Members of the NTA/UMA 2013 Task Force met in Providence, Rhode Island, on July 31 to work through details of their 2013 integrated event, including branding, scheduling, education, networking opportunities, and hospitality functions.
“It was a very productive meeting,” said NTA/UMA 2013 Task Force Chairman Michael Neustadt of Coach Tours Ltd. in Brookfield, Connecticut, “We discussed the nuances of each association’s membership very thoughtfully and were able to firm up many of the key details to make sure our NTA-UMA event is useful, relevant, and fun for everyone.”
Besides Neustadt, whose company is a member of both UMA and NTA, the task force is made up of members from each association. Meeting regularly by phone or in person, the group has collaborated on the combined activities of the event to ensure members of both associations get the maximum benefit.
At the meeting in Providence, the group recommended that the associations combine their evening events — UMA’s Vision Awards and NTA’s Gala Reception — to create a comingled networking opportunity for both the motorcoach operator and tour operator attendees.
“Not only will the business and networking events be great for all attendees, but we’ll have a chance to learn more, too,” said NTA’s Chairman and CEO Cathy Greteman of Star Destinations in Iowa, “The task force recommended opening all education sessions to both NTA and UMA members so we can build a better understanding of the unique dynamics of the tour and motorcoach businesses.”
“A lot of progress was made toward creating an overall event benefitting every attendee, while ensuring that the core values and essence of NTA’s and UMA’s respective events is maintained,” said UMA’s Chairman of the Board Tom Ready of Ready Bus Lines in Minnesota.
Members of the joint task force who met in Providence were Chairman Michael Nuestadt; UMA members Larry Hundt, Tom Ready and Tim Wayland; NTA members Audrey Bialas, Cathy Greteman, and Jim Reddekopp Jr.; UMA staff Victor Parra and Maggie Masterson; and NTA staff Lisa Simon and Lee Carter. The convention is scheduled for January 19–23 in Orlando, Florida.
The task force will continue to meet regularly, and more details about the 2013 event will be announced at NTA’s Convention ’11 in December and UMA’s Motorcoach EXPO in February.