Internet Travel Monitor - Industry News

August 2, 2017

Tips for Getting the Most from a Travel Conference

Travel conferences have changed a lot since the days when destinations rolled out the red carpet (literally) for agents.

Today’s travel meetings are more business-focused and while there’s still plenty of wining and dining to be done, attendees had better be ready to learn, learn and learn. Whether they’re attending an international, multi-day conference, a half-day course or one of many training events and seminars put on.

With limited time, and often a limited budget, choosing the right conference to attend is mission critical. Once that’s been decided upon, you may be thinking now what. Here are five (and a half) tips for making the most of your next travel conference:

War (What are we fighting for?)

Think of attending a conference as going into battle (but with friends) and plan accordingly. Map out a strategy for which sessions you want to attend, who you want to meet and what knowledge you want to come home with.

Are you looking to boost your sales skills? Cultivate a better client list? Add to your cruise or destination knowledge? Determine your focus and go after it with a surgical strike.

That said, if a session isn’t measuring up, don’t feel like you have to stay—move on to one that gives you what you need. Better still, if you’re there with your agency co-workers, formulate a strategy that lets you divide and conquer.

Pitch perfect

The good news: You’ll be meeting a lot of new people and catching up with old friends. The bad news: With so much to see and do, everyone is short on time. All the more reason to make sure you have your elevator pitch—that 30-second blurb about you and your agency—down pat. Oh, and don’t forget to bring lots of business cards while you’re at it.

Book ‘em, Danno

Take advantage of the chance to make new contacts and solidify old partnerships by booking lots of appointments. If the event offers time during the conference itself, use those to meet with new suppliers with whom you want to work.

For those with whom you already have established relationships, see if you can’t meet up for a quick pre-show breakfast or grab a coffee while the event is going on. It’s never a bad idea to get in front of suppliers, learn more about their products and remind them of your sales expertise.

Get out there

You’re a travel professional so act like one. Be sure to allow time to experience the conference destination itself. Even if it’s a place you’ve been (and sold) a million times, there’s always something new to experience and that you can bring back to share with your clients.


The work doesn’t stop when the conference ends. In fact, it’s only just begun. Now, it’s time to put those great ideas and newfound knowledge into action. Take some time to organize your notes and business cards and then follow up with the suppliers you are most interested in working with.

Don’t forget to share what you learned with colleagues who were holding down the fort while you were away. Not only is it nice to pay it forward, but it shows the boss that you were there for the sessions and not the shrimp.

One last thing: Wear comfortable shoes. Nothing brings you to your knees like sore feet.

Copyright 2017 travAlliancemedia™. All rights reserved. From By Kristina Rundquist.
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