By Kelly Monaghan
I’m heading to Boston in October to participate in the Home-Based Travel Agent Forum, sponsored by OSSN and managed by the Travel Show Marketing Group. If you’ve never been to one of these events, why not make this one your first? Not only would I love to have the chance to meet you, but you’ll get a whole lot more out of the experience than just my hearty handshake.
Those of you who have my course know how pumped I am about the many continuing education and networking opportunities that are available to home-based travel agents. Many of them are small-scale and local, usually sponsored by a supplier. Then there are the regular meetings, sometimes monthly, sometimes farther apart, that are organized by local OSSN chapters around the country (there are more than 80).
But the Home-Based Travel Agent Forum is the granddaddy of them all. You will seldom have the opportunity to rub shoulders with so many heavy hitters, starting with OSSN stalwarts like OSSN founder and president Gary Fee and Anita Pagliasso, who has made it her mission to help home-based travel agents achieve the level of success that she has enjoyed.
You’ll also meet in Boston folks like Richard Earls of Travel Research Online and James Shillinglaw of Travel Pulse. And, of course, you’ll have a chance to meet key executives from industry suppliers.
One of my hottest tips to home-basers is to meet key players in the supplier community, get to know them, and make sure they get to know you. The dividends paid by making this effort are considerable and the Home-Based Travel Agent Forum is a great place to make these contacts and reinforce them year after year.
My publishing company, The Intrepid Traveler, will have a booth at the trade show that accompanies the conference and I may be participating in some of the panel discussions. But the real value I expect to get from the Forum is participating in the presentations and seminars. I have yet to attend one of these events without coming home with a notebook full of terrific ideas and new strategies.
You can register for the entire three full days of seminars, ship inspections (yes, ship inspections!), and the trade show for just $80. If you’re on a budget, you can attend the trade show portion for free and still get to schmooze with suppliers on the floor. Full registration info is here:
And if Boston is inconvenient for you, fear not. The Forum is a bi-annual event that is held in different major cities around the country. Recent Forums have been held in Miamai, Las Vegas, and San Diego. If you’re a member of OSSN, you’ll get plenty of advance notice (and cheaper registration rates) for future Forums.
And if you’re not already a member, you can download a discounted membership form here:
See you in Beantown!