Written by Bridget Lee
Oh man, where do I even start? This year was our 3rd annual Travel Quest National Meeting. It is such a labor of love for all of us at Travel Quest so getting to see it come together is extremely rewarding! The whole event was full of good vibes as agents, vendors and staff were all mingling and making those truly meaningful connections; the ones you keep even after the event is over.
Make sure you check out our official Travel Quest National Meeting Photo Album and our super fun Live Social Wall from TQNM16.
Pre-Event First Timers
This was the first year we decided to start off the event with a pre-event. How’d it go, you ask? Let’s just say we will certainly be having another pre-event next year! It started with cocktails and delicious food at the Hard Rock Cafe in the Mall of America. Then we got to try out the spectacular FlyOver America ride. Don't let the word 'ride' fool you. I am not a ride person and get motion sickness but FlyOver America didn't phase me. If you’re ever in MN, you have to try it out!
We ended the pre-event with Dick’s Last Resort’s MOA Scavenger Hunt. You and your team get an ipad and have to run (or leisurely walk) around the mall answering questions and taking photos. I may have been born and raised in MN but I was no help on this game! Even though my team didn't win, we still had a great time!
The Big Day!
We started bright and early on Saturday, September 10th with a running entrance from Travel Quest's owner, Bonnie Lee. How she has so much energy, no one knows. Then began the real work with 15 classes throughout the day. Thanks to feedback from last year's TQNM, we added a variety of classes to cover everything from new agents to experienced selling and business help with finance, technology, insurance and more!
We scheduled our trade show after lunch to get everyone moving and mingling to avoid that afternoon slump. It proved to be a success and the feeling was electric with agents flowing through over 50+ vendor tables! We aim to draw in a wide variety of suppliers and tourism boards so agents are introduced to new areas of travel. Before heading back to classes, agents enjoyed a healthy snack bar with delicious yogurt fruit smoothies and tomato juice shooters for that extra energy boost! I really enjoyed that part :)
The day ended with our Delta Airlines sponsored closing dinner at the beautiful Lela Restaurant. We had food and drink stations from around the world and Delta Airline ticket giveaways to match! The food was delicious and the decor beautiful. All said and done, there was over $35,000 in prizes given away throughout the event - not too shabby!
The bulk of the event was wrapped up on Saturday but agents were able to stay an extra day for more vendor specific training. Sunday's schedule had 15 vendor classes for agents to attend to catch up with the latest news and/or broaden their horizon with new suppliers. We ended it all with a trade show so agents could hit up any they missed the day before or follow up with questions they may have come up with after the classes.
I slept for over 12 glorious hours Sunday night and was a bit like a zombie on Monday but I wouldn't change it for the world! TQNM is my absolute favorite time of the year and it was such a pleasure getting to meet so many of the agents that I've emailed or spoken on the phone with.
TQNM isn't only great to attend because it is one of the best trainings, it is truly priceless for the networking aspect. Agents connect with each other and you really get the sense of camaraderie which is often missing with many home-based agent. Travel Quest doesn't just aim for personalized support, we want to foster that sense of community with our agents as well; TQNM is just one example of how we do that.
TQ National Meeting 2017 is already in the works for September 9th and 10th in Minneapolis, MN! Sign up for our email list to be kept in the loop as more details emerge!