The Global Affinity Alliance’s Las Vegas conference was a successful second meeting for some 109 delegates. Four days of valuable networking coupled with lots of great evening entertainment made for a meeting to remember.
“I want to start by thanking all of the GAA members who attended our 2nd annual meeting in Las Vegas,” said Brian Majerus, Director of Global Affinity Alliance. “This mid-October conference was held to get us back onto our fall meeting schedule and we are happy that it was a successful transition from our inaugural conference, held in tandem with WCA, back in March.”
The week kicked off with a high energy cocktail reception aboard the Las Vegas High Roller, the world’s largest observation wheel. Delegates arrived early to enjoy an indoor/outdoor reception complete with an open bar and hors devoures before boarding the High Roller for a 360-degree view of the Las Vegas sky line. Upon completion of the 30-minute, round-trip tour at 550 feet, participants enjoyed continued networking late into the evening.
Programming progressed Tuesday morning with a plenary session and keynote from Scott Case of Position : Global. Scott gave a third party perspective on the importance of group cohesiveness and respectful business transactions. The theme was trust – something Scott inspired companies to build through consistent on-time payments, communication, and regular follow-up.
Tuesday’s programming also included a talk from Greg Kritz on the importance of insuring cargo and operations. He highlighted how members can benefit from having open communications with their existing insurance broker or through WCA’s insurance partner, World Insurance Services.
Ross Stemmler addressed the group by reminding members of the neutral house bill of lading called All World Shipping. AWS is a secure way of handling ocean cargo without the risks of using your own paper. Ross also reminded the group of AWS’s many contracts and the simplicity of adding bullet rates to said contracts.
WIN also made an appearance as Ms. Poy unveiled a new mobile app feature, one that allows members to order their own customized app for their clients!
Tuesday’s morning session was brought to a close by Chairman David Yokeum, creator of the WCA/GAA concept. David wished all delegates a very successful conference and emphasized the importance of one-on-one meetings.
On Tuesday evening delegates met on the Linq’s fifth floor rooftop for a Vegas style awards dinner.
Cocktail hour consisted of breath-taking views as well as private entertainment from jugglers, mind-blowing magicians and other Vegas inspired entertainers including an Elvis on stilts! Dinner commenced with an interactive show by dueling pianists where the entertainers brought members on stage for a fun, light hearted celebration complete with singing and dancing. By the end of the night many members were throat sore from singing and doubled over in laughter.
“This was a night we’ll all remember for years to come,” said Brian Majerus. “It was great seeing members get up on stage and sing along to their favorite classics.”
“I have to admit; I was wary of hosting a second meeting this year. To the credit of the members who attended, I’m glad I was proven wrong. They have further cemented bonds with each other and new members easily rooted themselves into the group. Now that we are set to follow our fall conference schedule, I am excited to see how the group grows and progresses over the next year. The 2017 conference in Europe is set to be even bigger and our members are already excited.”
Some members were not able to attend this conference due to visa complications. To those, GAA sends its deepest regrets. Problems like these are unfortunate repercussions to hosting an event in the United States. Rest assured, the group will not convene in the USA for at least another five years.
A big thank you goes out to GAA staff, Matt West and Kaitlyn Mode, as well as to the many speakers who enriched GAA’s second meeting. Greg Kritz from World Insurance, Ross Stemmler from AWS, and Ms. Poy from WIN proved valuable assets. As always, we thank David Yokeum for his continued support and investment in the growing Global Affinity Alliance network.
Please keep in mind, any member who attended the Abu Dhabi or Las Vegas meetings is invited to participate in WCA’s Annual Conference in Singapore, February 9-13, 2017. In regards to GAA’s 3rd annual conference in Europe, we will announce the destination and venue shortly, stay tuned!
Want to view and download pictures from the event? Click on a link below: