I have attended different travel conferences as both a Travel Agent and when I was working for a cruise company. Most travel conferences have a similar formula; big presentations, a panel discussion to listen in on, learning about new travel companies & trends, trade show, meeting representatives of different destinations tourism boards etc. I always found them to be informative, but hardly personal. You hear a lot about million dollar renovations, and new ships – which is useful, but sometimes I walk away feeling like I took part in a travel brochure come to life, a lot of gloss and buzzwords, but lacking substance. A little over a week ago I returned from Global Travel Marketplace West (GTM-West), a travel conference, but with a little bit of a twist.
Unlike other conferences, the application process was much more thorough, more than just proving you sell some form of travel and writing a check (there really should be a better saying… who writes checks anymore? but I digress, you get the picture). There is a detailed application form, minimum sales requirement, phone interview and you need to provide 3 travel industry references. Out of 700 applications, 77 were chosen and I am super excited to have been one of the 77 selected. A huge benefit to this selection process is the fact I was surrounded with some of the best and brightest travel professionals around, and I had a captive audience with every travel representative I spoke with, they knew with that calibre of travel professionals, we were there and serious about how we handle our business. It is also rare to find a conference where travel suppliers outnumber the agents!
These new relationships, and resources I’ve gathered will be surfacing here on Another Day In Travel. I will showcase some of the most interesting facts, destinations and experiences I picked up during the 53 different, 6-minute meetings I had, or during the 9 different, 30 minute small group boardroom presentations I took part in. I met with cruise lines, tour companies, hotels, all-inclusive properties, tourism boards and everything in between. So follow along and get inspired for your next vacation. Or just follow along to see what happens when I make everyone who sits with me take a selfie with one of my props and guess which travel companies picked which prop.. find out who went for the crown.
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