Ann Chamberlin senior Vice President, Membership Marketing & Strategic Partnerships for ASTA and President of ASTA Small Business Network (formerly NACTA), offers insight on how SBN will draw on the past to build a successful future for small business owners—and why the future looks bright.

What does ASTA SBN mean to those who love NACTA?

They’ll continue to love the community and networking! The best of what advisors value in NACTA stays—a magazine with a dedicated section for SBN Advisors, the popular chapter community, the NACTA Advisor Digest where members can post responses and get immediate travel recommendations for clients from fellow members. The $165 membership fee rate remains through the end of 2019. It all stays—while we add more! SBN members gain access to ASTA’s TravelSense.org client referral site and a profile similar—if not better than—the NACTA One Sheet. Over 80,000 clients visit TravelSense, looking to connect with ASTA Advisors.

In 2019, we’ll continue to have a robust FAM program with an international focus. I’ll be President of the SBN as we continue to add members to this growing community. Members will have a choice of attending ASTA or ASTA SBN Chapter meetings or both. We will have one voice under the ASTA name. NACTA Chapter Directors will now be ASTA Chapter Presidents and SBN members have voting rights to ASTA Board of Director positions. SBN members will gain so much more, while the best of NACTA benefits remain.

How does the success of NACTA drive the future ASTA SBN?

The fastest growing segment in the industry is the small business advisor community and ASTA has a membership program to embrace that growth. NACTA membership remained steady through the hard work of the Chapter leaders and member loyalty to this community, while host agency support continues to spotlight this community.We added the first-ever Chapter Connections session—community networking that connects ASTA advisors to their local chapters to participate and get involved. ASTA Global Convention was well-received and will be repeated in 2019! NACTA Annual Conference, which was well-attended and popular by the selected leisure destinations, will continue as the ASTA SBN Annual Conference in Colorado for 2019 and Savannah, Georgia, for 2020.

Why should small businesses be part of SBN?

Small businesses should remain connected with this elevated change because its value is excellent: The best of NACTA benefits remain while new business- generating benefits have been added. Consumer leads will more then cover the nominal membership fee of $165 for 2019. Small boutique suppliers seek to do business with ASTA SBN members, and they find them through membership in ASTA. Additionally, consumers seek to validate a travel advisor through an ASTA membership. With ASTA’s rebrand to American Society of Travel Advisors, we can more accurately reflect the professionalism of our travel sellers, their knowledge, experience and expertise.