On Site: Visiting Virtuoso in Buenos Aires

Riddle me this: What has 6 legs, a mane, a tail, a poncho, a moustache and cowboy boots with the Virtuoso logo? 

Answer: Matthew Upchurch, riding a beautiful horse at La Rural in Buenos Aires, Argentina, welcoming us to the 2013 Virtuoso International Symposium on Sunday, April 21!

Barbara King, here, blogging once again from yet another amazing venue. What an amazing example of teamwork of our Virtuoso partners - Mai10, Abercrombie & Kent Argentina, Alvear Palace, Park Hyatt, Four Seasons, and Faena – to create this action packed, informative, delicious, and networking-filled Symposium!

Holland America Line and Seabourn, represented by Mark Kammerer, Laurie Bohn, and Doug Seagle, hosted the official kickoff of Symposium 2013, with an equestrian show and pageant at La Rural, the site of BA’s annual agricultural and livestock show. I’m still trying to figure out how the tango dancers, the females wearing high spiked heels, could perform in the sawdust arena with such elegance while at the same time gauchos on horseback tangoed around the dancers!

The show was followed by an Asado, an Argentine BBQ, replete with every kind of beef, chicken, and sausage you can imagine. In between the many courses of our dinner, we wandered through the pop-up shops of local artisans featuring fine leather, silver, and hand-woven items.

At Monday’s General Session Robert Carey and David G. Kang, McKinsey & Company consultants and authors of the white paper, The Trouble with Travel Distribution, presented a creative and interactive introduction to this year’s exchange of ideas between our industry’s top agencies and suppliers. We are discussing how we influence our clients’ purchases, how to best utilize the data we collect increase sales and loyalty, and how to best interact with the different generations of clients.

Now that I’ve shared the facts, I can loosen up and do what I do best, blog from the heart:

I feel an excitement at this Symposium unlike years past. Members and vendors are collaborating; we’re sharing ideas; we are working together to see how we can focus on what is truly important---our client. Monday was a very long day---the general session, lunch at Alvear Palace followed by 2 ½ hours of networking; quick change into cocktail attire and we were still chatting away at Four Seasons elegant cocktail party; full steam ahead into a spectacular dinner sponsored by Argentina National Institute of Tourism Promotion (INPROTUR), Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International!

After being greeted by the Granaderos in front of the Presidential Palace called the Pink House, we dined in the Bicentennial Museum, attached to the Palace. We were officially welcomed by Argentina's Minister of Tourism, Carlos Enrique Meyer and serenaded by operatic solos. Throughout the entire day and evening I sensed a togetherness, a unity of purpose, a desire to explore new ways of partnering for our mutual success!

 I looked up the definition of symposium on dictionary.com and our event fits the definition to a t (does anyone know why we say to a t—why not an M or a K? Just wondering)

               sym·po·si·um [sim-poh-zee-uhm]…noun

1. a meeting or conference for the discussion of some subject, especially a meeting at which several speakers talk on or discuss a topic before an audience. [Yes, that fits!]

2. a collection of opinions expressed or articles contributed by several persons on a given subject or topic.

3. an account of a discussion meeting or of the conversation at it.

4. (in ancient Greece and Rome) a convivial meeting, usually following a dinner, for drinking and intellectual conversation. [“intellectual” conversation after drinking? Really? Strike-through at the editorial choice of the blogger]

FREE Virtual Event

Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4

Are you prepared to guide your clients through the “new normal” of travel? Join us December 15, 2020 from 1pm-2:20pm EST for Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4. The upcoming installment of our FREE virtual series will feature presentations from the Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, and Seabourn on their most up-to-date travel procedures, health & safety protocols they’ve implemented to keep guests safe, activities that are open to visitors, what your clients need to know while on their trip and more! Visit www.pivotingbacktotravel to view the full agenda and register for your FREE pass.
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