Sponsors of the 2015 Select Traveler Conference treated delegates to two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners — just as they have for the entirety of the conference’s 20-year history. The tradition of offering two full days of banquet meals began at the first edition of the conference, held in 1996 at Nashville’s Opryland Hotel.
“Our meal sponsors set us apart in many ways from other industry events,” said conference vice president Teresa Burton, who has overseen day-to-day planning and execution at all 20 conferences. “Over the years, we’ve had some memorable sponsored meals, and this year in Nashville was no exception.”
The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation joined the Nashville Renaissance Hotel in hosting the opening event, a dynamic affair that allowed delegates to be seated or to move throughout the room to ample bars and food stations throughout. After dinner, favorite Nashville band The Farm played for two hours while dozens of delegates danced. An eclectic group with an alternative sound, The Farm enticed delegates of all ages to stay and enjoy the evening until the Nashville hosts bid everyone good night.
The following night, next year’s conference host, the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, brought in dueling pianos for an evening of requests. Delegates took turns throwing out standards, and host Alan Sims of the bureau orchestrated an evening of well-rounded musical fun. The 2016 Select Traveler Conference takes place February 7-9.
Breakfast and luncheon hosts this year were four well-known travel companies that have built loyal followings with Select Traveler planners.
The East Coast Touring Company, a Pennsylvania-based travel company, went big this year when host Bob Buesing brought in recording star Lee Greenwood to entertain at its breakfast. Greenwood captivated attendees with his well-known hits, including his staple “God Bless the USA.”
Trips, a California-based travel company, highlighted the upcoming 100th anniversary of the National Parks that begins in 2016. Host Brian Doughty shared his company’s expertise with Western national parks, plus a few of his personal favorite destinations such as Montana and Kenya.
Collette continued its long-standing position as a luncheon sponsor for the conference, and event host Tony Etienne shared his personal insights about where travel is going for groups and how Collette is adapting its offerings for younger, more connected travelers. Then he turned the show over to a Las Vegas magician, who delighted the audience with his sleight of hand.
The Globus Family of Brands wrapped up the conference as it has for years; host Michael Lundquist discussed the differences in travel options among the company’s Cosmos, Monograms and Globus brands, plus its well-known cruise brand, Avalon Waterways. The company is introducing new small-vessel cruise itineraries in southeast Asia, and Lundquist detailed that product before giving away several trips at the conclusion of the luncheon.
For more information on the Select Traveler Conference go to selecttravelerconf.com