I’m excited about my next trip–purely business–to our nation’s capital. On Saturday I’ll board the Amtrak for an eight-hour cruise down the seaboard to Washington’s Union Station, and then a quick Uber ride to the condo that my buddy Tim rented for us right near the convention center.
The occasion is IPW, the huge big trade show put on every year by Brand USA, the people who are responsible for marketing the US as a tourist destination to the world. Last year’s event was in New Orleans, and it was a doozy. I mean, when you have 52 states all chipping in for more than 300 booths and the power of a government-funded lobbying machine, there’s a lot of money for fun things like huge parties, giveaways, fam trips and lavish spreads.
Here are some of the things that happened in the Big Easy at IPW in 2016: At the opening party, in the New Orleans Super Dome, Dr John was just one of a host of local musicians who played as a real Mardi Gras parade circled the football field and food stations staffed by all of the great New Orleans restaurants served thousands.
At lunch one of the days, at a plated meal for literally thousands of people, Gladys Knight was the featured entertainment. Before that we heard a trio of short scenes from popular Broadway musicals. There are three things that I love about this conference….the good friends that I’ve met over the years who will be here, the networking with tourism boards that gives me one-on-one meetings with potential customers, and the chance to do a short press trip, to get closer to a new place I haven’t seen.
The train departs on Saturday at 2 pm.