FTA Summit 2017

logo-fta-summit-2016

‘Better Together – Fostering inclusion in family travel’

October 23 – 27, 2017 • Royal Caribbean International’s Majesty of the Seas • Port Canaveral, Florida

Register | Travel Information | Sustainability | FAM Tours | 2016 Gallery | Past Attendees | Past Summit Archive

The FTA’s annual Summit is a trade-only, conference-style event that brings together family travel experts, industry leaders, travel agents, and media for three full days of inspiring presentations, interactive workshops, enlightening research, and a diverse array of networking opportunities. It is becoming the preeminent industry event to:

  • Network with family-focused tour operators and media
  • Further personal development and knowledge of the trends in family travel
  • Help promote family products to the travel industry’s influencers and decision-makers

You can get a sense of the energy and opportunities that abound at the FTA Summit by checking out this video of members and attendees at last year’s event:

2017 FTA Summit Agenda

Jump to:

The theme for the 2017 FTA Summit is ‘Better Together – Fostering inclusion in family travel’.

The faces of families has changed enormously in recent times. And with those changes has come a major metamorphosis in the faces of family travel. Now we’re pleased to tackle the importance of inclusion, because we believe in extended and “blended” and “voluntary kin” clans, single-parent households and those with two dads or two moms, families of different and mixed races or hailing from different cultures, homes where one or more members have special needs… and any combinations of the above!

This year’s Summit agenda will again be filled with opportunities to network with peers, absorb cutting-edge trends and key information, connect with media, and more!

Please note that this ‘wireframe’ Summit program is a work in progress. Thus it is very much still open to adjustments as details are finalized.


Pre-Summit

For those with long flights before the Summit (or those that just want to come early and enjoy more of Florida), the FTA has negotiated rates with the Courtyard by Marriott Cocoa Beach @ $139/night, single to quad. Plus Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism and the Marriott Cocoa Beach will provide any available delegates a reception and ‘mini’ trade show the night of Sunday, Oct. 22. Reservations for hotel rooms must be made before September 21, 2017. See the Summit Travel Page for full details.

Back to top


Monday, Oct. 23 (travel day, then depart Port Canaveral)

Registration

9:00 AM – 3:oo PM Summit registration (Conference Center, Deck 7)

 

12:00 PM – All flights must arrive to Orlando before noon, per RCCL regulations

12:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Exhibitor set up

4:00 PM – Majesty of the Seas sets sail!

4:30-6:30 PM – FTA Board Meeting (Adventure conference room, Deck 7 – NOT a public event)

 

Welcome Reception

7:00-8:00 PM – Welcome reception sponsored by Royal Caribbean International! (Spectrum Lounge, Deck 8)

 

Dinner

8:30 PM – Dinner. Note that we’ll have assigned seating on this first night, but then ’round robin’ dining for the remainder of the dinners – where you’ll be able to move around and choose your own seat within our assigned dining section. (Moonlight Dinging Room, Deck 4)

 

10:30 PM – Pub o’ the Night for informal, ‘no host’ networking (Schooner Bar, Deck 5)!

Back to top


Tuesday, Oct. 24 (at sea)

9:00-12:00  Opening Keynotes and ‘State of the FTA’ presentations! (A Chorus Line Lounge, Deck 5)

Welcome Address: Better Together – Fostering Inclusion in Family Travel

Rainer Jenss, Founder & President – FTA

Keynote 1: A Diversity of Adventures: How to Please Multisport Families

Sven-Olof Lindblad, CEO & President – Lindblad Expeditions

learn more

Sven-Olof Lindblad, CEO & President of Lindblad Expeditions, born in Switzerland, traveled extensively with his father, renowned adventure-travel pioneer Lars-Eric Lindblad, who led the first non-scientific groups of travelers to Antarctica (1966). In 1979 he launched Special Expeditions, the adventure travel company that became Lindblad Expeditions.

In 2004, Lindblad formed a strategic alliance with National Geographic that combines the strengths of two pioneers in global exploration, with the goal of inspiring people to explore and care about the planet. Lindblad’s personal experience led to a commitment to environmentally responsible travel, which has resulted in numerous travel and environmental awards.

