Conferences Aboard Cruise Ships Entice Attendees

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Last year's CruiseOne and Cruise Inc.'s annual “Zumba@Sea—Dance For Wishes."
Last year’s CruiseOne and Cruises Inc.’s annual “Zumba@Sea—Dance For Wishes.”

Conferences aboard cruise ships are enticing attendees to join in the education (…and umm, fun).

CruiseOne and Cruises Inc.’s National Conference is taking place Nov. 9-16 aboard the new Regal Princess. “This is the first time we have ever been on a Princess ship for our conference and with the newest ship in the industry we wanted our agents to see and experience the great product first-hand,” says Drew Daly, general manager of network engagement & performance for CruiseOne and Cruises Inc.

This year’s conference is already sold out with over 900 attendees. The conference doesn’t just offer guests a sailing aboard the new ship—one of the largest vessels in Princess Cruises’ fleet—but also motivational speakers and interactive workshops promoting GROWTH—Gain Relationships and Opportunities through WTH, this year’s conference theme.

“One of the main benefits of conducting a conference at sea is that everyone is engaged and connected throughout the duration of the cruise. They cannot leave the hotel or go to another area attraction or ‘hot spot.’ Our conference literally runs for the entire duration of the cruise. There is always somebody having a meeting, coffee, dinner or conducting a business-building workshop. The platform truly provides all of our attendees—agents, vendors and employees—with the ability to have robust conversations and build relationships,” Daly says

During the National Conference there will be about 30 workshops ranging from social media and sales strategies to product updates and technology support. Agents can also receive credit from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) for several of the classes, which count towards accreditation as a Certified Cruise Counselor by CLIA. For more information, visit cruiseonefranchise.com or sellcruises.com.

Cruise Planner's conference features a 2-day sail aboard , Quantum of the Seas.
Cruise Planner’s conference features a 2-day sail aboard , Quantum of the Seas.

Cruise Planners is also hosting a sold-out conference this year. Though not held on a ship for its entirety, this year’s Annual Covention, themed In It to Win It, will be held at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City for five days followed by a 2-day inaugural cruise aboard Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Quantum of the Seas sailing from its homeport in New Jersey on Nov. 16.

“The cruise portion of our convention will be for fun! We expect all of our agents to be mulling every inch of the ship trying to get first-hand knowledge of all there is to do on board, this way they can articulate this back to the many possible cruisers waiting to hear all about the Quantum,” says Michelle Fee, CEO of Cruise Planners.

At the yearly convention, Cruise Planners’ releases new programs and products for 2015, hosts discussions on travel trends, and provides opportunities for travel partners to learn from the executive team at Home Office, as well as meet top execs from cruise to land partners. This year, the convention will focus on luxury cruising, selling land and destinations, marketing tips, peer-to-peer collaboration, and much more. For more information, visit cruiseplanners.com.

Travel Leaders Group Chief Marketing Officer Stephen McGillivray (left) and Vacation.com President John Lovell (right)
Travel Leaders Group chief marketing officer, Stephen McGillivray (left) and Vacation.com president, John Lovell (right).

Vacation.com will offer travel professionals another opportunity to set sail aboard Quantum of the Seas when it hosts the 2015 International Conference & Trade Show April 24-May 2, 2015. The theme for the 17th annual conference is Think Bigger, a spin-off from the company’s conference held on a cruise ship in 2012, which asked attendees to Think Big.

“After the unprecedented success of Vacation.com’s 2012 International Conference & Trade Show aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas—at the time, the largest travel industry event ever held aboard the largest cruise ship in the world—there was no question we would host another annual conference at sea in the near future. For 2015, we are bringing back the allure of an elaborate, unique setting by hosting our conference aboard Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas,” says John Lovell, Vacation.com’s president.

The conference’s itinerary includes stops in Port Canaveral, FL.; Nassau; and CocoCay, Bahamas. The 8-night sailing will provide attendees time to explore the ports of call, enjoy the onboard amenities, and take advantage of Vacation.com conference’s networking and training opportunities. “Our Vacation.com members look forward to the unique opportunities that this type of venue offers. Not only will attendees be able to participate in all of the education and networking opportunities our annual conference is known for, but they will be able to experience first-hand, the ship’s newly designed staterooms, game-changing technology and a variety of first-class entertainment,” says Lovell. For more information, visit conference.joinvacation.com.

Nexion will also be hosting its first-ever annual CoNexion conference at sea in 2015 aboard the Norwegian Getaway sailing Sept. 26-Oct. 3, 2015. Marking Nexion’s 20th anniversary, the theme, NEXtraoridnary Past, Litmitless Future, celebrates all of Nexion’s successes during the past 20 years. “When the announcement was first made at our CoNexion 2014 conference, the response was absolutely tremendous. The momentum among our agents to attend our upcoming conference is monumental, and I encourage Nexion agents not to postpone their registration. Mini-suites are already sold out, and I expect CoNexion 2015 to reach capacity extremely quickly,” says Jackie Friedman, Nexion’s president.

CoNexion 2015 will feature industry speakers, new educational workshops, a trade show, and Nexion’s supplier roundtables and networking events. The 7-night sailing departs from Miami and sails through the Eastern Caribbean with stops in St. Thomas, Tortola, and Nassau. Registration is now open. For more information, visit nexion.com/conexion.

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