Conference Program of Events

Agenda is subject to change

  Wednesday, September 13

10:30am - 12:00pm

Gaining Your Competitive Edge as an Independent Contractor (IC): NACTA IC Benchmarking Workshop
The NACTA IC Benchmarking Workshop is designed to help the ICs improve their business. It provides tools to independent consultants to self-measure their profitability as well as comparing themselves against various peer groups in sales, revenue, profit, sales trends by segment and so on. Past IC participants have commented that they have gained a better understanding of the overall picture of their business results by participating in this workshop.
Register in advance and participate in this special workshop that is only available for agents and ICs from your industry trade association that you cannot easily get elsewhere.  Note: Conference attendees wishing to participate in this workshop will need to respond to a survey with required information submitted in advance in order to participate in this special program. No walk-ins will be accepted on site. Sign-up is currently open.

1:00 - 6:00pm Registration Desk Open

2:00 - 5:00pm NACTA Chapter Director Meeting
(NACTA Chapter & Regional Directors only)

2:15 - 3:15pm Social Media and Telling a Good Story
Presented by Richard Earls, Publisher Travel Research Online 
Social media is where the people are, so it’s a good idea to have something to say to them! 
Join TRO Publisher Richard Earls to explore how to make your social media marketing more engaging by enhancing your story telling ability and learning a few tricks guaranteed to inspire your clients to lock in on you as a travel expert and to inspire them to join your community of like-minded travelers. We will delve into techniques you can easily learn and apply to your own social media efforts.

 Discovery Ballroom
3:30 - 4:30pm Travel Agent Ethics Course
Presented by Peter Labasso, General Counsel, ASTA
Join ASTA’s General Counsel, Peter Lobasso, for an informative discussion of business ethics as it relates to the independent agent. Based on ASTA’s newly revised ethics course and its Code of Ethics, this session will provide you with the context and guidance needed to put these sometimes abstract concepts into practice.

 Discovery Ballroom
5:30 – 6:30pm New Member & Attendee Welcome Reception
Sponsored by Paul Gauguin Cruises
(For New Members of NACTA or first time conference attendees)
Quarter Deck
6:30 – 8:30pm Welcome Reception
Sponsored by The Hotel Captain Cook   
Discovery Ballroom

  Thursday, September 14

7:30 - 5:30pm Registration Desk Open

7:30 – 8:30am Breakfast with Special Presentation: Get Inspired to sell more Hawaii with the Hawaii Tourism United States
Presented by Christina Aldanese, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau
Six Hawaiian Islands.  Six unique experiences.  From crystal blue waters to black sand beaches, Hawaiiʻs iconic locations will fill any bucket list.  But thereʻs more to Hawaii than youʻve heard about. The engaging and interactive seminar highlights Hawaiiʻs geography, weather, activities and attractions, festivals and events and unique history and culture.  In addition to an overview of the distinct six Hawaiian Islands, you will also gain valuable insider tips, resulting in increased bookings for one of the most desirable destinations in the world. Attendees have the opportunity to win a $100 AMEX Gift Card

Discovery Ballroom
8:45 – 11:00am

General Session

  • Welcome by Alaska Congressman Don Young (Remote)
  • Chris Elliot, Journalist, Washington Post
  • Bob Duglin, VP Business Development, NACTA & ASTA 
  • Ann Chamberlin, President, NACTA & SVP Membership and Strategic Partnerships, ASTA
  • Jay Ellenby, Chairman of the Board, ASTA
  • Zane Kerby, President & CEO, ASTA
  • Chris Stevens, Snr. Director, Field Sales, Holland America Line
  • Peggy McNeil, Strategic Key Account Manager for North America & Northwest, Seabourn
  • Sandy Stevens, VP of Sales, Paul Gauguin Cruises

Discovery Ballroom
11:00 – 11:45am Get on the Inside Track with the Alaska Railroad - Your Ticket to BIGGER Commissions
Presented by Sasha McGinn Passenger Sales Account Executive, Alaska Railroad 
Alaska is BIG and filled with so many incredible things to see and do. Join Sasha McGinn to get the inside track on earning greater commissions and learn how to give your clients a unique Alaska adventure, one that’s only available with the iconic Alaska Railroad (ARRC). Start your journey toward becoming an Alaska Railroad Travel Expert and explore the unique destinations we travel to through images, video and Q&A. Learn how you can acquire Alaska Railroad photos and sales tools to tell (& sell!) the story of traveling in the Last Frontier. We’ll explore our summer and winter routes and share what Alaska Railroad onboard hospitality entails including dining and GoldStar and Adventure Class service. We’ll wrap the journey with a look at one of our most popular Alaska Railroad Multi-Day Travel Packages. As you know, packages offer a more seamless adventure, AND you can earn greater commissions. We look forward to seeing you onboard soon as we share the exciting adventures that wait along our 500 miles of track. All Aboard!
Discovery Ballroom
12:00 – 12:45pm A Guided Vacation for Every Client
Presented by Ashley Vaughan, Trafalgar Sr. Development Manager
For over 70 years, Trafalgar has been delivering fun, authentic and hassle-free vacations.  Learn What’s New for 2018 and the incredible value of Trafalgar's guided vacations…Simply the best as voted by guests & agents.

