The 21st annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Conference & Trade Show opened today, gathering about 1,000 cruise tourism stakeholders and 100 cruise executives, presidents and CEOs from the 15 FCCA Member Lines, which operate over 100 ships in Caribbean and Latin American waters. The event offers a four-day agenda chock-full of business sessions, networking opportunities and chances to maximize cruise tourism’s impact, along with the attention and knowledge of cruise line personnel who decide where cruise ships call, what to sell onboard and if they should invest in destination infrastructure.
The focus is on developing business, relationships and knowledge. The Conference’s business sessions offer this through one-on-one meetings, where attendees have up to three meetings with their selected cruise executives. Plus workshops share the executives’, presidents’, CEOs’ and stakeholders’ insight to help attendees learn about topics such as the cruise lines’ latest happenings and route for the future; creating and maintaining a successful tour product; developing a port in partnership with the FCCA, cruise lines and the private/public sectors; and increasing cruise tourism through a unified vision, collaboration between the private and public sectors, and continual product development and innovation.
The Trade Show-the largest in the event’s history-allows exhibitors to target the influential audience looking to source new business and expand existing business. Any booth puts spotlights a product, company or destination, and specialized pavilions showcase a large company or destination as a team, with a roster including destination ministries, port authorities, tour operators and vendors.
Exposure is guaranteed through numerous events hosted there, such as a cruise executive preview before the official opening, an exclusive cocktail reception for cruise executives and Platinum Members, the Conference’s Wednesday night social function and the first FCCA Table Tennis Tournament, hosted by Adam Goldstein.
Traffic is also driven by a business center and the Trade Show’s location itself, with all attendees entering and passing through to access the Conference’s meetings, workshops, business sessions and registration.
Interaction between Conference delegates, Trade Show exhibitors and cruise line decision makers is further spurred by social functions planned by St. Maarten. And St. Maarten certainly plans to engage the attendees, as Port St. Maarten partnered with the government and local businesses to display its exciting setting, activities and WOW factor through some of the same experiences and venues that cruise passengers see and do.