Inspiration & Networking Opportunities Make Cruise3Sixty A Must

with Ming Tappin

Cindy D'Aoust & Charles Sylvia of CLIA welcomed attendees at Cruise3Sixty

Panel discussions featuring cruise line executives gave insight into the state of the industry.

Cruise line presentations and seminars were well attended.

Reena Nauth & Jordana Botting of itravel2000 enjoying a ship tour with Ming.

Last week I attended CLIA's Cruise3Sixty conference in Vancouver. The must-attend conference in the cruise industry drew 660 agents from across North America, but also from far flung reaches of Australia, Asia, India and Europe. Cruise line partners were present in full force, with top executives from headquarters as well as regional representatives in attendance.

A full roster of events included educational seminars, keynote addresses, ship inspections and the requisite trade show. But it wasn't just about attending sessions or picking up brochures. It was the opportunity for attendees to connect, network and build relationships not only with cruise line partners, but with each other. I overheard and participated in many conversations where agency owners, front line agents and independent contractors shared ideas, discussed failures and celebrated successes. Newbies gained useful insight from veterans, and old timers like myself refreshed our knowledge to pay it forward to the next generation of cruise professionals.

There were countless moments of revelation throughout the conference. In Royal Caribbean President & COO Adam Goldstein's keynote address, he outlined the pillars of success - the importance of building your brand and conducting your business with integrity and professionalism. Crystal Cruises President & CEO Edie Rodriguez invited each of us to inspire ourselves and our clients to discover luxurious experiences. Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald reminded us to stay in focus, and showed how we can use powerful messages to drive customers to our businesses.  

A shout-out must go to the Vancouver Convention Centre that facilitated the conference. From door greeters to banquet servers, every staff member I encountered was friendly, helpful and attentive. Meals were delicious and menus diverse, service was fast and efficient for such a large group. Every attendee I spoke to was impressed with the service and facilities. I am proud to say that Vancouver has certainly proven itself as one of the world's best conference cities. 

I will be sharing many stories from my Cruise3Sixty experience in upcoming articles. But one thing is for certain, if you didn't attend this year, make a commitment to attend next year in Ft Lauderdale. The knowledge gained, relationships built and the inspirations gleaned are well worth the price of admission, in fact they are priceless.

Vancouver Convention Centre's Banquet Captain Paul Oriente
and his team served up one of the many delicious treats 
during the conference.

(will not be published)