Before holding three busy marketplace sessions in Nashville, conference partner Charlie Presley wanted to be sure that the pioneer designer of the travel industry’s computerized appointment-scheduling programs got his due recognition. Oscar Fowler, a University of Tennessee business professor, attended the conference for the last time as Presley’s guest and honoree at the opening ceremonies.
“Oscar Fowler created something the entire industry has been using for nearly 40 years,” said Presley. “Not only have we used Oscar’s marketplace appointment-scheduling program, but so have other industry groups like the National Tour Association [NTA], Travel South USA, groups in South America and elsewhere. It was important that we recognize Oscar and wish him and Betty all the best in his retirement.”
Fowler came to the stage and spoke briefly as Presley presented his plaque. He concluded his remarks with a trademark phrase he created years ago as the “voice” of the industry’s marketplaces: “That concludes your current appointment,” he said to the group in closing, to a round of well-earned applause.
Several attendees spoke afterward about the value of meeting face-to-face with their counterparts in the marketplace.
“While talking to others in the marketplace, I had to explain why the chamber was involved in travel,” said Jeff Bryan of the Alexandria/Monroe Chamber of Commerce in Alexandria, Indiana. “I explained that we use chamber travel as a way to increase nonmembership revenue and use this as a valuable benefit for our chamber members. Our travel is unique to that of bank travel.
“We already have a database of members, and we just need to sell the idea of chamber travel. I received so much valuable information at the Select Traveler Conference,” said Bryan. “I will see you again at Little Rock in 2016.”
For more information on the Select Traveler Conference go to selecttravelerconf.com