High-tech ships make hot meetings venues

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MIAMI -- Landry & Kling Inc., a leader in the meetings at sea market, is taking two steps to make its services more widely known and help educate agents and meeting planners on the ins and outs of the business.

This month, the firm launches a Web site at www.shipselect.com, and last month it released a video called "Business at Sea."

"Our new site is really aimed at helping planners find and select the right ship for their clients, which is a major part of planning a meeting at sea, said Joyce Landry, co-founder of the firm with Josephine Kling.

"Will the group need a full-ship charter, or does the vessel/line have facilities on board for a large program?

"What the site offers paves the way for planners to be successful because we got them off to a strong start."

L&K was founded in 1982 exclusively to serve the corporate/incentive market. In 1998, it became a subsidiary of Travel Services International, a leading specialized distributor of leisure travel, with emphasis on cruises.

Landry said there are more meetings being held at sea now than ever before, and she understands why this trend has occurred.

"For one thing," she said, "the ships out there today are more high-tech and business-friendly. They offer more opportunities for intricate business meetings or elaborate awards functions, and they have more dedicated space and large public areas.

"And, with the growing use of the Internet, access is available on just about every ship. They have cybercafes or kiosks, all of which make a business meeting at sea seem less isolated and a more viable option for the business traveler."

Landry and Kling both have backgrounds that include marketing and sales positions with such lines as Royal Viking Line, Delta Queen Steamboat and Holland America.

"With our experience and contacts, we offer clients an insider's edge in every aspect of program development and cost control," Landry said.

"Business at Sea," the company-produced "how-to" video for the meetings and incentive industry, provides insights from three corporate and three independent planners as well as eight cruise line executives on how to accomplish business objectives by using a cruise ship.

"This video was created as an educational tool for event planners who, naturally, have questions about translating their traditional land-based program to a floating resort," Landry said.

"If you're not rotating an occasional cruise into your destination line-up, you're really missing the boat."

The firm has a staff of 17 at its headquarters, plus sales representatives across the U.S. It also draws on supplemental staff for on-site management.

For copies of the free video, send e-mail requests to [email protected] with name, title, company name, address and phone number. Allow two weeks for delivery.

Landry & Kling
Phone: (800) 448-902 or (305) 661-1880
Fax: (305) 661-0977
Web: www.corporatecruises.com

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