A Chance to Hobnob With Travel’s Biggest Players

This afternoon I fly to Hollywood California, and at about 7:30 tonight I should be checking in to the Magic Castle Hotel, a block away from the event venue the Renaissance convention center. I’m going to attend my second PhoCusWright travel conference, where the leaders of today’s biggest on-line travel businesses meet to talk about the industry.

It’s an incredible gathering because everyone is here. The CEOs of Travelocity, Trip Advisor, Expedia, Google Travel and dozens of other well-known websites are here in the flesh. One of the things I work very hard at is making personal connections with my business partners. Flying out to California is a great way for us to solidify our contacts with people like Chris Shaver of Booking Wiz, Mika and Sean of Bootsnall, and the principals of car rental, booking, travel ad networks and others.

Some people are happy to simply connect over email and put up links. I like to push it further, meeting and talking with the people, finding out how the most successful affiliates do it, and trying to maximize my commission rates and my opportunities. You get this by knowing the players, and pushing to be a bigger part of their business.

I will be participating in a ‘bloggers summit’ where we all gather around a table with our laptops in front of us keeping a minute-by-minute record. There will be a glitzy party hosted by Google, I’m sure where I’ll get to ask questions of the people behind Ad words. I’ll report on the findings every day, right here, and maybe I’ll get to do a little sightseeing on Hollywood Boulevard too.