FAQs about the Annual Educational Travel Conference

Conference Registration

What is the size of the Conference?

To preserve an intimate networking venue, Conference size is kept to 475-500 delegates annually. A wait list is established for demand exceeding space.

Can I register more than two people from my organization or company?

Travel Planners (TP) For Travel Planners there is no restriction as far as the number of attendees who can attend per organization. Consider taking your entire staff and take advantage of registration discounts for additional registrants from the same organization.

Destinations, Operators and Suppliers (DOS) Maintaining a positive balance of Travel Planner registrations to Tour Operators, Suppliers and Destinations registrations is key to productive networking. For 30 years the Conference Organizer has preserved the integrity of this constituent mix by setting and adhering to caps on Tour Operator, Supplier, and Destination registrations in direct proportion to the numbers of planners registered.

There is a two-person registration limit per tour operator, supplier, and destination company/organization registration. And both individuals must work within the same company/organization.  This registration policy ensures a well-balanced ratio of 1 to 2 travel planners to tour operators, suppliers and destinations and delivers one of the most productive networking platforms in the travel industry.

In recognition of their conference-wide sponsorship and underwriting of conference meals, events, sessions and collateral materials benefitting all delegates, official ETC sponsoring partners are extended the exclusive benefit option of registering additional delegates based on their sponsorship level. Learn more about becoming an official sponsor at ETC. 

Can I share a badge with someone in my company or organization?

To preserve equity in registration fees, Conference policy precludes badge sharing.  Each delegate is provided their own personalized badge for conference access.

I represent a large tour company with many separate subsidiaries. How do I ensure my subsidiaries are represented?

To ensure equity of registration fees for all delegates, and to provide a detailed marketing profile for each subsidiary, the parent company and subsidiaries must register under their own company names. One tabletop display desk and sign is then assigned to each company. Upon request, parent and subsidiary companies may be grouped together in the International Bazaar for branding and convenience purposes. Please request this group placement prior to the conference organizer via email registrar@travelearning.com.

What happens if I lose my Badge or Conference Resource Directory?

Lost badges may be replaced but at a substantial fee so please keep track of your badges on site! In the event a replacement badge is requested, the following applies: Delegates must pay the badge replacement fee, complete and sign a Conference Replacement Badge Request Form, and allow two hours for badge processing/approval.

As the print run is based on the number of delegates actually registered, replacement Conference Resource Directories are not available on site. ETC members can access the e-Conference Resource Directory online post-conference. This e-Directory includes a listing of all late registrants.

Can I get the attendee lists in advance of the conference?

At the direct and explicit request of travel planners, registration lists are not provided prior to the Conference. Significant numbers of unsolicited promotional emails and mass mailed marketing pieces sent to travel planners in advance of the Conference have precluded the option of providing advance registration lists. However, paid delegates with completed organizational profiles can view a list of attendees/organizations with completed profiles via the online CONNECTS meeting scheduler. This online tool is accessible one month prior to the Conference.

Why do I need to fill out an organizational profile by published deadlines?

Organizational profiles and member profiles are very important to complete in that they enhance your visibility and networking edge at the Conference.  Initially it takes a bit of considered time to complete/update  these profiles online for the first time. However in future years only a few quick questions need updating annually.

Conference Protocol

What is the ETC policy regarding invitational and private parties/hospitality suites by delegates and companies, and why is this policy in place?

The hosting by general delegates and/or companies/organizations of private parties, pre-planned invitational dinners, receptions and hospitality suites during the official Conference dates of ETC is strictly precluded as such venues serve to erode the spirit of the ETC community and the annual conference – and directly conflict with official sponsored plenaries and evening venues as published in the Conference agenda.

Official ETC sponsors only are extended the exclusive option of convening – at specified times where published officially in the agenda – breakfast roundtables, cocktail parties, and dinners.

The Conference Organizer reserves the right to cancel current and decline future registration of all companies and delegates operating in violation of this protocol. No refunds will be made for violators wherein the protocol is strictly in place.

 

Why do I need to wear my Conference badge?

For your protection, privacy, and general Conference security purposes, badges are required to be visible at all times to enter Conference sessions, events and the International Bazaar.

