Avoya Travel is set to kick off Part Two of its annual Avoya Conference, which takes place December 1-4, 2020, with a newly added pre-conference event on Monday, November 30. Understanding the financial difficulties travel agencies are experiencing due to the global pandemic and the importance of being prepared for the resumption of leisure travel in a post-COVID-19 world, Avoya said in a press announcement that it will offer attendance to Part Two of the conference to independent agencies in the Avoya Network free of charge.
After the success of Part One of Avoya’s first-ever virtual conference in October, which saw the launch of a new “lead category” within Avoya’s Live Leads system, advocations for a new split commission model, live panels with senior level executives from suppliers and more, Part Two will highlight the new health and safety practices of Avoya’s supplier partners, updates on products and protocols, and the “new normal” of traveling post-pandemic. Due to the positive feedback on Part One, Avoya added an additional day of content to Part Two in a pre-conference event that will include in-depth workshops, an Independent Agency panel, an encore appearance by Nancy Friedman, the “Telephone Doctor,” and additional content designed to help independent agencies be as ready as possible when travel returns in earnest.
Part Two of the conference will feature presentations from executives including Vicki Freed, SVP of sales, trade support and service at Royal Caribbean International; Dondra Ritzenthaler, SVP of sales, trade support and service at Celebrity Cruises; Nikki Upshaw, SVP, sales at Oceania Cruises; Adolfo Perez, SVP of global sales and trade marketing at Carnival Cruise Line; and more. Much of the executives’ content will focus on the future of the travel industry, how cruise lines are responding to the new CDC guidelines in the “Framework for Conditional Sailing” Order, and the light at the end of the tunnel for a return to travel.
In addition to the supplier presentations, the conference will include networking opportunities, including independent agency “speed-dating” with supplier partners, supplier “office hours” where independent agencies can have personal interactions with Avoya’s partners in one-on-one and small group settings, as well as the ability to schedule individual meetings with suppliers and other agencies. Avoya has added some themed nights to the virtual event, including a Jingle and Mingle Ugly Sweater Party, a Trivia Night and a New Year’s Farewell Party.
Good to know: Beyond Part Two of the annual conference, Avoya recently made the Avoya Mastermind Virtual Success Academy available free of charge. The first-ever Avoya Mastermind Virtual Success Academy took place November 16-20, 2020 and included various optional professional development and educational content, networking opportunities, and intensive workshops aimed at helping agencies in the Avoya Network grow their businesses and continue to increase their expertise and customer service. Normally hosted in-person throughout the year on various cruises and resort properties, the event encouraged attendees to “reimagine” aspects of their business, such as marketing, business systems and technology, among other optional suggested best practices presented by the Avoya Mastermind team and special guests.