The one certainty about trade show promotion is it is harder than it looks. The entire process must be a well coordinated and timed convergence of the right suppliers, the right speakers and a collection of travel professionals. This year, Travel Show Marketing Group’s Las Vegas Travel Agent Forum demonstrated how adept the group has become at putting together an exceptional travel agent trade show and received well deserved praise from both suppliers and travel professionals for their efforts.
The Stats: 900 travel agents in attendance with 130 Hosted Agents each whom boasted a vetted one million dollar annual production. More than 280 vendors were on site to exhibit, in total more than 1,700 travel professionals from across the world.
The Conference Schedule: This year’s three + day event at the Las Vegas Paris hotel began with a Technology Bootcamp and a three hour seminar for agents on building a “Super Star Travel Business.” On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, intensive sessions on travel law, sales and marketing featuring industry leaders and experts generated a great deal of discussion among participants and suppliers alike. Roundtable sessions on Monday gave suppliers an intensive opportunity to demonstrate their company’s offerings in close-up face to face discussions and the 1:1 meetings between suppliers and the 130 hosted agents at the Forum were extremely well received by all involved. The Travel Corporation sponsored a session of its TTC University , providing the agent attendees with an in-depth look at the TTC Family of brands including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and Contiki. The educational sessions were followed by several opportunities for the suppliers and agents to socialize in the intimate settings around the Paris Hotel pools and facilities.
The Reviews: The uniform opinion of show producers, suppliers and travel agent attendees was strongly positive.
Jim Cloonan, Travel Show Marketing Group’s President and CEO was obviously pleased by the event’s success. “Of all the shows Travel Show Marketing Group has produced over the years, I don’t think that I’ve ever been more thrilled by our audience than I was at this year’s Las Vegas Travel Agent Forum. Our registration coordinators work very hard to find the best and brightest agents in the industry to attend our events and that was never more evident than at this year’s show. I know that I’m biased, but in talking with many of our suppliers, they were in agreement.”
Suppliers and agents alike showed an enthusiasm for the show’s achievements.
Janet Anderson, the Director of National Accounts for Insight Vacations had this to say: “Our booth was busy! The show brings the opportunity to meet independent consultants from around the country, and see where we can assist each other to grow our business together! Plus, we could talk one on one and advise we have a committed sales team throughout to help them on a local level. Lots of great discussion for opportunities with groups, which we are already working on!”
The vendor line-up included some of the travel industry’s largest suppliers, including Carnival Cruise Lines. Alicia Steuart, a Senior Sales Director for Carnival, was pleased with her company’s attendance and results. “We have attended the Travel Agent Forum in Las Vegas for the past several years and keep coming back as we are able to interact with so many new agents inspired to sell travel and grow their business. The show is always very well organized and the classes offered are always relevant and engaging. It has been a great success for us and we appreciate the opportunity to be a part of it.”
Jeff Adam, Director of Sales for Down Under Answers was equally effusive. “What I enjoyed about the Travel Agent Forum Las Vegas is that it provides numerous opportunities for suppliers and travel agents to interact, from round table meetings to one-on-one appointments and the traditional trade show format. Especially good this year was the event at Springs Preserve, where agents and suppliers enjoyed a lesser known Las Vegas attraction, while providing a further opportunity to mix and mingle. The Travel Agent Forum is a great industry event that strikes a balance between fun and learning!”
Travel Show Marketing Group also produces a number of specialty forums. “Next up is our exciting Romance Travel Forum”, said Cloonan, “taking place at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, May 7 – 11, if you’re a specialist in the destination wedding, romantic getaways or honeymoons, have a look it’s a terrific event.”
In October, the Travel Agent Forum travels to Cancun, Mexico to the beautiful Moon Palace for its International Travel Agent Forum. “This show will be unlike any event you’ve ever attended with pre and post FAMS“, says Cloonan, “with site inspections during the event, 1 to 1 meetings with suppliers from around the world, exciting roundtable discussions, exotic evening networking opportunities at some of the hottest properties in Mexico.” Registration is limited for this event, so please visit https://international.travelsmg.com/ for more details.
Finally, the 3rd annual Family Travel Advisor Forum scheduled for January 7 – 11, 2019, at the Moon Palace Jamaica, is an exclusive event created for today’s family travel seller, with an emphasis on groups, such as multi-generation travel and family reunions, among other opportunities. This top-level program will deliver a dynamic event experience filled with education, networking and destination experiences. This forceful combination affords delegates a unique opportunity to collaborate, learn and build strong business relationships. “The Family Travel Advisor Forum will be going into its third year, and continues to draw the most passionate and adaptable travel sellers in the family vacation market. With family vacations on the rise, it’s no wonder why this event is in such high demand among sellers and suppliers alike,” says Cloonan.