Cadence Council 2017: The parts we want to remember forever


Last weekend, our three divisions of travel management gathered for our annual meeting to explore the meaningful, unstoppable, brilliant potential of genuine connection.

The Venue:
Not only was the recently renovated Hyatt Regency Indian Wells an ideal setting, but the Palm Springs weather was perfect. We enjoyed outdoor lunches with mountain views, a black and white party under the stars to show off the vibrant color palette of our rebrand, and watched our general session space transform from day to glamorous night for our gala dinner.

Managed Business Travel Advisory Board:

Valued corporate travel clients discussed how organized change management programs can improve the success rates of new initiatives (online booking tools, travel policies, etc.). The group also discussed permanxiety, or the constant state of uncertainty and concern around travel, and how social media can perpetuate fear while proactive plans can alleviate traveler concerns. Additional topics included how to cater to the needs of millennials traveling for business, as well as how to incorporate bleisure components into business trips to reduce burnout.

Meetings + Incentive Travel Advisory Board:

This collaborative session included meeting planners, technology partners, and valued suppliers. The a-ha moments started with, "Defining the Why," which explored Simon Sineks' brilliant perspective on customers not buying what you do, but why you do it. The Power of Connection was also a key theme, which made Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts the perfect brand to speak about service and the human connection. One of the most powerful concepts was the idea of partnerships, and more specifically, how to connect the dots between various disciplines in order to deepen relationships and break down walls between partners.

General Session Panel 1:

Because of this historic bringing together of our three divisions, we used our primary time together to understand the overall state of the industry in the form of a panel. Jennifer Campbell, Managing Director of Professional Development + Agency Services at Virtuoso, spoke about the power of education as well as the smart new booking tool technologies for travelers to enjoy our Virtuoso perks even when booking on their own. On the topic of technology, we learned about the incredible travel innovation from Anil Punyapu, Senior VP of Enterprise Sales at Cvent. Speaking of, did you know that airports can use facial recognition to log if you have arrived for your flight so that they can proactively determine how full the flight will be? Wow. We asked Jane Burnell Fraser, VP of Sales, The Americas at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts to explain how their legendary service is supported by technology and she showed us her own text chats with the new Four Seasons app. Ordering a cup of tea was a cup of tea! We closed our panel with the topic of traveler safety, explored by Marty MacKay, DMCP, President of Global Alliance at Host Global. Her biggest tips? Develop a safety checklist for participants, register for the State Department STEP Program, and consider using iJET International.

General Session Panel 2:

While our Meetings + Incentives Travel and Managed Business Travel clients left for a jeep excursion through the desert, our group of 70+ travel advisors explored a deeper dive into connectivity through four panel speakers in the cruise industry. Doug Seagle, VP of Sales, North America at Seabourn spoke about what inspired the concept behind Ventures by Seabourn and how to connect to first-time cruisers. Carol Herron, VP of Field Sales at Regent Seven Seas Cruises, gave us some great insight into scaling responsibly while maintaining integrity in customer service standards. We heard some wonderful tidbits about tapping into themes like "foodies" and "winos" from Nikki Upshaw, Senior VP of Sales at Oceania Cruises, a brand who prides themselves as having "The Finest Cruising at Sea." Lastly, Nathan Hickman, VP of National and Field Sales at Norwegian Cruise Line, explained how the luxury suite section of their ships, The Haven, was added to cater to their diverse and multi-generational families. The overall takeaway was that every solid brand advancement was the result of really listening to the customer. We couldn't relate more!

Black + White Party:

This was a coming out party for our rebrand! Against the airy backdrop of black and white, we showed of our vibrant new color palette and celebrated the joining of all three divisions together. Our partners at Cultivate created a memorable live shopping experience with a variety of awesome complimentary goodies for our clients and advisors, including Ray Ban sunglasses, Kate Spade bags, and more.

Closing Session:

Our advisors left Sunday afternoon with the understanding that a solution to a problem is only has helpful as the connections you have, including brand advocacy, technology, strategic partnerships, education, etc. The result? A deeper culture of resourcefulness and support for creative problem solving... all for the benefit of the client's travel experience.

In summary, we had an incredible time connecting to our clients, travel partners, and advisors this year. What's in store for next year? We believe it's going to be absolutely unforgettable.

Have any positive thoughts to share? We'd love to hear them in the comments section below!