Education Sessions

Saturday, August 27

Panel of Key Industry Suppliers (Supplier Session) – 8:45AM – 9:45AM
Sponsored by Annual Conference Committee

Speakers: Norm Hull, Norm Hull & Associates, and a panel of key industry partners including: LouAnna Henton, Nashville CVC and Eric Marshall, Universal Orlando Resort
Location: Jefferson West
Not available for CSTP Credit

One of the business-producing benefits of the SYTA conference is supplier-to-supplier networking. If you are a new supplier to the student travel market or a seasoned supplier looking to reconnect, join this session to create connections, become referable and discover how you can make the most out of your SYTA membership.

Travel Talk: Enhancing your students experience at the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture 9:15AM – 9:45AM
Sponsored by National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of African American History and Culture

Speakers: Holly Williamson, Public Affairs Specialist and Liane Jacobs, Visitors and Guest Services Team
Location: Cardozo Room

Meet Liane Jacobs and Holly Williamson, representatives from two of the Smithsonian’s popular museums for student groups.   Holly will share the opportunities available to groups at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. She will also give an update on the Museum in Washington DC’s renovation, including the upcoming reopening of half of the Museum in October. Liane will discuss new content available to tour leaders and teachers, information about dining at NMAAHC, and reservation and entry updates at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Travel Talk – 9:15AM – 9:45AM
Sponsored by Visit Williamsburg

Speaker: Panel of Local Industry Partners
Location: Embassy Room

Learn How TRAVEL CHANGES YOUNG LIVES FOR GOOD through the SYTA Youth Foundation – 10:15AM – 11:15AM

Speakers: SYF Leadership
Location: Cardozo Room
Not available for CSTP Credit

Travel changes lives for good. You’ve heard that, but what exactly are we talking about? And, how can you get involved? From a 5 minute to a 5 year commitment, learn how you can make a difference for youth in our beloved travel industry.

Tax Update with Caldwell CPAs – 11:30AM – 12:30PM

Speakers: Bill Caldwell, CEO and Lisa Curtin, COO, Caldwell CPAs
Location: Embassy Room
Available for CSTP Credit

As the industry continues to recover, don’t miss this informative presentation on tax savings tips to help your business maximize its bottom line. Topics include myths around the Employee Retention Credit, tax legislation that may affect your 2022 returns, carry back losses, remote staff and tax planning for 2023. All attendees welcome.

Annual Conference Welcome Luncheon – 12:30PM – 2:30PM

Speaker: Kevin Brown, Speaker and Author of the Hero Within

Visitor Attractions: Key Trends for 2022 – 3:15PM – 4:15PM

Speakers: Douglas Quinby, Co-Founder and CEO, Arival
Panelists: Lori Tostado, Senior Director Global Travel Trade, Legends Attractions; Allison French, Senior Director, Broadway Inbound; Holly Williamson, Public Affairs Specialist, National Air and Space Museum
Location: Cardozo Room
Available for CSTP Credit

This session from Arival, the global research authority on tours, activities and attractions, presents new research on visitor attractions and key market changes affecting museums, zoos & aquariums, amusement parks, cultural landmarks, parks and observation decks.

Hear from Arival CEO Douglas Quinby and attraction leaders as they delve into new findings on the state of the recovery, pricing trends and dynamic pricing, distribution channels, ticketing technology, Google Things to Do, timed entry and more.

Post Pandemic: Certification matters more than ever – 4:30PM – 5:30PM

Speakers: Katy Summers, Senior Manager, SYTA and SYF and SYTA CSTO Active Members
Location: Embassy Room
Not available for CSTP Credit

Now, more than ever, risk management and safety are at the forefront of all we do.  Join your colleagues who have earned their CSTO  in learning how your company can become a Certified Student Travel Organization (CSTO).  The CSTO is an industry certification that focuses on safety and risk managment standards that demonstrates the company’s dedication to providing safe travel experiences for students.

Sunday, August 28

Legal Update with Jeff Ment and Friends – 8:00AM – 9:00AM

Speakers: Jeffrey L. Ment, Ment Law Group
Location: Georgetown Room
Available for CSTP Credit

Jeff will talk about the current important legal topics for Student Travel.  Bring your questions and participate in an interactive discussion covering contract issues, rooming considerations, how to address concerns raised by school lawyers, and how to avoid litigation!

Tour Operator Panel – 8:45AM – 9:45AM

Speakers: Norm Hull
Panelists: Tom Merrill, Bob Rogers Travel; Shannan Carter, Live Travel and Tours; Valerie Bedard, A+ Voyages; Michael Holzer, Educational Travel Adventures
Location: Jefferson West
Not available for CSTP Credit

Tour Operator Panel: Supplier attendees will have the opportunity to hear from a panel of student tour operators on what they are looking for in working with a supplier. This interactive session will allow you to ask your questions and gain insight into how best to navigate the supplier-tour operator relationship.

