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Exclusive: Helloworld Frontliners Forum wrap from the Gold Coast

“Connect and Collaborate" was the theme of this year’s Helloworld Frontliners Forum conference - and it certainly was on point. Karryon reports exclusively from the annual big bash.

“Connect and Collaborate” was the theme of this year’s Helloworld Frontliners Forum conference – and it certainly was on point. Karryon reports exclusively from the annual big bash.

Over 500 Helloworld consultants, executives and suppliers descended on the Gold Coast to come together and celebrate a great year and look ahead to what 2024 holds for the network and for travel in the Australian market.

In truth, the entire weekend felt like a celebration of the travel industry with high-energy presentations, networking sessions and of course parties!

Helloworld Frontliners

Day one of the event kicked off with Renee Nightingale, the Head of Branded and Associate Networks, sharing the heartwarming story of her start in the industry and the friendships that we make with like-minded people. (There may have been some tears shed… and not just from me!)

Renee also provided an update on new and enhanced services that have been or will be introduced to Helloworld, including more BDMs and support services, and a new, personalised and fully bookable website refresh.

CEO’s update

Helloworld's Andrew Burnes AO
Helloworld’s Andrew Burnes

Andrew Burnes AO, CEO and Managing Director of Helloworld Travel, then took to the stage to give a comprehensive update on the company including recent acquisitions and the investment into the business across people, technology, marketing and leveraging the vertical integration.

The key message went to the strength of the group – and by all of the positive news and stats that were shared, that seems to be the case.

Andrew also reminded us that being a trusted advisor is a privileged position and one of the most important things you can be for your business.

Wholesale news… and Global Stars announced for Southern California in 2024

Helloworld GFOB
GFOB at Frontliners

Chief Operating Officer, Cinzia Burnes shared Helloworld’s wholesale news, including a new product range and connections, brochure launches and the return of air and land packages.

Viva Holidays (recent NTIA Best Wholesale recipient) also announced the return of its Global Stars Incentive Program.

The 2024 destination for the program has been announced, so stay tuned for more on that this week (if you don’t want to miss this incentive prize).

Rohan Moss, who recently returned to the family as Group GM of Consolidation, provided an update on Air Tickets, including the launch of the well-received ‘Smart Refunds’, which is an instant refund tool via its portal. The initiative allows you to track refunds from start to finish and gives back valuable time to time-poor consultants.

Frontliners guests
Frontliners guests

Throughout day two of the event, we were able to absorb some insightful and educational panel discussions that covered topics such as luxury, ocean cruising, touring and airlines.

Qantas gave us an update on ‘Modern Retail and the Future of Learning’, while Cinzia Burnes chatted to Andrea Robinson about the phenomenon that is Disney Cruises Down Under.

In attendance were more than 60 suppliers, who provided a fun and informative networking experience with activations (thank you coffee providers!) and gave away some amazing prizes and famils to lucky recipients.

Frontliners guests

The parties at Frontliners were next level, with Virgin Voyages, Tourism Events Queensland and Destination Gold Coast taking over Burleigh Beach Pavilion one night with tasty treats, free-flowing champagne and a pumping dance floor.

The following night was equally exciting, with Cruiseco and World Leading Cruise Lines making sure the party continued as food trucks and bars led guests to another night of dancing and good times. What a way to wrap it all up!

In good hands

Frontliners guests
More Frontliners

The thing that really stood out for me were the new consultants who have recently joined Helloworld. Watching the conference unfold through their fresh eyes must have been both heartwarming and a reminder of the dynamic and fun industry we are all lucky to be a part of.

Many of the new agents also attended a pre-conference famil, which no doubt would have helped bond consultants together before they even arrived for the real “work”.

Many suppliers also commented on how engaged and eager all of the delegates were to learn.

Frontliners guests

One of my favourite parts of the entire event was seeing the next generation of travel movers and shakers literally moving and shaking on stage at the parties. Yes, they may have made me feel a little old (was it that long ago that I was the one on the stage?), but they also filled me with confidence and optimism about the future of the travel industry. 

For more information on Helloworld Travel, click here.

The writer was an exclusive media guest of Helloworld.

Karryon also recently went behind the scenes at the opening of the group’s latest store in NSW.