Right People. Right Time. Right Format
Connect Travel Marketplace is an International travel show, specifically designed to address industry needs. Connect Travel Marketplace combines the right timing for product development, a unique format that creates an efficient and effective environment to expedite the sales process and close business and a robust educational track to inspire and inform industry leaders in a rapidly evolving global market.
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
The 4-star Gaylord Palms offers live nightly entertainment, a waterslide and separate children’s and adults swimming pools. The hotel also features a sand beach play area, waterfalls and on-site boutique shops. Elegant gardens and a full-service spa are available and the spacious rooms provide views of the city or atriums.
WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?
“Connect Marketplace is extremely important in promoting international travel. By bringing international buyers to the states and having an appointment-show format, it exposes even more people on why they should come to the U.S.” Roger Dow, President, US TRAVEL
“International visitation to our region is vital and the inaugural Connect Travel Marketplace was extremely productive for Experience Kissimmee and for our partners,” said DT Minich, president and CEO with Experience Kissimmee. “We are very excited to host Connect Travel Marketplace 2019 and to showcase Kissimmee to over 200 international tour operators from around the world.”
“The show exceeded our wildest expectations. We’ve never attended a show that yielded not only the quality of buyers we had appointments with, but the fact that of the 45 appointments we had we issued 37 contract (82% close rate) is unparalleled. ConnectTRAVEL definitely delivered on the promise of “Right People. Right Time. Right Format.” We are very excited for 2019 and beyond.” Fabrizio “The Dude” Busso-Campana, SVP, Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruises
“We are looking forward to attending the NEW Connect Travel Marketplace. Connect has an excellent reputation and a proven track record of producing quality events that focus on providing the best ROI for all involved.” Fred Dixon, President and CEO, NYC & Company
“Following our participation at the inaugural Connect Marketplace in Orlando in 2018, we are delighted to register early for the 2019 show. The 2018 event was a huge success for Thomas Cook leading to excellent co-op Marketing opportunities and many new Hotel Contracts agreed as a direct result of the show.” Julian Stockdale, Head of USA Contracting, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland
OUR 2019 SPONSORS
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
8:00 am – 2:00 pm
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
5:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Welcome & Orientation
Opening Night Party at Epcot – World Show Place sponsored by Disney Destinations
Thursday, February 21, 2019
9:00 am – 10:00 am
Breakfast & Opening Keynote: Tom Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand USA; Carroll Rheem, Vice President, Research and Analytics, Brand USA, sponsored by MMGY
10:15 am – 12:15 pm
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
12:45 pm – 12:55 pm
Carol Dover, President/CEO, FRLA and Dana Young, President & CEO, VISIT FLORIDA
12:55 pm – 1:15 pm
Derek Price, Director North America, Expedia Group Media Solutions
1:15 pm – 1:45 pm
The State of the Cruise Industry – 2025, Navin Sawhney, Chief Executive Officer, PONANT Cultural Cruises & Expeditions and Scott Knutson, VP Sales & Marketing, Costa Cruises North America; sponsored by FRLA
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
4:00 pm – 4:30 pm
4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
George W. Bush, Forty-third president of the United States of America, world leader, best-selling author, artist
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Reception with the Harlem Gobetrotters
Friday, February 22, 2019
9:00 am – 9:45 am
Breakfast & Keynote: Randy Garfield, former President, Walt Disney Travel Company and former EVP/Chief Sales Officer, Disney Destinations
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Lunch and Women in Tourism Panel: Devon Dow, Global Business Director, Mailman; Stacey Mitchell, Director, Monroe County Tourist Development Council; Stacy Ritter, President/CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB; Laura Mandala, CEO, Mandala Research (moderator), sponsored by Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Marketplace Mix & Mingle
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Closing Night Party at Discovery Cove sponsored by Experience Kissimmee and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Carol B. Dover has served as President/CEO of the more than 10,000 member Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) since July of 1995. Dover is a professional association manager, a lobbyist, a former government insider, and a Florida State University Dedman School of Hospitality graduate with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Stacey Mitchell is the director of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the agency responsible for destination tourism promotion of the Florida Keys & Key West. In her position, she directs staff and contract agencies who coordinate programs in advertising, public relations, sales and internet disciplines for the Keys. Mitchell previously served as the TDC’s longtime director of sales, overseeing travel industry activity and administration of the council’s sales team in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Thomas “Tom” Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer for Brand USA, the nation’s public-private partnership dedicated to increasing international visitation to the United States through marketing and promotional efforts. In this role, Tom is responsible for leading the development of Brand USA’s strategic marketing plan, which is designed to increase incremental international visitation to the United States and drive tourism dollars to communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five territories.
Carroll Rheem is vice president, research and analytics for Brand USA, the nation’s public- private partnership dedicated to increasing international visitation to the United States through marketing and promotional efforts. In this role, Carroll leads Brand USA’s intelligence function, which serves as the foundation for global marketing strategy, as well as the company’s performance metrics.
Derek Price, Director, Expedia Media Solutions. Derek has worked in the travel industry for more than 20 years. The last 10+ within the onlinespace, much of it at OTAs, including Travelocity, Orbitz and now Expedia. Ranging in roles from market management to media sales and now director in locations from New York City, Las Vegas and South Florida. When not traveling with his team meeting with clients, Derek splits his time between New York City and Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Paul Cohen, former Vice President at PHG Consulting, brings 25 years of experience in the travel and tourism industries and a distinguished career of working with tourism marketing organizations, travel suppliers, and select corporate partners to solve problems and generate results.
Randy Garfield served as President of Walt Disney Travel Company and EVP/Chief Sales Officer for Disney Destinations. In a Disney career spanning 20 years, he led worldwide sales and group/convention services for its theme parks, resorts, cruise line and time share business and the resort reservation centers which handle millions of transactions each year. While driving strategy and consistently delivering record-breaking results, Mr. Garfield also helmed key travel and tourism associations and other National industry organizations to create global awareness of the importance of travel and tourism and to drive inbound travel to the United States.
Laura Mandala has been helping the tourism industry unlock, decode and harness the power of travel data and trends for nearly two decades. As the head of Mandala Research, one of the leading travel and tourism research firms in the world, she spends considerable time evaluating important emerging developments and that help destinations and travel companies make the right decisions to attract the right travelers.
Devon Dow is a global marketing and brand strategy leader with ten years of international experience in a start-up environment. She is the Global Business Director for Mailman, China’s leading sports and destination digital consultancy. Mailman focuses on helping destinations navigate China’s digital landscape bringing technology to digital marketing platforms enabling organizations to take charge of their marketing presence across multiple platforms such as Weibo and WeChat.
In 2016 Stacy Ritter was named President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB). As CEO, she is responsible for the administration of the GFLCVB. The CVB is based in Broward County with multiple domestic and international
offices. The permanent staff of the CVB is comprised of a 45-person organization of sales and marketing professionals with a $24 million operating budget. Ritter oversees an organization that provides sales and marketing development for leisure, international, sports,
convention and group sales.
With Connect’s signature reverse-style trade show you can focus on product development and not navigating a convention hall. The timing is right, the format is efficient and effective and the educational programming will prepare you to thrive in a hyper-competitive global marketplace.
Grow your International business from Canada, the UK, Europe, Latin America, China and the Middle East. Take advantage of 40 guaranteed one on one prescheduled appointments with top international tour operators in a reverse-style trade show that is proven to be an efficient and effective way to expedite the sales process and close business.