new york times travel show: tips for first-timers

the-romantic-the-winoThis weekend, we had the pleasure of welcoming our fellow travel lovers to our beloved city for the 10th Annual New York Times Travel Show.

As first-timers, we were nervous. We carry a general fear of large crowds and salespeople, and we had no idea what to expect from the three-day show. Luckily for you, just like the romantic’s adventure in TBEX-land, we’re here to share our newfound wisdom. Without further ado, some tips for anyone thinking of taking the leap and signing up for next year’s show.

the javits centerHello, Javits Center. You are practically in New Jersey.

The Do’s

DO purchase your ticket in advance. Though you can get them at the door, purchasing your ticket in advance will save you a few dollars. These dollars can then be used for drinks at one of the many happy hours afterwards, le duh. More importantly, however, is the fact there were separate VIP lines for those who purchased their tickets beforehand. This is good because: a.) WE HATE LINES and it helped us avoid those crowds we mentioned, and b.) we love VIP status no matter the situation.

DO invest in the full 3-day ticket. Friday is geared specifically toward travel professionals. For many vendors, this meant travel agents, but even as media, you get more attention on the first day than when they open it up to (gasp) the general public. Just kidding, the plebes were all lovely, but 3 x’s the bodies makes it 100 x’s more difficult to have meaningful conversations on the conference floor. It’s math.

DO attend with a buddy. The wino couldn’t join on Friday (work schmork), so the romantic convinced the hubs to take a half day and join her for the seminars in the morning. This meant he could bounce around to the other rooms, listen in on more seminars, and dutifully report back while she sat in the back of the Social Media sessions and giggled with Erin of The World Wanderer. Kidding. Not really.


Bonus points if your buddy is Lucky the Sloth, brought by Busch Gardens.
THANK YOU, BUSCH GARDENS!!!!!!! (…yes, this is the romantic typing. How did you know?)

DO go back a second day. Even if it is a little more overwhelming, making the rounds again was worth it. We spent Saturday re-introducing ourselves to some of our favorite destinations from the first day, and re-igniting conversations that the romantic had started on Friday.

DO bring your business cards. Business rule #1, right?

The Don’ts

DON’T be tardy for the party. We’d like to take a moment and brag. We woke up early on a Saturday, got in our exercise by walking 50+ blocks from the UES to the Javits Center, and arrived bright-eyed and bushy tailed by 10 AM. And you know what? The lines were already hella long and hectic. Rude. We made haste for the main floor and beat a lot of people to the tables, but after our two hour loop, almost every table had a wait to speak to the vendors and we were losing steam.

DON’T wear heels. No, like seriously. Just don’t. It’s not necessary and the wino’s feet learned the hard way.

DON’T be shy. We know–walking up to strangers and introducing yourself (or your site/business) can be daunting, but you only get what you give. Don’t let the whole day be a waste because you’re a scaredy cat! << This is the same speech we give ourselves in the bathroom mirror every morning, you are welcome to borrow it.

Screen shot 2013-01-21 at 5.41.37 PM

When it’s all over: reward yourself. We were thrilled to cap off our weekend with dinner with some of our favorite bloggers, and using the weekend as an excuse to catch up with new friends made everything worth it.


the romantic & the wino




    • January 22, 2013 / 12:03

      there was definitely a lot going on, but it was pretty manageable. some of the areas were a little more tightly packed than others… i think the layout had a little room for improvement, but it all worked out 😉
      Lazy Travelers recently york times travel show: tips for first-timersMy Profile

  1. January 23, 2013 / 11:25

    OMG a sloth!!! Really wish we could have attended this. Maybe next year.
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted..I’m 30!!My Profile

    • January 23, 2013 / 16:18

      i mean, you’ll just have to hope the sloth makes a return appearance. it’s really all that matters.
      Lazy Travelers recently travel requiredMy Profile

  2. January 23, 2013 / 22:30

    Awesome tips! I thoroughly enjoyed giggling with you through the conferences, except when we were separated during the consortium! seminar. Bummer.

    Looking forward to finding more sloths together, and charming Europeans with our intelligent convos and knowledge of FAMS. Just a little sad the Lazy Wanderers will never kick-off….just too damn lazy! xx
    The World Wanderer recently posted..Feeling Tiny at the Colossi of Memnon.My Profile

  3. January 24, 2013 / 06:30

    I must say the arrive early tip is a good one, sometimes it is not easy to get anywhere on a saturday morning (or Friday) in NYC. kudos to you.

    plus the sensory overload can be intense, returning a second day allows you to talk to a few places you missed on day 1. good tips.

    stay adventurous, Craig
    craig zabransky (@StayAdventurous) recently posted..My Fourth January AnniversaryMy Profile

    • January 24, 2013 / 11:50

      the sensory overload was bordering on exhausting, but you’re right, day 2 definitely brought us to new tables we missed on day 1.

      stay sassy ™ , the romantic & the wino
      Lazy Travelers recently travel requiredMy Profile

    • January 29, 2013 / 08:58

      myfirst mistake was walking the 50+ blocks from the upper east side to the javits center IN the heels that i would then walk around in for the show. POOR CHOICES.

  4. January 29, 2013 / 21:09

    Lazy, I just did the Chicago show and all your advice rings true. Except it would have never occurred to me to wear heals so that was advice lost on me! In all seriousness, just approach people and be yourself. I also got there before the crowds and it paid off with more quality time and less background noise!
    Raul (@ilivetotravel in Twitter) recently posted..Photo Essay: Bucharest, RomaniaMy Profile

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