Travel Agent Central

Avoya Travel Will Move Its 2020 Conference to an Online Platform

Avoya Travel will shift to an online platform for its fall 2020 Avoya Conference, originally scheduled to unfold onboard Celebrity Cruises‘ Celebrity Equinox from October 20-26, 2020. Instead, the conference will consist of two separate online events spanning eight days: October 19-22, 2020 and December 1-4, 2020.

The goal is to keep independent agency owners/travel advisors in the Avoya Travel Network, as well as Avoya’s staff and industry partners safe and healthy during this COVID-19 era. 

More Content, More Accessibility

Currently, more registrants have signed up for the two-part conference than were expected in the original headcount for the in-person Avoya Conference, the company said in a press statement. The new platform will provide more educational content, create new marketing opportunities and provide accessibility for more independent agencies/advisors to participate. 


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“The Avoya Conference is always a tremendous opportunity for independent agencies in the Avoya Network to gather together with their peers and Avoya’s supplier partners for dynamic networking events while learning new product information and industry best practices,” said Steve Hirshan, senior vice president of sales at Avoya Travel. “With the unprecedented challenges our industry is facing, it’s more important than ever for travel agents to be informed and up-to-date on the changes and enhancements happening in the travel industry.”

Two-Part Agenda

The agenda for the two-part conference was curated based on the notion that there are two crucial segments of knowledge a travel professional needs to have to effectively sell travel in today’s current health and economic climate.

The first is understanding how the experience of travel is changing and what the “new normal” will be for different travel types—from cruising to escorted tours to all-inclusive resort stays. The second is having a relationship with the suppliers that an Avoya independent agency wants to specialize in selling. 

Splitting the Content

The Avoya Conference: Part One (October 19-22, 2020) will be geared toward providing extensive networking opportunities for Avoya’s network of independent agencies and Avoya’s preferred suppliers, focusing on relationship-building through one-to-one and small-group settings. 

The Avoya Conference: Part Two (December 1-4, 2020) will be centered around preparing independent agencies in the Avoya Network to sell travel during the 2021 Wave Season and beyond with a specific emphasis on enhancements to health and safety practices, updates on products and protocols, and the “new normal” of life while traveling in a post-COVID-19 world.

Keynote Speaker

The Avoya Conference will feature keynote speaker Nancy Friedman, the “Telephone Doctor,” who will be presenting in a General Session as well as a dedicated workshop focusing specifically on telephone sales skills and customer service.

The majority of the Avoya Network’s independent agencies operate their businesses virtually and work with travelers throughout the world. So, Avoya said that it’s never been more important for those independent advisors to have access to education aimed at honing sales and communication skills and continuing to increase the level of service they provide.

“Avoya Travel has always been known for staying ahead of the curve and evolving with the current times; adapting their conference to not just one but two online events is just another example of Avoya’s ingenuity and imagination,” said Nikki Upshaw, senior vice president, sales for Oceania Cruises, in a statement provided by Avoya. “We’ve been impressed with the innovative advancements they’ve made for their network of independent agencies as well as partners like us during these uncertain times. We’re looking forward to the success of the Avoya Conference and are excited to learn more about what’s next for Avoya.”


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