TORONTO — At its recent ‘Horizons by ensemble’ conference, held at the Eden Roc and Nobu Miami Beach, the newly-branded ‘ensemble’ outlined its 3 core pillars for the way forward: bigger profit, bolder vision and better member services.
The three-day conference was the first annual event for owners and managers since ensemble was acquired by Navigatr Group.
With bigger profit, bolder vision and better member services as the core pillars of the ensemble of the future, President Michael Johnson underscored several areas where ensemble would focus its energy to achieve that goal. These include technology, member relations, supplier relations, training and development, marketing, and data monetization.
“From the beginning, we believed that the strengths of the Navigatr Group were complementary to ensemble, and that investing in this great company represented an opportunity to do something really unique,” says Johnson. “This was always about building on existing strengths and giving members more options. The new ensemble is very focused on choice and the word ‘and.’ We are still providing the programs and resources that members rely upon, but we are now also offering several other new tools and resources with the goal of helping our members be more efficient and more profitable.”
Since the acquisition was completed earlier this year, the transition has focused on people and reorganizing and building the ensemble team, building relationships and process, and fostering a culture of engagement. The team has increased by 20% with plans to invest aggressively in talent by an additional 50%.
With a focus on improving margin and yield, Johnson told members that ensemble wasn’t focused on becoming the biggest consortium; it wants to the most profitable for its members. Ensemble’s proprietary technology platform, ADX (Agent Digital Experience), will be key to that goal.
Meanwhile ensemble’s magazines will come to life in two print formats: one focused on aspirational travel and lifestyle editorial along with advertising. The second format focuses on key travel themes and the best travel products in the market to highlight ensemble’s partners and their offerings.
Several new high-impact B2B vehicles highlight relevant partner offers, with branded email platforms called Bold, Lift and Pronto.
As for events, the annual Horizons will be the full annual gathering with the entire ensemble advisor community; The Summit is the executive retreat; Beyond for top performer recognition; Skyline, regional networking opportunities with frontline advisors; and Uncharted, a virtual event that will allow partners to share messages from the vantage points unique to their brand.
Ensemble is also launching of a new learning program in spring 2023, ‘ETA – ensemble Training Academy, which will expand on Universe of ensemble’s on demand programs and weekly training webinars.
Consortiums and host agencies are only as strong as their partners. David Harris, who had served as ensemble’s CEO since 2019 and assumed a new role as Executive Chairman as part of the acquisition, will focus on industry advocacy and ensuring that ensemble has a strong voice and leadership position.
“I truly believe it is critical for us to work together and speak with one voice in order to fully recover and continue to grow the global tourism industry,” said Harris.
He added that he will continue to focus on supplier partner relationships and will work with the leadership team to execute the vision for the new ensemble.
The ‘Horizons by ensemble’ conference wrapped up with a gala dinner and awards ceremony. Here’s a list of the winners …
Partner Pandemic Response: Royal Caribbean
Ambassador Partner of the Year: Silversea and WestJet Vacations
Most Socially Responsible Travel Partner: Ama Waterways
Reinvention Award: Lauren Doyle, President, The Travel Mechanic
Member Excellence Award: Ross Spalding, President, Crown Cruise Vacations
Outstanding Contributions to the Travel Community: Travel Only