Miami FL, April 26, 2007- Landry & Kling Cruise Event Services celebrates their 25th anniversary this year thanks to the trust of their meeting-planner clients, and the cooperation of cruise line partners and suppliers who made their track record of innovative cruise events possible.
“At first, meeting planners doubt their programs can be adapted to the cruise environment” said Joyce Landry, CEO, “but the way the cruise lines accommodate our unusual requests, and trust us to try things never done before impresses our corporate clients. It opens their eyes to a new world—and that brings the industry more future business.”
Early mentors told Landry & Kling there wasn’t enough cruise business to warrant specialization but now, 25 years later, there’s quite a bit of evidence to the contrary. Research by CLIA, (Cruise Lines International Association, www.cruising.org shows the cruise industry is the most exciting growth category in the entire leisure market. Since 1980, the industry has averaged an annual passenger increase of 8.1% per year. The awakening of the corporate and incentive cruise sector is one of several factors contributing to that growth.
Company founders Joyce Landry & Josephine Kling ignited the corporate cruise market beginning in 1982 and have consistently been the most visible industry spokesmen for cruise meetings ever since.
“I recall they created quite a buzz speaking at the Seatrade Conference in 1986”, said Chris Hayman, Managing Director—Seatrade. “They dangled a bunch of carrots from the podium, challenging cruise lines to match hotels in rolling out the red carpet for corporate groups”. www.seatrade-global.com
Over the years Landry & Kling established a reputation for innovation based on many firsts:
* Introduced many Fortune 500 companies to cruising for the first time.
* Planned the first dockside ship charters used as “floating hotels” for global events in cities with insufficient hotel rooms in: Jacksonville for Super Bowl, Boston for DecWorld, New Orleans during the American Heart Association’s annual meeting and the Caribbean for Cricket World Cup.
* Negotiated many first-time cruise solutions for corporate groups such as side-by-side ship charters, half-ship charters, and sit-down dinners on deck for over 1800 guests – none of which had been executed before by the cruise lines involved.
* First to establish a strategic cruise alliance with a meetings industry giant, Experient (formerly Conferon Global Services) who chose to partner with Landry & Kling as the most cost- efficient way to ensure successful cruises for their clients. “Teaming up with industry leaders known for quality, professionalism and innovation such as Landry & Kling is simply good business” said Rick Binford, CMP, Senior VP, Chief Marketing Officer, Experient. www.experient-inc.com
Partners Landry & Kling met while working at Holland America Line. Later they formed their business to serve as the first distribution channel between cruise lines and corporate America. “Cruise lines didn’t have corporate & incentive departments then”, said Jo Kling, President; “so we decided to get out there to educate everybody – we pitched stories to the media, spoke to the meetings industry, appeared on TV, wrote magazine columns, a newsletter, anything to get the word out to event planners that using a cruise venue instead of a hotel enables them to do more — with less stress and lower budgets.”
Cruise lines and competitors have come and gone during the past 25 years, but Landry & Kling has survived by adapting to market changes prompted by technology, terrorism, and economic downturns. Their vision of growing the business by selling to a public entity, and the opportunity 7 years later to buy it back now gives them the best practices of both large and small companies. Through it all, Landry & Kling has maintained consistently high standards of service because of their long-time professional staff.
“They study ships, they know the senior players in the cruise industry and they’re able to get access, quite frankly, better than anyone I’ve ever known in the industry” said David Morris, Executive Vice President, Silversea Cruises; “this is an industry that requires energy and passion and they’ve got both.”
For more about cruise meetings and charters, ship procurement and other cruise event services, there is an ocean of information online at www.landrykling.com or by phone at 800-448-9002.