TDC Members ‘Ride The Wave’ At Annual Conference

Members of Transat Distribution Canada (TDC) gathered in Toronto this past weekend to “Ride the Wave: Surf the Tides of Success” at the group’s annual conference.

TDC welcomed travel professionals from its franchised, affiliated corporate branches and agent@home program to meet with its preferred partners and listen to a number of speakers to prepare themselves for this upcoming busy period in the world of travel.

Karine Gagnon, general manager of TDC, explained that: “The message we want to convey through our theme is this: we have no control over the wave; neither over the moment it comes at you, nor its intensity. But we can and must be prepared to stand up on our board when our turn to ride comes.”

Gagnon continued: “We all know we’ve had our share of big waves to ride and overcome in the travel industry, and we can never be too prepared for the next ones.”

Gagnon noted that she was very proud of the strong programming line-up and numerous renowned speakers presented to the network members over the past weekend as it was an excellent way to be prepared to better surf the tides of success.

Isabelle Fontaine officially kicked off the event, addressing the subject of psychology of influence. Standing with her contagious energy and legendary enthusiasm, the speaker explained how to become a people magnet, that is how to captivate and attract customers to TDC’s travel professionals, agency owners and managers.

Fontaine also covered how to master the art of conversation to detect or identify client expectations that are not specifically stated and come up with winning solutions for everyone involved, an incredible asset in the travel agent-client relationship.

Time and energy management are two concepts essential for navigating days effectively and feeling in control, as much as possible, have been addressed in various ways.

First, by Business Coach and Travel Industry Strategist Geraldine Ree, who focused on the best strategies and tips to stop managing time and start owning time. She also uncovered a simple, and powerful framework to ensure that Travel professionals are spending their precious time on what matters most in their travel business.

Time management and planning were also discussed through social media videos presented by Bernard Côté, Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Social Media at Transat, with the aim of equipping Travel Professionals to maximize their time at destination during group or FAM trips and to create attractive and high-performing content for their online platforms.

Katarina Haddad and Jean-François Thibault from Axellite Leadership discussed intelligent and conscious energy management. They encouraged the audience to consider these elements in their daily planning, providing strategies to learn how to identify key moments for performance and rest, aiming to be productive when necessary and, most importantly, to protect themselves against burnout.

Finally, Geraldine Ree came back for a last session on how to generate more and better high value customers, in less time! She stressed that the best Travel Professionals know it’s impossible to be all things to all people, yet many struggle to take a stand and shift their business. She shared strategies on how to find, attract, convert and retain higher value customers who understand the advisors’ worth – and are willing to pay for it!

Owners and directors of franchised and affiliated agencies Marlin Travel, and TravelPlus, along with the entire TDC management team, were invited to the TDC Leaders Forum in an express format, a high-level brainstorming session. The primary focus of the meeting was human resource management, under the supervision of Annie Boilard, President of Réseau d’Annie RH, a firm specialized in training, organizational development and executive coaching.

Said Gagnon: “Everything related to employee recruitment and retention, especially in this labor shortage period, is a significant concern for our members. So, we provided them with access to an expert in the field, allowing them to ask questions that are relevant to them and discuss this hot topic with their peers to explore new solutions.”

She said: “I am very pleased to welcome the members of the network with a renewed leadership team. These are all experienced individuals, either those who were already working within TDC and have been assigned new roles or individuals from outside our organization. For me, this represents the ideal balance: continuity from those who are familiar with our realities, and the introduction of new ideas and different ways of doing things from external additions.”

As a result, the new team members, Marc Pelletier, Senior Director of Marketing, Communications, and Events, and Dianne Jackson, newly appointed as Director of Franchised and Affiliated Agencies for provinces outside Québec, have joined Anthony Mormina and Colette Girard, both promoted to new roles, respectively as Senior Director of Sales and Operations and Director of Franchised and Affiliated Members in Québec. These individuals complement Sandra Wesson, Director of Products and Industry Relations, and Alain Brouillard, Director of Finance and Accounting.

Gina Mallamo has also joined TDC in the role of Chief Business Support and Development Officer for Québec.

Close to 45 preferred partners participated in the event, sharing their latest updates, either during the roundtable discussions or the traditional and indispensable trade show, including Princess Cruises, Cunard, Paul Gauguin and Seabourn, who are recent partners from the past year.

Gagnon observed: “These partners are among our strongest allies in enabling TDC to support its members by offering optimal conditions to maximize their profitability, particularly through enhanced commissions. Their year-to-year presence at our annual conference is clear evidence of our loyal relationship with many of them.”

Of course, when it comes to the TDC Annual Conference, the Saturday night festive event, sponsored by Transat, automatically comes to mind. “Because work should be fun, this evening is a must-attend for everyone, our members, partners, and the entire TDC team,” adds the General Manager.