I just (literally) got off the red-eye, returning from Vegas where I attended Vacation.com’s annual conference.
There were over 1,100 people there and while I know Vacation.com may not be your consortium, I wanted to point out some things I observed.
LAS VEGAS IN GENERAL
First, a note about Las Vegas in general; unfortunately, Las Vegas still had a very small, if any, taxi line. This is always my first litmus test as to how things are going in Las Vegas. Long line = more people = business is good. Short line = less people = business is off. What’s the good news here? It seemed better than last month when I was there and considerably better than the month before that. So, as far as trends go, I’ve seen an uptick in travel to Las Vegas and this is great for everyone. I can’t claim to know what they paid for their rooms, but I can tell you my acceptable accommodations at Caesar’s were relatively inexpensive but not dirt-cheap either. I didn’t go clubbing but I can tell you the gaming tables were busy from what I could see. This makes me happy as I like to see people traveling.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
Now, about the conference, given the economy, the suppliers were THRILLED to see 1,100 people at the conference. Since many of us are friends, we don’t mince words about the quality of a conference. I know I speak for quite a few suppliers when I say “Congratulations VCOM, well done!
TRIPOLOGISTS STOPPED BY TO SAY HI
I want to thank all of the Tripologists that came to see us at our booth to tell us about their successes with Tripology, especially Maryjo from Hudson Travel who came to tell me she closed two out of the five free leads she got when she joined Tripology a couple of months ago! Then she told me her close ratio so far is about 7 out of 40 (17.5%)! Maryjo went on to tell me about her initial email process and how she gets back to leads within minutes. Bravo Maryjo, keep up the good work!
I also want to thank Catherine DeMichiel, CTA from Above & Beyond Travel for stopping by to share her successes with Tripology. Her secret? (she said she doesn’t mind sharing..) Catherine took us up on our special offer for a Peek mobile email device. (We have an exclusive travel deal with Peek for our Tripologists). She now has a spiffy, affordable, simple-to-use mobile email device she carries with her always and gets Tripology leads no matter where she is!
Catherine DeMichiel, CTA, with John T. Peters of Tripology, shows off her Peek device.
Thanks as well to all the other Tripologists who came by to ask questions, ask for help or simply introduce themselves. What a wonderful Tripology family that has formed! This family too, has new members; specifically, I want to thank our Travel Industry Supporter Program participants. These suppliers (more being added weekly) have committed to paying for Tripology leads to assist travel specialists in these difficult times. Thanks to you all. To see the details of the program, go to www.tripology.com/supplierprogram.
This trip to Vegas was short; less than 48 hours but it was a great experience for all.
I know conferences take time and money and I know many are forgoing these days, but just a word of advice… these conferences and trade shows are important. Attending one should inspire you, educate you and give you wonderful exposure. If you can’t attend as many as you would like, be sure to at least attend a few. Getting regular updates on the industry, as well as on products and services is critical for all travel professionals. If you sit at home or at the office all the time, you’ll miss out on a lot of very valuable information and opportunities.