Friday Night Welcome Venue Sydney Opera House Marque
Enjoying the Friday night welcome bash, from left to right, Travel Counsellors Jake Bartlett, Rosemary Metcalf, Claudia Silk, Christine Jenkins, Julie Moore and Trish Hollis
Guest motivational speaker Amanda Gore
Delegates enjoy the motivational sessions from guest speakers
Mike Finnigan, guest speaker & MC
Travel Counsellors meet with a host of suppliers
at the Pow Wow session
A weekend of exciting news, inspiring speakers and celebration saw Travel Counsellors from across the country come together for the companys annual Conference, held in Sydney earlier this month (11th 13th May 2012).
Held in the exclusive Sheraton on the Park Hotel, the conference was attended by over 180 delegates including most of the companys Australian agents, their partners, plus its management team, head office staff and a host of guest speakers and suppliers. Also in attendance were nine Travel Counsellors from the UK, who won the opportunity to fly over and share in the camaraderie and friendship amongst the Australia team. Guests started the event in style with a welcome bash hosted in an exclusive marquee located at the renowned Sydney Opera House, and enjoyed an array of entertainment and a lavish drinks reception.
A day full of business sessions took place on Saturday, which included presentations from company Chairman and Founder David Speakman, Group Managing Director Steve Byrne and Australia General Manager Deb Duncan. Delegates were told about all the latest news and exciting developments within the company to further support and help agents to grow their businesses, including innovative marketing tools and growth in the companys own dynamic packaging system Phenix.
Steve Byrne told attending agents; Our business in Australia is going from strength to strength. Our financial year sales were up 14% on the previous year, with the average earnings per Travel Counsellor increasing by nearly 20%. We have also seen great success with Phenix which has proven to greatly increase each individual agents earning potential enabling them to achieve a higher margin, with 60% of agents producing more Phenix sales compared to last year. We expect this success to continue as we introduce new tools and support to help each and every one of you grow your businesses even further.
The audience heard from key guest speakers including renowned communications and performance expert, Amanda Gore, who gave a truly insightful and entertaining speech on how agents can really drive performance, innovation, relationships, engagement and creativity in both their personal and professional lives. People are 80% emotional and 20% rational if we want them to change we have to tell them stories that touch their hearts! Amanda told the audience, which encompasses Travel Counsellors focus on supporting their agents so they are able to focus on building highly personal relationships and trust with their customers, which has led to the company achieving a world-leading customer satisfaction score*. Delegates also heard from motivational business and sports psychology coach Michael Finnigan, who taught delegates unique motivational techniques in order to help them focus and achieve their full potential.
A highlight of the weekend was a glittering awards ceremony and Gala Dinner on the Saturday evening, where the company recognised its top performers. The awards, which are given to agents in recognition of their performance and achievements, include best newcomer, best business increase, best sales and also a special award for the Most Helpful Travel Counsellor as voted for by their fellow agents.
The whole event was amazing, comments Queensland based Travel Counsellor Vicki Blanco. This was actually my first conference as I joined the company in October 2011 and thought it was fantastic from start to finish, and so useful for me and my business. It was great meeting new Travel Counsellors and catching up with those who I already know, and I found the motivation speakers really inspiring. Travel Counsellors really is such a special company and the conference really reaffirmed this for me and made me feel proud to be part of it.
The event also saw over 40 of the companys suppliers exhibiting at the special Pow Wow session, where agents were able to meet directly with representatives from a host of tourist boards, hotels and airlines and learn more about their products and destinations. This included headline sponsors Travelport, Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd Australia, Globus, Travel the World, Wendy Wu Tours, Qantas Holidays and Air Tickets.
David Speakman comments; The theme of this years conference is The World of Travel Counsellors and it is indeed a special world to be part of. In a worldwide industry that sees little growth we continue to expand and see better income per Travel Counsellor throughout each country, offering customers a trusting relationship that links travel expertise with a friendly disposition. We have also shown our commitment to customers when we stepped into the Strategic Airlines problem and guaranteed that no customer affected would lose money. We are proud of what we collectively stand for and we will continue to be the leaders in customer service whilst delivering unparalleled support to our agents in all areas of their businesses.
Staff from the companys Melbourne head office
support team enjoy the Gala evening
From left to right, Travel Counsellors Elizabeth Keller and Grace Cuciniello with Michelle Kerr and Ronae Jennings from Qantas Holidays
Saturday night surprise entertainment, The Three Waiters, get the conference off to a roof raising start
Travel Counsellors Chairman and founder David Speakman with Australian General Manager Deb Duncan
From left, Chairman David Speakman with award winners Scott Mayne, Christine Jenkins, Claudia Silk, Nadine Kutz, Patrick OShea, Carol Mills, Rosemary Metcalf, Suzanne Watson, Elizabeth Keller, Hayley Voll, along with Australian GM Deb Duncan and Group Managing Director Steve Byrne
Source = Travel Counsellors