Lindblad is an honorary member of the General Assembly of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands. He received international recognition for his innovative and successful model of tourism, receiving the “Commandeur de Notre Ordre de Merite Civil et Militaire d’Adolphe de Nassau” from Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg at the Grand-Ducal Place. He also had a newly discovered endemic species of moth in the Galapagos Islands, Undulambia lindbladi, named in honor of his conservation work. He serves on the Board of The Safina Center, the National Geographic Society’s International Council of Advisors, and the Board of Trustees for RARE; is a founding Ocean Elder of the non-profit organization, Ocean Elders; and serves on the Board of Advisors for Pristine Seas.

FTA Update: Research Findings

Peter Bopp, Director of Strategy – FTA

Lynn Minnaert, Academic Co-chair and Clinical Assistant Professor – NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism

Keynote 2: Energize Your Workplace!

Charles Scott, The Family Adventure Guy

learn more

More info coming soon!

FTA Update: Membership Growth

Chez, Executive Director – FTA

Janeece Keller, Founder & CEO – BoundRound.com

Keynote 3: Drink It While It’s Hot: Developing Product for Kids AND Parents

Chitra Stern, Owner and Founding Board Member – Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts

learn more

A London Business School “Accomplished Entrepreneur”, Chitra Stern is the owner and founding board member at Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts. Working alongside her business partner/husband, she developed the flagship Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel in Sagres from scratch and has successfully expanded the “Martinhal” family brand name across three other properties in Portugal – always in locations with character – Quinta do Lago, Cascais and Chiado in Lisbon.

Chitra enjoys business-life as well as her family-life with their four kids and faces the challenges of staying healthy while being passionate about business and family!

FTA Update: Consumer Program Launch

Rainer Jenss, Founder & President – FTA

Andrew Dent, Founder & CEO – Ardent Media / Family Traveller Magazine

 

Lunch

12:30 PM – Lunch (Moonlight Dinging Room, Deck 4)

 

2:00-2:45 PM – Breakout Sessions #1 (Explorer and Voyager conference rooms, Deck 7)

Breakout 1A: Inclusion Success Stories – Tips on How to Diversify Your Audience

(Explorer conference room, Deck 7)

Do the clients in all your promotional images look a little too much the same? Or how about your entire client base, for that matter? This session will delve into suggestions, tips and success stories of how businesses can better reach out to families of color, different socio-economic groups, families with special needs, and more.

Moderator: Peter Bopp, Director of Strategy – FTA
Heather Greenwood Davis, family travel writer – Globetrotting Mama
Caitlan Etchevers, Director of Domestic Sales – Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Other speaker TBD

Breakout 1B: Kidfluence: Including Kids in Family Vacation Planning

(Voyager conference room, Deck 7)

If it’s really a family trip, shouldn’t the kids have a say too? Learn what you can do to better encourage your clients to get their kids/grandkids involved in planning their next family adventure – and what your business can do to appeal to these kids!

Moderator: Ethan Gelber, Director of Editorial – FTA
Laurie Bohn, Director, Trade Sales & National Training – Royal Caribbean International
Sally Black, Director of Sales – VacationKids
Janeece Keller, Founder & CEO – BoundRound.com

 

3:00-3:45 PM – Breakout Sessions #2 (Adventure, Explorer, and Voyager conference rooms, Deck 7)

Breakout 2A: Including Families with Adult Kids

(Explorer conference room, Deck 7)

Ads and descriptions of family travel usually focus on kids ages 17 and under, but families don’t stop traveling after high school graduation. Families with older kids travel together, too. In fact, research shows that families with older teens and young adults still travel together quite extensively. This panel will cover research, trends, and insights.

Moderator: Peter Bopp, Director of Strategy – FTA
Nancy Schretter, Managing Editor – Family Travel Network
Paul Marshall, Director of Communications – Ski Utah
Beth O’Donnel, Assistant General Manager – Thomson Family Adventures

Breakout 2B: Travel for Families with Special Needs

(Voyager conference room, Deck 7)

How you can market to, reach, and accommodate families with special needs, be it a client in a wheelchair, grandparents with mobility issues, to austistic kids.

