(NOTE: Daily schedules, topics, assigned meeting rooms, and speakers are subject to change without notice.)
MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2018
(The day before the conference starts officially)
Pre-Conference Fam: “Luxury Romance Travel Options in Las Vegas” (8.30 am – 3 pm)
Learn firsthand what your upscale couples can experience in the luxury spas, restaurants, and hotels around Las Vegas! This fam will depart the Embassy Suites at 8.30 am sharp, lunch will be included, and it will return to the Embassy Suites around 3 pm. [Sponsors: Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority]
Pre-Conference Fam: “LGBT Romance Travel Options in Las Vegas” (12.30 pm – 6.30 pm)
See for yourself the many services in Las Vegas eager to cater to your lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender clients – from hotels and attractions to excursions and restaurants! This fam will leave the Embassy Suites at 12.30 pm, and it will return to the Embassy Suites around 6.30 pm. [Sponsors: Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority]
Host Agency Owners Summit (3 pm – 7 pm)
In this very interactive, hands-on session, you’ll learn best practices for recruiting, onboarding, and managing independent contractors (ICs) for your romance travel business! It will be led by Geoff Millar and John Hawks. While it’s designed primarily for agents who already have at least one IC, it’s also open to agents who don’t have ICs yet but want to add them in the future.
TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2018
(The first full day of the conference)
Opening General Session (9 am – 11.45 am)
DWHSA Executive Director Lisa Sheldon will welcome you to the conference and lead panels focusing on 2018-2019 romance travel trends and on success tips offered by top-producing DWHSA members. Plus, we’ll have a full update on DWHSA’s current member services and benefits, the 2019 and 2020 annual conferences, and a sneak peek at what else is coming soon!
“Ask Anything” Lunch (12 noon – 1.30 pm)
Ever wanted to sit down with other romance travel agents and ask those questions you might be afraid to say out loud? Now, you can – at this lunch with round-the-table discussions led by experienced DWHSA members who sell romance travel every day just as you do!
“Ask the Experts” Afternoon (2 pm – 5 pm)
In five 25-minute sessions (plus an afternoon break), you can rotate among different tables for discussions with real-life experts in key topic areas that affect your romance travel business. These speakers will lead the roundtables, and you may pick and choose the speakers and topics you want every 25 minutes:
- Cherie Ronning (WeddingNetworkUSA): “Branding Your Business” (3 sessions) and “Creating Your Social Media/Blogging Calendar” (2 sessions)
- Geoff Millar (Ultimate All-Inclusive Travel): “Qualifying and Teaching New Clients” (3 sessions) and “Managing Your Business by the Numbers” (2 sessions)
- Cheryl Bailey (Yellow Umbrella Travel and WeddingIndustryRescue.com): “Facebook ads” (3 sessions) and “Focusing on High-End Brides” (2 sessions)
- Shea Bailey (Yellow Umbrella Travel and WeddingIndustryRescue.com): “The Best Ways to Improve Your Web Site” (3 sessions) and “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Basics” (2 sessions)
- Lisa Sheldon (DWHSA): “Out-of-the-Box Marketing Ideas” (5 sessions)
- John Hawks (DWHSA): “Best Practices for New ICs” (2 sessions), “Best Practices for New Hosts” (2 sessions), and “Legal Issues for Romance Travel Specialists” (1 session)
“Let’s Flamingle” Dinner (7 pm – 9 pm)
Wind down your first day at this fun agents-only evening function. You can even dress up for the occasion in vintage wear if you wish! [Sponsor: Travel Impressions]
WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2018
(The second full day of the conference)
Host Agencies and Consortia Chats (7 am – 7.45 am)
Visit North America’s leading travel agent networks after breakfast and before the first session today! Participants include Ensemble, Groupit Travel, KHM Travel Group/LoveShack Vacations, Nexion, and Travel Leaders.
Mastery Seminars (8 am – 11.30 am)
Take your pick this morning of 11 different breakout sessions, with topics for all types of travel agents and planners (from first-year beginners to longtime romance travel agency owners):
– “The Nuts and Bolts of Group Travel” – Stacey Ray (GroupIt Travel – Cary, N.C.)
– “Planning Romance Travel in Places That Aren’t All Inclusive” – Ann Petronio (Annie’s Escapes – Cranston, R.I.)
– “Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Ask About Service Fees (But Were Afraid to Ask)” – Leah Dugan (Elite Escapes Travel – Evansville, Ind.) and Cheryl Stewart (From This Day Forward Travel – Pickerington, Ohio)
– “Marketing With Videos” – Michele Botnick (Lucky n Love Travel – Roswell, N.M.)
– “Working With Wedding Planners” – Cherie Ronning (Wedding Network USA)
– “New to Romance Travel? Here’s Your 90-Day Jump-Start Plan” – John Hawks (DWHSA)
– “Personalizing Your Consultations” – (The speaker is locked in but finalizing travel arrangements.)
