In 2022, First Financial Security, Inc. made a highly anticipated return to the Mediterranean for the Dream Destination Conference 2022. Not only was it a return to a past DDC locale — complete with updated destinations, expeditions and a new luxurious cruise ship, the Seven Seas Splendor — but it was also the welcome return of DDC itself after two years of postponement due to travel restrictions and safety practices. This made our enjoyment of the sun and sea aboard the Splendor that much sweeter, and we were happy to reward our top producers and business builders once again with the trip of a lifetime.
From the magnificent architecture of Barcelona to the natural beauty of Corsica to the ancient canals of Venice, our 280 top leaders and guests experienced all the Mediterranean had to offer on the grand and beautiful Splendor. The warm April breeze blew through these first-class balcony suites, offering a full panoramic view of the water at every moment. Both intimate and spacious at the same time, our agents enjoyed world-class service on the Splendor, including fine dining and sunlit cocktail hours full of elegant style and comfort.
The top 12 qualifiers arrived for our Elite Trip at the Hotel Majestic in Barcelona on Sunday, April 17th for a cocktail reception at the Dolce Vita Terrace. Here, the best and brightest leaders connected with one another and with the corporate leaders under the brilliant Barcelona sky. The next day, April 18th, Elite Qualifiers experienced the world of traditional winemaking as they toured the beautiful underground cellars of Codorníu, one of the oldest cava winemakers in the world. This exclusive tour capped our Elite Trip before these qualifiers joined our other guests for the launch of the Main Trip the next day.
From April 18th to April 24th, all DDC22 qualifiers set sail to tour the Mediterranean in style. Once aboard the Splendor, agents enjoyed a beautiful welcome dinner at the Compass Rose. Then, the guests traveled to Corsica, France, where they walked plazas lined with prickly pear trees overlooking harbors stuffed with sail boats. This was Napoleon Bonaparte’s birthplace, and his spirit followed the guests both in portraits and in street names as they were able to witness a fine collection of Renaissance paintings at the Musée Fesch between visits to the many cafés and local wineries.
From there, the guests traveled to Italy, where the bulk of the trip took place. Whether it was the sea-blue of the isle of Capri of the ancient golds of Rome and Venice, guests of DDC22 found plenty of beauty to behold amidst the ruins of the old Roman empire. The sheer number of landmarks to choose from could make anyone’s head spin: the Sistine Chapel, the Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum, Aventine Hill, the Blue Grotto, St. Mark’s Basilica, Circus Maximus and many more.
FFS agents met aboard the Splendor between ports to hear the latest news on products and procedures from our life insurance carrier partners, as well as strategies from home office leaders on how to lead effectively, cultivate expertise and build their businesses to even higher levels by 2023. In one meeting, Debbie Gerlicher told our Great Strides Story and laid out our fundraising goals for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraising walk that the FFS team will participate in on May 21st. We are proud that members of the FFS One Team met the challenge and proved that they always do what they can to give back, with 17 individuals putting forth over $2,500 in donations during the trip.
To conclude the FFS Dream Destination Conference 2022, the Splendor made its final stop at Zadar in Croatia, the crown jewel of the northern Dalmatian coast. Qualifiers saw thousands of years of history here, as the city was once a center of naval power and commerce for empires as varied as the Romans, the Ostrogoths and the Byzantium. Amidst this blend of art and architecture, our guests began to shut the door on their DDC22 experience as thoughts returned to home and the next year of their thriving businesses.
Dream Destination Conference 2022 was a remarkable return to form for our field and corporate leadership. “I’ve been in the business 41 years — this is one of the nicest trips I’ve ever been on,” said Ron Wheeler, Executive Vice President of Products and Distribution. With this incredible journey under their belt, these qualifiers will fight hard for a chance to experience luxury without limit at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples for DDC23. Do you have what it takes to join them?