Having recently returned from the annual GNEX conference in Las Vegas, and the ARDA WIN conference in Orlando, I feel once more regenerated and inspired to continue this wonderful journey that has been my passion for over a quarter century; the world of Vacation Ownership.
Gatherings of Industry professionals, mixed with many newcomers at conferences such as GNEX, ARDA, AMDETUR, ACOTUR, CARE, just to name a few, give us all an opportunity to learn and grow. It is overwhelming to see the experienced leaders as they guide and advise the newcomers to the most incredible industry in the world. It is also great to see the new generation with innovative products and services that simply enhance our already great Industry
Bad news makes the news, good news, not so much sadly. Each industry, including ours, has its bad players. But they are the significant minority, especially in today’s marketplace. My observation after over a quarter century of attending Vacation Ownership Conferences in Mexico, the USA and Canada, that the good players are ensuring the ethical growth of our Industry.
When I first was introduced to the Timeshare World, in the early 1990’s, my initial impression was no different than most, good concept, but little trust in their process and long-term value. I was lucky to be introduced to CRDA, the Canadian Resort and Development Association (CRTA's original name), at the very beginning of my career.
I read once that all good leaders don’t settle for how things are, they constantly look how they can improve. I also know by experience that you become a product of your chosen environment. Hang out with unethical business associates, and soon you will transgress in that behavior. Hang out with leaders, successful and ethical people, and you grow in that environment.
Attending Industry conferences, such as the ones I mentioned, are the secret weapon to a successful career in the world of Vacation Ownership. This is where you find, mingle, and interact with the industry’s best. If you simply add the number of attendees by the number of years of experience, you end up with thousands of years of combined experience. The challenge is to choose cautiously on who you connect with or listen to at a panel discussion. And most of the well experienced and successful attendees will gladly share and help anyone.
Larger conferences tend to offer more seminars while smaller ones tend to have more interactive panels and networking events. Both have great value.
Safe travels everyone. I look forward to seeing you at CRTA’s fall conference. We proudly affiliated with GNEX to facilitate the event www.gnexcanada.com
Gaetan Babin RRP
President & CEO
Canadian Resort and Travel Association