Tuesday Newsletter – Oct. 14, 2008
October 14, 2008
|Interested in advertising in Tuesday? E-mail Kelley Burchell at kelley.burchell@NTAstaff.com.
Special Annual Convention Edition
Volume 28, Issue 41
A Message from the Convention Chair
Color the Convention Green
Plenty to Take in at Sunday’s Business Meeting Luncheon
An Entertaining Week is in Store
What’s New at the 2008 NTA Convention
Add Appointments with Direct Request and On-site Scheduling
Seminars Added on Coping with the Economy
Get Involved with NTA Government Relations
Partners, Partners Everywhere
Wear Green on Saturday, and Other Dress Code Tips
Support Tourism Cares at the NTA Convention
Make a Lasting Impression: Co-Sponsor the Issues Luncheon
Can you believe it? In one month we will all be gathered in Pittsburgh to begin another incredible week at the NTA Annual Convention. Pittsburgh is ready … your NTA staff is ready … the question is, are you ready to make the most out of your Convention experience?
This special Convention edition of Tuesday will help answer most of those last-minute questions and get you excited about everything that awaits you in Pittsburgh. There is so much in this issue, ranging from information on educational seminars and entertainment updates to an overview of what to wear and Tourism Cares programming.
As always, the Convention Web site is another great place to go for updates on anything and everything about the event. Or, your Member Services Team can be reached by calling 800.682.8886, ext. 4444 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444.
I can’t wait to see each and every one of you in Pittsburgh. I have enjoyed being a part of the extensive planning for this event as the Convention chair, and I just know our annual gathering will be a super business and social opportunity for all. So, pack your bags, gather your profile forms and business cards and get ready for the best week of business, family and fun you’ll have this year.
See you soon,
2008 NTA Convention Chair
NTA will launch the first of many green Conventions in Pittsburgh this year. With a core belief in sustainability and protecting our world for travelers today and tomorrow, there is no better way to start than by greening NTA’s largest member event.
Pittsburgh is the perfect host for NTA’s first green Convention as our home for the week, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, is the world’s first and largest green facility. To earn that distinction, the center features everything from recycling and composting programs to natural ventilation and water reclamation. You won’t find a greener facility.
There will be two educational sessions by Sustainable Travel International’s Brian Mullis and Ted Martens on getting started with sustainability and how being green can help you in the marketplace; the latter is sponsored by Marriott International. STI also is the provider of NTA’s new Green Certification initiative, and Mullis and Martens will be on hand to answer your questions about that program and other sustainability issues.
And, thanks go to many of you who shared your ideas on ways to green the Convention. As you’ll see, many of them are being implemented. While it won’t be perfect, the goal is to continue to work with you and the NTA committees to continually green all events. If you want to know what NTA does around its office to green your association, visit the Keep it Green section of NTA Online.
Sunday’s Business Meeting Luncheon is an opportunity to hear from your NTA leaders, get the scoop on what’s been going on in your association this year and what will be happening in 2009. But, if you think it’s all just speeches and PowerPoints, think again.
This year’s Business Meeting Luncheon, sponsored by Travel Oregon and Travel Portland, also will build on NTA’s green Convention and commitment to sustainability with the highly anticipated appearance of Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin.
Corwin is a world-renown conservationist who can be seen on Animal Planet’s "The Jeff Corwin Experience." He also was featured with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on the special "Planet in Peril." During his talk, he will offer insights on his work to preserve our planet and he will stay for a while after the session to meet delegates.
Make sure you’re there, Sunday, Nov. 16, from 12:15 to 2 p.m., to get the low down on what’s going on with NTA and to hear from one of the world’s most popular conservationists, Jeff Corwin.
In addition to hearing Jeff Corwin, you also will have many other good entertainment options throughout the 2008 Convention, including:
- Saturday, Nov. 15 — The Grand Ole Opry Luncheon will feature country star Craig Morgan.
- Saturday, Nov. 15 — Kevin Pollak will perform at the Best Western International Tour Operator Dinner.
- Tuesday, Nov. 18 — The Capitol Steps will offer their bipartisan political banter at the Issues Luncheon, sponsored by the State of Arkansas/Little Rock CVB.
- Wednesday, Nov. 19 — Marvin Hamlisch will take the stage at the Final Night Gala Dinner and Dance, sponsored by VisitPittsburgh and Pennsylvania Office of Tourism.
You also can do some socializing and networking during Sunday’s Icebreaker, sponsored by VisitPittsburgh; Monday’s Theatre Direct/I Love NY Luncheon and the day’s Tourism Cares events; and during Tuesday’s sightseeing tours.
NTA is continually looking for ways to make its Annual Conventions more profitable and valuable for its members. Those of you who were in Kansas City saw two major new initiatives unveiled last year — the Destination Pavilion and Buyer-to-Buyer Exchange. Both of these were very popular and will be back in Pittsburgh.
The biggest new initiative you’ll see this year is NTA’s first green Convention. Your association has made many changes, starting with an initial Convention promotion that was mailed on paper seeded with wildflower seeds. Other components include a staggered transportation schedules, a revamped Research Center with more computers and no brochure library and a Space Share Web site where members can find others they can carpool with to get to Pittsburgh. Click here to see a full list of the many green initiatives NTA will be implementing.
Also new for Pittsburgh is the revamped Appointment Scheduling/Profile Exchange Session. The schedule has been adjusted regarding these sessions — they will now be mid-morning rather than before the Exchange — to allow for more productivity. You can get all of the details on the Convention Web site.
Additionally, another new option that will debut in Pittsburgh is the NTA and Tourism Cares Give Back event. This initiative is sponsored by Luray Caverns, Sports Leisure Vacations and the Utah Office of Tourism.
Whether you are coming to Pittsburgh with prescheduled appointments or not, NTA makes it easier than ever to add to your appointment list, and your overall selling experience, with its unique scheduling system and open Exchange floor.
First, let’s talk about the Direct Request Scheduling System. Once appointment schedules are posted, all supplier and DMO delegates (whether you were prescheduled or not) and participating tour operators can enter the Direct Request system. The system allows you to click on an open time in your schedule and view the suppliers and DMOs (if you’re an operator) or tour operators (if you’re a seller) who share that same open time slot.
If you see someone you’d like to schedule an appointment with, simply click on the name and the system will send a request for an appointment directly to that delegate to either accept or deny. You will receive e-mail notifications at your business e-mail address letting you know you have a Direct Request pending. This quick reminder will prompt you to log on to the appointment scheduling system and is an easy tool to help you manage your requests.
Once you arrive in Pittsburgh, NTA’s open Tour & Travel Exchange floor and three Appointment Scheduling/Profile Exchange Sessions give you the chance to add to your business appointments in person. You can use these options at Convention to add to your contacts and appointments and, ultimately, your bottom line.
More details on Direct Request, the open Exchange floor and the Appointment Scheduling/Profile Exchange Sessions can be found on the Convention Web site.
NTA’s professional development seminars are not only informative and worth a trip to Pittsburgh for all of the great information you’ll take home, this year they’re extremely timely as well. In addition to sessions focused on sustainability, sales and marketing, technology and emerging markets, NTA has added two new sessions that will help members navigate the tumultuous economy.
Dr. Peter Tarlow, president of Tourism and More, will be in Pittsburgh to present two sessions that are very applicable for travel professionals. The first session, "It’s a Global World: What Tourism Needs to Do to Stay in Front of These Economically Challenging Times," will look at what destinations, hotels, restaurants, attractions, and tour operators may need to do to weather today’s economy. This session is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 16, from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m.
Tarlow will return on Tuesday, Nov. 18, to present "Best Practices: When the Economy is Down, It’s Time for You to be Up!" Scheduled from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m., this session will look at past tourism crises and how they have been overcome with case studies from across the world.
You’ll leave these sessions with ideas and tools to help your company face today and arrive safely on the other side of this economic downturn. You can find the complete seminar schedule on the Convention Web site.
It isn’t just the national elections in Canada and the United States that are running at full steam right now, as NTA’s Government Relations team is busy gearing up for a fantastic Convention. There are a number of ways you can get involved and help NTA’s advocacy efforts at the event, such as:
- Take your shot at winning $10,000 by taking part in the Great Government Giveaway. Tickets for the giveaway, which is sponsored by Golden Corral Corp. Nationwide, are $100 a piece or 3 tickets for $200. Just look for the Bulldog, Tom Jaffa, who will be leading the ticket sales.
- Tickets are available for The Capitol Steps at the Issues Luncheon, sponsored by the State of Arkansas/Little Rock CVB. Contact NTA Government Relations Manager Christy Cleveland to purchase your ticket today for $50, or pay $60 on site in Pittsburgh.
