Why Trade Shows are (Still) Worthwhile

Those new to the travel & tourism industry may be curious as to why trade shows are still relevant in the year 2018, when heaps of information is easily accessible online. Well, for travel agents and other industry professionals, there are still many good reasons to dress your best and attend these vibrant, fast-paced events.

On the marketing and business side of things, the value for exhibitors is huge — as part of the Sales & Marketing team of a travel media publisher, I know this from personal experience. A large assortment of airlines, tourist boards, and hotel & resort chains get to show off their newest offerings and incentives while handing out enticing merchandise and swag to the agents in attendance. This is a great opportunity for businesses to get their message out.

For travel agents, the many perks of attending trade shows are abundant and often hard to turn down. Along with the food and drinks that are often provided, other incentives include:

  1. The opportunity to learn about what’s going on in the travel & tourism sectors, and what we can look forward to in the near future. New developments are often announced at these events before they find their way to the internet.
  2. The chance to discover new products, innovations, and promotions that you can share with your clients (and take advantage of yourself).
  3. Get a sneak peek at some of the marketing strategies being utilized by your competitors.
  4. Gain access to invaluable opportunities to network and build professional relationships in the industry.
  5. Discover new ways to earn more commissions and generate more revenue.
  6. Take advantage of photo ops and prize draws (depending on the event, of course, and on who is hosting).
  7. Acquire all kinds of free swag such as magazines, directories, USB keys, pens, luggage tags, stress balls, sport water bottles and more.

So, if you’re a travel professional looking to expand your knowledge and stay on top of what’s happening in the industry, I highly recommend attending as many trade shows as you can — within practical limits, of course. With the large number and variety of organizations that usually take part, there is always a lot to absorb and you are bound to learn some useful information that you can then share with your clients and with your colleagues.

To find out about upcoming trade shows near you, visit the Travel Press Industry Events Calendar at http://eventscalendar.ca/, and be sure to bookmark the page for future reference.

By Dan McDonald

Dan is a Sales and Marketing Development Associate at Baxter Media. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 2011.