Here’s a list of the most common questions that agents have asked us about the Romance Travel University. If you think of other questions, please contact John Hawks at 615.979.0186 or firstname.lastname@example.org!
When and where is the next Romance Travel University?
The 2018 event is scheduled for Tuesday-Thursday, May 1-3, at the Embassy Suites Convention Center Las Vegas.
Why do you host these events in Las Vegas – why not choose an all-inclusive resort in a beach destination?
DWHSA’s goal is building the Romance Travel University into the world’s largest romance travel conference! Our model is “Virtuoso Week” – the amazing annual event hosted by Virtuoso that brings together thousands of agents and suppliers in the luxury niche. We may never get that big, but we’re aiming that way! And, along the way, we want to keep the conference focused on education and networking – giving you the knowledge and the contacts to grow your romance travel business year after year.
To do that, we’ve decided to base this event in Las Vegas every year for the foreseeable future. It’s tempting to pick a different beach destination and a different all-inclusive resort year after year – but, that puts the focus on where the conference will happen, not what actually happens at the conference. At the Romance Travel University, there’s no sunny beach or open bar – but, there’s three full days of intensive training and networking to help you make more money in this niche. That’s our focus!
Also, by keeping the conference each year in Las Vegas during the first part of May, it’ll be easier for you to plan ahead earlier to attend. And, with sponsorships from suppliers, we’ve now made the three primary conference days all inclusive to keep your travel costs low – if you stay at the host hotel, your meals for Tuesday-Thursday (May 1-3) will be covered!
What’s the schedule?
What’s included in my agent registration?
Here’s what your registration covers:
- Admission to all functions shown on the full schedule
- Lunch, evening receptions/dinners, and morning and afternoon refreshment breaks for the three main conference days (Tues., May 1 through Thursday, May 3) – breakfasts are also included if you stay at the host hotel
- Access (after the conference) to a password-protected web site with audio recordings and copies of the slides and handouts (Adobe PDF files) from the main seminars on Wednesday morning (so you don’t have to worry about missing out on seminars in any track)
How is lodging handled for agents?
At the host hotel (which just underwent a top-to-bottom renovation!), we have special DWHSA conference rates (single/double) you may use: USD$124/night for king suites (1 king bed) and $144/night for queen suites (2 queen beds). All suites offer two rooms – a bedroom and a spacious living room. These rates are available from Sun., April 29, through Saturday, May 5 (departing Sunday). The rates do not include 12 percent in local hotel taxes. However, the hotel does NOT charge daily resort fees (that can make a HUGE difference as you compare room rates for hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, where daily resort fees can run $35-$45 each night currently).
Your room rate includes a complimentary full cooked-to-order breakfast each day (so, if you stay in the host hotel for the conference, your meals will be basically covered Tuesday through Thursday). We’ve also arranged for free WiFi Internet access in your room!
Go to the Host Hotel/Transfers page on this site for more details.
How will we meet the suppliers and tourism offices at the conference?
At many travel agent shows, meeting the vendors is a crowded dash through noisy hotel ballrooms where you’ll find suppliers arranged in rows with their pop-up exhibits or six-foot-wide draped tables. Or, it’s a complicated schedule of one-on-one appointments that make it very difficult to speak with the key suppliers you really wanted to meet.
At the Romance Travel University, we think we’ve hit the “sweet spot” for supplier-agent contacts: two half-day sessions of scheduled small-group appointments plus extra time to catch your preferred suppliers one on one!
On Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, you’ll have a schedule of 10-minute appointments scattered across floors 2 and 3 in the host hotel. The suppliers will have their own suites set up for these visits. You’ll stop by a supplier’s room for your first 10-minute appointment, and then you’ll move to your next appointment. (If you register early enough, you’ll have the chance to request appointments with specific suppliers.) As you follow this schedule, you’ll meet with more than two dozen key suppliers and tourism offices!
