I constantly see travel bloggers in the online forums and in person asking “how is so and so convention or show, should I go and is it worth it?” So that has inspired me to write this post after my visit to The Los Angeles Times Travel Show. Here are seven reasons why I attended The LA Times Travel Show.
- Curious – I never know whom I may meet or what new technology I will learn about at this show. As it turns out, Alyssa Milano of “Who’s The Boss” fame was giving a talk on her involvement in UNICEF. I’ve wanted to do some stuff with them, so it was great to listen to her experiences.
- Market Research – Yup, this is our play ground. If you are a travel blogger, travel conferences is a great place to do research. You get to meet real travelers, people who are clueless about travel and those who are experts. I love research so this is my playground. I watch what people do, which booths are crowded. I also watched people as they took notes as this tells you what they are interested in. I gotta tell you; they all want to save money so are looking for ways to do so.
- Networking – I met old acquaintances and a few new ones at this year’s event. I got a chance to press the flesh with Jen Leo from the LA Times Apps for the Year and This Week in Travel, Johnny Jet, Eric Rosen from The Points Guy. Plus representatives from The Parking Spot, Fiji Airways, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Guam Tourist Board just to name a few. I also talked with travel experts on Africa, Nepal, and Turkey. As you can see the networking opportunity was tremendous. And local fellow travel blogger Arnette from RTW Girl stopped by to say hello and enjoyed a bit of the conference as well. I could not do all this sitting at home, wherever that is :-). And neither can you.
- Education – I learned so much about new destination, new technology and new travel services. Arnette and I spoke to Ari guy who books award travel for his customers at AwardMagic.com and does a fine job that he makes a living from it. So you can see that the show is like going to school except on the weekend.
- Trends – It’s always good to listen to the speakers as they talk about the hottest destinations and where is trending for travelers. Looks like Asia is the winner this year as its cheap and has fare sales often. And just like at CES, looks like Wellness Travel is the next crazy thing out there. You get to hear people like Arthur Frommer speak, which is always a thrill. He’s still going strong after all these years. Now they also have a Trade Day; Friday, but I did not make it out there for that. Michael Hodson of Go, See, Write, spoke on PTBA’s behalf about how to work with bloggers.
- Innovations – Sometimes you see how something is done and it triggers ideas for product creation and product differentiation.
- Content – You get so much content for your blogs as you learn about new destinations. At this show Jennifer Leo did her annual Travel App Review so I learned about some new apps I can try out. Plus I learned a bit more about Turkey and was able to record the presentation. In addition, I recorded some dance moves from the folks from Guam. More unique content, further differentiating my brand from the crowd.
- Travel – Duh! :-). It’s an excuse to visit Los Angeles. I did not do much in that area as I’ve been to LA many times as I have family living out here. But I did take the public transportation extensively, particularly the train. So now I have a better knowledge of how it works.
We do have a list of conferences here for your review. If you’ve attended conferences, do you think its worth it? Please leave a comment below.