9 Tips from the 2015 New York Times Travel Trade Show

This year’s New York Times Travel Show was a mega hit! Complete with barrages of travel insiders, media and destination marketers. Here are some trade secrets and tips for those that work in travel media or are looking for your next trip.

For the travelers:

  1. Get ahead of the travel curve. If you enjoy lesser-explored destinations, your travel palette is in for a treat. Exhibitors from emerging locales are plenty, such as: Azerbaijan, Cuba, Tenerife, Croatia and Nairobi. January is the perfect time to begin your travel planning for the upcoming year. To avoid massive crowds, I suggest you make Sunday your day to attend.20150124_142438
  2. Win big! I’ve yet to have my name drawn (emphasis on yet), but I know there’s an abundance of all-inclusive vacation giveaways. Etihad Airways sent one winner on a luxury trip to Abu Dhabi.
  3. Escape for a day. Let’s be honest. The air is bitter and finding reasons to leave home grows hard. Thankfully, the travel show is chocked full of adventures all on one floor. Bright colors from Caribbean costumes, traditional dancing from Far East and food sampling from around the world. Consider it a precursor to your upcoming long-distance jaunts.
  4. There’s more than enough to see and learn locally. When we think travel, we immediately think passports and planes. We rarely consider what there is to see one state over, or even county. Those regional locations are hard to miss at the travel show and make you think, “Hmmm…maybe I should visit Main or Do AC…”

For travel content creators:

  1. The ABCs of Social Media:
    1. Always be Charging (your phone).
    2. Always be connecting (with people before you need them).
    3. Always be collecting pictures20150123_093847
  2. Rule of three’s: your social media post should come in 3’s – before, during and after an event. And you should post 3-8 times per day. Schedule them via hootsuite. With Twitter, your posts should always include a description, picture and hashtag.
  3. Shut it down and you’ll make great connections! At the end of day 1 (industry day), there was a great after party on the exhibitor’s floor. I was able to meet many travelers, travel content creators and travel planners. To top it off, I ran into Michael Carroll, New York Times director of travel advertising and one of the organizers of the event itself.20150123_185158
  4. Localize your social media. Learn phrases and languages (just a few key words) that will allow you to speak to your varied audiences. They will respect your inclusion and your following will increase.
  5. Simplicity is key for brand building. Be focused like a laser on 1-3 things. Your audience will know what to expect and you will emerge as a valuable source. The more convenient you make your audience’s experience, the better. Put your information where your audience/consumers are.

Looking forward to an even better show in 2016!

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