Tradeshow Promises….Alas, Don’t Come True, But It’s Still Worth It

Today was a glorious day, with the snow covering the statue of Lafayette outside our hotel window on Central Park South.  I’m full of vigor and psyched to spend the day here at the Javits Center.  I’ve got the Macbook all warmed up, I’ve got great people like Cindy and Lisa here with me in the booth, and at 4 o’clock I’ll take the stage with Kent and Julia and talk about one of my favorite topics–travel writing.

Tradeshows are full of hope and energy, with most of the promises you make vanishing days after you go home.  I can count on one hand the number of actual trips I’ve taken as a result of meeting people, and use even fewer fingers when counting the money we’ve made from tradeshow contacts. Yet we keep coming back, keep schlepping our equipment and our expensive booth down here for seven years in a row. We do it because of the people we meet, and the way it promotes our brand.

While the famous tradeshow promises to call and email and do business do often fade, there remains value in exposing ourselves to this, the largest consumer travel show in the US. Though the size of this show is dwarfed by the ITB in London, and absolutely miniscule compared with the famous Travel Mart held each year in Munich, the people who come to the show are seriously interested in travel.  The writers who come by and say hello value the chance to have a face to face with our staff, and the tourism boards who generously send us around the world are pleased to be able to say hello in person. You can only do so much by email!

So we’ll make our usual slew of promises, and meet people who will tell us they’ll DEFINITELY write for us, and we’ll be told about trips that we absolutely will love and have to take, and yet we’ll leave happy, knowing we presented ourselves to the largest gathering of like minded travel people in the US. I’m ready to meet everyone when the doors open at 10.