Travel Talk – 9:15AM – 9:45AM
Sponsored by GroupCollect

Speakers: Bud Geissler
Location: Embassy Room

Travel Talk: All-Star Student Tour of Northern Virginia – 9:15AM – 9:45AM
Sponsored by Northern Virginia Tourism Corporation

Speaker: Joni Johnson, Director of Domestic Sales & Marketing
Location: Cardozo Room

Join us on this interactive adventure as we cross the Potomac and explore Northern Virginia highlighting Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William. Discover student-friendly experiences including fresh new evening activities, interactive historic programs, and high-quality dining options. Play your best hand as we play and uncover everything NOVA has to offer!

DEI and Your Business: Why it Matters – 10:15AM – 11:15AM

Speaker: Roni Weiss, Executive Director, Travel Unity
Location: Cardozo Room
Available for CSTP Credit

Roni Weiss, Executive Director of Travel Unity, will cover how you can quickly and easily start the road to applied DEI, no matter the size or type of your organization. Q&A and audience engagement will be welcome.

Sustainability and Student Travel – 11:30AM – 12:30PM

Speakers: Cathleen Johnson, Facilitator, Greg Takehara, CEO, Tourism Cares and Douglas Quinby, Co-Founder and CEO, Arival
Location: Embassy Room
Available for CSTP Credit

Sustainability : Everyone is talking about it, but not everyone knows what to do about it. Join Greg Takehara,CEO of Tourism Cares, and members of SYTA’s Sustainability Task Force to hear what your fellow members are accomplishing in this space and learn how Tourism Cares can “Meet you where you are” on your sustainability journey and help you to advance.

SYTA Youth Foundation Luncheon12:30PM – 2:30PM

Get The Message – 3:15PM – 4:15PM

Speaker: Marcie Ellison Outerbridge, SYTA Vice President
Location: Cardozo Room
Available for CSTP Credit

One of SYTA’s highest priorities in the next year is to create a strategic communications strategy that will unify and amplify our association’s messaging to its audiences and give members the tools to speak with one voice. Please join our new Board chair, Marcie Ellison, and members of our Communications and Advocacy Task Force to give YOUR voice to developing our unified message

Burnout – 4:30PM – 5:30PM

Speaker: Heather Davis, Workplace Consultant, Music Travel Consultants & Educational Destinations
Location: Embassy Room
Available for CSTP Credit

We talk about “Burnout” but how are we managing it both personally and professionally. Especially when we are responsible for employees, customers, our businesses and our families.  Learn some strategies for managing during challenging times.

Monday, August 29

Guild Job Fair (for Guides and Tour Operators) – 7:00AM – 5:30PM

Location: Showcase, Columbia
Not available for CSTP Credit

GUILD, ITIMI and IADTG Session – 10:30AM – 12:00PM

Speaker: James Carr, President, Guild of Professional Tour Guides
Location: Georgetown
Not available for CSTP Credit

A very special panel comprised of leaders of the International Tour Management Institute’s (ITMI) John Keddell and the International Association of Tour Directors and Guides’ (IATDG) founder Von Harden.  These are two of the preeminent tour guides’ and directors’ associations, and this will be the very first time they will be sharing the same stage.  This promises to be a robust discussion on trends and pitfalls in tour guiding and tour directing.  Open to Guides and Tour Operators.

Our Minds Matter: Changing School Culture Around Mental Health – 11:15AM – 12:15PM

Speaker: Lauren Anderson, Executive Director, OMM
Location: Cardozo Room
Available for CSTP Credit

Our Minds Matter: Changing School Culture Around Mental Health is a presentation led by Founder and Executive Director, Lauren Anderson, who shares her personal story of losing her teenage brother to suicide and how she has channeled her grief into healing. Audience members will learn upstream prevention techniques that are proven to improve mental wellness and decrease the risk of suicide.

Presidential Speeches & The Best of Broadway at Broadway.com – 12:30PM – 2:30PM

Travel Talk: Group Tours at SAAM – 3:15PM – 4:15PM
Sponsored by Smithsonian American Art Museum

Speaker: Geoffrey W. Cohrs, Docent Coordinator
Location: Cardozo Room

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) houses one of the premier American art collections in the world. SAAM exhibits art from the colonial period to the present created by diverse artists using a variety of media. Join Geoffrey Cohrs, docent coordinator at SAAM, as he discusses the various group tour options available at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery.