Written By: Mary Pat Sullivan, Content Director – Travel Weekly Events
Each year offers a new event cycle, and new opportunities for travel professionals to learn, network, grow their businesses, soak up knowledge about the industry, and make new connections. Travel Weekly has created a series of immersive travel advisor events designed to appeal to your current training, networking or development needs. Travel Weekly makes a significant investment in hosting attendees at each of these events because we believe investing in the future of the industry is part of our responsibility.
Through our series of events, we offer today’s busy travel professionals different kinds of learning and networking. Some of our attendees who start out at CruiseWorld find that as their business grows and prospers, our Global Travel Marketplace (GTM) events become an aspirational goal and then a must for them.
One of our success stories is a travel advisor who started her business just five years ago attending CruiseWorld, and is now a million-dollar travel advisor sitting on the Advisory Board for GTM.
Jill LaBarre of Jill’s Great Escapes, an Oasis/Signature Travel Network member, decided in 2013 to turn her passion for travel into her way of making a living. She started delving into different supplier training programs, looked into some different host agencies, and then heard about CruiseWorld.
CruiseWorld (www.cruiseworldshow.com) is Travel Weekly’s annual educational conference and Exhibitor Showcase which takes place in Fort Lauderdale, FL. More than 800 travel advisors gather at the Broward County Convention Center to hear from top executives in the travel industry, attend training and certification courses, learn from their successful peers, participate in ship inspections, and make new connections with suppliers at the Exhibitor Showcase. This conference is a great fit for everyone from brand new travel advisors to seasoned veterans with decades of experience. LaBarre first attended CruiseWorld in 2013. “I have such an affinity for Travel Weekly’s events,” she said. “CruiseWorld helped me get into the business and brought me the confidence and networking opportunities that helped to make me successful.” She went on to be interviewed by Travel Weekly for her success on social media.
From there LaBarre was accepted into CruiseWorld’s STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program, a hosted, enhanced experience for a select group of up to 250 travel advisors who show true professionalism and commitment to their business. The STAR Program allowed her to meet with other like-minded travel advisors and get a leg up on connecting with the suppliers in the Exhibitor Showcase. It was during her STAR experience that she decided to take the leap and apply for Global Travel Marketplace (www.globaltravelmarketplace.com).
GTM and GTM West are exclusive, invitation-only events put on by Travel Weekly and TravelAge West that bring top-producing North American travel advisors together in an intimate setting with some of the best suppliers in the industry. Travel advisors are meticulously vetted by event management, and only about 200 are selected each year from a pool of over 800 applicants. GTM West travel advisors are required to have a minimum $800,000 annual individual sales, and GTM attendees must be producing over $1,000,000. Thanks to her determination and work ethic, and with a little help from the connections she made and information she learned at CruiseWorld, LaBarre was accepted to GTM! “I love coming to GTM because I am always surrounded by like-minded professionals and I know the time away from the office is well-spent. I am constantly sharing about GTM with my colleagues.” This year, she will attend GTM as a veteran, success story, and member of the Advisory Board. Many of our current and former advisory board members have similar stories of growth and commitment to the Travel Weekly event portfolio.
CruiseWorld takes place November 7-9, in Fort Lauderdale, FL, with its Exhibitor Showcase on November 8. Registration will open this spring, so keep an eye out for that announcement on www.cruiseworldshow.com. GTM West will be held at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV from May 15-17 and GTM will be at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale, FL from July 12-14. Applications for both GTM events are now open at gtmflagship.com/apply.