‘Champion Mindset’ At Ensemble Summit  

Champion Mindset was the theme of Ensemble’s recent Summit event for owners and managers at the Stein Erikson Lodge in Park City. The Summit coincided with the one-year anniversary since Ensemble was acquired by Navigatr Group.

David Harris, Executive Chairman of Ensemble, opened the conference and reflected on the theme of the Summit – championing success – and acknowledging the trust and commitment members provided for the acquisition combined with the vision and leadership of the Ensemble team that has transformed the organization.

Said Harris: “We’ve come out from one of the most devastating crises for our industry and have taken a 180 degree turn and gone into overdrive.  Travel has surged and our members’ businesses are busier than ever as consumers are excited to be spending on travel that inspires, invigorates and fulfills their desires to meaningfully expand their lives.”

Harris continued: “We are not seeing signs that the pace will diminish any time soon as long as we continue to fuel consumer interest and drive value through our very strong relationships and an expanding, impressive lineup of diverse product offerings.”

Michael Johnson, President of Ensemble, provided a recap of the transformation Ensemble has undergone in the past year and what’s next as part of its evolution.

Said Johnson: “This past year has been about rebuilding and reimagining what Ensemble could be and how it could transform our business, our members’ businesses and the consortium model.”

He pointed out that: “Having successfully created that foundation, we are now focused on growth. It has been particularly gratifying to see the response from within our membership, but also the tremendous interest we’ve had from those who share our vision, have seen the evolution over the past year and want to join our community.”

Johnson reported that Ensemble’s agencies have experienced tremendous growth in the past year. While stipulating that the 96% year over year growth is also the result of recovery from the pandemic, he also acknowledged that it’s also due to the enhanced value proposition of the consortium.

While growth was experienced in all sectors, Johnson pointed to the tremendous growth in the tour operator vertical where growth was up nearly 114% in the U.S. and 128% in Canada.

Key to Ensemble’s growth has been the ability to onboard members on the proprietary ADX platform, which now has more than 10,000 advisors using it at an average 7.9% yield.

Looking ahead, Johnson outlined five pillars that will be the foundation for taking Ensemble to the next level including:

  • Growth – Including both existing member sales and yields; growth in our agency roster and volume; and growth in capabilities as a consortium.
  • Technology – In addition to the newly added cruise search feature on the ADX platform, plans are to add the ability to invoice other services and make ADX an all earning platform designed to make selling travel easy.
  • Profitability – Ensemble’s goal is not to be the biggest consortium, but the most profitable for its members and partners.
  • Data – Ensemble recently launched a partnership with Grasp Technologies designed to deliver business intelligence and drive value.
  • Engagement – Leverage all the new programs that have been launched in the past year across marketing, branding, learning and development to ensure efficiency and profitability

Addressing the specific issues that are a priority for members, Kristina Boyce, Senior Vice President of Operations, focused on one of the biggest challenges facing the industry – recruitment and retention.

As part of Ensemble’s commitment to support members in this area she outlined specific strategies for success from recognition and training to helping ensure their teams feel as if they are part of something big.

Said Boyce: “While every business is and must be focused on profit and yield, it’s equally important to recognize that people drive profitability.”

Boyce continued: “We are thinking big in this area to help our members through our new event series, our new communities that allow advisors to have a voice in a specific segment and network with like-minded colleagues, and through our newly revamped FAM program that enables advisors to see the world and have the firsthand knowledge they need to sell travel to the agency’s clients.”

The team led a workshop specifically focused on Performance Coaching and Training using five key pillars to help advisors drive higher revenue: Care, Organize, Align, Challenge and Help.

Other workshops included a session on Championing the Consumer with a focus on identifying who your target client is (and isn’t) as well as how to appeal to real-world customer needs and behaviours.

Another session focused on the importance of collaboration and how to create strategic partnerships built on trust, shared goals and communication.

The three-day agenda also included opportunities for networking with partners as well as for fun activities – some of which were Olympic themed in keeping with the location – such as bobsledding, cycling, exploring Park City and a dine-around to the some of the area’s top restaurants.

Summit is one of the newly branded annual events Ensemble announced in January and follows on the heels of the success of Uncharted, an advisor-focused virtual event that took place in April.  Next up is Horizons, the annual event for the entire consortium that will take place at Paris Las Vegas from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6.

Go to https://ensembletravel.com/ for more.

In the photos

TOP Photo

From l to r, are: Shahla Lalani, SVP, Marketing, Navigatr Group; David Harris, Executive Chairman, Ensemble; Michael Johnson; President, Ensemble; Kristina Boyce, SVP, Operations, Ensemble; Jennifer Dzialo, SVP, Partner Relations, Ensemble.


Seen here, from l to r, are: Shelley Ewing, Tier One Travel, Inc.; Shelley Parry, Tier One Travel Inc.; Doug Rollheiser, Roblin Travel and Cruise; Lesley Paull, Paull Travel; Michael Johnson, Ensemble; Rhonda Sveahun, Paull Travel; Kim Lucy, Viking River Cruise; and Paula Rizos, TTC Tour Brands.


Already for Bobsledding …