Hot Topics

ETC's Annual Conference | Renaissance Montgomery Hotel | Montgomery, Alabama | January 28-31, 2019

One-hour educational sessions will cover a variety of travel industry colleagues’ “top of mind” topics delivered in different session formats including panels and seminars by those with extensive experience.Through best practices, case studies, in depth collegial exchanges, and invited expert contributions these Hot Topic Discussions will speak powerfully to the most pressing concerns and topics those in the affinity travel space face today – and definitely tomorrow!

TUESDAY, January 29th

9:45 – 10:45am
Hot Topics I

   ROI or RIP? Customized Travel Programs

In a divided world where many educational travel programs are being folded under Development and the metrics are all about ROI i.e. real dollars, whereas others are charged with increasing engagement specific commitments, how do alumni travel programs keep their integrity intact and work with operators to provide unique experiences for their organizations? How can close collaboration in custom trip design provide tactical advantage to ensure that nonprofit travel programs remain relevant to their constituent base? What level of customization do travel planners look for from their partner operators? What are the pain points in the planner/operator relationship and how can we fix them? A robust exchange between travel planners and tour operators delivers a better understanding of the inner workings of both sides of the travel partnership and how each can work together to take your annual roster from surviving to thriving.

   Trip Cancellation and Medical/Emergency Evacuation/Assistance Insurance: Distinctions, Exclusions, Legal Challenges and More

Attend this panel presentation to hear from program personnel, evacuation and insurance representatives and legal counsel about travel insurance issues. Learn about recent legal and insurance industry limitations on an organization’s ability to include this insurance in tour packages. Discuss differences between trip cancellation, emergency evacuation and/or medical assistance insurance, and challenges presented by pre-existing conditions. Consider how these insurance providers interact with or differ from third party vendors who provide/arrange for medical and emergency services. In addition, we will discuss legal issues concerning the growing popularity of “cancel for any reason” options.

11am – 12pm
Hot Topics II

   Pivoting Positively On Short Notice: When itineraries change after booking

We have all faced a shifting itinerary either prior to the trip departure – or even enroute! Why do such situations arise? How do you effectively advise booked passengers? What messaging do you employ? Hear situations from colleagues – both travel planners and operators – who have been there and back managing a myriad of situations which involved such issues as identifying replacement destinations, working with in-country agents and managing travelers’ expectations, perceptions, and reactions. Understand how replacement destinations, accommodations and quality control issues are managed. Glean tips and insights from real situations from your colleagues on what worked and what didn’t and how best to manage guest expectations. Learn how to communicate in a way that maintains trust and mitigates any negative push back.

   Quantitative Surveys 101: What to ask, what to mine, and why!

Practical advice on how to conduct your own survey research, including: When to conduct quantitative research; selecting a methodology; deciding whom to survey; maximizing survey response; how to design a good survey and ask the right questions; what to do with the data once you collect it. We’ll also discuss customer satisfaction research and critique a few sample surveys volunteered by attendees.

1:45pm – 2:45pm
Hot Topics III

   Exceptional Emails: Creating an Authentic Connection while Selling

Learn how to intimately engage with your potential travelers through strategic email creation and action-oriented responses. Authentic and caring email will ensure you confirm more bookings, create stronger communities and more easily accelerate the buying journey . This session, based on the psychology of persuasion blended with SpeakerSue’s constant field research will focus on how nuance of the written word will rock your sales and sponsorship results. This workshop will not focus on design, photos, layout or marketing emails. Be ready to participate in this lively learning session!

At the end of this session, you will:

•Move from transactional messaging to activating a positive vision
•Eliminate outdated, trite words that sabotage success.
•Apply an easy-to-use skill to pique interest and create buyer action.

   Deal Making: Avoiding Flight, Fight or Freeze when Negotiating

You know only too well how stressful it is to deal with people, especially during a negotiation. Avoid the default reactions of flight, fight, or freeze by learning effective behaviors you can use to regulate yourself and engage your counterpart. Susan Borke will share practical, proven behaviors you can implement to negotiate effectively.

At the end of this session, you will:

·Engage more effectively with your counterpart in any negotiation
·Approach negotiations with more confidence
·Have practiced the techniques