Ensemble embraces education with ‘Extraordinary’ events
From L-R: Franca Luele - Marketing & Product Development; Cristie Newell - Sr. Director, Meetings & Events; Cheryl Babulal - Business Development Director; Miosoty Gallant - Member Services Specialist; Ingrid Lopez - Marketing Coordinator; Clare Burke - Executive Admin & Events Coordinator

Ensemble embraces education with ‘Extraordinary’ events

TORONTO — Ensemble has wrapped up its ‘Extraordinary’ event series designed to give agents the education, tools and connections needed to sell to luxury and niche markets.

The cross-Canada events came on the heels of the launch of Ensemble’s ‘Extraordinary Experiences’ brochure, which showcases bucket-list destinations and travel experiences that dedicated agents can offer to higher-end clients.

Examples of some of these experiences include the Egyptian Pyramids with Insight Vacations, Yoga in India with Goway, over-water bungalows in the Pacific with Tourcan Vacations, the South Pole with Tauck, deep sea exploration with Kensington Tours, and the jewels of central Asia with G Adventures.

Although beach vacations continue to perform well this year, with Extraordinary Experiences, Ensemble is moving beyond mass commoditized travel product and embracing niche and luxury products.

“It’s a good idea to specialize in this part of the market because it is lucrative and clients need the help of a good travel agent to create these type of bucket-list experiences,” said Franca Iuele, Senior Director of Marketing & Product Development, Ensemble Travel Group. “The training sessions at these events are designed to give our agents the tools to sell to the high-end market, as well as face-to-face time with the suppliers to build their contacts.”

The events had a heavy focus on training with presentations, speed dating with suppliers, trade shows and much more.

“Education is the key to moving the needle with regard to sales,” added Iuele. “Having specialists on the ground is an important part of capturing this business, especially for independent contractors. Also, we have seen that when an agent has a relationship with the supplier, sales go up.”

Upcoming Ensemble events include the invite-only Executive Ensemble retreat held in June this year in St. John’s. Also, its International conference will be held in Seattle in October, plus an appreciation event for Top Producing Agencies will take place in Japan this year.

“Its important to come to these type of events because we have to stay in touch with what’s going on. Travel is very dynamic, in a constantly changing world, so the better educated we are, the better service we can provide to our clients,” said Coreen Doucett of The Travel Agent Next Door.