On Friday, February 22, 2013, I got up very early and traveled the 101 freeway to the L.A. Convention Center downtown for “Trade Day” at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show. Registration was $35 and parking $15. And for my $50 ticket, I spent the day at the industry conference participating in seminar sessions, networking with other travel professionals, touring the exhibition hall and meeting the vendors. Included in the registration fee was a buffet lunch and two drink tickets for the post show reception.
8:30am – Check-in at Registration
NOTE TO EVENT PRODUCERS: There really should have been a morning reception with COFFEE (and maybe bagels, baked goods, fruit, water and juice) before the sessions started! There’s a Starbuck’s in the lobby of the West Hall of the Convention Center, but it was closed. The closest place for coffee was the Starbuck’s in the South Hall a long way away and with a very long line.
9am – Using Social Media to Build Your Brand
Lillian Africano, the president of the Society of American Travel Writers moderated the session with Johnny Jet (johnnyjet.com) and Jessica Marati (gadling.com) as the featured speakers.
10:15am – General Session: What Are the Opportunities and Issues in Social Media?
11:30am – General Session: Bridging the Gap to Profitability
12:45pm – Luncheon with Featured Speaker: Trends, Threats and Tips…2013 NOT Business as Usual with John Severini, President and CEO, California Travel Association
A buffet lunch (chicken, mashed potato, salad, bread and butter, chocolate cake and iced tea) and a very nice presentation by John Severini. Sorry NO COFFEE at lunch!
2pm – Cruising 2013 and Beyond
Moderated by Michelle Fee, this panel featured the sales directors from six cruise companies: Norwegian, Princess, Azamara, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival (insert Carnival Cruise joke here, although NOBODY was joking in this session).
3pm – Exclusive Access to the Exhibition Floor
Special exhibitor access, met some of the travel vendors and collected lots of information, some free SWAG and assorted candy.
Best SWAG: Sunset Plaza Hotel’s box of chocolate covered almonds and pistachios.
4pm – Hosted Reception in the Exhibition Hall Lounge
I used my two drink tickets (absolut & pineapple juice), grabbed a free bottle of water and talked with a few people before heading back to the exhibition floor. And at 4pm they finally had coffee available in the exhibition floor lounge…way too late.
6pm – Friday STOP AND GO TRAFFIC on the 101 Freeway all the way home. No Fun!
(all photos copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel – taken with my Blackberry camera)