TNNWC Publications And Informational Products Division publishes The National Networker (TNNWC) Weekly Newsletter and The BLUE TUESDAY Report especially for entrepreneurs and early-stage venturers; free weekly subscriptions to these informative publications are available online to all entrepreneurial Members of TNNWC.

Membership in TNNWC is free (it's automatic for any subscriber to any TNNWC Publication) and available at our website. When you arrive there, just click on any of the JOIN US or BECOME a MEMBER buttons or links.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

U.S. ALASKA: Glaciers & Networking

By Stefanie Gorder, CTP, DS
Alaska Bureau Chief

Glaciers & Networking
An awesome and cool fit

Glaciers cover 10% of the world’s land mass and 75% of our freshwater comes from glaciers. Most would agree that glaciers are magnificent rain or shine. They can be deep blue in color from compressed snow and ice and full of mystery. Constant change and motion define both networking and glaciers. They can be altered by changing climates and the movement and shapes adjust over long periods of time. While networking in Alaska is not as slow moving as many glaciers, it can be conducted in a unique glacial setting. The question to ponder is if the venue is filled with memory creating opportunities, is the business conducted of more or less value to the participants?

One of Alaska’s finest networkers lives in the agricultural and historical region known as Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Valley ( As the Marketing Manager at their Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tammy Bruce’s role is to convince tour operators and consumers alike to include her destination in future travel plans. To convince Premier Alaska Tours ( to bring more visitors to her region, Tammy hosted me on a whirlwind day trip (product development is under my realm of responsibilities). One of the activities which she believed would be of interest to small groups was glacier trekking. Being born and raised in Alaska does not make me an adventurer as I admit the great outdoors and I do not see eye to eye. Upon arrival at the Matanuska Glacier, Tammy handed me a helmet and ski poles and my immediate reaction was to run. However, with crampons and a professional guide provided by Mica Guides ( on hand to reassure me, we went trekking on this spectacular moving piece of ice. With crisp blue water pooling in small crevasses creating unique formations, the adventure was nothing short of fantastic!

Along our full day journey, we discussed the great and numerous glacial opportunities available throughout Alaska. Would combining a day cruise with gray whales and puffin sightings with the wonders of a river raft bobbling amongst ice bergs go hand in hand with a glacial trek? Upon visual inspection, only ten percent of an iceberg shows above water meaning the main mass of these giant pieces of ice lie below the water’s surface.

Tammy’s strength is in not the selfish promotion of her own destination but realizing that selling all of Alaska will allow her destination to benefit. Therefore, ten percent of her day was spent convincing me that this region would tie in with existing tour product and the rest of the day she left to me to discover the beauty of this vast area as it unfolded around every corner. Now, Premier Alaska Tours features the Matanuska Susitna Valley in numerous tour programs (and much more than 10 percent).

Various types of glaciers, various networking opportunities

Group networking at its finest happened when Alaska played host to the Travel Alliance Partners, LLC annual TAP Dance conference. One of the main networking events was aboard the 26 Glacier Cruise (, a phenomenal cruise through the calm, protected waters of Prince William Sound. Guests come face to face with towering masses of ice, migratory whales and scenery that take the breath away! Imagine conducting business over beverages filled with ice thousands of years old and where the thundering sound of calving glaciers, make conversation come to a standstill.

Creating a venue where businesses can benefit through idea building intermingled with the “fun factor” is how TAP conducts their day to day operations. It goes without saying that an organization that works in cooperation with others will be successful and TAP is on the right course. The goal is to cross promote tour products to gain higher revenues through sharing client bases & product. With having hosted their prestigious conference, Alaska has gained valuable exposure and is reaping the rewards of greater in-bound group tour business.

TAP (Travel Alliance Partners, LLC) is a partner-owned organization of 34 premier tour operators in the United States and Canada. The company continues to stride forward according to its business philosophy of networking by establishing partnerships based in respect, reciprocity and reward (

Bobbling amongst icebergs or people …

Networking in the travel industry doesn’t always need to be with travel professionals. Consumers can offer a unique look into product awareness, especially in a destination where one saves for a lifetime to visit. One summer I was provided tickets aboard the world famous Alaska Railroad ( to experience a backcountry wilderness rail excursion combined with a scenic float trip on Spencer Lake. I was just slightly nervous when the conductor announced it was time to disembark the rail when all I could see was remote wilderness out the window. I was about to enter bear and moose habitat however this time, I was well prepared since I had read the brochure in advance! With our adventure guide we boarded a rubber raft and were led on a gentle float trip. I was mesmerized by the raft bobbling in Spencer Lake completely surrounded by stunning vistas and enormous icebergs. It was completely different than the glacial trek or large boat experience. I enjoyed myself as much as my raft mates, who were mostly visitors checking Alaska off their bucket list. This networking opportunity allowed me to listen to the visitor perception of the experience and bring immediate new product to Premier’s tour operation. The venue can strengthen networking opportunities immensely whether it is in or out of the comfort zone.

While competition exists in Alaska, the low population counts mean that everyone in all industries must play together nicely or risk being an outcast. If this concept was embraced around the world, imagine how truly rewarding life would be. While glacial networking might be unique to the great state of Alaska, the concept can be adapted to other environments with success.

For more information on group glacier treks, day cruises & adventures, contact any of the quality service providers noted in this article.

Next month: meet an Alaska legend, four time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser.

Stefanie Gorder, ctp, ds

Twitter: @StefanieGorder

Premier Alaska Tours, Inc.
Twitter: @PremierAlaska

Posted to THE NATIONAL NETWORKER. All rights reserved.
To subscribe for your free TNNW Newsletter, go to For the complete National Networker Relationship Capital Toolkit and a free continuous RSS feed (available either by traditional RSS or by direct email), go to:

You are also invited to click our buttons:


Forward/Share This Article With Colleagues And Social Media:

No comments:

Blog Archive

BNI News Feed

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


Site Credits:

Featured in Alltop
ALLTOP Business
News Wire. HOT.
Cool Javascript codes for websites  Fabulous Free Calendars

Create FREE graphics at