– “Pinterest: How to Create Pins and Promote Your Boards (Part 1)” – Lisa Sheldon (DWHSA)
– “Storytelling: The New Way to Engage Your Clients and Attract More Prospects” – Caroline Belgrave (Nexion)
– “Communicating With Clients and Managing Their Expectations” – Teri Hurley (Endless Love Travel – Georgetown, Texas)
– “Pinterest: How to Create Pins and Promote Your Boards (Part 2)” – Lisa Sheldon (DWHSA)
Almost every seminar will be led by DWHSA agents who are top-producing romance travel specialists. They deal in the trenches every day with couples (just as you do), so you can count on their advice! And, don’t worry about picking one topic each round and missing the content from the other seminars, because we plan to record the audio in each seminar room, collect copies of all handouts, and post the recordings and handout files on a special password-protected site after the conference so attendees can always access the seminar content they may have missed.
The Very Special Lunch (12 noon – 1.30 pm)
Enjoy a leisurely lunch with tables hosted by the world’s most agent-friendly tourism offices and suppliers in the romance travel niche! These exhibitor hosts will decorate their tables and bring giveaways to share with you.
Romance Travel Business Appointments (2 pm – 4 pm)
Build stronger connections with DWHSA’s exhibitors in small-group appointments this afternoon! You’ll rotate among suppliers’ suites with five to seven agents in your small group—and, by the end of the conference, you’ll have met with every single exhibitor!
Las Vegas Romance Travel Showcase (4 pm – 6.30 pm)
We’ve invited the top romance travel suppliers in Vegas—from chapels and Strip hotels to wedding planners, excursion operators, and more—to set up tabletop displays to meet with you (with an afternoon refreshment break thrown in!).
The “Love Goes Round” Reception (7 pm – 10 pm)
Relax after a long day of training and appointment sharing at this special off-site event. We won’t give away the details yet, but you’ll enjoy great food and drinks in a very unique place! (Busses will begin departing the host hotel at 7 pm.) [Sponsors: Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority]
THURSDAY, MAY 3, 2018
(The third and final full day of the conference)
Open “Drop In” Exhibitor Time (7 am – 8 am)
Grab time with those suppliers and tourism offices not on your official appointment schedule! You’re free to visit any exhibitor’s space during this hour.
Romance Travel Business Appointments (8 am – 12 noon)
Continue building those exhibitor connections in 10-minute appointments (plus a half-hour break)!
Lunch (12 noon – 1.30 pm)
Refresh yourself with this informal meal break, sitting on your own or at exhibitor-hosted tables.
Mastery Workshops (2 pm – 6 pm)
Choose the afternoon “boot camp” that fits your needs better!
Option 1: “The Anatomy of Destination Weddings”
Led by Lisa Sheldon and her team of instructors, this workshop will give you a comprehensive introduction to the ins and outs of destination wedding (DW) planning and management! You’ll learn the nuts and bolts of DWs – including Lisa’s recommended 12-month DW timeline and the best practices DWHSA members follow to work with DW guests, help couples plan the ceremony (or not), and many more secrets.
Option 2: “DWHSA’s Online Marketing Academy”
In this hands-on interactive workshop, you’ll learn the basics of using four critical online marketing tools to attract more prospects and build deeper relationships with your clients. Bring your laptop and your mobile devices! We’ll focus specifically on Instagram, Facebook Live, marketing emails, and text messages.
Prize Drawings and Goodbyes (6 pm – 6.15 pm)
Test your luck as we wrap up the conference with a long list of randomly drawn prizes and final wishes from DWHSA!
Romance Dine Around (7 pm onward)
Experience a wonderful night on the town courtesy of LVCVA! After you register for the conference, you’ll have the chance to sign up for a complimentary dinner in small groups at some of the leading restaurants in Las Vegas. LVCVA will provide transportation to the participating restaurants (then, you’ll be free to make your own arrangements after dinner). [Sponsors: Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority]
Post-Conference Fam: “Bachelor/Bachelorette Party Planning in Las Vegas” (7 pm – 12 midnight)
Experience firsthand what it’s like to plan lucrative bachelor and bachelorette party trips to Vegas with dinner followed by stops at nightclubs and party spots that are in demand for these types of trips! [Sponsors: Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority]
FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2018
(The day after the conference ends officially)
Post-Conference Fam: “The LV Wedding Connection City Tour” (9 am – 5 pm)
Joni Moss-Graham will personally escort this overview trip through Las Vegas—a great exposure to the city if you’ve never ventured out of your hotel when you’ve done travel agent shows in the past! In the morning, you’ll visit a boutique tux and gown shop and several chapels that offer unique themes for your clients. After the included lunch, you’ll tour a popular spa for brides and couples, visit the world-famous Vegas Sign, stop by a private ranch for your clients who want off-Strip options, and see a mid-Strip rooftop location for ceremonies before returning to our host hotel. [Sponsor: LV Wedding Connection]
Questions about the conference? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615.730.9977!