ETC's Signature Conference 2018

Fairmont Southampton | Bermuda | February 5 - 8

2018/02/05 23:47:56

ETC's Signature Conference is a Member-Only Event!

Peter Frith, General Manager, The St. George’s Foundation, welcomes ETC to Bermuda

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ETC’s Signature Conference Brochure

ETC’s 32nd Signature Conference steps beyond the familiar to embrace BOLD thought in the face of a shifting competitive edge for affinity travel. Are we to drive innovation or be outpaced by it? Competition is a good thing – as long as affinity travel is ahead of the game!

Set on the interactive travel stage of Bermuda, we have been able to significantly elevate the level of experiential learning in the 2018 Conference. What first seems like an “out there” concept may be the next big thing that drives your success.

As the community-curated agenda shows, there really is no time to “recreate or vacay” (definitely not in February!) Dig deeper into the overall Tracks and Formats and you will see a blend of professional and personal development opportunities – abundantly incorporated, targeted, and timely!

On behalf of the Executive Advisory Council and the entire ETC team,

looking forward to welcoming you to Bermuda!

ETC Founder, J. Mara DelliPriscoli

Photo of J. Mara DelliPriscoli

Why Bermuda in 2018?

ETC’s Executive Advisory Council, having met for their mid-year 2016 meeting in Bermuda, started a conversation about where Bermuda and the educational marketplace align.


  • In “walking the talk” to support our travelers’ destinations, which are hard-pressed to deal with the many challenges that tourism presents, ETC chose our 2018 venue. Bermuda’s challenges include declining reef health and increasingly marginalized cultural and community development due to mega cruise tourism.
  • With four centuries of colonial history, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bermuda is now charged with redefining their sense of place beyond the beaches. This mandate perfectly supports ETC’s mission to deepen educational exchanges and to find ways to spark reflection and innovation.
  • With collaborative support from Bermuda’s cultural, heritage, and academic institutions, ETC is leveraging the location to launch new platforms for experiential learning, build content within and beyond the walls of the hotel, and create hands-on learning labs and intensives.

Why Planners Attend

Whether your institution designs their own programs, buys stock programs, outsources programs and call centers, or operates somewhere between, all travel planners should attend. The Signature Conference has critical professional training for a rapidly-changing industry that also requires a knowledge-set quite different than most other institutional departments.


This is the one time annually that there is a major intersection of all constituents in the supply chain for affinity travel to stop, listen, and learn from many perspectives. Delegates knowledge share, collaborate and cross-pollinate skills, influence business models, and infuse heterogeneous perspectives. ETC’s Signature Conference is the place to source innovative solutions for challenges within the educational travel marketplace. As the community-curated agenda outlines, there is zero time to “recreate or vacay”.

Unity is not the same as heterogeneity! If everybody is moving from the same space, there is nothing to balance out perspectives. What’s most interesting, and essential for growth and innovation, is to hear from those outside your networks. This challenges your worldview so you can address the future impinging and ignite innovation in the complex and rapidly-changing travel landscape.

Who Attends?

Nonprofit and Contract Travel Planners, Tour Operators, Tourism Boards, Hospitality & Airline Experts, Cruise Representatives, Press, Legal, Security, Insurance, & Marketing Experts.

If you are responsible for managing a nonprofit member/alumni travel program, be it heavily resourced or as a small % of your job – THIS is the one-stop learning


venue for you! If you are a tour operator, travel industry supplier, or destination invested in serving the affinity and educational travel market – THIS is a community to learn about and serve well!

Cost Comparison

The cost for membership and 2018 registration (and for the past five years!) has not increased.  The Bermuda hotel rate is lower than rates in 2017.  All this recognizes your need to balance budgets and receive high value from the educational travel community.

10 Reasons to Attend

1. BOLD Talks to inspire innovation, creative action, and experimentation…all on one stage!
2. Three days of relevant educational content in vertically-rich tracks
3. Full-day Travel Planners Only Forum
4. Destination Deep Dive allows you to travel the globe in a day and infuse your future product development
5. Comprehensive Risk Management Professional Training Program – in its third year!
6. ROI that Planners can bring to their programs.


7. Four-star resort accommodations with outrageously discounted and exclusive room rates (while space lasts)
8. Mentor Program where you can make genuine connections not just network
9. Beyond CONNECTS to mix and mingle with colleagues in an informal and ad hoc setting
10. The International Bazaar brings together people from over 42 countries and hosts CONNECTS meetings.

Bermuda Facts

1.  Bermuda is not in the Caribbean. A British Overseas Territory located in the North Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda is approximately 665 miles east of North Carolina, and 768 miles south of Nova Scotia.  This is less than a two hour plane ride from the east coast.

2.  In February, this is definitely not a sun or beach vacation!


…Bermuda’s weather shares North Carolina’s cooler winter weather at 65 degrees F – but without snow, frost or freeze!

3.  There were significant considerations in selecting Bermuda – none of which were driven by promoting or benefiting from the sun, beach, or resort vacation as part of the appeal. Taking what we preach into the field, ETC is maximizing this destination to launch experiential learning modules and many new networking agendas.

Snapshots of Bermuda