Two weeks ago, I mentioned that I bought a virtual ticket to TravelCon. My goal was two-fold: 1) glean as much information as possible from my digital access to the keynotes, talks, and panels; and 2) decide whether to prioritize attending TravelCon 2023 in person.
My ticket was only $99 for roughly 48 hours of content from the best travel professionals in the business. I've watched around 18 hours so far. Within the first hour, I had received enough information and helpful tips to justify the money I spent. As I've continued to watch, I've learned so much. I have been taking copious notes and have specific strategies I plan to implement. I am SO glad I bought the ticket. I will continue watching the remaining 30+ hours of content and expect it to be just as useful as the talks I've already seen.
Part of the fun with having digital access to TravelCon is that I'm watching talks that I wouldn't have bothered attending if I'd been in person because they're way outside my needs/interests. I've learned about planning and guiding luxury trips, traveling with disabilities, living nomadically, and becoming a travel agent, for example. What I got out of those is a better understanding of the breadth of the travel industry and my role in it as someone who focuses on family-friendly, educational travel.
Another very interesting aspect of TravelCon 2022 is that everyone has stories about how the pandemic affected their business. As you might imagine, most were impacted negatively. If you make money by leading travel groups internationally, or by booking air travel or cruises, for example, COVID-19 was a financial disaster. Some nimble bloggers switched their focus to planning staycations, RV travel, and outdoor destinations and saw tremendous monetary growth during the pandemic.
There is no doubt in my mind that TravelCon 2023 would be extremely valuable to me, and well worth the cost of airfare, hotel, ticket, etc. There's only one problem - there isn't going to be a TravelCon 2023. I've been watching most of the content chronologically, but skipped ahead to the closing keynote specifically to hear where TravelCon 2023 would be. To say I was disappointed that it is not happening is a major understatement. I would get so much out of attending in person.
Since that isn't a possibility, I'm hoping to attend a different travel conference in 2022. The most promising one is TBEX.
They actually have a fall 2022 conference coming up in Lafayette, Louisiana. I'm considering it as I continue to research other travel conferences. I'm hoping they (and other conferences) will announce their North America 2023 destination(s) soon.
In the meantime, I'm considering the Travel & Adventure Show on May 21 in Santa Clara.
While it is a consumer show and not a blogger conference, there are some interesting speakers on the schedule and I think I would enjoy it. It's inexpensive and fairly local. If anyone wants to come with me and make a day of it, let me know!