50 cruise line executives-including presidents and CEOs-with 400 attendees at the 24th annual FCCA Gala at Seatrade Cruise Global
The series of events organized by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) gathering cruise executives and stakeholders to build business and relationships and maximize opportunities during Seatrade Cruise Global (SCG) went full steam ahead yesterday evening.
The 24th annual FCCA Gala again lived up to its reputation as the Association’s keynote event at SCG, joining over 50 cruise line executives-including presidents and CEOs-with 400 attendees looking to optimize a unique chance to increase their cruise tourism business by having a decision-making executive host them for dinner, along with a networking reception with the entire influential audience.
“The FCCA Gala offered a unique and invaluable opportunity for stakeholders to closely interact with the cruise industry’s key players to develop understanding, relationships and business,” said Adam Goldstein, president and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and chairman, FCCA. “I was honored to host a table and listen to ideas and developments while benefitting a good cause.”
The evening began with a 90-minute networking reception and silent art auction, with attendees meeting and mingling with all executives in attendance, including Goldstein, as well as Orlando Ashford, president, Holland America Line; Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International; Arnold Donald, president and CEO, Carnival Corporation; Christine Duffy, president, Carnival Cruise Line; Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity Cruises; Richard Sasso, chairman, MSC Cruises USA; and Andy Stuart, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line.
Attendees then headed to their tables, which they had pre-selected based on the best executive, department and cruise operator to help their business, as each ticket included not only dinner, but also a side of productive talks and relationship building. In addition to the feature tables with select executives like the presidents and CEOs, individual tickets were available for attendees to sit with FCCA Member Line executives ranging from managers to senior vice presidents throughout sectors including itinerary planning, purchasing, shore excursions, new business development, government relations, and port and destination development and operations.
The Gala was one of many events arranged by the FCCA to help members and attendees maximize their chances to target the various cruise line executives on hand for SCG. The schedule began Sunday night, when more than 200 cruise executives and key industry stakeholders gathered at Fort Lauderdale Boatyard to embark on the busy week ahead while networking with executives who decide where ships call, what is used and sold on board, and how to invest in destination products and infrastructure.
The FCCA’s booth featured everything from meetings between Member Line executives and destinations’ private and public sectors to discuss operations and route for the future, to exclusive networking events between executives and Platinum Members to bring them closer and help close deals. And the FCCA President’s Reception featured Goldstein courting stakeholders a bit differently at the FCCA Foundation’s Table Tennis Challenge Hosted by Adam Goldstein, where he met with stakeholders before slamming and volleying his way to victory in a battle of the table tennis titans.
“Our meetings and events made it possible to take advantage of STG’s robust opportunities,” said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. “This global event gathers some of the most prominent cruise executives and stakeholders, and we pride ourselves in ensuring that these key entities meet to discuss crucial operational issues and develop relationships that pave the way for future business.”
Plus, many of the events benefitted a worthy cause, as all proceeds from the Gala and Table Tennis Challenge benefitted the FCCA Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization that funds humanitarian causes in the Caribbean and Latin America, including disaster relief, funding for institutions like hospitals and orphanages, and annual projects benefitting educational and children’s causes. Most recently, the Foundation provided life-sustaining necessities-including sleeping pods, blankets, cots and multi-thousand-square-foot semi-permanent structures for shelter and schooling-for 10,000 people following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and the annual Holiday Gift Project brought presents, festivities and cheer to nearly 9,000 deserving children throughout 43 destinations.
“Of course it is crucial to link anyone doing business in the cruise industry with decision makers from FCCA Member Lines, which has a proven track record of building mutual understanding and bilateral partnerships,” continued Paige. “But even better is knowing that it will help people in need.”