Courier February Courier - Page 27

I always have a blast at the NTA events. They are tailored to not only help support networking (like an armadillo race? What better way to bond?!) but to also increase awareness of the host city. I had no idea San Antonio had so much to offer beyond the Alamo, but I came away with so much more knowledge of the seventh-largest city in the country. I’m definitely going back to see more! —ELISE SWEARINGEN, PROVIDENCE WARWICK CVB (PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND) There is nothing in Europe like this convention. There, it’s either a huge show or a tiny show, and none of them have luncheons and evening activities for the whole group. Our best business wasn’t from the scheduled appointments, but from people we met at events. At Travel Exchange you can make connections everywhere. This year I had meaningful conversations in the hotel restaurant, on the elevator, at meals and, yes, even on the dance floor. —DAVE NITKIEWICZ, EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS (GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN) —MICHELE MARINARO, MICHELANGELO INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL (RIVA DEL GARDA, ITALY) While I enjoyed all of the evening events, I really enjoy the atmosphere during the luncheons. I feel that everyone is on equal ground— happy to have a break for 90 minutes of talk and entertainment. My favorite, of course, is the Broadway Inbound luncheon. —JOY TEVIS, NORTHWEST TREK WILDLIFE PARK (EATONVILLE, WASHINGTON) Volunteer of the Year Renee Eichelberger (center), CTP, of Explore St. Louis, is with Pam Inman and Jay Smith. Bob Hofmann (center), pictured with Pam Inman and Jay Smith, accepts the Shining Star award for Broadway Inbound. 25