CCRA held its 2nd annual PowerSolutions National conference February 6-9, 2020 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, in National Harbor, Maryland.
At the conference, the organization celebrated another year of growth and shared an array of exciting new opportunities as well as unique training tracks for travel advisors and agency owners.
“This year’s conference presented enthusiastic travel advisors and agency owners the chance to learn new and exciting ways to increase revenue. The sold-out trade show floor was a superb resource for professional travel advisors in connecting them with in-demand suppliers who also raved about the highly professional nature of the conference attendees. Additionally, there was huge interest expressed from advisors about the new partnership between CCRA and Ensemble, further details of which will be unveiled after the alliance implementation period to be completed by June 1st."
- CCRA President & CEO, Dic Marxen
The conference kicked off with a full day of supplier trainings sessions from Uplift, Hilton, and Melia Hotels International where agents received a deep dive into their products and services and got an inside look at all of the offerings available to agents and their clients.
During the conference, attendees heard from the Meliá Hotels International sponsored keynote, Jessica Cox, the first armless pilot in aviation history. Her standing-ovation-producing keynote address inspired participants to pursue their dreams with the resilience to overcome any challenge. During her presentation, she provided insight on how to approach a challenge while redefining the concept of possibility, and help people reconnect with their own inner strength and aptitude by sharing in her struggles and successes of living in a "two-handed" world.
A glance at insightful sessions included: Sneak Peek at Ensemble’s Award-Winning Marketing Programs; Legal 101 with Mark Pestronk; Video 101 for Travel Entrepreneurs; and many more. Supplier panels shared valuable guidance on such topics as: Effective Strategies to Increase Agency Revenue; Growing Your Agency with ICs and Virtual Assistant; and It’s All About Family! Why You Need to Know More About Generational Travel. At events such as the supplier round-tables, one-on-one appointments, and the organization’s one-of-a-kind tradeshow, conference attendees networked with CCRA's preferred partners, including platinum sponsors: Marriott, Melia, Hilton, Sky Bird, Sabre, and IHG.
At the culmination of the conference, an awards ceremony and gala sponsored by Marriott — featuring dinner, dancing, and music performed by DC Youth Orchestra — honored leading suppliers and travel advisors including:
- Chapter Directors of the Year, Larissa Parks (Northern Virginia and DC Area) & Ellen Kettle (Northern New England and Boston Area)
- TRUE Rising Star, Kristi Huss
- Airline of the Year - Emirates
- Cruise Line of the Year - AMA Waterways
- Destination of the Year - Islands of the Bahamas
- Tour Operator of the Year - Sandals Resorts
- Best in class individual segment awards went to Radisson, Travefy, Atelier de Hoteles, Omni Hotels, Melia Hotels International, Marriott, and Carey International
- CCRA Power Partners of the Year included Aer Lingus, Hilton Hotels, SITA World Tours, and Organización Hotelera Dorado Plaza
"Attending CCRA’s PowerSolutions National was most beneficial to me because it allowed me to connect one-on-one with travel suppliers and nurture new and old relationships in person. The power of networking and being able to have strategic conversations specific to my business and revenue goals set the stage for what I know will be a joyful year. I am happy I was able to schedule these meetings in advance and meet new travel partners who offer new destinations and upscale locales and services that will tickle the fancy of my clientele. The workshops offered to help you added “extra commas” to monetary goals. The experts did not hold back and went above and beyond in delivering content that you can immediately implement and take action in your travel business. To wrap the entire conference up I am honored to have been named “Chapter Director of the Year" at the Power Partner Awards Gala and to share the stage with all of the winners and travel partners recognized for their excellence."
- Larissa Parks of Hitched 360