Travel Professionals International held its 2013 Annual Conference, “Focus”, at the Westin Wall Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, 16-18 June 2013, featuring five keynote speakers including two highly-regarded sales trainers.
Attending the conference were TPI advisors, staff, and industry partners from across North America who were invited to focus on sharing best practices for achieving the true potential of travel advisor businesses through properly planned and executed sales and social media strategies.
Morris Chia, President & CEO, presented the opening keynote where he and Tim Morgan, Vice President, expanded on TPI’s renewed focus in three core areas: the recruitment, development, and retention of superb and passionate support staff and advisors, the implementation of sales-centric resources and initiatives to help grow advisors’ businesses, and the roll-out of best-in-class technologies developed in-house and with industry-leading technology partners to improve support staff and advisor productivity.
Dave Holt, a Certified Sales Professional with over 22 years of experience in sales training and development, took attendees through two fast-paced and entertaining keynote sessions that enlightened and engaged the audience on the “Changing Role of a Sales Professional”, highlighting the fact that “sales is a life skill” that all travel advisors should continually hone.
Aligning with an increasingly in-demand topic, Sophie Bujold, popular social media strategist, led the attendees through three keynote sessions on social media best practices related to building relationships as opposed to direct selling through Facebook, Pinterest, and blogging.
As part of ongoing efforts to assist advisors in increasing their high-margin travel product sales, Becky Powell, Virtuoso Senior Vice President of Global Member Sales, delivered a keynote session on the value of a travel advisor and the importance of relationships to the selling process.
“We couldn’t have been more pleased with our speakers,” exclaimed Morgan. “All were on-message with timely and, most importantly, practical step-by-step guidance for our travel advisors on how to maximize their sales efforts.”
In addition to the learning and networking components, each year TPI selects a Canadian charity for the Giving Back portion of its annual conference. Breakfast Club of Canada received donations from hundreds of TPI advisors, staff, and industry partners in support of their programs which provide meals for children. Through donors’ generosity, $5,000 was raised, with TPI matching donations dollar for dollar. A cheque for $10,000 (the equivalent of 10,000 meals) was presented to Breakfast Club of Canada by Chia.
Capping off the conference and celebrating another successful year at TPI, the Gala Awards Night recognized top travel advisors for their contributions in various travel product categories.
“Focus” was generously sponsored by TPI Preferred Partners, including platinum-level sponsors Transat Holidays and RBC Insurance.
Plans are well underway for the 2014 TPI Annual Conference which will celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary.