Written By: Jennifer Kruse, Associate Director, Trade Recruitment & Engagement – Travel Weekly Events
Following the tremendous success of last year’s CruiseWorld, the STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program will be back once again for 2019’s event. The application to participate is now open and can be found at www.cruiseworldshow.com/star.
The event will be held November 13-15 in Fort Lauderdale, with ship inspection opportunities on November 16 and 17. The program will include general sessions jam-packed with industry leaders and education, supplier training programs and breakout sessions, peer-led workshops, and the signature Exhibitor Showcase featuring suppliers from every facet of the travel industry. A select group of advisors will have the opportunity to attend the event in an enhanced capacity as a ‘STAR’.
The STAR Program is structured to provide intense customized event programming while offsetting some of the financial expenses incurred by travel advisors to attend professional development events.
CruiseWorld STARs receive VIP treatment and are provided with exclusive programming and networking opportunities to maximize their onsite experience.
An exciting and exclusive feature of the STAR Program is the Travel Advisor Roundtable series. In this session, suppliers give a series of 15-minute presentations to travel advisors on their product. Travel advisors then rotate tables. The small group setting facilitates productive discussion and encourages question and answer between suppliers and travel advisors.
Travel advisors will also have the opportunity to make individual face-to-face connections with supplier representatives during the Exhibitor Showcase. In addition to this added networking opportunity, advisors who qualify for the STAR Program, and who are selected to participate, receive complimentary registration and complimentary hotel accommodation for two nights. Specific participation requirements and program criteria are detailed on the CruiseWorld website at www.cruiseworldshow.com/star.
As part of Travel Weekly’s ongoing commitment to supporting the professional development and growth of the travel advisor community, this program will again help fund attendance for up to 250 travel advisor attendees at CruiseWorld. “Last year’s event was the largest on record, and the STAR Program was no exception. We had over 1,300 visits to the application, making it an incredibly competitive group. Nearly six months after the conclusion of CruiseWorld, we are still receiving success stories that arose as a result of the connections and relationships built during the Exhibitor Showcase and other networking events. This is the greatest result Travel Weekly could hope for as staunch supporters of the travel advisor community and the industry as a whole,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events for Northstar Travel Group.
The STAR Program garners glowing reviews from its alumni.
“The CruiseWorld STAR Program has been essential in helping me to find suppliers that I otherwise would not have been able to connect with,” said Harry McKenzie of HM Travel Design. “After attending for the first time, I booked my first-ever cruise. I had previously been a European FIT specialist. Since the event, my cruise business has increased dramatically and I look forward to seeing the ways my business will expand and grow,”
“The STAR Program is a fabulous opportunity to advance your business,” added Jenifer Breaux, Dream Vacations. “It makes you think, allows you to focus on yourself and your business, and find ways to improve your current strategy. It creates an environment that fosters relationships with both suppliers and other agents, in order to grow professionally and bring your business to the next level.”
Traditional registration is available for those who do not wish to apply for the STAR Program. Visit www.cruiseworldshow.com/register to register. Travel Professional Community members can register using code HBTA to receive a $25 discount on the full-conference program rate.
And remember, CruiseWorld isn’t just about cruise. This event brings together all facets of the leisure travel industry. Exhibitor categories include: airlines, attractions, business tools, car rental, cruise, destinations, hotels and resorts, professional services, rail, tour operators and packaged vacations, and more.
For additional information about CruiseWorld, visit www.cruiseworldshow.com.