James Shillinglaw | July 27, 2015 5:33 PM ET
ASTA Goes to Washington
I’ve been writing a lot in this space about our two new shows for travel agents, the Agent@Home Travel Summits in Long Beach, Sept. 15-18, and Atlantic City, Sept. 30-Oct. 2. These events are designed specifically for entrepreneurial home-based agents to mirror our Agent@Home magazine, now the only publication designed specifically for the home-based agent market.
But I’m going to take a break on promoting our own shows today to urge you to attend another conference, one that is designed for all travel agents, whether they are home-, office- or storefront-based. That event is the annual ASTA Global Convention, set to take place in Washington, D.C., Aug. 29-Sept. 2.
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the only major travel agency association in the U.S., stages this event—the successor to the former World Travel Congress and THETRADESHOW—and we’re a sponsor and exhibitor. Our own Mark Murphy, founder and CEO of travAlliancemedia, will be moderating one of the panels at the conference as well.
As for me, I truly believe every travel agent needs to belong to ASTA, which plays such a vital role in government lobbying and regulation, travel agent awareness and education. And attending the ASTA Global Convention is one great way to show your support.
This year’s convention, the first to be held in our nation’s capital, will feature a full roster of speakers, educational seminars, networking events and local sightseeing. ASTA tells me the tradeshow floor is already sold out, so there will be plenty of exhibitors and travel vendors for you to meet. Still to come is information on the closing general session, where ASTA promises to feature a big sponsored speaker or entertainer.
Zane Kerby, ASTA’s president and CEO, will speak on the state of the ASTA today, but some of the other highlights of the program include a panel on “The Future of the Consortium Relationship,” with Signature’s Alex Sharpe, Travel Leaders’ Roger Block, MAST’s John Werner and Virtuoso’s Matthew Upchurch, moderated by Business Travel Coalition’s Kevin Mitchell.
Yet another panel will examine “The Future of Travel Management Solutions: Understanding Travel Buyers,” moderated by Mike Boult of Travel Leaders, with panelists Bradford Jones of Expedia; Marc Casto of Casto Travel Inc.; Lee Thomas of Altour; and Michael Lyons of Lyons Pride Enterprises
“Generations Panel-Rewards of Change” will feature first- and second-generation owners at top travel companies discussing how the industry has changed and how their companies have adapted from the perspective of the two generations. Moderated by Valerie Wilson and Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg of Valerie Wilson Travel, this panel will include Butch Stewart and Adam Stewart of Sandals Resorts International, as well as Brad Anderson and Bethany Anderson-Walter of Avoya Travel.
A panel on “What Makes a $2 Million Dollar Sales Person in Leisure Travel” moderated by travAlliancemedia’s Mark Murphy, will feature Jim Augerinos of Perfect Honeymoons and Holiday Travel; Beth Jenkins of McCabe World Travel and Steve Lincoln of Lincoln Travel.
This year’s ASTA Global Convention will feature pre-convention events including the chance to see a Washington Nationals baseball game, special tours of Washington, D.C. and the annual ASTA Advocacy Dinner.
The convention will take place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel near Georgetown. Hotel rates start at $169 and booking for the dedicated room block ends Aug. 7. The ASTA registration rate goes up on Aug. 1 by $25, so register soon to miss that increase and also make sure you get a room at the Omni. For more information or to register, click on ASTA Global Convention.
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Latest Travel News
Airlines & Airports
Destination & Tourism
Airlines & Airports
Hotel & Resort
Cruise Line & Cruise Ship