5 ways to make the most of travel industry conventions

5 ways to make the most of travel industry conventions

I write this from Virtuoso Travel Week, the legendary gathering of luxury travel suppliers and advisors held each year in Las Vegas. It’s always a remarkable time to connect, re-connect, and learn.

Which made me think of some ideas about how we can all make the most of conventions, whether it’s our host agency conference, a tourist board’s gathering or trade association convention such as ACTA.

These events are an investment of your time, and your money. Do you treat them that way?

  1. Be sure to network. It’s so tempting to hang out with our friends, but the goal at these events should be to maximize your time. You are there to make new contacts and spread your network.
  2. Enjoy the sessions, meals, receptions, etc. withsomeone you don’t know – a preferred partner or a speaker, for instance – and spend time with them. You never know, you may make a few sterling professional contacts!
  3. Business cards are still an important starting point. Always have a few handy (I like to stash some at the back of my convention badge). Or, even better and more sustainable, get an electronic business card. There are many options out there and they’re fairly inexpensive.
  4. Remember your look is your brand. No matter where you go, be sure to dress appropriately. If it’s business casual, it doesn’t necessarily mean jeans. If it’s business, it definitely doesn’t mean jeans.
  5. Post onsocial media.Pictures and video and not just of the event, but of you at the event. Bonus if you get one with an industry insider or high profile exec. Great for your credibility!

Finally, once it’s all over the most important work starts: the follow-up. Within a few days – while their memory of you is still fresh – follow-up with your new contacts to continue (or start) the conversation. Even if it’s only to say “What a pleasure it was to meet you…”. Chances are you’ll be one of the few to do so.

You will never regret making the most of your investment!

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