A good question with several answers.  To start with I can sum up the primary reason in one word, my clients.  I am here in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to educate myself and to make new contacts and alliances with travel providers, all for the ultimate benefit of my clients.  Is there a residual personal effect?  Ofcourse there is, that’s half the fun.

This year I have hit the daily double to accomplish my mission.

Every year the Cruise Holidays franchise owners convene for a convention which is usually on a cruise ship.  This year is no exception and our organization will be going on a seven day Eastern Caribbean cruise onboard the Holland America Line ms Eurodam from Ft. Lauderdale.

During my planning to attend the convention I discovered that the three days prior to our departure, one of the industry media companies was hosting a travel conference and exhibition.  Travel Weekly Cruise World 2011 and Home Based Agent Show, at the Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center.

There were three full days of seminars on building my business, digital and social media, engaging clients, promising new products, and lots of opportunities for supplier training.  Each day key industry executives spoke to well over 1000 agents at the Keynote Presentations.  In all, over 100 experts in their field relative to cruising and travel spoke.  

On two of the evenings a trade show with over 200 exhibitors presented their specific products, from the major cruise lines, tour companies, to dozens of anciliary products and services.  This was a great opportunity to make new industry connections.

So why spend the extra time and money to attend this event?  As I mentioned previously, first and foremost, my clients are going to benefit.  It is just not at events like these two, I am continually involved in training to increase my knowledge on all aspects of travel, not just cruising.  This will ensure that I place my clients on the right cruise or vacation package.  The experience has been priceless.

I will now spend a week with my fellow franchise owners learning all about the Cruise Holidays programs, promotions, technology enhancements, and so much more that will be implimented next year.  This means more seminars and training sessions during our week in the Caribbean.  There will also be ample opportunities to hear the success stories and failures from other franchise owners.  Check this blog for daily “live” updates on what I am up to.  Could be; should be interesting.

If ever I had a mission statement it would be something like this.  “I work as your ‘value interpreter.’  Using my expertise, I find amazing experiences that exceed your every desire, but not your budget.  With my services, you can be confident that your vacation will be perfectly planned, hassel-free, and filled with moments you,ll never forget.”

Until tomorrow,
Bon Voyage