My first conference of the year was just what I needed to kick off 2019! I traveled to Los Angeles to sail on the Ruby Princess for the KHM Crystal Conference. I was fortunate to travel alongside my Apple Leisure Group colleagues, Cheryl Hudak and Jennifer Greenfield, to represent VAX VacationAccess to the 200+ travel advisors in attendance.
We sailed from a very wet, cool LAX port headed to Los Cabos. Once aboard as we registered for the conference, I was thrilled with the opportunity to meet and pose with Captain Stubing (Gavin MacLeod). This is the second time I’ve met and had a photo op with him, and I have to say from both experiences what a lovely, kind and gracious man he is and quite spry for being 87!
This was also an especially exciting cruise for me because it was my first time cruising that I saw sea life like whales, dolphins and sea lions as we were sailing along!
The conference was five nights of agent dinners, and three-and-a-half full days of meetings including round tables, trainings, general sessions and an awards ceremony. The missing half day was an afternoon set aside for excursions. We were in port in Los Cabos Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday at noon.
Tuesday afternoon I enjoyed the opportunity to engage with my ALG colleagues and 15 agents while we experienced an amazing site inspection at Secrets Puerto Los Cabos. They treated us to a delicious surf and turf lunch at their outdoor Oceana restaurant with a lovely, peaceful ocean view serenaded by jazz saxophone. Lunch was followed by a site inspection with an hour to enjoy the property before heading back to the port. Having come from chilly, snowy Milwaukee, I was thrilled to spend that time relaxing on the warm, sunny beach in front of the Barracuda swing beach bar with my bottle of water. It was quite entertaining to watch a few schools of flying fish past us. It’s fair to say that AMResorts and AmStar treated us like family for this whole excursion!
The Crystal Conference always includes an award ceremony to celebrate the top-producing travel advisors for the year. This year’s focus was People, Purpose, Passion. This sums up what should drive all of us, travel advisors and suppliers alike, toward our goals and motivate us as we continue to share the love of travel with others.
I was able to catch up with just a couple of the winners following the ceremony to grab a picture and a quote of the role of VAX in their business.
Jamie Turner is the Southwest Agent of the Year and I met her on my first Crystal Conference three years ago and have loved seeing her every year! She is a huge VAX fan and swears it is wonderful technology that makes it easy to work her business. This year at the conference she was elated to learn about the sales email and how much that will impact her business. Imagine a top agent that is still learning about the sales email, where will she end up next year with that time-saver?
Suzanne Bradford is the West Agent of the Year and she had this to say: “I just have to say thank you to the amazing team at VAX! VAX always makes me look like a rock star agent to my clients. The sales email makes it easy to send resort options to them to help them make a great destination choice. VAX really helped me step up my business this past year and I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings! Thanks again, VAX!”
Emily Kladivo was the top Agent of the Year and the top Agency of the Year (Emily’s Travel). Her message was “Do the work!” when I asked her about VAX in her business. “My business wouldn’t be the same without VAX,” she told me. “My biggest discovery years ago was the sales tool; this takes away from having to send six different quotes, and only having to send one! While looking professional! Your clients can view the resorts without having to go to the actual websites! VAX is fast and easy to use.
Even from your cell phone. It’s my favorite booking engine! Without VAX, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have no reason to step out of the box and try other suppliers other than the others that I use, because VAX offers it all under one roof. I would also add that the features that VAX provides allow me to be able to send more quotes in less time!”
Did you go the KHM Crystal Conference? What was your favorite part?