Tips for in-Person Conferences and Meetings By Beth Kelly Hatt, President of Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence, FCCA’s Official Training Partner
rade shows and conferences are coming back in full force, and the Aquila team has seen what has worked and what hasn’t over the last 40 years. This month at the FCCA Caribbean Cruise Summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aquila gave a training to local participants from Puerto Rico on how to have the best meetings with role playing and exercises to practice their skills. In this article you will find some of the best practices we shared with them. When doing one-on-ones with cruise executives, destinations and operators often only have 10-15 minutes, and we need to be efficient with our time. To get back to successful meetings at these in-person events, here are our Top 3 Tips: 16 S e con d Q ua r te r 202 2 | Travel & Cr uise
1. Preparation and Research Do the work that needs to be done ahead for successful and productive meetings. This information is all available on the cruise lines’ websites and shore excursion offerings. Know the client and the cruise line they represent. Find answers to the following:
What is the size of the ships? And remember some lines have large and small ships that could offer totally different products.
How many hours in port? This will affect what you can offer.
What products do they offer elsewhere? This is all available online by checking their itineraries and shore excursion offerings.
Are they mass market, niche or expedition market?
What products do they offer, and are there gaps you can fill?
Are there gaps you or your destination can fill? Differentiating yourself is important.
How many calls to your port? How many ships do they bring?
What benefits can you offer – how can your service or product help them?