Highlights from our Crystal Conference

Written by: KHM Staff on March 15, 2023

Crystal 23 Group
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Our favorite times of the year are the several in-person events we host. This year, our Crystal Conference was more exciting than ever before with our largest group of agents to date!

If you sailed with us on Harmony of the Seas and want to re-live the magic or if you couldn’t join us, keep reading for the daily highlights from our Crystal Conference. Browse our Flickr albums to view more photos from this special event.

Day 1: Sunday – Embarkation 

We were pleased to have Royal Caribbean International’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Trade Support and Service Vicki Freed and our President Rick Zimmerman pose with agents for photos at Dazzles. Agents loved meeting Vicki and Rick and walked away with awesome photos to share on their social media pages.

Our Meet and Greet hosted by our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Team was another great chance to mingle on Day 1. Agents marked their city on a map and the DEI team gave out “You Belong Bracelets” with a rainbow option to support LGBTQIA+.

The evening ended with our welcome presentation. Speakers included CLIA’s Vice President, Industry & Trade Relations Charles Sylvia, ECC; Cruise Director Dan Whitney; and KHM Travel Group’s Executive Team.

Topics covered in our welcome session included:

  • Recognizing our Regional Coordinators
  • Agent Milestones for 10-15 Years
  • 2022 Agent Advisory Board and Agency Directors
  • Recognition for all Agent Journey Levels in Attendance
  • Our DEI Commitment
  • Executive Team Remarks
Welcome Bill

Day 2: Monday – Nassau

New for 2023 was our Supplier Scavenger Hunt. This new activity helped agents explore the ship and solve clues to connect with suppliers. Suppliers loved spending more quality time with each agent during this alternative to the traditional trade show format.

Later in the afternoon, we hosted our Crystal award ceremony, honoring winners in 40+ categories. Highlights included an inspiring keynote from Vicki Freed, special awards for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ambassadors, and the big announcement that our 2024 Crystal Conference will be on Celebrity Reflection!

“You’re giving travel agents the best name in the industry. Your role is more important now than ever before. The need for travel agents is so strong.”

Bill Coyle

“This feels like the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes all rolled into one – so I guess that makes you Billy Crystal?”

Charles Sylvia, ECC to Bill Coyle during the ceremony

During the Cocktail Reception at Solarium, we filmed a special episode of KHM Today with winners, first-time attendees, and more special guests.

Day 3: Tuesday – Sea Day 

Early in the morning, Rick gathered with agents for an inspirational session to start the day. Supplier sessions and a great workshop on Building an Inclusive Toolkit followed.

A special treat was the complimentary head shots by our photographer Annie Yu. Agents loved this chance to get a new professional photo to use for their businesses. In the evening, everyone enjoyed the entertainment options on the ship including Grease, Love and Marriage Show, and a festive Caribbean Night.

Day 4: Wednesday – Falmouth

This free day allowed for several fun Jamaica excursions. Supplier-sponsored excursions included:

  • Blue Hole and River Tubing, sponsored by ALG Vacations
  • Doctor’s Cave Beach Day, sponsored by Carnival Cruise Line
  • Mystic Mountain, sponsored by American Airlines Vacations

Other agents spent the day doing site inspections.

Port Day

Day 5: Thursday – Labadee

Our tradition every year is to take a group photo…and with a group of 500, this year was a challenge! The AquaTheatre was the perfect place to show off our bright shirts, snap a few pictures, and give away prizes from our suppliers. Our hosts Royal Caribbean gave away two cabins on the Icon of the Seas inaugural sailing!

Accessible ship and Labadee tours provided agents with helpful information about the availability of accessible travel options for their clients.

Day 6: Friday – Sea Day

Our last day at sea was filled with supplier sessions and a popular “You Belong” agent panel.

The farewell Cocktail Reception at Solarium brought everyone together one last time to hear from the Executive Team and see a giant cake from Royal Caribbean that was later served at dinner.

If our highlights from the Crystal Conference have you ready to set sail, mark your calendar for early 2024 when we will once again gather for our 2024 Crystal Conference event. There’s plenty more opportunities to travel and learn as an agent before then. Check the other events we host throughout the year here.

Become a travel agent with KHM Travel Group by contacting our team today!

Article Contributors: Carolyn Sekerak, Annie Yu (photos), Sam Ramsay (photos), and Michelle Bakula

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