It was quite a celebration at Ensemble Travel Group’s 2014 international conference in Palm Springs, with over 900 participants – members, partners and others – listening as the group’s co-president, Lindsay Pearlman observed: “We’re here today to celebrate your collective expertise and success in the business of travel and to share some exciting new initiatives that will keep you at the forefront of the industry.”
With its theme of “Nobody Does It Better … Than You,” the 2014 conference saw Pearlman, along with co-president, Libbie Rice, unveil a number of major initiatives designed to keep Ensemble members and preferred partners as the go-to source for their clients’ total book of travel business.
According to Rice, Ensemble’s role as it relates to the theme is that of an enabler, helping members and suppliers run their business better and more efficiently.
“For us, an enabler makes things possible. We equip, prepare, and even make things easier. At Ensemble, we do this in three ways: through partnerships, people, and programs,” said Rice.
Pearlman and Rice showcased some of the new partners coming on stream in 2014. These included the likes of Lindblad Expeditions, Club Med in the US (following a solid performance in Canada), Amtrak Vacations-Yankee Holidays, Australis Cruises, more than 100 hotel partners and 10 On Location partners.
As for people, Rice said Ensemble has the right personnel on board to help members and suppliers achieve success. “Looking at Ensemble’s DNA, I think we’ve got it right,” she said. “Our staff represents a blend of veterans and newcomers, quite similar to the makeup of our membership.”
While the greatest concentration of members have been with the cooperative for five years or less, 60 agencies have belonged to Ensemble from the beginning in 1968 or since the very early days. And while commissions, overrides, and profit sharing are the major reasons why agencies join Ensemble, one of the primary ingredients that keeps them is the people – the staff, their peers, the suppliers – and the sense of family.
Pearlman applauded the organization’s creativity when it comes to developing new programs and products that meet members’ needs. He cited the award-winning Ensemble E-zine and Vacation Therapy, the fully “North Americanized” DestinationVows Specialist Program, and the next generation Extranet as examples of Ensemble’s success with designing creative programs and products.
And he wrapped up the programs and products angle of the “enabler pyramid” by officially launching the organization’s totally rebuilt consumer-facing website – http://www.ensembletravel.com, http://www.ensembletravel.ca, and the French version http://www.reseauensemble.ca — all on the same site, but under different URLs for greater search engine optimization.
For more, go to http://www.joinensemble.com .