The 2014 Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show has come and gone, and yet again has set new record for attendance and happy visitors. This 9th annual travel show is the biggest in the United States, with more and more tourism professionals (CVBs, DMOs) clambering to secure booths and exhibition spaces to highlight their travel destinations. Having witnessed and been part of the terrific Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show for a few years now — and watching its successful move to the Long Beach Convention Center from downtown LA — this is unadulturated good news. It’s beyond a doubt the most fun travel show in the country.
This really was an extraordinary year. Over 33,000 visitors came to the show, to browse the exhibitor areas and booths, and to listen to guest speakers like Pauline Frommer and Rick Steves talk. The Long Beach Convention Center easily hold that many people, so while the floor felt bustling and lively, it never felt too crowded or log-jammed. There were 450 exhibits booths, quite a few of which put on dances native to their represented destination. Visitors lined up to take photos with some of the dancers, and laughter plus shouts of appreciation added to the atmosphere. This really helps make it the most fun travel show in the country.
Now, the speaker stages (Destination Theater, Travel Channel Theater, Global Beats) had many cool presentations and performances, with focuses on diverse travel destinations like Taiwan, New Zealand, Tahiti, Europe and Africa. My Saturday how-to presentation “Best Travel Apps” was very well- attended, and my co-speakers and I were happy to answer travel app questions afterwords as well (keep in mind that this was at 5:00PM, when the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show theoretically shuts down for the evening). Rick Steves, Samantha Brown, and other travel specialists’ presentations were well attended as well; so much so, that the Travel Channel stars repeated themselves the next day. The high level of visitor engagement was gratifying.
The most fun travel show in the county left exhibitors very satisfied. Yosemite National Park was a major sponsor of the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show; Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau Director of Sales Julie Fullmer said, “This is one of the best shows of the year and the Los Angeles Show is not to be missed. The attendees seem to be the types that are ready to go on a vacation. All different ages were represented, and the Long Beach show seems to draw out a better quality and better educated consumer.”
In fact, the exhibitors were so pleased with the 2014 Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show that next year’s show, the 2015 Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show, has already seen a record number of exhibitor renewals — and many exhibitors are “voting with their pocket” by paying for increasing the sizes of their booths. This allows them to meet the demands and expectations of increased attendee volume and interaction. It’s the interaction, after all, that leads to happy attendees with stars in their eyes about the travel destinations they’ve now dreaming of exploring. Average time spend at the show this year was almost 5 hours (4.93 hours) per visitor. That is a really long time!
The Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show is becoming, if not already become, the nation’s “go-to” event for travel marketers. It’s not only the largest travel trade show in the US, it’s also the most fun travel show in the country. The 2015 Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show is set for February 21-22; mark your calendars and I’ll see you there.