Not all clients are ready to travel again, but for those who are, Cason Travel & Tours owner Christy Cason has the perfect solution: MoBay FunFest, a wellness retreat the Las Vegas-based advisor is planning for 250 guests in June.
"I realize not everyone is ready yet, but for those that are ready," Cason said, "I wanted to have something available to them. So many festivals canceled last year."
Cason is no stranger to organizing large events. The 25-year industry veteran started her business in 1995, and she specializes in fundraisers for nonprofits. She started with fundraisers at sea and has since expanded to land vacations.
She particularly likes to work closely with local nonprofits that help send students to college.
As was the case for most other agencies, Cason's phones stopped ringing early last year as the pandemic began. For two months, she delt only with cancellations.
She has started getting inquiries and bookings to the Caribbean and Mexico of late, however. That's part of what spurred her to put together the MoBay FunFest.
"I know there is a pent-up demand for travel," Cason said.
The festival will be held at the Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort and Spa from June 24-28. It will feature musical performances (female performers are being highlighted, which Cason said was important to her), games, wellness activities like yoga and more. The plan is to hold all events outdoors to enable social distancing, which is also why Cason kept the event small at 250 people.
Two nonprofits Cason has worked with before will benefit from the event's proceeds: The Southern Nevada Black Nurses Association and the nonprofit radio station KUNV 91.5 FM, which has a partnership with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Cason offered this advice for agents who want to arrange their own events.
Do research: Pick a property, figure out if there is a market for an event, identify clients who will attend and identify additional pied pipers to draw in their own groups (for the MoBay FunFest, Cason is working with other independent contractors to bring their small groups in).
"If you think you can do it, and you want to do it," she said, "go for it."