The 2012 New York Times Travel Show is happening as a I write this. You still have time to catch a plane to New York City. Really. But if you can only watch the 2012 NY Times Travel Show as an armchair spectator I will show you what went on the first day. Even if you wanted to go, the first day is only for travel professionals and not open to the public.
The exclusive first day for travel professionals meant the crowds were small. But before I even get to the show, the first six hours were solely dedicated to presentations and panels. The show organized presentations into five categories of trade conference seminars, including Focus On Africa, Focus On The Caribbean, Focus On Cruising, Focus On Europe, Focus On Specialization, and Focus On Travel Media. I listened in on most of the seminars from the Focus On Travel Media section with people like Robert Reid from Lonely Planet.
Focus on Travel Media
|HOW TRAVELERS CAN BE REACHED THROUGH NEW MEDIA
Speaker: Lillian Africano, President Elect, Society of American Travel Writers
|SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY: WHAT’S NEW AND RELEVANT?
Speaker: Sree Sreenivasan, Professor and Dean of Students, Columbia University Journalism School and one of AdAge’s 25 media people to follow on Twitter
|CONTENT IS KEY: HOW Y! TRAVEL IS REMAKING A TRANSACTIONAL SITE INTO A MEDIA HUB
Speaker: Deborah Hopewell, Travel Editor, Yahoo
|DIY VIDEO REVOLUTION OR GUERILLA VIDEO
Speaker: Robert Reid, Travel Editor, Lonely Planet
|11:15am – 12:00pm
|USING THE WEB AS A SPIDER WEB
Speaker: Kim Mance, Freelance travel writer, blogger, and editor of GoGalavanting.com
|12:00pm – 12:45pm
|THE FUTURE OF APPS & MULTI-PLATFORM PUBLISHING
Speaker: Tobin Fisher, Co-Founder, Sutro Media
|PICK UP LUNCH
|TRAVEL INDUSTRY CONFERENCE KEYNOTE: THE FUTURE OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
Travel industry leaders discuss their views on the industry, new initiatives, tools and growth opportunities
Moderator: James Shillinglaw, Editor in Chief, Travalliance
Speakers: Ellen Bettridge, Vice President Retail Travel Network, American Express; Michael Batt, Chairman, Travel Leaders Group; Libbie Rice, President, Ensemble Travel Network; Ignacio Maza, Executive Vice President, Signature Travel Network
|TRAVEL INDUSTRY RECEPTION
On exhibition floor for all attendees.
None of the presentations were actually insightful to be honest. Most covered the absolute basics and aside from Sree Sreenivasan, few of the speakers were qualified to instruct people on the subjects they presented. Reid from Lonely Planet taught us how to create guerrilla web videos despite his poor production work and results. He harped on attracting some 70K in visitors from one web video while a crappy video I shot on Bolivia has gotten close to that because of dumb luck. I’ll start listening once his videos reach hundreds of thousands of visitors. Reid would have been much better off talking about what he does best, which is working as a Travel
Deborah Hopewell, Travel Editor of Yahoo, was particularly awful. She just spoke stream of conscious about her plans with Yahoo. She seems like a print Travel Writer who found herself randomly put in a position to manage a huge website.
The complimentary lunch was a welcome break between speakers. I downed my roast beef and cheese sandwich while loading up on coffee outside the presentation rooms.
The 2012 New York Times Travel Show is Open
By two in the afternoon the show officially opened with your truly pictured below before exploring.
Now that I am an “experienced” Travel Blogger covering travel industry trade shows, cough cough, I took a running start to grab as much swag as I could. I took some quick photos along the way while stopping to introduce myself to tourism boards and travel companies.
And just like Alice in Wonderland I instantly found myself in an alternate universe in Tanzania courtesy of REI.
The Caribbean was the most colorful as always. If I were not waiting for more pages to be added to my passport I could be tempted to head a small island like Babados.
“Famous” travel radio host, Stephanie Abrams, was broadcasting live from the NY Times Travel show. If you listened carefully enough you could hear me heckling her in the background.
I stopped over to the Garden State afterward to chat up the reps from New Jersey who were building sand castles that could rival the ones in Rio.
In the United States we like to build stuff. It is what we do. New Hampshire is no exception with its talented basket-weavers.
Seaworld went all out with a petting zoo. Cute, right?
I was expecting Louisiana to play up Mardi Gras but instead found them advertising Cajun cuisine without offering up any samples. Bring us food next time, Louisiana!
Ecuador always brings their GDP and does not hold back with their booth. I am loving the Andean music.
The Asian countries are usually pretty creative. They get you to take a cup of tea and you end up sitting down to buy a tour to Seoul. Smart guys.
Thailand always shows off the country’s artistic side. Or was that origami from Japan?
Morocco brings the moorish architecture they are most famous for but could probably do better with a new slogan.
Back to the Caribbean and their amazing colors.
Best free crap of the day? Fresh seasoning!
The booth below gets my vote for the most beautiful.
Post-Show Expedia Coast to Coast Travel Blogger Happy Hour
Expedia treats the Travel Bloggers pretty damn well. They make it easy to like big corporations. They hosted myself and a few handfuls of other Travel Bloggers at the sleek Yotel Hotel a few blocks away from the Javits convention center. The Yotel is seriously cool. They have a robot in the lobby that brings down guest’s bags to the lobby.
I took advantage of Expedia’s generous open bar with another handful of Whiskey based drinks and mingled with the other Travel Bloggers.
A few of the Travel Bloggers who showed up:
Plus some more who I haven’t yet found online but will. Promise.
Expedia also handed out party favors. How cool is that? This photo was taken by another Travel Blogger…hope it’s cool to post this 🙂
We headed on to The Pony Bar at 637 10th Avenue once we overstayed our welcome to find a packed bar and even more Travel Bloggers, travel company owners, and even a consulate worker from Lithuania. More drinks were drunk. And someone mistakenly took my briefcase with all of free swag, travel contacts, and apartment keys. I sadly walked to the Megabus bus stop to catch a ride home to Philadelphia with just my camera, wallet, and phone.