Join Us on the Boardwalk in October!
By Martin Deutsch
September 04, 2012 11:45 PM
Stepping up to the plate once again, the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) will host a gala evening reception at the Trump Taj Mahal Resort on Monday, Oct. 22 at the Home Based Travel Agent Forum. The property is just a short distance down the Boardwalk from Revel Resort, the host hotel for the three-day event, which takes place Oct. 22-24.
The ACCVA’s function, which will be open only to travel agents registered for the forum, will feature hors d’oeuvres and beverages, as well as entertainment. The executive behind this special evening is Jeff Vasser, president and CEO of the ACCVA, who will also welcome delegates at the Opening Session at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning. He will focus his remarks on a wide range of new visitor-friendly tourist attractions and on the many upgrades for existing Atlantic City attractions.
Vasser will be joined on Monday morning by two other keynoters: John Caldwell, president of MLT Vacations; and Mark Murphy, CEO of travAlliancemedia, which produces TravelPulse.com, Agent@Home magazine and Vacation Agent magazine. Caldwell will discuss what it takes to set yourself apart and how to earn more money in this fast-paced, ever-changing industry in a session titled “From Value to Profit: The Growing Importance of Home-Based Selling.” Murphy will examine how technology and the Internet are changing the ways individual travel agents market their services.
Beyond top speakers and special events, fully registered travel agents have the chance to win a free hotel stay during the Home Based Travel Agent Forum. A monthly series of generous prize packages comprising three free room nights at the new Revel Resort was introduced recently by the Travel Show Marketing Group (TSMG), which produces the forum. According to TSMG President Jim Cloonan, these prizes are being drawn randomly for registered agents in July, August and September, with full eligibility for those who have signed up since registration first opened in mid-May. The winner for July was Lisa Braithwaite, who along with her husband, Lewis, owns Parks House Travel in Berkeley Springs, W.V.
“This means that any travel agent who registers between now and the end of September still has two chances to walk away with one of these prizes,” said Cloonan. “The three nights in question are Sunday night, Oct. 21, Monday night, Oct. 22, and Tuesday night, Oct. 23.” The forum is scheduled for Oct. 22-24, although specialized destination training is on the program for Sunday, Oct. 21. “So the sooner you register, the more chances you have to win one of these prizes,” said Cloonan.
In order to qualify, travel agents are invited to sign up now for a $90 registration fee by visiting www.ACTravelShow.com, where full details are posted on the section marked “prize giveaways” under the “attendee information” listing. At the same time, agents can lock down a $119 room rate at Revel, which since its formal opening in May has attracted only exemplary praise from both reviewers and guests. Rooms are limited at this rate, and agents are urged to register as soon as possible.
The prizes in question will be drawn at the end of each month, and the winners will be notified by both telephone and email. In addition, the names and photos of winners will be circulated throughout the industry by email on various distribution sites, as well as in TSMG’s own “HB Agent Weekly,” which is posted every Thursday.
If you’ve got a room, the next thing to worry about is how to get there. As previously disclosed, Amtrak is offering a 75 percent discount from anywhere in the U.S. to such nearby Atlantic City feeder communities as Philadelphia, New York and Newark, N.J. Full details on this rail program are posted at www.ACTravelShow.com under “attendee information” and then “transportation.” For more information, contact Lisa Marshall at Lisa@TravelSMG.com.
Meanwhile, Spirit Air is offering flights between Boston and Atlantic City for $99 roundtrip. Spirit also is flying into Atlantic City on a daily basis from Tampa, Orlando and Ft. Myers for rates as low as $247 roundtrip. The airline also offers daily service from Atlanta for $218 roundtrip. Once in Atlantic City, parking for forum attendees who stay at Revel is available for $5 for self parking and $10 for valet, both rates are applicable for the length of stay.
Getting back to the content for the Home Based Travel Agent Forum itself, Cloonan says the entire conference program is nearly completed and available at www.ACTravelShow.com. The ambitious agenda includes dozens of provocative seminars and panels, executive-level discussions, keynote speakers and training by such renowned organizations as CLIA and the Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN), which is the primary sponsor of this trade show and conference.
Also on the program is the Trade Show, which is scheduled Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, with more than 250 domestic and international suppliers. As usual, an attractive selection of travel prizes will be drawn at the conclusion of the trade show. Additional receptions and other sponsored functions will be announced in the near future. Suppliers interested in exhibiting booth or obtaining information on available sponsorships can contact Cloonan at 617-337-5132 or email Jim@TravelSMG.com. For more information, visit www.ACTravelShow.com.
Martin B. Deutsch is marketing consultant and program director for the Home Based Travel Agent Forum.