|  |  Contact Us


SYTA Exclusive Education for Summit 2018:

The Summit Committee developed this year’s program to offer high caliber presenters, small group breakout sessions, business to business workshops, and a variety of other learning opportunities.  Deep dive into the following learning areas

Risk Management and Key Legal Issues

Risk Management and Legal Issues related to school contracts and insurance. Why it’s taking so long to negotiate your contracts.

Panelists: Alastair Macmillan-Bell, Ken Whitman, AON Travel Practice; Jeff Ment, Silver, Golub, Teitell, LLP

Deeper Dive intoTravel Insurance

How travel insurance can protect you and your customers in a crisis or emergency situation. Gain expertise on how to present the best plan to your clients.

Panelists: Bud Geissler, Travel Insured International Inc.; Greg Takehara, Trip Mate Inc.

Communications and Crisis Management

Story Telling to Increase Your Business – The key to success in breaking through the clutter of content online is creating a compelling story. This session will examine how your companies and destinations are presenting their story to the world.

Crisis Communications-Time to Dust off the Plan –  Attendees will take create the right messages for responding to a crisis situation. Using SYTA’s new Crisis Communications Guide, attendees will walk away with their plan completed and ready for an emergency.

Speaker: Cathleen Johnson, President, Cathleen Johnson Tourism Consultants, LLC.

Business Development and Sales

Discover the 3 “Hidden” Mistakes Tour Operators and Suppliers Make that Inhibit Their Business and How to Transform Them into Areas of Distinction. (2 sessions-Part 1 and Part 2)

In an industry where numbers are a major measurement of success and determining factor in the service selection process it is a challenge to stand out with current and potential customers. In these forward-thinking, deep dive sessions, you will leave with fresh tools to tap into three under-utilized areas where ‘shining’ earns you more business. This two-part interactive session provides the forum where you will discover, create and craft your customized blueprint using these secrets to create ‘distinction’ which positions your service and product as the obvious choice with your customers.

Speaker: Norm Hull, Norm Hull & Associates

Surviving a State Audit!

Learn what to expect from a state audit of how you compensate employees, educators and third party providers i.e. tour managers, directors, guides and educators. Session will share tips on how to avoid or survive an audit.

Speakers: Lisa Curtin, Caldwell & Company;  Jeff Ment, Silver, Golub, Teitell, LLP; Carylann Assante, SYTA

SYTA’s Safety and Accreditation Program

Safety and Certification

Learn more about SYTA’s Safety and Certification Program
Speakers: Mike Bowers, Center for Student Travel Safety; Carylann Assante, SYTA

Tour Operator Roundtables

The SYTA Annual Conference surveys tell us that tour operators wish they had more time to meet with each other. The SYTA Summit provides this opportunity – especially in the Tour Operator Roundtables. An association is only as strong as its members working together to address issues facing everyone. This year’s topics include safety and risk management, social issues, legislative challenges and motorcoach issues. Tour operators are also encouraged to bring their hot topics.

Open Forum with Speakers

Speakers sit at a table and will address specific topics. Attendees will move from table to table and there will be a 30 minute switch to make sure there is the opportunity to visit with at least two speakers.

IGNITE Presentations

The idea is simple. Ignite is a session of short talks, with a twist. Speakers get five minutes and 20 slides to make their point, enlighten and entertain. This interactive education session features Summit attendees from a variety of personal, educational, and business backgrounds interested in sharing their passion, their causes, and their meaningful moments.

We need you. Topics may be on industry trends, new ideas, passions, sports, marketing, social media, a great book, a success story, a lesson learned, or favorite app. This is the value of Summit – sharing great ideas and building positive relationships.

Submit an Idea! Please be a part of IGNITE at the 2018 Summit and submit a topic by Friday, December 15, 2017. The IGNITE presentations will take place during the meeting on Thursday and Saturday. Remember only 15 seconds per slide – total of 5 minutes. Click here to download the form today!


“Not only does a SYTA Summit allow ample time for senior executives and business owners to network and attend educational sessions, it always takes place in an interesting, relaxing setting before the student travel season gets really busy.”

Dan Kellerd, Executive Vice President, WorldStrides

“The best part of a SYTA SUMMIT is that it provides the opportunity for travel professionals to meet in a conversable setting without the pressure of a 7 minute meeting or have to deal with the barrage of conference masses. Every tour operator has unique abilities, and since I am a big proponent of partnerships, SUMMIT becomes an ideal network to forge plans for new and exciting joint ventures.”

Dr. Michael A. Mazzarisi, President, Performing Arts Consultants

“To me, SYTA Summit is the most valuable conference that I attend. I always find the educational seminars very useful and because it is a smaller, more intimate conference, you get to build a much deeper relationship with the sponsors. This is also the only conference that I have ever really had the opportunity to get to know other attendees. I absolutely LOVE SYTA Summit!”

Kara Mihalevich, Group Travel Coordinator, Adventure Student Travel, LLC

“SYTA Summit provides an unique opportunity to get up close with my SYTA partners and many of our buyers. The environment lends itself to a causal, natural environment – no pressure just building my network!”

Tara Hippensteel, Director of National Tour & Travel, Hard Rock Café

“SYTA Summit has been an invaluable resource for both personal growth and building partnerships with other tour operators and vendors that has helped strengthen our business.”

Steve Maehl, Vice President, Global Travel Alliance

“The Summit is great. I Love the destinations we have visited and the size of the event itself. There is a real opportunity at Summit to spend quality time with all of the attendees and in a relationship based business, that time is everything.”

Bob Hofmann, Vice President, Broadway Inbound

SYTA Strategic Partners