Discovery Ballroom
1:00 – 2:00pm Lunch with "Adventures in Alaska" Panel
Presented by:
Visit Anchorage
Salmon Berry Tours
Rust's Flying Service/ K2 Aviation
Explore Tours
Lazy Otter Charters
Alaska Nature Guides

Discovery Ballroom
2:15 – 3:15pm

The Art and Science of Negotiation
Presented by Peter Kerr, President KerrCommunications
How do you negotiate a contract or business agreement without just giving in? Should you inflate your price then negotiate down or just give them the bottom line first? Are there ways to read people to detect potential lies or deception? This multimedia seminar explains the latest social scientific and communications research to help you understand ways to negotiate, how to read other people, differences when dealing with the opposite gender, and the best ways to resolve conflict. You might even learn to win poker along the way. Delivered in an engaging style with anecdotes and humor, you'll never look at negotiations the same way again!

Discovery Ballroom
3:30 – 4:15pm Home is where the Heart is…AmaWaterways River Cruising with Heart and Soul
Presented by Diane Curchy Horan, CTC, Manager, National Accounts and Business Development, Florida
At AmaWaterways, love is at the heart of everything we do—providing our guests with the best river cruise possible. In fact, “Ama” is derived from the Latin word for “love.” Family-owned and operated, AmaWaterways has been a passion project for its founders since its creation in 2002. Recognized by premier travel authority Berlitz for having the highest-rated ships in Europe, AmaWaterways will continue to innovate in 2018, offering another new state-of-the-art ship, more expertly crafted itineraries and more choices to personalize excursions.

Discovery Ballroom
4:30 – 5:30pm WOWing your AWEdiences: Advanced Public Speaking 
Presented by Peter Kerr, President KerrCommunications
Can one talk make you an awesome public speaker? No. But this one can make you a much better speaker! Enjoy learning from a pro how to tell powerful stories, insert rhetorical flourishes, use teleprompters and motivate audiences in this multi-media presentation. Packed full of anecdotes and humor, you'll also discover how persuasion works, how to make your talks more interactive, and proven tips to overcome anxiety. If you're ever going to speak in public again, this talk is for you!

Discovery Ballroom
7:00 – 8:00pm NACTA Gala Awards Cocktail Reception
Sponsored by:
Holland America Line
Discovery Foyer
Attire: Cocktail 
8:00 - 10:00pm NACTA Gala Awards Dinner
Sponsored by:
Visit Anchorage
Travel Juneau
Explore Fairbanks

Discovery Ballroom
Attire: Cocktail 

  Friday, September 15

7:30 - 5:00pm Registration Desk Open

7:30 - 8:30am Breakfast with presentation from Alaska State Parks
Presented by Ethan Tyler, Director, State Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Ethan will explain how agents can help their clients experience more of Alaska, by getting past the known attractions and delving into the culture of Alaska through the state parks.

Discovery Ballroom
8:30 –9:15am Business Intelligence & Fact Sharing
Presented by Jason Douglas-Harris, Celebrity National Accounts Manager
Learn how to capture the right audience to sell more cruises and to keep that client coming back to cruise more. Celebrity Cruises will share many tips of what agents can do to find and keep customers - what months to promote what product, trends, and how to get those first time cruisers.

Discovery Ballroom
9:30 - 12:30pm Engagement Sessions
Formally known as “round table sessions”, this energetic sit-down session will provide a vast variety of NACTA’s top supplier and host agency partners! This session provides you the opportunity to network directly with your supplier/host agency representative. NACTA travel consultants- Bring your NACTA one sheet and share your profile during your appointments.

Discovery Ballroom
1:00 – 3:00pm Lunch at 49th State Brewery
Sponsored by:
Visit Anchorage
49th State Brewery

Off Site
3:00 – 5:30pm Trade Show with Prizes

Discovery Ballroom
Evening Dine-Around: On Your Own
Enjoy a night out in Anchorage! Book your reservations at the Visit Anchorage Table near the NACTA registration table during the conference. 
Off Site


  Saturday, September 16

Times Vary - Click Here for Departure Times

Alaskan Adventure Day
Sponsored by Visit Anchorage
This is a day not to be missed! Book your Alaskan departure on a late evening flight on the 16th or anytime after.

**Agenda is subject to change

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Platinum Sponsor

Conference Sponsors
Visit Anchorage

Holland America

Captain Cook Hotel

Salmon Berry

Alaska Dream Cruises