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Tuesday Newsletter – Special Convention Issue

September 27, 2005

Tuesday Newsletter September 27, 2005
Sept. 27, 2005: Volume 25; Issue 32

Today’s Headlines
  • What’s New at Convention in 2005?
  • Learn the Lingo
  • Partnering Session Will Utilize Speed Dating Format
  • Experience Michigan’s Finest on a Fam
  • Bring Your Laptop to Detroit – Cobo is WiFi
  • Tourism Cares for Tomorrow’s Convention Events
  • Attention Members From Hurricane-Affected Areas
  • Pass Along Your Flight Information and Win
  • Need Your DMO Exchange Leads Photocopied?
  • Only the BEST Sponsors, Sponsor at NTA

    This is a special Annual Convention issue of Tuesday that contains a ton of useful information geared to help enhance your experience. Whether this is your first or 51st NTA Convention, these stories should help you get prepared for what’s ahead on Nov. 4-8 in Detroit.

    What’s New at Convention in 2005?

    This year you’ll find numerous exciting additions to NTA’s Annual Convention lineup. Here is a handful of the new treats that are slated for you in Detroit:

    Wine & Cheese Reception – Make plans to attend on Friday evening, Nov. 4, at 5:30 p.m. in Wayne Hall.

    Appointment Scheduling Sessions – Pick up appointments on site prior to the start of each morning Exchange session. Please note that appointments only can be scheduled for that particular day’s Exchange.

    Tour Operator Partnering Session – Operators should try this new networking format during the Tour Operator Partnering Session on Friday. It’s fast. It’s fun. And you need to be there!

    Featured Speaker – Mitch Albom will speak at the Tuesday luncheon and will be signing his best-selling book, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," after the luncheon for those who purchase it on site.

    Guest Passes – For the first time, a limited number of guest passes for spouses and/or family will be available for purchase for evening functions. Visit the registration office in Detroit for more information.

    Wish You Were Here – Stop by the NTA Sales & Publishing booth to meet your account executive and pick up a stamped post card featuring a scenic shot of host city Detroit. Send a quick note to a friend or family member, and NTA will mail it for you.

    Enjoy your time in the Motor City, and be sure to take advantage of the new opportunities that are available to you during the 2005 Convention.

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    Learn the Lingo

    Every group or association has its terminology, and we are no different. Here are a few terms you’ll hear thrown around at Convention:

    Appointment Scheduling Sessions – Delegates can schedule additional appointments on site prior to each Tour & Travel Exchange session. A 30-minute scheduling session will be held Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, and all attendees are invited to participate. Appointments are only to be scheduled for that respective day’s Exchange session.

    Crackerbarrel – This is an educational session, where members come together in an informal, open-mic forum to discuss what’s on their minds. Check your program for dates and times of crackerbarrels.

    DMO Workstations – State, provincial and international DMO members are located in booths around the Tour & Travel Exchange. These workstations will be "open for business" throughout Convention. So, stop by and see what the various destinations have to offer.

    Speed Dating – The Tour Operator Partnering Session has been revamped for Detroit and will feature a new format called Speed Dating. The session will consistent of many three-minute appointments between two different operators, during which each person will have 90 seconds to explain their business and their needs. The operator-only Partnering Session will be held Friday, Nov. 4, at 1:45 p.m.

    Convention 101 Session – This is the Convention tutorial you’ve been waiting for. Several sessions are offered throughout the first three days of Convention. Stop by the Welcome & Information Center in Detroit to find a session that fits into your schedule so you can brush up on Convention basics.

    Show Specials – More than 100 supplier and DMO companies have submitted show specials, which offer operators incentives to book business soon after Convention. The complete list of show specials can be found in the back of each tour operator’s Delegate Registry.

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    Partnering Session Will Utilize Speed Dating Format

    In order to increase the business opportunities available at Convention, tour operators attending Friday’s Partnering Session will participate in three-minute "speed dates" with other operators. All operators will be seated at a long row of tables across from one another. During each "date" both operators can promote different or unique ideas they have for packaging their product.

    Here are six recommendations for maximizing your speed dating experience during the Partnering Session:

    Be on time. This is a fast-paced process and promptness is key, so late arrivals may be unable to participate.

    Be present. It is important that you not leave early, or it alters the flow and would mean others wouldn’t get to meet with you.

    Be prepared. You can make best use of the three minutes by preparing a one-page profile sheet that outlines the specific products/services you are promoting.

    Be concise. Three minutes is not much time, so try to focus on talking about your top four or five products/services.

    Be patient. If an operator seat is vacant next to you, it should always remain vacant and you should not skip any seats or it will throw off the pattern.

    Be courteous. There may be circumstances where you are seated across from a competitor (or co-worker), and you should not feel obligated to make a sales pitch to one another.

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    Experience Michigan’s Finest on a Fam

    In addition to getting ready for all the business you will do in Detroit, don’t forget to sign up for one of the comprehensive Fam offerings that will showcase various parts of the state of Michigan. You can get a sneak peak at some of the exciting things awaiting you, by clicking here to watch a video on the Motor City, courtesy of the Detroit Metro CVB.

    Pre-Fam Tours, Oct. 31-Nov. 3:

  • Motoring Around Motown – Visit southeastern Michigan, including two Ford family estates, the Detroit Institute of Art and The Holocaust Memorial Center. Click here for more.
  • "B" in Michigan – See seven cities in three days as you sample fresh brewed beer and personalize your own teddy bear. Click here for more.