Conference management reserves the right to ask you to show your badge when you are in the International Bazaar or upon entry to sessions and evening events. Any individual not officially registered for ETC is “crashing” the Conference at the direct expense of registered delegates whose paid registration fees make this Conference possible.

Registered delegates are asked to refrain from doing business on site with any individual not displaying an official Conference badge. This includes “badgeless” representatives who have not personally registered but may have their company/organization represented at the Conference.

Do I need to attend a ticketed event after signing up for it on the registration form?

Help ETC be a responsible meeting! The Conference Organizer confirms meals and seats solely based on the number of tickets requested by delegates on their registration form.  Once food guarantees are given to the venue/hotel in advance of the conference, cancellations are not an option.

Hosted by ETC sponsors at great expense, the ticketed evening meal venues typically cost sponsors $95+ per person.  Delegates who therefore sign up for a ticket but elect to “no show” at the event necessitate significant loss of revenue for the event as well as unnecessary over ordering of food. Precluded by health codes, the hotel cannot distribute leftover food to homeless shelters. Once food is served on event buffet tables it must be discarded.

What is the dress code during the Conference?

Business casual during the entire Conference, and festive attire during the evening events.

Conference Program

When/where is it important to attend scheduled events and sessions?

You don’t want to miss anything! The value added at ETC is the professional education and timely information shared extensively among the community. Sessions at ETC are designed to be both educational as well as opportunities for prime networking for all delegates. The activity in the International Bazaar is repeatedly rated as delivering some of the best networking and connections at the Conference.  The festive evening events are simply a blast!

Numerous networking sessions, finely tuned research materials such as the extensive Conference Resource Directory, and educational seminars provide tools for strategizing how to successfully manage, market, and promote educational travel as well as network effectively at the Conference.

The International Bazaar is closed when educational sessions are being offered. In respect of official Conference speakers who have invested time in preparing presentations, and of Conference sponsoring partners who have made significant financial commitments to bring outstanding speakers to the Conference, all delegates are kindly asked to attend each of the plenary sessions during the officially scheduled educational program.

How do I attend conference-wide events and/or sessions that require tickets?

All conference wide ticketed sessions and evening events require pre-registration online, and are confirmed on afirst come, first served basis. Once the allotment of complimentary tickets is sold out, fee tickets can be secured in advance of the conference.

Some ticketed seminars (such as the Executive Forum) and non-hosted box lunches are not included in the registration fee and may require additional fees where noted on the registration form.

Plan ahead for your participation in any/all of the special evening venues at the Conference. Make sure your space is reserved by signing up for tickets online when registering!

If you have signed up for ticketed sessions, your tickets will be attached to your delegate badge at the Registration desk upon check-in. If you have not requested your tickets prior to the Conference, you will not be able to secure tickets on site.

International Bazaar

When is the International Bazaar open?

The Conference program lists official days/times for the International Bazaar. It is important that all representatives are situated at their desktop displays during the official hours of the International Bazaar, as posted on the Bazaar Agenda. The International Bazaar is closed when educational sessions are being offered. It is recommended that all representatives attend the educational sessions scheduled.

What does my desktop display space include and where is it located?

Your exhibit investment is affordable because we preclude the fanfare and give you the basic tools you need to create an effective presence at ETC. All exhibitors are provided a turnkey display setup:

  • 1 desktop display area with tablecloth
  • 2 chairs
  • Company sign
  • Profile in ETC Conference Resource Directory, if you complete your organizational profile by the stated deadline.

The simple tabletop display space provided, which consists of a tablecloth, drapery, and uniform signage, levels the playing field for all exhibitors—large and small. There is no need to spend huge sums of money shipping large display units in an attempt to compete with others. This minimalist approach allows delegates to invest their funds in what really counts: an opportunity to meet with partners conveniently, display brochures, provide introductions, share information, and facilitate long-term partnerships within the educational travel community. However, if you wish to bring your corporate or colorful tabletop covering (5′ wide, 16″ deep), this might be a nice accent.

Can I share a tabletop display with another company?

