Written By Jennifer Kruse, CTA, ACC, LCS, Associate Director, Trade Recruitment & Engagement – Travel Weekly Events Following tremendous success, the STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program returns to CruiseWorld in 2018. The application to participate is now open. Travel Weekly’s CruiseWorld registration is now open and planning for the event is well underway. The event, slated for Nov. 7-9th in Fort Lauderdale, with ship inspection options November 10th and 11th, will include general sessions jam-packed with industry leadership, supplier training programs and breakout sessions, peer-led workshops, and a diversified Exhibitor Showcase. A select group of advisors will have the opportunity to attend the event in an enhanced capacity as a ‘STAR’. The STAR Program is structured to provide intense customized event programming while offsetting some of the financial expenses incurred by travel advisors to attend professional development events. CruiseWorld STARs receive VIP treatment and are provided with exclusive programming and networking opportunities to maximize their onsite experience. One of the newer features of the STAR Program is the addition of Travel Advisor Roundtables. In this STAR-exclusive session, suppliers give a series of 15-minute presentations to travel advisors on their product. The small group setting facilitates productive discussion and encourages question and answer between suppliers and travel advisors. What many travel advisors feel is a major benefit of STAR Program participation is a series of one-on-one appointments between STARs and suppliers during CruiseWorld’s signature one-day Exhibitor Showcase. In addition to these meetings, advisors who qualify for the STAR Program, and who are selected to participate, receive complimentary registration and complimentary hotel accommodation for two nights. Specific participation requirements and program criteria are detailed on the CruiseWorld website at www.cruiseworldshow.com/star. As part of Travel Weekly’s ongoing commitment to supporting the professional development and growth of the travel advisor community, this program will again help fund attendance for up to 250 of the estimated 1,000 travel advisor attendees at CruiseWorld. “The STAR Program has truly delivered since its inception. Past STAR participants have experienced tremendous growth as well as the development of many new business relationships. Exhibitors continually commend the quality of the STAR advisors they meet during their one-on-one appointments. In 2017, the STAR Program was completely sold out, due to its effectiveness. At Travel Weekly, we are dedicated to the financial and professional advancement of the travel advisor community and the industry as a whole, with live events as a platform to facilitate that advancement,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events for Northstar Travel Group. The STAR Program garners glowing reviews from its alumni. “It was great to be surrounded by and be able to talk to travel advisors who are real veterans of the industry and pick up best practices and tidbits of information from them. I also enjoyed being able to give my own advice to some of the STARs newer to the industry,” said Joanie Oliverio with CruiseOne. “I love the one-on-one meetings during the Exhibitor Showcase,” added Crystal Smith of Envoy Travel, LLC. “By having them chosen and pre-scheduled for me, I am prompted to meet with new suppliers and come up with new ideas for my clients that I may not have considered before. I found that several of the meetings opened up new possibilities to me.” Traditional registration is available for those who do not wish to apply for the STAR Program. Visit www.cruiseworldshow.com/register to register. And remember, CruiseWorld isn’t just about cruise. This event brings together all facets of the leisure travel industry. Exhibitor categories include: airlines, attractions, business tools, car rental, cruise, destinations, hotels and resorts, professional services, rail, tour operators and packaged vacations, and more. Whether attending as a STAR Program participant or a traditional attendee, CruiseWorld’s robust programming provides value for all types of travel advisors, from the home-based professional to the cruise-centered advisors, the seasoned veterans and those new to the industry. Travel Professional NEWS Readers can register using code HBTA to receive a $25 discount on the full-conference program rate. For additional information about CruiseWorld, and how to apply for the STAR Program visit www.cruiseworldshow.com.