EVENTS—Community Events throughout the Year
Designed for purveyors of alumni, museum, zoo, conservation and cultural organization and nonprofit educational travel, the ETC Conference has convened a unique niche of the affinity travel industry for over three decades. Annually the ETC Conference hosts 350 delegates absorbed in several days of inspired BOLD talks, critical and timely hot topic sessions, hands on professional development training and skills building, collegial winning strategies roundtables, first-rate social venues, and educationally rich learning lab “experiences” off site.
The Conference is purposely kept small and intimate to ensure high-quality networking and group educational experiences with like-minded individuals and/or like organizations. Nowhere has such a highly-qualified international group of nonprofit travel planners, suppliers, specialty tour operators and destinations been assembled to focus on development, operation and marketing of group educational, experiential and affinity travel worldwide.
You will come away with practical ideas you can immediately implement into your program. Networking is so beneficial.” LeeAnn Quirk, Director of Alumni Programs, The University Of Oklahoma Alumni Association
So many wonderful ideas were given. Other zoo/aquarium colleagues had great advice and contacts. Very helpful. ~ Kelly Fesler, Executive Assistant, Saint Louis Zoo
Great conversations; opportunity to grow. ~ Sara Schumann, Assistant Director, Alumni Relations, Boston University
This conference is critical for me to plan our trip offerings. Great keynote speakers who are new and different. ~ Cheryl Mell, Sr. Vice President Global Field Experiences, John G. Shedd Aquarium
I always appreciate the time I get to spend with other travel planners. I also enjoy reconnecting with ETC friends and seeing familiar faces. The speaker this year – David Henry, VP Marketing, Go Ahead Tours – was great. …I’ve been able to take some ideas back to work with me. ~ Sara Schuman, Boston University
Convened annually for over three decades these “grassroots” meetings offer a relaxed and engaging atmosphere for ETC members to share top of the mind issues, glean timely tips, hear from invited luncheon guest speakers as well as generate themes and ideas for ETC’s Conference. Designed as a fun and stimulating peer to peer networking opportunity where ideas flow freely and greater clarity can be obtained, these collegial venues are lively and provocative.
The Executive Advisory Council (EAC) meets annually in May to plan ETC’s upcoming Conference. Hosted by a different destination each year, these week long retreats bring together a collaborative quorum of 18 leaders from ETC’s constituent groups – travel planners, tour operators, travel suppliers and global destinations – who put competition aside to discuss emerging issues and identify areas of concern and opportunity for the ETC community at large. With reference to ETC’s mission and core values, EAC members collaboratively work toward common goals with an open, no-holds-barred discussion of ideas, interests, and initiatives for consideration and action including, but not limited to, continued enhancement of the Annual Conference program and the community’s member engagement web platform.
Counterpoint to this daily provocative dialogue and professional exchange is the opportunity for the EAC members’ interactive exploration of the host destination. Educational Travel Consortium members are invited to review the substantive and visually poignant Destination Reports produced in follow up to each EAC meeting. These documents contain valuable tips and information on destinations, candid site reviews and photos as contributed by EAC members.
Interested in hosting an EAC meeting in your destination?
One of the things I enjoyed the most while serving on the council were the friendships with other travel colleagues. I got to know Travel Vendors, Destination Company Representatives and other Planners much better. At the end of the day we all have very similar goals and challenges, and this experience gave me a much broader perspective on the Educational Travel Community. ~ Christel Pailet Aragon, Director, UCLA Alumni Travel