Moderator: Ethan Gelber, Director of Editorial – FTA
Brittany Williams,Public Relations Representative – LEGOLAND Resorts
Nicole Thibault, Owner, Travel Specialist – Magical Storybook Travels
Robin Mountain, Owner/CEO – Ntaba African Safaris

 

4:00-4:45 PM – Breakout Sessions #3 (Explorer and Voyager conference rooms, Deck 7)

Breakout 3A: How To Develop Family Travel Product

(Explorer conference room, Deck 7)

From pre-departure packet to post-trip survey, learn what it takes to develop product that will be attractive to families – and how to best promote and market these fam-friendly trips.

Moderator: Peter Bopp, Director of Strategy – FTA
Jara Haas, Tourism Sales Manager – Visit Anchorage
John Gunter, President & CEO – Frontiers North

Breakout 3B: Inclusive Multigenerational Travel

(Voyager conference room, Deck 7)

Multigenerational group travel is one of today’s top trends, but including everyone and doing it well poses some challenges. Multigenerational groups can include travelers from 1 to 91, often with varying interests and physical abilities.

Moderator: Ethan Gelber, Director of Editorial – FTA
Stella Mountain, Owner/President – Ntaba African Safaris
Other speakers TBD

 

4:45-6:30 PM – Informal networking/freshen up

 

Cocktail Gathering

6:30-8:00 PM – Cocktail gathering (Spectrum Lounge, Deck 8) and open mic night. Topic for discussion is ‘Successful Failures’. Casual, off-the-cuff presentations by individual delegates on failures that they have had in the past (be they in business, as a parent, in their personal lives, etc.) where a failure lead to a success. FTA will hand-select a few opening presenters, then the mic will be open for any delegate to literally ‘step up to the mic’ and tell their 5-minute story! Leading presenters include:

 

Dinner

8:30 PM – Dinner (formal night) and awards presentation, with ’round robin’ dining, where you’re able to move around and choose your own seat within our assigned dining section (Moonlight Dinging Room, Deck 4)

 

10:30 PM – Pub o’ the Night for informal, ‘no host’ networking (Boleros Lounge, Deck 7)!

Back to top


Wednesday, Oct. 25 (Nassau, Bahamas)

8:00 AM – Majesty of the Seas docks in Nassau

 

9:00-10:20 AM – Digital Workshops & Keynote Speakers

Digital Workshops

Workshop #1: The Beauty of Drip Marketing & Lead Automation

(Explorer conference room, Deck 7)

One of the best ways to grow your client base is to increase your web-to-lead conversion rate. The higher your acquisition rate, the less time and money you need to allocate elsewhere. Automated drip marketing campaigns are statistically proven help dramatically increase conversion rate and best of all they save you time. Lots of it.

We’ll show you how to create personalized marketing journeys for your leads that nurture them towards success. Strategies to turn stagnant leads into clients and how best to customize a lead’s experience by sending targeting emails, SMS, and postcards at the right time in their journey. Best of all, we’ll show you how to exactly do it in-house.

Key Takeaways

  • Lead acquisition increases by 2X by companies who stay in touch every two to four weeks (Source: Marketing Automation Performance Report)
  • Email is the top source of analytics data for marketers, with 41% using their email marketing performance data. (Source: Forbes)
  • 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation. (Source: Mailigen)

Jason Bornfriend, Director of Marketing – 829 Studios

Kaitlyn Merola, Director of Content Marketing – 829 Studios

Workshop #2: Evaluating Different Online Marketing Strategies & Platforms

(Voyager conference room, Deck 7)

There are tons of different ways to market your business and all of them seem to require time or money. In this session we will review data from dozens of businesses to determine where exactly you should be focusing your efforts. Using these successful programs as our guide, we’ll pick apart their approach to marketing online and identify a few of the most effective marketing strategies. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll have this discussion within the context of a marketing plan so you’ll be able to take home a comprehensive framework for use with your business.

Key Takeaways

  • Framework approach to online marketing
  • What traffic generates the most leads and how do I get more of it
  • How successful business’s approach paid

Peter Ross, Co-Fouder – 829 Studios

Keynote 4: TBD

Description forthcoming.

Keynote 5: Fostering Global Dialogs

Kevin Thomsen, President and Founder Red Trunk Project

learn more

Kevin Thomsen is the President and Founder of Red Trunk Project, a global educational initiative that uses physical artifacts, videos, and books to teach children about other cultures. Red Trunk’s goal is to create a brighter, more inclusive future for all children, working to ensure that children better understand and empathize with their fellow citizens around the world.

