In December we held the Second Annual Home-Based Travel Agent Expo in Las Vegas. And despite the fact that it was held a couple of months back, the feedback that I continue to get prompts me to share some insights with you.
To say that this was an overwhelmingly successful event would be a bit of an understatement. An event of this magnitude usually takes years to gain traction and build a following. Yet in only our second year, more than 2,300 home-based travel agents made the trek to Las Vegas in December to learn, network with other agents, meet new suppliers and get charged up. More than 3,000 industry professionals in total, and more than 200 exhibiting companies participated in the Home-Based Travel Agent Expo.
The fact that Home-Based Travel Agent Expo is part of Travel Week Las Vegas is a major contributing factor to its success. As the producers and originators of the Luxury Travel Expo—now in its 10th year—we've built upon that phenomenally successful event by creating an entire week of education, networking and tradeshows. This year the Travel Institute joined us and attached their annual conference to Travel Week, as did luxury consortium Signature Travel Network. Working closely with the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority and MGM Mirage, Travel Week has evolved into something in which the whole is truly greater than the sum of the parts.
Here are a few telling comments about the Home-Based Travel Agent Expo:
"Congratulations on a fantastic event! This exceptionally well-organized event drew scores of well-seasoned, serious home-based agents. The relationships that were built during the course of the show are invaluable to our overall home-based agency strategy."
—Bob Pieri, Manager, National Accounts, Travel Impressions
"The members of the Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance are always excited about participating at the Home-Based Travel Agent Expo in Las Vegas. There is nowhere else that you can find so many active and involved home-based travel agents all seeking information on new products and experiences that they can take to their clients. With the growing importance of this travel agent group it is where we want to be so we have already made our plans to be in Las Vegas in 2008."
—Larry Dessler, Executive Director, Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance
These comments underscore two important points: One, that travel suppliers have clearly gotten the point that home-based travel agents are a critical component in their distribution strategies. And two, a great place for them to meet and engage with you is at the Home-Based Travel Agent Expo, December 2-4, 2008, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. I encourage you to mark your calendar and join us in Las Vegas.