Intensives will take professional development to a new level!  Take a deep dive with ETC’s BOLD presenters, industry leaders and dynamic curriculum coaches as they facilitate a series of two hour hands-on professional development courses designed to teach you actionable skills and deliverables to implement immediately.  Advance signups required as each Intensive is limited to 50 persons.

Get ready for a power learning experience with Intensives featured each day. Attendees will actively participate and engage speakers and colleagues in these Intensive workshops.

Wednesday, February 7th (10:15 AM – 12:15 PM)

  • The RIFF Model: Building an empowering framework of the future with BOLD Presenter Nancy Giordano

Let’s RIFF on the Future! What Relieves, Inspires, Frustrates, and Frightens (RIFF) you about the future? As we consider all the changes the future will bring, we often put folks into camps of (naïve) optimists vs (doomsday) pessimists, but the implications are much more nuanced, aren’t they? The same advance can be seen from different points of view and many things may truly excite us at the same time others create justifiable fear. Join us as we explore the future in four dimensions, map how we’re feeling about what is happening and use this understanding to see what we are each uniquely motivated to learn, do, and/or create as a result.

Objectives:Participants will run through the RIFF model with the intent to deepen our collective and individual understanding of the future and how we feel about it

  • The hope is that participants are more deeply informed, learning how to be biased for positive narratives vs negative ones
  • Discuss a sense of what participants are motivated to do now with this new understanding
  • Explore if this model can help expose new ideas, concepts, relationships, and business opportunities


  • Risk Management – Expecting the Unexpected: Dealing with Potential Problems before they become an emergency or legal issue

What do you do when you get that call in the middle of the night informing you that a participant on one of your trips is in need of a medical evacuation? Who do you call first? Will the costs be covered by your evacuation insurance? In this session, we will spend time reviewing case studies of various medical emergencies and evacuations abroad. We will look at how cases were handled, and who ended up paying and why. Also addressed will be considerations on when and how there might be possible legal exposure.


  • To learn about and how to address potential issues that can arise when dealing with medical issues or emergencies in the field.
  • To understand how medical and evacuation insurance may or may not cover in the event of an evacuation, injury or illness abroad.
  • To know what you can do in advance to prepare and protect your organization and passengers.


Thursday, February 8th (10:00 AM – 12:00 PM)

  • Communicating Effectively: When strangling is not an option with BOLD Presenter Sue Hershkowitz-Coore!

The more “safe and smart” another person feels around you, the more likely they are to engage in a productive conversation with you. As soon as they feel frustrated or threatened in any way, a natural tendency is to shut down and go to silence, sarcasm or stonewalling. Applying six non-intuitive communication concepts enables you to move the conversation forward with a professional, caring, authentic approach. We’ll use your submitted real world examples to apply, practice and master these communication skills in the educational travel industry. This is a deep-dive so please be:

  • Come prepared to engage with your colleagues,
  • Be open to fresh communication approaches
  • Stand ready to laugh while you learn how you can confidently control your emotions and responses to gain loyal and happy travelers, members and donors!
  • DevelopmentFrom Metrics to Mission: Connecting “What I Do” with “Why I Do It”

The Monday morning after the Conference, you’ll sit down at your desk and decide what to work on. Most likely, it will be something time-sensitive: answering weekend voice mails, sending the email newsletter, removing outdated trips from the website, or reviewing proposals for the next sales meeting. But, as often as we ask ourselves at work, “What should I be doing?,” it’s uncommon that mid-level managers and program directors stop to answer, “Why should I be doing it?” This Intensive will help planners find the critical connections that link their programs back to their organization’s long-term, high-level reason for being in the travel business at all. These connections will vary, depending on many factors; we’ll take time to step back and think about the factors that we address most rarely, but that ultimately have the greatest impact: our organization’s vision, mission and strategic plan.


  • Provide structure to deciding when to trade program breadth for program depth (recruiting one more new passenger, versus deepening the relationship with a past traveler)
  • Clarify the role of strategy and planning, and how it connects to daily tactics
  • Further understand how your program’s goals (e.g., direct revenue; philanthropy; education) guide your planning and decision-making

Speakers, session descriptions, and deliverables are updated frequently.  Please check back!