Destinations and Discovery at Delta Vacations University 2019
Written by: Sydney M Crago on October 08, 2019
Delta Vacations University 2019 was one of the biggest travel agent events of the year, and I was fortunate to be able to attend the year’s conference in Detroit, Michigan. The event took place on September 21 and 22 at the TCF Center downtown. Over 1,000 travel agents attended each day to learn, network, and talk travel. 110 KHM Travel Agents agents attended the event, making KHM Travel Group, once again, the largest agency represented.
Our longstanding reputation with Delta Vacations allowed our team to host exclusive educational sessions on Friday, September 19. We kicked off these sessions by hearing from our Vice President of Sales Geoff Cox and our President/CEO Rick Zimmerman about the importance of relationships in the travel industry and how we are continuing to provide our network of agents with the best connections possible.
Then agents heard from members of the Delta Vacations team and our friends at Palace Resorts who shared how they can help agents continue to provide their clients with fantastic vacation experiences. They also discussed some of their upcoming resorts and plans to enhance services that are still in the works.
Our Education Team was next to take the floor, with Chantelle discussing the upcoming year and what goals agents should consider setting. Bill stressed the importance of knowing your sales numbers and analyzing trends in order to identify potential opportunities for growth. Dezaree gave tips on enhancing your marketing plan and incorporating new ideas, like using Instagram stories and Boomerangs. To wrap up our afternoon, I presented on the importance of building trust with your social media audience and gave some real-life examples of how to do so.
This fun and informative afternoon was followed-up by a meet and greet event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. There we spent the evening chatting with agents, getting to know them better, and answering their questions.
After breakfast, we headed off to class. I was especially excited for my first class of the day: Hawai’i. The Hawaiian Convention Bureau welcomed us with a hula performance and ukulele song before diving into the magic of the islands. After a session of furiously note-taking on the Big Island, Maui, and Lana’i, it was off to the rest of the morning sessions, including one of Delta Vacations’ Marketing Hub, Iceland, and Sydney, Australia.
The next morning, we were up bright and early to begin learning. At breakfast, sponsored by the Jamaican Tourist Board, the attendees were welcomed by Kristen Molloy, the Vice President of Sales for Delta Vacations. She then introduced Mike Duggan, the Mayor of Detroit, who shared more about the city and why they are proud of their connections with Delta Airlines.
At lunch, we heard from Delta Vacations’ President, Jennie Ho. She emphasized Delta’s support of travel agents and brought out Delta Airline’s Vice President of In-flight services to share how the airline is reshaping the passenger experience. By better equipping their crew with personalized technology and providing more customized food and beverage options, they are elevating the experience for your clients.
After lunch, I attended two social media sessions with Cory Perlman, a thought leader on social media marketing. These informative discussions gave the attendees practical tips to use in their travel business marketing, such as using Canva to create graphics and building rapport with your clients.
Despite an already busy day, things weren’t over yet! The KHM Travel Group family gathered to take a group photo wearing their new KHM Travel Group long-sleeve t-shirts! Then, we all headed into the trade-show to connect one-on-one with representatives of the favorite hotel and resort brands as well as the tourism boards of many popular destinations.
Then it was on to the bus to journey to the Henry Ford Museum! For me, this was an enriching, and uniquely Detroit experience that allowed us to explore this history of DVU’s host city and connect with one another.
The next day began in the ballroom with breakfast before we headed out for another day of sessions. I attended presentations on St. Lucia, Ireland and its regions, Munich and Stuttgart, and Jamaica. Each destination-focused course was informative and inspiring, and I left each one adding new adventures to my long list of places to visit. They were central to understanding the most important parts of helping clients to make the most of their visits to these destinations.
The second day’s lunch featured a presentation on Scotland, which included a bagpipe performance! This was followed by keynote speaker, Vinh Giang, whose motivational and magical session revealed ways agents can harness the power of persuasion in their businesses.
After another afternoon of classes and a trade-show, it was time to head home and process everything we learned at this jam-packed event. As my first big travel industry conference, Delta Vacations University was everything I was hoping for and more. Meeting agents, sharing stories, and finding renewed inspiration in destinations was such an incredible experience and, as I said at the beginning, I feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to be a part of it.
Agents should be on the lookout for the registration information for next year’s Delta Vacations University, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out TravelAgentMeeting.com to learn more about live events hosted by KHM Travel Group and other travel industry events.
Want to take your passion for travel to the next level? KHM Travel Group helps people around the country start their own independent travel businesses. To learn more about how you can work from home as a travel agent fill out the form to the right of give us a call at 1-888-611-1220.