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April, 2013 (Alexandria, Va.) – ASTA Small Business Network (SBN) open registration for their 2013 Annual Convention, taking place at the Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sept. 19 - 22, 2013. Participants in this 4 day event, which immediately follows the ASTA Global Convention in Miami, will experience various educational workshops and seminars which help enrich all aspects of a travel professionals’ travel business.

From broadening their marketing opportunities to increasing their sales to networking with SBN agent and supplier members, SBN is providing this educational convention to enhance the travel professionals’ potential to grow your business.

“The SBN 2012 Annual Convention will present independent consultants with stellar opportunities to network and learn from one another and is guaranteed to provide attendees with a great return on their investment,” said Ann van Leeuwen, SBN’s vice president. “From broadening their marketing skills and opportunities to increasing their sales to high-level networking with SBN agent and supplier members, SBN is providing an educational convention with the express purpose enhancing travel agent’s potential to grow their business.”

Said ASTA President and Chair Nina Meyer: “With so many shows in the marketplace, selecting the one that will provide real-life business solutions that teach independent travel consultants how to grow their business and increase their revenue is essential. SBN’s conference delivers this and more.”

Travel professionals will experience various workshops covering sales motivation, social media, negotiating and destination training that will enrich all aspects of their travel business. Among the highlights:

  • Industry leaders: Hear from featured speakers: Nicki E. Grossman, President of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Chris Austin, Vice President Global Customer Partnerships Leisure & Luxury Sales Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Dondra Ritzenthaler, SVP of Sales for Celebrity Cruises and Zane Kerby, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Society of Travel Advisors.
  • Special Celebrity Speaker- Olympic Gold Medalist & Motivational Speaker, Greg Louganis.
  • Product workshops from leading suppliers. Advisors will expand their product knowledge and sales skills thanks to workshops from such leading industry suppliers and organizations as Celebrity Cruises, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Greater Fort Lauderdale Conventions and Visitors Bureau.
  • Personal supplier meetings: Attendees will have the chance to sit down with SBN preferred suppliers and host agencies and build long-lasting business relationships that will give them the inside track on a supplier’s offerings and help them close the sale.
  • SBN Seminar Series:
      • The skill of negotiating. Presented by Peter Kerr.
      • How to get noticed. Presented by Peter Kerr.
      • Keeping current with Social Media.

  • Destination Certification Program:

Hawai’I Visitors Bureau Ke Kula Training Program – You know how rewarding a Hawaiian vacation can be for your clients (and for your bottom line!). Here's an easy way to increase your sales to America’s favorite vacation destination – the Ke Kula O Hawaii (The School of Hawaii) destination specialist course.

SBN & ASTA members can register for a member rate of $199 each or non-members can attend for $299 which includes a 1 year SBN membership. Also included in the registration rate is access to the full program of events, which includes workshops, river cruise panel, special featured speakers, a tradeshow, roundtable sessions, dinner on the beach, destination specialist program and presentations from SBN’s premier supplier partners.

The SBN Convention is immediately following ASTA’s Global Convention, Sept. 17-19.

SBN has made it easy to combine attendance at both of the conventions. SBN Annual Convention & ASTA Global Convention is offering a special dual rate of $399 per agent; this dual rate includes admission to both events and a bus transfer from Miami to Fort Lauderdale.

SBN is the travel industry’s leading national trade association representing independent contractors, outside sales advisors, cruise and tour oriented advisors, 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 agent. SBN is an affiliate of ASTA, the American Society of Travel Advisors, the world’s largest travel trade association.