Travel insights from VAX VacationAccess

1 Year in Review: BDM Beth’s 2017 Adventures

KHM Crystal Conference and Awards
When: January
Where: Aboard the Carnival Conquest

What a great way to kick off 2017! I was so excited for this event because it gave me the opportunity to be among both the top and emerging of KHM agents all in one place. And to be on a cruise made it even better. I love agent events on cruises because it gives agents and me solid blocks of time to interact and get to know each other because whatever we’re doing, we’re all in the same place. It’s so easy to find time to talk one-on-one.

Dugan’s East AND West Coast National Conferences
When: March and October
Where: Anaheim and Boston

I love Dugan’s events because I have the chance to have more individualized training with agents and I’m able to give them more attention than if we had a big training session. Both destinations are a treat to experience. It was really nice to get out of the cold Wisconsin weather in March for the Dugan’s West event in Anaheim. And Boston in October was beautiful – the city’s scenery and, of course, delicious seafood make every trip a joy.

Home Based Travel Agent Forum
When: March
Where: Las Vegas

For some reason, every time I visit Vegas, it’s so windy that I don’t even feel the heat! When I was there this past March, it was actually pretty cool, and I even got rained on, further proving my point that every time I go to Vegas, it’s not sweltering hot! Anyway, the HBTAF is great because I get to talk to so many home based agents from all areas of the U.S. with diverse work environments and levels of experience. And for this visit, I was fortunate enough to celebrate a close coworker’s birthday by attending the Beatles: LOVE show. It was amazing!

When: April
Where: San Diego

UNIGLOBE events are unmissable. This time, I was able to take a short break and watch seals sunning on the rocks. I had never experienced that before and it took my breath away. So cool! This trip also included a super fun dinner with travel agents, giving me a chance to catch up with some agents and get a few laughs in!

Travel Leaders Network National Conference
When: May
Where: Orlando at Universal Parks & Resorts

This was such a fun event. We did experience a bit of a hiccup, though: Our trade show gear was locked in security and it was quite a fiasco trying to get it out and all set up in time. But that was all quickly forgotten because of the free night we got at Universal Parks! Screaming our lungs out on the Harry Potter and Revenge of the Mummy roller coasters was a really fun (and quick) way to get to know agents!

Leisure Travel Alliance Conference
When: June
Where: Houston

This was a super quick trip for me, but was definitely worth it. This was my first opportunity to train agents with Leisure Travel Alliance and to work with Rebecca from TMTC. These agents are very dedicated and loyal to VAX and it was a true pleasure to meet them.

Dream Vacations Land Summit
When: August
Where: Playa del Carmen

Dream Vacations held their first land summit for their franchise owners and agents who want to sell more land vacations. It was super energizing for me that when we had time one afternoon to explore the property, I had about 20 agents who asked to have additional hands-on training on VAX. They chose hanging out with me over sitting by the pool! I was so honored.

Another great part of this event was the mock destination wedding we attended at The Royal Playa del Carmen. They did this so agents could experience firsthand what their clients would experience if they got married there. And the reception was a wonderful opportunity to kick up our heels and get our dance on – how fun!

When: August
Where: San Diego

We had a full Trisept Solutions team attending this event, including Namita from Xcelerator in tow. This was my first opportunity to experience the ASTA Advocacy Dinner, which is an elegant affair. I also got to meet some great new agents, attend an MLB game and hear Scott from Avoya sing the national anthem. He did great.

When: September
Where: New Orleans

This was a really good conference with a very engaging live VAX training that generated a tremendous response from agents. And we won our third Nexion award for our booking engine! The closing event was really something special. It offered a true New Orleans experience with authentic food, delicious drinks and energizing live music. We could also get our palms read or have a tarot card reading.

Cruise Planners
When: October
Where: Cancun at the Moon Palace Cancun

At my live VAX training at this event, I had an auditorium full of agents hungry for more land training information. This event offered it all: we had onsite dinners at the all-inclusive resort plus time to network and build new relationships with new and existing agents. We often see the same suppliers at industry events, and that means things can get kinda crazy and fun!

Cruise One/Dream Vacations National Conference
When: October
Where: Aboard the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas

Wow, the Harmony of the Seas is a HUGE ship. I loved it. And I loved this event because Cruise One/Dream Vacations truly made it a festive affair from the time we embarked til we disembarked. They always have fun and crazy cocktail nights and this was right around Halloween, so there was a crazy wig night party and we saw everyone in some amazing and incredible costumes! The ship has a great walking track and I was able to participate in a 5k for the Make-a-Wish foundation. This event also gave me the opportunity to go on a catamaran and snorkeling excursion with agents. All around, this event was unforgettable.

When: November
Where: Fort Lauderdale

This was another event where I was lucky enough to travel with a full crew from Trisept Solutions. We had a great dinner with Andy and Joanie Ogg from The Ogg Marketing Group at the Boatyard, our favorite spot! During CruiseWorld, I got to show our awesome redesigned booking engine to agents and received overwhelmingly positive feedback that I took back to the team in Milwaukee. I was so excited to share that with them. The most interesting part of this trip was that in the late fall, I left warmer weather in Milwaukee than what I arrived to in Fort Lauderdale. Funny how that happens!

Home for the Holidays
When: December
Where: Wisconsin

This was surely an eventful year for me and I am so happy to be home with my family for the holidays! I really value the chance to be in the field, meeting agents and talking to them about VAX. I can’t wait for 2018 to see you all again but for now, I’ll be relaxing and enjoying my time at home.

About the Author

Beth Kitzman is the business development manager for Trisept Solutions' Agency Channel for VAX VacationAccess. Beth focuses on nurturing business relationships and finding exciting, unique ways for VAX to support travel agencies. With over 20 years of experience in the travel industry, beginning with Walt Disney World then working for airlines and now focusing on travel technology, Beth loves using her education degree to find ways to educate and empower travel agents to grow their leisure travel business.

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