Kevin is a story-teller by trade, having produced, written, directed, and performed in TV, film, and theater for the past 35 years. As a spoken-word producer and director, he has worked with the biggest authors and celebrities on the planet, his productions earning multiple accolades and awards, including two Grammy Awards.

The seeds of The Red Trunk Project were planted when Kevin and his wife traveled to the Republic of Georgia and Ethiopia to adopt their two children. His quest to teach his daughters about their birth cultures has grown into a passion to help every child understand and respect the different lives being led by other children around the globe.

 

Networking Activities

10:30 AM -12:30 PM – Networking activities in/around Nassau, possibly to include:

  • Snorkeling
  • SCUBA
  • Fishing
  • Nassau historical tours
  • Nassau shopping
  • Kayaking

 

Lunch

1:00 PM – Shipboard lunch in the Moonlight Dining Room

 

Networking Activities

3:00-5:00 PM – Networking activities in/around Nassau, possibly to include:

  • Snorkeling
  • SCUBA
  • Fishing
  • Nassau historical tours
  • Nassau shopping
  • Kayaking

5:00 PM – Freshen up

 

Cocktail Gathering

7:00-8:00 PM – Cocktail gathering (Spectrum Lounge, Deck 8)

 

8:00 PM – All guests must be back aboard Majesty of the Seas

 

Dinner

8:30 PM – Dinner, with ’round robin’ dining, where you’re able to move around and choose your own seat within our assigned dining section (Moonlight Dinging Room, Deck 4)

 

9:00 PM – Majesty of the Seas departs Nassau

10:30 PM – Pub o’ the Night for informal, ‘no host’ networking (Schooner Bar, Deck 5)!

11:00 PM – Any Summit guests departing early will check out and depart the Majesty of the Seas for local hotels before flying out of Nassau in the morning

Back to top


Thursday, Oct. 26 (Cococay)

8:00 AM – Majesty of the Seas anchors at Cococay

9:00 AM – Tenders to Cococay

Networking Activities

9:30-11:30 AM – Networking activities on Cococay, possibly to include:

  • Snorkeling
  • SCUBA
  • Fishing
  • Volleyball
  • Hikes
  • Kayaking

 

Lunch

12:00 PM – Buffet lunch (on Cococay)

 

1:00 PM – Delegates tender back to Majesty of the Seas

Agent Meet-Up!

2:00-3:30 PM – Agent Meet-Up! – Meet the Summit’s attending travel agents (Spectrum Lounge, Deck 8)

Media Meet-Up!

3:45-5:15 PM – Media Meet-Up! – Meet the attending trade and consumer media (Spectrum Lounge, Deck 8)

4:00 PM Majesty of the Seas departs Cococay

5:30-6:30 PM – Informal networking/freshen up

 

Farewell Reception

7:00-8:00 PM – Farewell reception sponsored by Royal Caribbean International! (Spectrum Lounge, Deck 8)

 

Dinner

8:30 PM – Dinner, with ’round robin’ dining, where you’re able to move around and choose your own seat within our assigned dining section (Moonlight Dinging Room, Deck 4)

 

10:30 PM – Pub o’ the Night for informal, ‘no host’ networking (Boleros Lounge, Deck 7)!

Back to top


Friday, Oct. 27 (arrive Port Canaveral, then travel day)

7:00 AM – Majesty of the Seas arrives Port Canaveral

7:30-10AM – Delegates depart Majesty of the Seas for shuttles to airports or post-tours (See details on the FTA Summit FAM page)

Back to top


Post-Summit Tours, etc.

For those with long flights after the Summit (or those that just want to stay on and further enjoy Florida), the FTA has negotiated rates with the Courtyard by Marriott Cocoa Beach @ $139/night, single to quad. Reservations must be made before September 21, 2017. See the Summit Travel Page for full details.

Also, check out the FAM tour of the ‘Space Coast’ and Kennedy Space Center! See details on the FTA Summit FAM page.

Back to top

 


Summit Host Sponsor

Back to top

industry member Spotlight

BikeTours.com

Explore your world on two wheels! Traveling by bike is the perfect vehicle for your family to teach, learn, and be active together. BikeToursDirect offers more than 500 tours across the globe with opportunities galore for families of all ages, ability levels, and budgets.

Learn More