The ACE Cruise Convention is being re-launched and split into two events with a “totally new look”.

Key changes for next year include staging two separate events – a Selling Cruise Conference designed specifically for frontline sales staff in May and Columbus Day for senior travel executives in September.

The Selling Cruise Conference for customer-facing travel professionals will be held on May 1-2 in Southampton.

The first day will provide targeted content for delegates to use once they return to their shops, offices and call centres. A hotel-based trade fair will be followed on the second day by visits to four ships – Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, P&O Cruises’ Adonia, Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess and Royal Caribbean International’s Independence of the Seas.

Columbus Day will be staged in Birmingham on September 20 for directors, senior managers and owner/managers.

The day will feature business seminars, debates with key note speakers, networking opportunities together with an awards dinner to recognise the contributions made by individuals within the cruise sector.

ACE director Andy Harmer said: “The ACE Cruise Convention has been a great success since its inception in 2007.

“We feel the time is now right to revamp the event with the key aim of making it more relevant to individual delegates, particularly at a time when everyone is pressed on time and resource.

“The Selling Cruise Conference will offer an inspiring and informative opportunity for frontline agents to further their cruise sales. They will hear in detail advice and information which will increase their cruise business.

“We are also building on the success of this year’s first ever Columbus Day. In 2012 the event will take place in Birmingham and provide a full day of business sessions specifically targeted at senior members of the cruise industry.

“We will hear from authoritative speakers from inside and outside of the cruise industry and we will also celebrate the efforts of individuals in driving interest and sales in cruise with the revamped ACE Awards.”

Registration for the 2012 ACE Cruise Convention opens on December 15.

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