- A silent auction has been added this year, which will be headquartered at the Government Relations area in NTA Central. NTA Legislative Counsel Jim Santini has offered a few items from his vast collection of political memorabilia to the cause, including a Proclamation for National Tourism Week from former President Ronald Reagan. Other items to be sold to help the Government Issues Fund include an autographed picture of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.; a flag flown over the United States Capitol in honor of tourism signed by the Tour and Travel Caucus co-chairs, Congressman Jon Porter, R-Nev., and Congressman Sam Farr, D-Calif.; and much more.
Additionally, the Government Relations team will be looking to add members to the Grassroots Action Network. More than ever, NTA needs your help with its advocacy efforts, especially with a new administration taking office in January. Stop by the Government Relations area to get involved with GAN or to get more information on other GR initiatives.
Over the years, NTA has worked hard to reach out to its sister associations, and your leaders have spent much of 2008 strengthening its strategic alliances. Representatives from many of these valued partners and allied agencies will come together in Pittsburgh at this year’s Convention. The following list is based on existing responses, and it is expected to grow as Nov. 15 draws closer.
Partners who will have booths at the event include the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, the National Association of Career Travel Agents, Sister Cities International, Sustainable Travel International, the United Motorcoach Association, U.S. Commercial Service, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/US-VISIT and the World Religious Travel Association.
In addition to that group, representatives of the American Bus Association, Destination Marketing Association International, Go West Summit, International Motorcoach Group, Parks Canada, Receptive Services Association of America, Student and Youth Travel Association, Travel Alliance Partners, Travel Professionals of Color and the United States Tour Operators Association also will be in attendance.
In honor of NTA’s first green Convention, all delegates are asked to wear green on Saturday. Saturday is casual day at the Convention and one way to have a little fun and celebrate NTA’s commitment to sustainability and the first green Convention is by coloring the Convention green for opening day.
As for the rest of the week, all of the evening events except for the Final Night Gala Dinner and Dance, which require formal or semi-formal attire, are casual. The list of casual events includes the NTA and Tourism Cares Give Back event, the Icebreaker, Tourism Rocks and the sightseeing tours.
For the rest of the week, when you’re on the Tour & Travel Exchange floor, in seminars and at the convention center during the day, the dress is business. We do, however, recommend comfortable shoes, since you’ll be doing some walking over the course of the five days.
Get your Tourism Rocks tickets and don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes for Pittsburgh. Tourism Rocks, sponsored by the Nevada Commission on Tourism, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Hard Rock Café is a great way to have fun and dance the night away while supporting the good works of Tourism Cares. The dance party will be held on Monday, Nov. 17, at the Hard Rock Café, and you can contact the NTA Member Services Team at 800.682.8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4444 to purchase your tickets.
Another way to show your support for Tourism Cares is by participating in the Live Auction, also on Monday, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the Convention Mall floor. Please click here to see a current list of items that will be up for bids.
Tourism Cares’ "Experience the Industry" student program is focused on providing the organization’s scholarship recipients with a unique opportunity to learn more about the travel industry while networking with industry professionals. Tourism Cares still needs DMOs, tour operators and tour suppliers who are willing to mentor a scholarship recipient for one day. Please contact Kelly Clover to volunteer.
Also, Tourism Cares is organizing the NTA and Tourism Cares Give Back event to support literacy around Pittsburgh. Members can take part in many ways leading up to and during Convention to help with the project, which is sponsored by Luray Caverns, Sports Leisure Vacations and Utah Office of Tourism.
You can co-sponsor the popular Issues Luncheon and gain great visibility for your company or organization at Annual Convention. This popular event, which will feature the entertaining political satire of The Capitol Steps, takes place Tuesday, Nov. 18.
Not only will you have the chance to address the luncheon audience and receive stage time to showcase your destination or product, but you’ll also receive booth space among all of the business on the Convention floor.
To take advantage of this great opportunity, contact NTA Vice President of Sales and Sponsorship Karla DiNardo at 800.682.8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859.226.4232. Also, don’t forget to check out the 2008 Sponsorship Guide for additional sponsorship options and information.
|Don’t forget to register for the 2008 NTA Annual Convetion, to be held Nov. 15-19 in Pittsburgh.