA’s strategic partners will be on hand to share news, updates and business tips for working within their segment of the industry including Destination Marketing Association International (session during the Executive Program), International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, Sustainable Travel International, Travel Professionals of Color and the World Religious Travel Association.
Are you a supplier or DMO with a registered delegate at the Convention? Would you love to get your chief executive there so he or she can experience firsthand the great value of attending the NTA Convention? It’s easier than ever to make that happen with NTA’s Executive Program.
Every supplier and DMO that has secured one registration can bring their chief executive at no registration cost. CEOs can attend the entire Convention, including a slate of seminars on Monday developed specifically for this executive audience.
Among the seminar offerings, Michael Gehrisch, president and CEO of Destination Marketing Association International, will review how DMOs are currently planning, marketing and selling in this challenging economy and how suppliers and DMOs can work effectively together. Also, Catherine Heeg, travel and tourism marketing guru with Customized Management Solutions, will help the executives explore the difference between activity and results when managing employees and their own work.
Executives also will receive an overview of NTA’s new Partner2Partner online business program, which will debut in Reno, as well as NTA’s ROI/tracking email system and the association’s Web site.
With hotel rates as reasonable as they are, you can’t lose by having your CEO with you this year at Convention ‘09.
Show your support for NTA Government Relations at the 50/50 Fundraiser and you can win BIG money! Tickets are US$20 each or 3 for US$50. Half of the money raised will support NTA advocacy funds and the other half is added to a prize pot that will be awarded to one lucky winner. The more tickets that are sold, the more money you can win.
Tickets will be available at the Government Relations booth in Reno at Convention ’09. Buy one for yourself or buy them with friends. Proceeds from the 50/50 Fundraiser benefit the Government Issues Fund and TourPAC. Join the fun and support a good cause
NTA and Tourism Cares are offering you a way to give back this year’s Convention host city (and more!). Tourism Cares will be placing a Wishing Well donation area in the Convention Mall to collect pocket change throughout the week. The money collected will be put toward a grant for the historic Lear Theater in Reno.
The Lear Theater is on the National Register of Historic Sites and was designed in 1938 by internationally acclaimed architect Paul Revere Williams. Reconstruction efforts are underway that will make the Lear Theater, named after aviation inventor, Bill Lear, the catalyst for an arts and cultural district featuring legitimate theater in the downtown Reno area.
Aside from the Wishing Well, there will be other opportunities for you to support Tourism Cares at Convention ’09:
- Purchasing a ticket to Tourism Rocks (Monday, Nov. 16) one of the industry’s best dance and networking parties
- Bidding on an item in the Live Auction (Tuesday, Nov. 17)
- Sharing your industry knowledge as a mentor to a 2009 scholarship recipient
NTA is proud to team with Tourism Cares again this year on a project to aid the generous host city. NTA member organizations can help, too, by matching donations to the Wishing Well each day. For more information, contact Cassie Stetkiewicz of Tourism Cares at +1.781.821.5990, ext. 205. For more information on Tourism Cares in Reno, click here.