The registration protocol for all attending suppliers is one company assigned per tabletop in the International Bazaar. As part of the first person registration fee, each company receives one tabletop display table, chairs and signage along with the opportunity to feature their organizational profile online, key to enhancing marketing exposure and recognition at the ETC meeting, both on site and year round online.

What is Partners’ Boulevard?

Partners’ Boulevard is the most centrally located and heavily trafficked display space in the International Bazaar reserved for official ETC Conference Sponsors displays. The size of exhibit space assigned on Partners’ Boulevard is awarded to Sponsors according to the level of their sponsorship investment. All sponsors have the option of displaying colorful popups and promotional items showcasing their product/destination offerings. Interested in becoming a sponsor? Find sponsorship opportunities or email partner@travelearning.com.

What kind of promotional materials should I bring?

Tabletop displays in the International Bazaar are limited to promotional brochures and portfolios that lie flat on the table. Suggested display materials are any flat items such as brochures, printed handouts, and business cards. Less is better, as visitors to the International Bazaar do not pick up vast amounts of literature. If you take brochures, it is recommended to limit the numbers to 50 of each type, and only those that are targeted, rather than generalized, for this affinity and educational travel market niche. Some seasoned exhibitors at ETC do not take more than 25 types of each brochure, finding it is best to mail information as a follow-up to meetings with colleagues. Other exhibitors do not take any brochures.

Prize drawings and other incentive awards are limited to those organizations that are official ETC sponsors and are coordinating with ETC for the Prizes Galore event  held at the closing of the International Bazaar.

Can I bring pop-up displays and promotional backdrops for my company?

Aside from bringing your own branded or colorful tabletop covering, all pop-up banners, posters, portable kiosks, large booth type displays, and/or audiovisual equipment are prohibited, except for the official Conference sponsor displays located on Partners’ Boulevard. The Conference Organizer reserves the right to have general exhibitors remove all promotional props, easels, backdrop displays, sample foods, and other such materials if displayed, with the exception of those displayed on the Partners’ Boulevard.

How do I ship boxes to the International Bazaar?

etcshippingThe hotel provides receiving services for your boxes. For shipping instructions, prices and deadlines please review the Shipping Policy.        

Help ETC be a responsible meeting—and avoid boxes of brochures being discarded by the hotel following the conference. It is the responsibility of exhibitors to ensure all of their materials are removed in total from the International Bazaar prior to the official closing time. After the official closing time of the International Bazaar materials will be disposed of by the hotel staff. The hotel is not held liable or responsible for any remaining exhibitor materials.

How do I enhance my attendance value and visibility as a Destination in the International Bazaar?

Travel Planners and Tour Operators are seeking specialized destination knowledge versus generalized sightseeing ideas or broad-based brochures. We therefore recommend you register a product development professional as your second conference representative. Preferably, this individual should be from your home office with outstanding knowledge of specialized itineraries, cutting-edge venues, specialized local guides, etc. He or she should know what can be designed specifically in your destination for the educational travel market. Travel Planners are seeking itinerary opportunities rather than sales pitches. And an abundance of good maps is always a great giveaway on site. Many destinations opt to co-partner on official sponsorship venues in order to augment their presence and expand display space in the International Bazaar.

CONNECTS Meetings

Can I request meetings with delegates at ETC?

In advance of ETC, attendees can “request” meetings during the official CONNECTS times posted in the Conference Agenda.  

There are five official CONNECTS meeting blocks.

  • Connects – Sunday, Feb 12th, 5:45pm – 6:45pm (All delegates)
  • Connects – Monday, Feb 13th, 10am – 12pm (DOS only)
  • Connects – Monday, Feb 13th, 3pm – 6pm (All delegates)
  • Connects – Tuesday, Feb 14th 2pm – 4pm (All delegates)
  • Connects – Wednesday, Feb 15th 11pm – 1pm (All delegates)

CONNECTS meeting times do not conflict with educational sessions.

Organizations that do not have a completed profile and fully paid registration are not featured on the list of organizations on the CONNECTS scheduler.

When can I start requesting Connects Meetings online?

The CONNECTS online scheduler opens one month prior to the annual Educational Travel Conference.

To secure access to the scheduler tool delegates must have completed their organizational profile and final payment for the conference.