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The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Breakout sessions and new panel discussion are in place for conference

Courtesy Nottoway Plantation

Traditional breakout sessions and a new panel discussion led by bank volunteers will be among the educational highlights of the upcoming BankTravel Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, February 6-8.

On the opening afternoon, Sunday, February 6, bankers will be able to participate in one of two breakout sessions that take place prior to the opening Super Session. One session will be for first-time attendees, and the other will be for veteran attendees. Two volunteer moderators will lead each session.

“Two years ago, in Little Rock, we began our first-time attendees session, and it has become a very popular addition to the conference,” said BankTravel Conference CEO Joe Cappuzzello. “Anyone who attends a conference for the first time has some level of apprehension about how things work and how to get the most from their experience.

“This session has been very helpful the past couple of years in making those people feel at ease. They leave that room knowing several veterans who are more than happy to answer questions over the next few days.”

The second session is traditionally devoted to either “operations” or “marketing,” and this year’s session will be themed towards operations.

This is a great venue for bankers to spend an hour and a half or so sharing ideas in a noncompetitive environment. Items such as travel insurance, security, trip management, vendor qualifications, etc, are commonly discussed.

A new session this year will be a panel discussion titled “Expanding Your Program’s Customer Base.” Bank Travel Management publisher Mac Lacy will moderate the session and will have three bank volunteers on hand to discuss how they are bringing baby boomers and others into their loyalty programs. This is a major area of emphasis for most banks as many traditional group travelers become too old to travel.

“I would call this an area of opportunity, as opposed to an area of concern,” said Lacy. “Many tour companies have become quite adept at offering travel options that boomers are reacting favorably to.

“Increased flexibility, less structure, smaller groups and other modifications in travel itineraries are being met with a lot of success. The oldest boomers turned 65 this year, and they are looking for travel experiences that banks can definitely provide them in tandem with these tour operators.”

The panel discussion takes place on Monday afternoon, February 7.

If your bank has not yet registered, do so today!

It’s not too late to register!
330-332-3841 or visit