RIDING THE WAVE: TDC’s Annual Conference provides strategies to success

Transat Distribution Canada (TDC) recently welcomed travel advisors from its franchised, affiliated corporate branches and agent@home program to the network’s annual 2023 conference. Held at the Sheraton Toronto Airport hotel Sept. 16-17, the event was themed “Ride the Wave: Surf the Tides of Success.”

“The message we want to convey through our theme is this: we have no control over the wave; neither over the moment it comes at you, nor its intensity,” said TDC General Manager Karine Gagnon. “But we can and must be prepared to stand up on our board when our turn to ride comes.”

She continued, “We all know we’ve had our share of big waves to ride and overcome in the travel industry, and we can never be too prepared for the next ones.”

Karine Gagnon

Enthusiastic presenter Isabelle Fontaine officially kicked off the event, addressing the subject of psychology of influence and how to attract clients as a “people magnet.” She also covered how to master the art of conversation to detect or identify client expectations not specifically stated and come up with winning solutions for everyone involved – an incredible asset in the travel agent-client relationship.

Other speakers include Business Coach and Travel Industry Strategist Geraldine Ree, who focused on the best strategies and tips to “stop managing time and start owning time,” and
Transat Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Social Media Bernard Côté, who advised attendees on how to maximize their time in destination during group or FAM trips and how to create attractive and high-performing content for their online platforms.

Meanwhile Katarina Haddad and Jean-François Thibault from Axellite Leadership discussed intelligent and conscious energy management, encouraging audience members on how to incorporate the elements in their daily planning, providing strategies to learn how to identify key moments for performance and rest, aiming to be productive when necessary and, most importantly, to protect themselves against burnout.

Geraldine Ree returned for a final session on how to generate more and better high value customers, in less time, stressing that the best travel professionals know it’s impossible to be all things to all people, yet many struggle to take a stand and shift their business. She shared strategies on how to find, attract, convert, and retain higher value customers who understand the advisors’ worth – and are willing to pay for it!

Leaders Forum

Additional conference events include the TDC Leaders Forum, a brainstorming session for owners and directors of franchised and affiliated agencies Marlin Travel and TravelPlus, along with the entire TDC management team, where topics included employee recruitment and retention.

On hand were new (or newly assigned) management team members Marc Pelletier, Sr. Director of Marketing, Communications, and Events, and Dianne Jackson, newly appointed as Director of Franchised and Affiliated Agencies for provinces outside Québec, as well as Anthony Mormina and Colette Girard, both promoted to new roles, respectively as Sr. Director of Sales and Operations and Director of Franchised and Affiliated Members in Québec. They joined Sandra Wesson, Director of Products and Industry Relations, and Alain Brouillard, Director of Finance and Accounting.

Riding the wave

Preferred Partners

Nearly 45 partners also took part in the weekend event to share their latest updates, either during the roundtable discussions or the trade show. They included Princess Cruises, Cunard, Paul Gauguin and Seabourn.

Saturday night’s all right

Of course, what would the TDC Annual Conference be without the Saturday night festive event, sponsored by Transat? “Because,” said, GM Gagnon, “work should be fun… for everyone, our members, partners, and the entire TDC team.”

First published at Travel Industry Today


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