November 10, 2015, Alexandria, VA- ASTA Small Business Network celebrated its top advisors and suppliers last night at its 2015 annual conference at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay where it revealed a unique dual-venue conference for 2016.
During a cocktail reception sponsored by Celebrity Cruises and a gala awards dinner sponsored by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, SBN President Ann van Leeuwen announced that the 2016 SBN Annual Conference will be held Nov. 3-9 at both the Westin Fort Lauderdale and onboard the Celebrity Infinity. The conference will be held with the first three nights in Fort Lauderdale and the next three on the ship, which will sail to the Bahamas and include stops in Nassau in CocoCay.
"Following up on the success of SBN's 2015 conference at the beautiful Sheraton Kona Resort, in partnership with the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, we anticipate the experience in Fort Lauderdale, FL on land and sea to be our largest attended conference as we celebrate our 30th anniversary. Over 100 registrations have been received already since we made the announcement," said van Leeuwen.
Last night's gala event included awards presented to each of SBN's 2015 Award winners, which were as follows:
River Cruise Line Partner of the Year: AMA Waterways
Luxury Cruise Line Partner of the Year: Regent Seven Seas
Premium cruise Line Partner of the Year: Celebrity Cruises
Contemporary Cruise Line Partner of the Year: Norwegian Cruise Line
Tour Partner of the year: Globus Family of Brands
Niche Partner of the year: Paul Gauguin Cruises
Destination of the Year: Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau (HVCB)
Hotel Partner of the Year: Starwood Hotels & Resorts
All Inclusive Partner of the Year: Sandals & Beaches
Partner on the Rise: Insight Vacations
Supplier Partner of the Year: HVCB
Supplier Liaison of the Year: Robyn Basso, HVCB
David M. Thrower member of the Year: Lorene Romero
Chapter of the Year: South Florida
Chapter of the Year: New England
Chapter Director of the Year: Lucille Carter
Regional Director of the Year: Eddie Woodham
Strategic Partner of the Year: Holland America Line
SBN is the travel industry’s leading national trade association representing independent contractors, outside sales consultants, cruise and tour oriented consultants, group oriented travel professionals and traditional ARC-appointed travel agencies that provide services and support to such professionals. Established in 1986, SBN’s mission is to represent the interest of independent travel entrepreneurs and to promote professionalism and recognition for the professional independent consultant. SBN is an affiliate of ASTA, the American Society of Travel advisors, the world’s largest travel trade association.