8:30 a.m.- 9:00 a.m. Continental breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 9:05 a.m. Welcome
9:05 a.m. – 9:50 a.m. Linda McNairy on Global Meeting Trends
When it comes to planning global events, it’s important to understand the landscape. To do so, we have turned to the experts at American Express to share a snapshot of meeting activity and trends in key regions around the world from their 2016 Global Meetings & Events Forecast. Featuring Linda McNairy, director, North America, Global Business Development & Strategy for American Express Meetings & Events.
9:50 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Agnès Canonica on International Travel Requirements
Let’s take a journey around the globe in 50 minutes and explore the intricate rules behind acquiring visas, whether attendees are traveling outside the U.S. or coming here from around the world. Agnès will relay her experiences country to country, not only sharing lessons learned, best practices & surprises encountered but insights and solutions to make cross-border travel smoother. Agnès is global director, strategic meeting management, for Advanced Health Media.
10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Researching Sites: A roundtable discussion
What sources do you use to research international hotels and destinations? Where do you look online? Do tourist boards help? TMCs and third parties? Industry publications and web sites? Where does TripAdvisor fit in? How do you narrow your list? How do you plan your site inspections? Roundtable participants will speak frankly about breaking through all the online clutter and separating the facts from the promotions to make informed site decisions.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Harith Wickrema on Authentic Destination Experiences
Chief visionary officer of Eco Serendib Villa and Spa-St. John/Harith Productions, Harith Wickrema has over 60 industry awards and nominations to his name, including Site Crystal Awards, ISES Espirit Awards and Gala Awards from Special Events Magazine. He has mastered the art of creating events that immerse attendees in the destination, its culture and its many flavors, while weaving in ways to give back to the community and its people and reduce the carbon footprint of the event. Harith will share a sampling with attendees, who will leave the session not only inspired but with best practices to take back to their own events.
12:45 p.m. Lunch
1:45 p.m. -2:30 p.m. Risk Management: A panel discussion
Four highly experienced meeting planners will discuss their policies and procedures for keeping attendees safe when traveling and meeting outside the U.S.
Moderator: Jeremy M. Luski, Founder and CEO, JML Worldwide
Jennifer Dela-Cruz, Associate Director, Meetings & Events, Royal Bank of Canada
Kari McGrath, VP, Customer Experience, Creative Group
Tracey Lane, President, The Lane Group
2:30 p.m. -2:45 p.m. Break
2:45 p.m. -3:45 p.m. Destination Exchange
We will break attendees and sponsors into roundtables based on destinations, hotels and cruises they have used or are considering, for an hour of open and honest information sharing.
3:45 p.m. Wrap-up