Tis the season of hospitality and travel industry exhibitions. This has become a traditional feature of October and early November in many hotel industry diaries -ahead of the season to be jolly in December.  Are you going to be making the most of the networking and learning opportunities which these events offer this year?

Exhibitions are often seen as a time to buy and sell and, therefore, quite rightly the territory of the sales and purchasing teams. However, increasingly there are often valuable sources of information available at the numerous “key note sessions” and “seminars” which take place each day for the duration of most shows and they can provide useful snippets to any hotel marketer taking time out to attend.

The first of the season

Interestingly the positioning statement for the first show of the season, The Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester, is “Learn. Network. Be Inspired”. My sentiments entirely and if you’ve missed it, as it’s a  two-day conference which started this week, or simply couldn’t get there, don’t worry  – there are many more London-based opportunities ahead and they’re free to attend.

London bound

For example next week sees the third Independent Hotel Show at Olympia. If you work for a corporate don’t be put off by the title, there’s lots to learn from the indie hotel operators who are leading the field with their boutique hotel offerings. With two theatres covering business and innovation topics across two days there are sure to be some top tips to be shared.

WTM is much more than a travel show

Take a week’s break from shows and on Monday 3 November the World Travel Market opens better known to most as WTM. Boasting 100 events across four days including a new session on “mobile” this has become so much more than simply a travel trade show.

And then there’s the networking. Birds of a feather flocking together has to provide some interesting meeting of minds which will contribute and add value to the learning opportunities.

There’s still time to register for free attendance at both of these London-based shows. If you really can’t get to either this year remember you can always be there “virtually” by following  the respective hashtags  #IHS14 and #WTM14 to keep up to speed with your marketing peers.

About the author: Carole Luck (Twitter: @caroleluck) is a digital marketing consultant with over 20 years’ experience working with great hotel brands including Hilton Worldwide, and a Hotel Marketing Association (HMA) committee member, Carole offers social media consultancy and training via her own company www.caroleluckmarketing.co.uk

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