Forum Sessions

What is Future-Proofing and Why Should a Business Become Future-Proof?

The official definition of future-proof is: “the process of anticipating the future and developing methods to minimize the effects of stresses due to future events.”

Some members have used the past year to look at their business models including accounting, technology, marketing, and human resources.  They are optimizing their businesses by revisiting what they have done, updating plans, and making changes as needed. Those changes might be new systems, new technologies or new strategies.  They are developing a plan to build a more inclusive company culture with a focus on diversity and inclusion, sustainability and how to create an inclusive “virtual” work environment.

Members have also used the time to develop new relationships, build stronger connections with other members and connect with SYTA’s advocacy efforts to support our industry.  In the Forum’s tour operator sessions, active members will strategize with the Board on how to use SYTA’s leadership position, resources, and community to advocate for student and youth travel.

We recognize the important role strategic partners and associate members play in supporting SYTA and its members.  The Forum is focused on connecting, learning and discussion. There are no business appointments or sales-oriented sessions.

Forum: Day One

The first day of the Forum will focus on key business areas with insights from industry leaders. They will be Ted -style talks with an afternoon of round table discussions where you can ask questions and talk with colleagues.

Forum: Day Two

SYTA will present on where the association is today and what is planned for 2022.  This general session will be followed by Tour Operator Only sessions with the SYTA Board.  We’ll wrap up with business survival stories. What did SYTA members individually do, how did they do it and why- their successes and their pit-falls- what lessons did they learn, and what ae they doing now to move to a more prosperous tomorrow?

Forum Content: 

Accounting and Financial Management:

Updates on PPE and SBA Loans, Loan Forgiveness and how the Biden tax plans may impact your business in the future.


Many members asked how SYTA was advocating for our industry at the local, state, and federal level.

A panel of tourism executives will share how they advocate for the industry and what a GR program would look like for SYTA members.

Legal and Contract Opportunities

Many lessons were learned from the pandemic including legal language that impacted every tour operator and the servicing of clients. In addition, hear how operators are responding to new terms and conditions from schools and school boards

Human Resources and Health Insurance

As we look to “staff” up again, what are the challenges in recruiting new staff in the post pandemic environment, what are they looking for, where do we find them and how do we provide benefits packages that incentivize them to our industry.  This session will include an overview of a prospective association-based plan for SYTA member employees.

New Technologies for You and Your Business

The pandemic accelerated the use of technology systems and processes for student travel companies and how they manage their businesses and work with customers. Learn about what they are and how they are being used to “future ready” tour companies in the wake of continuous disruption.

Risk Management and Health and Safety Protocols

Many members turned to their general liability policies when their businesses were impacted by cancellations, refunds, and lawsuits.  Our partners from AON will share how their industry has evolved post Covid and any potential changes for your business.

Vaccines have had a tremendous impact on restarting travel – and how we travel, but safety and health protocols will still be a priority.  This session looks at what we are being asked to provide today – and possibly in the future.


Our airline and motorcoach partners will provide updates and information to help you plan ahead for 2022.

Travel Insurance

What you need to know in a Post Covid World

This session will address important travel insurance information that tour operators need to know as student travel opens up and we plan for 2022.

Round Tables with Industry Speakers

Speakers will be seated at round tables where operators can walk around and ask questions, share their thoughts and learn from each other.