Saturday at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Downtown Los Angeles: $15 Parking! West Hall LOT FULL so I parked across the street and walked in. The lot was not full….
Welcome to the Los Angeles Convention Center!
Well, I started this blog with a post about last year’s LA Times Travel Show in February, so it’s almost been a year! I skipped the “Trade Day” on Friday this year (for a variety of reasons) and got a late start on Saturday. After navigating traffic on the 101 freeway, I arrived at the Convention Center downtown, paid for parking, parked the car and headed for badge pickup.
Trade Show Floor from the Media Room on the second floor
I hit the Trade Show Floor and visited the exhibitor booths. I collected collateral material, brochures, handouts, one sheets, business cards and a little SWAG. And I said “HELLO” to some of the industry friends I’ve met over the past year who were exhibiting at the show.
Dunkin Donuts – Thanks for the Free Coffee!
The ASTA Booth! Book your next trip right there on the Trade Show Floor!
“Interactive” Booth: Have your picture taken in the newspaper frame!
Cool travel gadget: Transport your breakables in a $20 inflatable protective Vinni bag!
TOO MANY SCAMS!, BAIT AND SWITCH!, and FAKE RAFFLES!
And NO, I DID NOT win a $75 gift card…Bastards.
NOTE: There were too many “Timeshare” operations and not enough MAJOR VENDORS at the Travel Show. I noted the same thing last year, and hoped this year would be better. Where were the major commercial airlines and hotel chains? The cruise lines were represented but only with co-op exhibitors like Cruiseplanners. After attending GBTA, LTX, and the Signature Sales Meeting (read my previous blogs), I’ve seen much better vendor attendance. They really haven’t done enough to attract the major players to this show.
I’m going to rant a little now. The high cost of parking is a major deterrent in getting the public to attend! Parking used to be $6, then it went to $8, then $12 and now $15 for the event. It’s too expensive, and then they charge the public admission ($10-12 per adult). The show’s attendance reflects the high cost to attend, in that it wasn’t very crowded, which is nice if you do attend but it sure doesn’t help to attract big vendors and exhibitors. I didn’t attend the “Trade Day” this year, but last year travel agent attendance was also a little light. My advice would be to target the TRAVEL INDUSTRY and then allow the public to attend. The other big problem, as noted above, were the SCAMS, BAIT AND SWITCH, and FAKE RAFFLES I witnessed walking the Trade Show Floor. I wanted to call the LAPD Bunco and Fraud Investigators after seeing some of the blatant BS. The show producers should monitor and control the “enticements” because when people feel ripped off they don’t come back next year! There also weren’t enough MAJOR VENDORS and there definitely wasn’t enough SWAG! I was able to completely canvas the Trade Show floor and see a few presentations in a couple of hours…it should have taken much longer.
There were some good speakers and nice presentations which were well attended, but the show could have been a lot more entertaining.
Mixing a Moscow Mule at the Taste Stage
Let’s Talk Turkey!
Great talk with Alyssa Milano in Petree Hall about her travels with UNICEF in Africa.
It was such a beautiful day in Los Angeles, it was almost a shame to have to be indoors. I took this pic of the Convention Center, Nokia Theater, Ritz Carlton, J.W. Marriott and Staples Center from the “smoking” patio just outside the show floor on my way out.
Walking back to the car. West Hall Parking
And just to add insult to injury, I had to walk all the way back to my car through the West Hall Parking Lot because a little lady in an orange vest didn’t know the lot wasn’t full.
Food, Wine and Theatre in Ashland, Oregon with JoshWillTravel: http://www.facebook.com/theatreinashland