Then, on Thursday, you’ll have an hour in the morning (7 am to 8 am) to drop in for one-on-one discussions with any suppliers who didn’t make it onto your appointments schedule. During Thursday’s lunch, each supplier will host a table with a sign to make it easy for you to find them during this 90-minute break as well.
So, with this mix of scheduled small-group appointments combined with extra time on Thursday to catch exhibitors one on one, we believe you’ll go home with lots of new and renewed supplier contacts for your business!
I’m an agent who’s still pretty new to romance travel (or even the travel industry in general). Why should I attend this conference?
At the Romance Travel University, we love having agents who’re just getting started in this niche! Here’s why this conference will be a great fit for you:
- It’s three packed days of training and networking. You’ll get your money’s worth at this event! From the opening general session with keynoters talking about the latest romance travel trends to the Thursday afternoon workshops, this conference offers more than twice the romance travel seminar hours of any other event in the travel industry.
- You’ll meet lots of agents to build your professional network. From the Let’s Flamingle agents-only reception on Tuesday night to the reception breaks between seminars, we’re offering lots of opportunities for you to meet other agents who’re actively working with brides and couples every day of the year, just like you.
- The seminars will be led primarily by successful agents who actually sell romance travel. We love our agent-friendly suppliers – but, we don’t use them as conference speakers. (We book them for webinars instead.) Except for a few subject specialists (e.g., social media trainers), our seminar presenters are DWHSA members who’ve been carefully screened as speakers. When they share ideas and advice with you at the conference, you know they’ve actually done what they’re teaching you to do.
- You’ll find lots of topics and the conference that are perfect for you – from Wednesday’s seminars tailored for agents new to this niche to Thursday afternoon’s session with Lisa Sheldon on the basics of destination weddings. (And, remember that we’re recording the audio from every seminar we can so that you can check out what you may have missed.)
- The scheduled small-group appointments will make you feel comfortable meeting new suppliers. They’re a great way to expand your supplier contacts!
I’m an experienced agent who’s sold honeymoons and destination weddings for some time now. Why should I attend this conference?
Many DWHSA members are midrange and top producers with the world’s leading resort companies and wholesalers. You’re already building a very stable, profitable business. Here’s why you should attend the Romance Travel University:
- We’ve worked hard to pack the schedule with so much training and networking that it’ll be totally worth your time and budget to attend. We know you get invited to lots of travel industry events! So, we’ve built the schedule with you in mind – giving you lots of seminar options, high-level trainers like Alan Berg, and extra options like the Host Agency Owners Summit on Monday afternoon.
- You’ll meet lots of experienced agency like yourself to keep building your professional network.
- If you have new in-house employees or outside agents, you can bring them with you – the conference can be a very cost-effective way to train them.
- We’ve added seminar topics to the 2018 lineup that are geared specifically to established romance travel specialists like you.
- You’ll have plenty of time Thursday to meet one on one with your preferred suppliers or with exhibitors you don’t know yet (above and beyond the scheduled small-group appointments). And, if you just want to have coffee with a specific exhibitor, you can use the conference’s mobile app to contact suppliers directly and set appointments.
I’m an established host agency owner (or I’m beginning to work with independent contractors). Why should I attend this conference?
Along with the reasons above, we’ve added a special session just for you: the Host Agency Owners Summit on Monday afternoon, April 30! If you have at least one independent contractor already, you may attend this session. (There’s no extra charge.) This moderated meeting will be led by agents who’re successful hosts themselves, and we’ll combine guided discussions with plenty of time for you to ask questions and get advice from the other owners around the room.
What’s the deal with wedding planners attending this conference?
For the first time in 2018, DWHSA is opening the Romance Travel University to wedding planners who’re interested in romance travel. However, wedding planners CANNOT register on their own. Instead, they will be approved to attend if (a) they are signed up as an outside agent already with a recognized host agency or (b) they have been recommended by the DWHSA member with whom they have a referral relationship established. They will pay the standard agent registration rate (USD$269). We’re creating a registration form them now – so, please check back soon for that if you have a wedding planner who’s interested!