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What is time with industry peers worth?

What is time with industry peers worth?

Between the three conferences like the Select Traveler Conference that I’m personally involved with and the half dozen or so others in this industry that I attend in a year’s time, I have the chance to ask myself that question a lot.

I usually ask the question when I’m setting an alarm clock for 4 a.m. to catch the first flight out to attend an industry event. I just can’t make myself leave a day earlier than is absolutely necessary, so I end up on a lot of very early flights.

Invariably, the answer for me always seems to be the same: Time spent with peers in the industry, especially when it’s in a noncompetitive environment, is worth a lot. Oftentimes, much more than a lot.

So this is a personal appeal to our readers who plan travel for banks, chambers of commerce and alumni groups. You should make every attempt to join us next month in Nashville for the 2015 Select Traveler Conference.

We have dozens of travel planners who have been coming for years. They’ve become good friends and can’t wait to come each year. But more importantly, they’ve spent countless hours at the conference learning from one another. Nothing is more validating for someone who works all year planning travel for valuable members or clients than spending three days with others who do the same.

The first thing we’ll do in Nashville is offer our travel planners an afternoon breakout session that will be run by volunteer peers. No subject is off-limits. From working with travel companies to filling trips to explaining to upper management the importance of what you do, this session is invaluable.

In this issue, for the second time in less than a year, we profile a travel planner who began reading our magazine and attending our conference. The combination of those things was enough to start the Good Life travel program for Susie Cleckner of Mechanics Bank in Mansfield, Ohio. Her program now has 2,100 members.

If you have not been to Nashville, Tennessee, in the past three years, I can give you another reason to attend. I’d never recommend attending a conference just to see a city, but in the case of Nashville, it’s hard not to. We’ll be downtown, right off Broadway, in the heart of one of America’s most vibrant music scenes. So you’ll get outstanding content during the day and iconic entertainment at night.

Join us at the Select Traveler Conference next month. At the end of the event, you can let me know if it was worth your time and effort to be there. I promise you’ll look at your year ahead with renewed enthusiasm as a result of attending.