Travel Leaders Takes Tiered Approach To Education At Annual Conference
North America’s largest travel agency organization unveiled a new customized approach to education at its 2019 annual conference.
More than 2,100 travel advisors and industry representatives attended this year’s Travel Leaders Network conference, which took place from 7-10JUN at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor, Maryland. The conference goes by the acronym ‘EDGE,’ which stands for Educate, Discover, Gather, Evolve.
The new “Travel Leaders Network – Professional Learning Path” consists of professional growth tiers for every level of travel advisor – from highly experienced agents to those who are newer to the industry, and from corporate and leisure focused advisors to owners and managers.
A pre-conference exercise that included input from each advisor’s agency owner, manager or host agency, ensured that advisors participated in workshops within the most appropriate tiers, so they would get the most benefit.
Tier 1 was designed for newer agents who are mastering the technical and supplier aspects of the job. Some topics within those workshops addressed building a client base, using various social media platforms, using exclusive amenities to close the sale and walking through professional, ethical and preferred etiquette scenarios.
Tier 2 was for established advisors who are enrolled in or have completed at least one specialist program. Sessions included marketing strategies, tactics for closing sales and creating a persuasive digital presence to how to generate sales and start building relationships.
Tier 3 was aimed at experienced advisors driving their business based on specialization and utilizing the newest generation of Agent Profiler, or corporate advisors with 10 or more years of experience. Workshop topics included: “supercharging” a digital profile and using digital platforms to better engage with the traveller throughout the customer journey; learning about Travel Leaders Group’s SELECT Hotels & Resorts program, which features more than 1,000 hotel properties worldwide; and, discussing how to become a “million-dollar plus seller.”
Tier 4 was created for highly experienced trusted travel professionals on the leisure and corporate side. These workshops focused on building a personal brand, using technology more efficiently and effectively for clients, paid advertising opportunities on social media channels and identifying and strategically evaluating client lists to maximize sales.
Corporate-focused sessions were set up in tiers as well, addressing topics on traveller safety, building new contacts from existing customers, reaching the decision makers in every organization and using technology for greater customer service.
Of the 210 workshops offered over the course of the conference, more than 70 within the Professional Learning Path program helped guide advisors through specific tracks based on where they are in their career development. Ongoing educational opportunities within the program will continue throughout the remainder of the year.
“These tiers have been very thoughtfully tailored to foster talent acceleration in a highly effective manner,” said Roger E. Block, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.