As part of Travel Weekly's ongoing commitment to supporting the professional development and growth of the travel adviser community, CruiseWorld's STAR (Select Travel Adviser Recognition) Program is structured to provide enhanced event programming while offsetting some of the financial expenses incurred by advisers to attend professional development events.
Travel adviser positions are sold out for the 2018 STAR program. The program has filled earlier than ever before: Over 1,300 applications were received for the 250 positions available.
The STAR Program is part of Travel Weekly's annual CruiseWorld show, which this year will be held Nov. 7 to 9 in Fort Lauderdale.
"I'm thrilled about the group of STAR participants we've assembled this year; they are diverse in their business models and professional goals," said Jennifer Kruse, associate director of trade recruitment and engagement for Travel Weekly Events. "Through pre-event engagement, it's clear this group is excited and ready to learn all they can from the wide range of CruiseWorld suppliers."
More than 80% of the 2018 STAR participants are home-based, and the program will help connect those harder-to-reach advisers with CruiseWorld exhibitors. Additionally, a significant number of CruiseWorld's STARs are unaffiliated and will be exploring new products, services, suppliers and solutions while attending the event.
While the name of the event -- CruiseWorld -- might attract some agents and suppliers because of their association with cruise travel, the event focus goes beyond cruise. The STAR program follows suit: Half of the group's business is land-based; the other half is cruise.
We're incredibly confident that this group of STAR advisers is going to provide a return for CruiseWorld's suppliers," said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, senior vice president of events for Northstar Travel Group. "They're looking to build relationships, gain more product knowledge and provide the best experiences to their clients."
The STAR Program focuses heavily on the importance of the supplier/retailer relationship, and each STAR agent is scheduled collaborative meetings with exhibiting suppliers to explore business development strategies and opportunities.
In a survey of 2017 STAR participants, 77% reported that they had formed new supplier relationships as a result of attending CruiseWorld, and 99% reported they will book business with a supplier with which they connected at the event.
While the STAR Program is at capacity, traditional registration opportunities are still available.
Whether attending as a STAR Program participant or a traditional attendee, CruiseWorld's robust programming provides value for all types of travel advisers, from the home-based professional and the cruise-centered advisers, to the seasoned veterans and those new to the industry.
CruiseWorld features c-suite keynote speakers, supplier workshops, peer-to-peer training, a one-day Exhibitor Showcase, sponsored meal functions, ship inspections and significant networking opportunities.
During CruiseWorld's three days of general sessions, attendees will hear from the top leadership in the cruise and tour community, with updates, insights and trends from industry leaders. Breakout sessions will cover every segment of the leisure travel space. Certification programs and CLIA classes will also be offered.
The signature one-day Exhibitor Showcase will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8 and feature companies representing diverse segments of the travel industry including airlines, attractions, car rental, cruise, destinations, hotels and resorts, professional services, tour operators and packaged vacations. Suppliers interested in joining the Exhibitor Showcase should contact Emmy Morales at [email protected].
For more information on Travel Weekly's CruiseWorld, visit www.cruiseworldshow.com.