The annual Boston Globe Travel Trade Show opened this weekend on Friday, February 19th at the Seaport World Trade Center. The weekend began with roundtable; ‘speed-dating’ style discussion groups with representatives of top travel destinations around the world. The morning and afternoon was broken up into different groups of destinations, “Wedding, Honeymoon and Group Travel”, “Family and Intergenerational Travel” and finally “Eco and Adventure Tourism”. These discussions are not to be missed as they provide essential information to booking your next vacation or corporate event. As a PR/Media attendee I was after contacts and establishing relationship with professionals whom otherwise I would not have met!
As a lifestyle specialist, a travel trade show is a small piece of heaven. Many booths were giving away merchandise or pamphlets and according to the destination, cultural foods and drinks – one booth even had a rum bar! As the weekend unfolds, there is much merriment to be had with food demonstrations, cultural performances and opportunity making.
The culinary program of events is impressive with two-full days of food demonstrations from top chefs across the world. If you ever wanted to feel like you’re in a cooking show, this is the next best thing! Throughout both days there are impressive dishes for the discerning New Englander’s tongue or they may provide the perfect inspiration for your next dinner party! If you’re not a foodie, that’s okay as the trade show also provides an educational, in-depth and inspiring cultural program with prominent speakers and writers that will help inspire you to pick your next destination.
Everyone’s objective in going to the Boston Globe Travel Trade Show is different. For me it was networking, building relationships, learning, etc. for some it is purely educational, for others mere entertainment. Whatever it is, I will leave you with my top 4 pieces of advice for going to a travel trade show.
1. Arrive Early
Whether you are there for part of your job, or a general attendee, arrive early. Many things that factor into your travel time there and if you get hung up in traffic or have trouble finding a parking spot the extra time will help. This is especially important for professionals, you do not want to be late!
2. Plan Your Objective
What do you hope to accomplish with your time at a travel trade show? Who are your top professionals that you want to speak to? For me, it was sales and PR representatives, those who can invite me to future press trips or provide sponsorships.
3. Prepare Your Promotional Materials
Many sales representatives will present you with promotional and merchandise materials. Creating yours will help you leave a lasting impression as well as show that you are legitimate. It can be as short and sweet as a sell sheet with your products and services, or as in-depth as media kit. But puh-lease, don’t do it the night before. 😉 It can even be as simple as a business card.
4. Be Open
This is an experience! Experience it by trying new things, live a little, as that is what traveling to a new destination is all about! Don’t be afraid to talk to fellow attendees or introduce yourself, the more people you connect, the more opportunity can be made.
Well there you have it! If you are local, regional or even national, the Boston Globe Travel Trade Show is a great affordable event for all travel enthusiasts. It’s like seeing all the world at once in one room!