Last Friday I volunteered to help a sister alum at her company’s stand at the Boston Globe Travel Show. The company, called Wanderful, is a global network for women who love to travel. And that, of course, is me. There were three of us at the show on Friday evening, including the CEO who is enthusiastic and rightly so about her company. I’ve onl known about it for a couple of weeks, but am a huge supporter of this information and home-sharing network for women! Yay, Beth!
The Travel Show was scheduled from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, but the only hours I had free to help out were on Friday from 3 – 8 pm. That is a really long day at a trade show, I will tell you, having worked the telecom trade show circuit for five years for a large telecom equipment manufacturer. Twenty years ago when I was more spry.
It did pass by really quickly. There is a huge difference between a telecom trade show and a travel trade show. Many huge differences. First of all, I could have talked to every single travel stand worker for an hour. Well, not the window or basement refinishing stands (seriously, what? at a travel trade show?). Massachusetts was there and I chatted with Martha Washington and well, honestly the man looked more like Vasco da Gama than an American colonist to me . I learned where to rent a costume for my kids’ upcoming Wax Museum performance. Important stuff. Also, New Hampshire Lakes and Mountains was across the way and I had relevant information to trade about moose (which NH has but they evade me EVERY.SINGLE.TIME) and Ice Castles.
Nova Scotia. Yes I spent about a half hour in Nova Scotia. Canadians are hilarious and friendly. Yes, I am stereotyping them; deal with it. The woman at the Cape Breton-focused stand had about five million pieces of advice for me about traveling with my family there and camping and places to go, and then quietly told me to forget the Yarmouth area (yeah, that stand was next to hers, ooh, maybe Canadians are not so nice, but still hilarious). Also she gave me brochures with lobsters on them. I’m gone. I may live there. Definitely going this summer. Also we talked about their viral Cape Breton ad campaign–remember when they invited all us Americans not pleased about the election to move there? That campaign was started by a DJ. It is awesome. Send Cape Breton an email–this wonderful woman I met is the one that answers all on their website. Ask her about Yarmouth. She’ll like that.
Now let’s talk about Puerto Rico. It actually brought tears to my eyes to see their huge beautiful stand. While talking with Christine, one of their attending travel agents, she says Puerto Rico is welcoming tourists with open arms. We all need to head back so this island can get back on its feet. It made me feel sorry that we had canceled our trip that was supposed to be next week. We had only limited info in October when we had to make the call. Anyway, PR, we will be there as soon as I leave Cape Breton Island, which will be never. Sigh. If you need help in planning your Puerto Rico vacation, please contact Christine here.
Another thing to love about working a trade show on the first day before the public arrives: drinks tickets!! Yes, two free drink tickets for everyone at our stand. Listen folks, I’m middle-aged. I never get free drinks from anyone anymore (sniff!) so thank YOU Boston Globe. By the way, I used only one of my drinks tickets because I think there was 12 ounces in that glass. Things could have gotten very ugly at the stand.
What else is better in a travel show? Well, the giveaways. Yes, we all get these doo-dads at a trade show. Telecom used to give stress balls or USB thingies…boring. I got TWO teddy bears at El Al Airlines–they took pity on the mom of twins. I didn’t actually go for any other giveaways–oh wait, I did but it was one of those timeshare places where they wanted $40 so I could get a “free” weekend at their resort and listen to a 90 minute sales pitch. Nope. I also got to hug Wally for the third time in my life. And 2013 and 2014 World Series trophies were there.
There was also a craft beer festival going on attached to the Travel Show. Reports came back that the samples were quite large as evidenced by one of our visitors nearly taking out our banner on her way back from a taster. I would be wary, my craft beer friends, as all of a sudden you’re going to be at that timeshare place handing out your credit card.
I am never missing a travel show again. Loved the Caribbean stands, safari operators, all these little snapshots of where you could travel if you had the time and money. The possibilities just make me happy.
Sadly, the 2018 show is gone and done…but see you next year!