Travel Show (Weekend Activities)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Over the last 5 years it has become a tradition of me and AG to attend Travel shows and conventions.  When I first started working, I was on a renovation project for the Javits Center.  Since I had never attended an event there, I kept an eye out for a show that was of interest and open to the public (a lot of the shows are trade only).  I finally decided the NY Times Travel Show would be a great show to see.

The first year AG and I went it was great!  We got tons of free stuff; the best being a clear zip up pouch with a variety of less than 4oz bottles to put in your carry on that I still use.  There was food and drink to sample and great deals if you were really ready to book on the spot.  AG loves to try to win free stuff, and almost every booth has a "chance to win" something.  On top of that, they had a huge line up of speakers and meet-and-greets.  The first few years we went it was also sponsored by the Travel Channel, so there was a chance to meet Andrew Zimmern and we got to see Samantha Brown give a talk (I even got to ask her a question). She was definitely a highlight since senior year of college, my roommates and I would eat lunch in front of Passport to Europe practically every day! Another year I took the Jeopardy test, and the Clues Team presented before hand.

Over the years, AG and I have been more times than we can count to either the NY Times Travel show or the Travel & Adventure show (both are pretty similar).  We have gotten to know the ins and outs of these shows; which vendors to avoid, which booths are scams and what to free giveaways are really ones that you won't throw out once you get home.

We've started to notice the show going down-hill.  We were really excited this year to find out about potential deals with an upcoming European trip and honeymoon in the works, but the show just didn't live up to the expectations.  The speakers have become less well-known, there are fewer booths and less giveaways.  The best scores of the day were a passport holder and pretty nice AMEX hemp tote.

We weren't impressed with this year's show, we might Shariously have to consider a new convention tradition.  What conventions do you like attending?


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