Making The Connection

ASTA's THETRADESHOW focuses on networking

By: By Janeen Christoff

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Scroll down for a detailed list of seminars offered at THETRADESHOW.



THETRADESHOW (Travel Retailing and Destination Expo) will Sept. 13-15 in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Thetradeshow has again lined up outstanding educational seminars for attendees. In three days, the show will provide a wide selection of educational sessions to help agents enhance their areas of expertise and capture more sales opportunities.

Topics for training include:


Customer Relationship Management — This session covers the best practices of customer relationship management using Web-based software to manage contact information and activities.

Blogging for Business — Attendees will learn from a professional blogger what a blog is, how to create one for their company, the kind of articles to write, how to build and maintain an audience and even how to earn some extra income using a blog.

E-mail Success — This program shows agents how to send effective e-mails that get clients and colleagues to read their messages and reply to requests

Google Docs Deliver — Learn to maximize use of Google's online document, spreadsheet and presentation features.

Mastering Social Networks — Learn the language of social networking from the latest Twitter tactics to the next great tool.

Twitter and Your Travel Business — Participants will learn what Twitter is and how it can help find new customers and sell more travel. Agents will learn about hashtags, search options, desktop clients, mobile clients and how to tie their account to other social media networks, like Facebook, Plaxo and LinkedIn.

Home-based agents

Thrive as a Home-based Agent — Learn fun and innovative marketing skills; pros and cons of taking a business home for brick-and-mortar agencies; 30 second marketing; how to build a sales force of 30 for under $500 per year; what's new regarding supplier acceptance of ID codes; effective CRM tools for home-based agents; business management skills and much more.

Marvelous Marketing — Through an interactive process, participants will discover the vision for their business, their brand and position in the marketplace, their strategies and tactics to reach them.

The Top Ten Decisions and Actions that Home Based and Independent Agents Need for Success

The Ultimate Sales Seminar — Attendees will learn specific tools to help them sell more, and a process and sales style that can be personalized to each individual.

Niche travel

Fundamentals of Business Travel Management — In NBTA's course, attendees learn how components of managed travel intersect with required competencies and skill sets needed in business travel management. Participants will learn to maximize cost containment, improve efficiency and create a managed travel culture in a company.

How To Grow Your Business by Effectively Selling Yourself — In this highly entertaining marketing session, attendees will learn a proven method to grow their business by implementing five easy-to-follow steps.

Sales and Marketing Planning for Young Professionals — In this fast-paced session, participants will learn the planning process designed to clarify the young professional's future career strategy.

Shoppers + Fees = Profitability — As a professional travel advisor, participants will learn how to be comfortable charging fees, especially to shoppers. Attendees will learn to present their skills as an advisor and consultant in the first 10 seconds of a phone call.


Better Listening Skills for Better Business — In this essential seminar attendees will find out what behaviors to avoid in order protect their ability to concentrate and learn dozens of proven, practical strategies to reinforce their ability to recall, pay attention and really listen.

Creating a Cruise Marketing Plan — This seminar will identify the essential components in a successful yet simple marketing plan and how to apply them.

Local Public Relations Techniques: How to Maximize Your Agency's Visibility — In this CLIA seminar, agents will learn how to become a "star" in the cruise selling business by increasing their visibility.

Psychology of Selling — Participants will learn how to uncover hidden client needs, apply quality service, reinforce client loyalty and customize their sales techniques to different types of cruisers.

Who Are You? An Exploration of Your Abilities, Skills and Strengths — In this unique seminar attendees will learn a series of exercises that will assess their professional skills and provide insights on how to excel.


The economy may be in a downturn, but for THETRADESHOW things are looking up. The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) recently announced that registration figures are up 20 percent in comparison with figures from last year’s show, which may indicate that agents are heeding industry advice to reinvest in their core business relationships and reconnect with suppliers.

“I think that one positive outcome of this recession has been that people really realize the importance of networking and education as part of their overall business strategy. StrStarredong business relationships can really make a difference when times are tough,” said Bill Maloney, CEO of ASTA, one of 16 managing partners of THETRADESHOW. “No other industry show provides as much comprehensive education or training to enrich attendees’ careers and sales.”


Registration is up 20 percent for this year’s
show. // © 2009 ASTA

Networking will be a central theme during this year’s show, with special seminars illustrating to agents how they can use networking — especially social networking and the Internet — as a marketing tool.

Kate Koziol, CTC, of K Squared Marketing and Public Relations, will lead a seminar on social networking at the THETRADESHOW with the goal of eliminating agents’ misconceptions on the topic. She plans to discuss aspects such as peer networking, building online presence and how social networking allows agents to reach out to their current contacts.

“Studies have shown that future customers will turn more and more to the recommendations of their peers when they are choosing the companies and people with which they want to work. It is important for agents to be part of that conversation in order to be part of that success,” said Koziol.

Regardless of social networking’s strengths, Koziol also stresses the advantages of face-to-face networking.

“While social media is a great way to connect online, THETRADESHOW is a great way to connect in person, and nothing can ever fully replace that face-to-face experience,” said Koziol. “That live connection is what fuels the travel industry because, while you can look at a picture of a lion crossing the African plains on your computer, being there is the real deal.”

In that regard, this year’s THETRADESHOW is shaping up to be a great opportunity for agents to get some face time with suppliers and industry leaders.

Scott Koepf, president of the National Association of Career Travel Agents, NACTA, one of the partners at THETRADESHOW, believes that this year’s educational offerings will provide ideas for agents to use immediately, and he thinks that relationships built during the show will make a difference in these stressful times.

“In today’s economic and competitive environment, it is relationships that will make all the difference,” said Koepf. “THETRADESHOW is the perfect venue to meet suppliers and network with fellow agents. The education provided will also help agents increase their business through specific concepts and skills provided at [the show].”

Koepf will deliver the Ultimate Sales Seminar at THETRADESHOW, where attendees will learn specific tools to help them sell more and develop an individualized sales style.