First Time STAR Delegates

As a first-time Marketplace delegate, you are about to experience an educational and professionally rewarding week.

Marketplace is a week filled with unsurpassed business opportunities, informative educational seminars, exciting social events, and an overall experience that will change forever the way you view the tour and travel industry personally, professionally and as a representative of your company.  This page will provide you with the tips and information you need to help you succeed at Marketplace 2021.

Top Ten STAR Delegate Tips

CONNECT with your mentor. After registering, you will be contacted by an ABA member from the Marketplace Orientation Committee who will serve as your mentor. They are a valuable resource prior to and during ABA’s Marketplace.

VISIT the Orientation Center located on the Networking Floor. Meet your mentor and receive help with any questions you may have. Take a floor tour to familiarize yourself with the convention center and participate in a Q&A panel with fellow STAR delegates. It is highly recommended you visit the Orientation Center before scheduled appointments begin.

ATTEND all Marketplace events. Appointments are a key portion of the event, but there are plenty of other opportunities to network throughout the week. Browse through the schedule and make sure to utilize the entire Marketplace week by attending education seminars, networking events, and sightseeing tours.

NETWORK to build relationships with fellow ABA members. Walk the floor during your free time and take advantage of the networking events listed in the schedule. Attending the luncheons and evening events, and volunteering is a great way to meet members.

REVIEW your profile sheet with your mentor. Use their feedback to create the best 1-page resource for your company, and make sure to 3-hole-punch the copies.

BE PROMPT to your meetings and respectful of both the buyer’s time, as well as the seller who is next in line for appointments. Never skip a scheduled appointment.

DRESS appropriately. Appointments, the evening events and sightseeing tours are business casual. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as you will be on your feet a lot!

UTILIZE the supplies at Resource Central. There are computers, printers, schedules, charging stations, operator mailboxes and more resources located in close vicinity to the Business Floor. Stop by Resource Central if you need quick assistance.

DEVELOP your professional skills by attending an education session. This is also a great way to connect with other members and learn more about the industry.

VOLUNTEER in your free time. This is an excellent way to support ABA and interact with other members in a more casual timeframe.

Before You Get to Marketplace

1. Update Your Registration

Your Marketplace Passport is a record of all of your individualized registration information. Make certain that your information is up-to-date and that you’re marked as a first-time delegate.

2. Attend a Pre-Conference Webinar

Join our free webinars to learn more about Marketplace and how to have the best experience possible.

Calling all First Time STAR ABA Marketplace Delegates – This is Your Orientation: Part One: TBD

Calling all First Time STAR ABA Marketplace Delegates – This is Your Orientation: Part Two: TBD

3. View Video Tutorials

Overall Good Appointment

Bad Buyer Appointment

Bad Seller Appointment

Good Networking Example

Bad Networking Example

4. Prepare a Profile Sheet

Profile sheets and business cards are the only collateral allowed on the Business Floor during appointments. Profile Samples

5. Explore the Delegate Packet

Check out the quick guide to all things Marketplace.

6. Review Buyer/Seller Checklists

Prepare for Marketplace by reviewing the items on these lists.

7. Ask Questions Through STAR Calls

Each STAR delegate will receive a phone call or email from a member of the Orientation Center Subcommittee. This is your opportunity to ask questions, gather information, and make a connection before you get to Marketplace.

9. What Do Tour Operators Need from Suppliers to Conduct GREAT Business

View/Listen on Demand to what resources tour operators need and how you can stand out from your competitors at Marketplace or throughout the year.

8. Review Insider Information

Many industries have their own language, which can make it difficult for the novice to communicate, let alone understand. If you’re in a sales position, efficient communication is the key to your success. Stars need to learn and understand the key terms and sensitivities in your business world, and you’ll increase your performance potential.  Terms, Acronyms and Other Necessities

At Marketplace

1. Attend the Orientation Center Ambassador Session

The Orientation Center offers personalized a counseling session performed by subcommittee members and/or Marketplace volunteers. In a friendly member-to-member format, new attendees learn about Marketplace practices, Marketplace procedures, expectations and activities from industry veterans.

2. Take an Orientation Center Floor Tour

STAR delegates also have the opportunity to tour the Marketplace floor before their appointment session and to broaden their ABA and industry insight in specially designed STAR workshops. Throughout the week, subcommittee members also serve as Marketplace mentors aiding and guiding STAR delegates.

3. Participate in the Q&A Workshop


These must-attend sessions for first-time STAR delegates, engage both suppliers and operators in spirited discussions and sharing of tips to help prepare you for an exciting and valuable Marketplace week. Under the leadership of Orientation Subcommittee, these sessions are guaranteed to be both entertaining and educational. No sign-up is required, so don’t miss this dynamic session!


You will receive a final newsletter with tips regarding Marketplace follow up and how to make the most of your investment at Marketplace.