    Post-Fam Tours, Nov. 9-Nov. 12:

  • Michigan’s Best Kept Secrets – Visit the North Pier Lighthouse, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and the Detroit Princess Riverboat. Click here for more.
  • Two Nation Vacation – See the best of both the United States and Canada on this tour showcasing the Detroit Zoo, the Chrysler Museum and the Canadian Club Brand Center. Click here for more.

    Registered tour operators can participate in any of the Fams, while suppliers and DMOs are welcome to participate in the Post-Fam tours. E-mail Nathan Hermiston at the Detroit Metro CVB with questions related to the tours.

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    Bring Your Laptop to Detroit – Cobo is WiFi

    Are you wondering what WiFi means? Never fear – you are probably not alone. For your Convention purposes, WiFi simply means that the Cobo Center, site of the 2005 Convention, is wired and offering complimentary Internet access to NTA delegates. If you have a laptop computer with a wireless card, you can access the Internet from anywhere in the convention center.

    Any tour operator with a laptop can access the Message and E-mail Center, sponsored by Team Canada, without ever leaving your Exchange booth. Simply log on to NTA Online and access the online Appointment Scheduling System. The Message and E-mail Center and the appointment scheduling system link to the same mail system, so you can more easily check your messages.

    Supplier and DMO delegates are welcome to bring their laptop computers to the Research Center for last minute appointment preparation. A printer will be available to print research from you laptop computer.

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    Tourism Cares for Tomorrow’s Convention Events

    Tourism Cares for Tomorrow will have a major presence at this year’s Annual Convention as it carries on the traditions of the National Tourism Foundation. Here are four ways that you can get involved with Tourism Cares at Convention:

    Michigan Rocks for Tomorrow – This popular dance party and fundraiser is moving back to the Hard Rock Café. Sponsored by Circle Michigan with all proceeds going to Tourism Cares, it will take place Saturday night after the Icebreaker. This event will feature the music of the Sun Messengers, the resident band of the Detroit Pistons. More than 500 people have already purchased tickets, and you don’t want to be left out! Purchase your tickets in advance for $40 by, clicking here.

    Silent and Live Auctions – There is still time to donate an auction item. Click here to be included in this NTA Convention favorite. The Silent Auction has more of a cyber feel to it this year. The Live Auction takes place Monday afternoon from 5:15-6 p.m. and again will feature the talents of Shane Ratcliff as he showcases a select group of marquee items.

    Volunteer to Help at Convention – Tour operators and DMOs can sign up to serve as mentors to tour and travel students as well as scholarship recipients on Pro-Am Day (Saturday, Nov. 5). A student will shadow you during your DMO Exchange appointments. Also, any member can help out at the Tourism Cares booth or the above-mentioned events. E-mail to volunteer as a mentor or to volunteer for an event.

    Buy a Wristband – Tourism Cares has established a Gulf Coast Restoration Fund to assist in the reconstruction and restoration of historic and cultural sites affected by the recent events in the Gulf Coast. "Tourism Cares for the Gulf Coast" wristbands are currently available online for $10 (plus shipping and handling), or you can purchase them at the Tourism Cares Booth at Convention. All proceeds will be matched by Tourism Cares and Trip Mate Insurance.

    To get more information on any of these Tourism Cares activities, contact the Tourism Cares for Tomorrow office at 888-821-5990 or via e-mail at

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    Attention Members From Hurricane-Affected Areas

    NTA members from a hurricane-affected area needing assistance with any NTA member benefit, including Convention registration, should contact NTA Member Services by calling 800-682-8886 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4444 or via e-mail at

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    Pass Along Your Flight Information and Win

    NTA members can win prizes simply by providing Annual Convention arrival/departure information to help the Detroit Host Committee prepare for your arrival and enhance your airport shuttle experience. Any Convention attendee responding with that information by Oct. 3 will be entered in a drawing for these two prizes:


  • Free registration for the 2006 NTA Convention in Salt Lake City and a $500 Shopping Spree at the Great Lakes Crossing Mall (including shuttle service to/from downtown Detroit).
  • A $500 Shopping Spree at Fairlane Town Center Mall (including shuttle service to/from downtown Detroit).

    The two prizewinners will be selected from a random drawing of all NTA Convention attendees that respond to the survey by the deadline. To submit your arrival/departure information and get registered for the drawing, click here.

    NOTE: There is no need to respond again if you have previously done so or if your flight information changes. (To check to see if you’re entered in the drawing, click here.)

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    Need Your DMO Exchange Leads Photocopied?

    Again this year, extended hours for on-site copying services will be available following Saturday’s DMO Exchange. Leads can be dropped off with the Cobo Hospitality Group from 5-8 p.m. in the Cobo Center lobby and can be picked up between 7-9 a.m. the next morning at the Cobo Business Center.

    The Cobo Hospitality Group’s regular daily hours for copying services coincide with the times the Convention Mall is open.

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    Only the BEST Sponsors, Sponsor at NTA

    Join the 73 members sponsoring at NTA’s Annual Convention. We’ve added a lot of new sponsorships for 2005, due to the demand, and only a few great opportunities remain.

    How about sponsoring our Super Session with well-known guest speaker Peter Yesawich? Or maybe you’d rather bring your destination’s wine and showcase the vineyards in your area at our inaugural Wine & Cheese Reception? Or, if you’re looking for more exposure, consider sponsorship of the Friday Luncheon which includes some stage/presentation time.

    Click here for more information on sponsoring or click here to see our growing list of sponsors. If you have a new sponsorship idea, we’d love to hear it.

    For more information, contact Karla DiNardo at 800-682-8886, ext. 4232 (U.S. and Canada) or 859-226-4232 or via e-mail at

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