As a travel supplier or tourism office representative, you’re pulled in many different directions to participate in travel trade shows and conferences. Why should you put the Romance Travel University on your list in 2018?
You’ll gain access to a huge range of romance travel specialists across North America. DWHSA’s conference draws agents from all corners of the United States and Canada (plus a few other countries) and from many different consortia and host agencies (from Ensemble to Travel Leaders, Nexion to The Travel Agent Next Door, Signature and Virtuoso to LoveShack Vacations and locally owned host agencies). And, they represent all types of agents – from “newbies” just getting started in romance travel to longtime agency owners who are top producers for the leading wholesalers and resort companies.
DWHSA does NOT “host” agents, which makes them better prospects for you. We’re proud to say that we do not host, pay for, sponsor, underwrite, or cover expenses for the agents attending our annual conference! Instead, every single agent whom you’ll meet at the Romance Travel University has paid her or his own way to meet you at our event (including their registration fees, airfare, lodging, transfers, and meals outside the conference schedule). We believe respectfully that this is an extremely critical difference separating this conference from other travel industry events. Our agents will be there to meet you because they’re serious about building their businesses, their sales, and their supplier/destination contacts – not because they’ve been paid to attend the event.
You’ll meet not only agency owners but also their agents and (for the first time in 2018!) the wedding planners with whom they work. For 2018, we’ve added a Monday session just for agency owners – and, throughout the week, we’re offering seminars for newer romance travel sellers to encourage those owners to bring their in-house and outside agents with them. Plus, we’ll allow owners to invite to the conference any wedding planners who work with them as outside agents or who’ve developed a referral relationship! (As far as we know, DWHSA is the first travel group to give you access to both travel agents and wedding planners in the same event.)
We’ve designed the conference schedule to fit your busy calendar and your finite budgets. DWHSA knows you stay very busy and you must make the most of your marketing dollars – so, we’ve set up the schedule to allow exhibitors to arrive Wednesday morning (May 2) and depart late Thursday evening (May 3) if you wish! And, your exhibitor registration includes your lodging at the host hotel – a big help for your budget. (In fact, you may stay with us for up to three included nights [arriving Tues., May 1, and departing Fri., May 4] if you want to immerse yourself in the conference and meet as many agents as possible.
You’ll meet with the agents and planners in small-group appointments in your own hotel room, not at a table on a trade show floor. The challenge with typical trade shows is that you’re sitting at a six-foot white-draped table on an uncomfortable chair – you can’t showcase your company’s personality, and those chairs don’t feel good after a few hours! For 2018, we’ve blocked out two whole floors in the host hotel for exhibitor appointments. You’ll have your own two-room suite – the bedroom in the back for your lodging, plus the living room in the front that you may decorate to represent your company! You may hang posters, show videos on your laptop (linked to the suite’s TV if you know how to do that), offer cookies or souvenirs for the agents, and (best of all) present to the agents who’ll be seated comfortably in your suite for 10-minute small-group appointments. Once you experience the DWHSA approach to trade shows, you may never want to go back to pipe-and-drape trade show floors again.