On Saturday February 20, 2010, co-intern Christa Romano and I went to The Boston Globe Travel Show. GoNOMAD editor, Max Hartshorne, spoke about travel writing and online media Friday afternoon, and since GoNOMAD did not have a booth this year (but does have a booth next weekend at The New York Times Travel Show) we went as representatives to network and scope out story ideas the next day. We walked the aisles, listened to speakers, and saw culinary demonstrations all afternoon. From 12 to 4:30 pm, Christa and I made the most of our experience.
As travel writers, we were both interested in finding other travel publications to speak with and to find exhibitors with travel story opportunities to expand the content of GoNOMAD. Surprisingly, I thought there would be more travel publications present but we only encountered TravelDaddy.com, a social networking site that connects travelers and provides travel resources, and AFAR Media, a multi-platform brand for experiential travelers who seek out authentic conditions with a place and it’s people. Yelp, a review website of local businesses, and Travel World News, a monthly magazine for destination travel specialists, also had booths but no one was at the tables while we were there.
As for other exhibitors, we visited an overwhelming amount of booths, exchanging business cards with a few promising story ideas. Local exhibitors in the New England area seemed the most promising for us as interns to travel to and write some interesting features. It was fun seeing who knew the site already, and being able to explain it to others who weren’t familiar with it. Since GoNOMAD focuses primarily on alternative travel, or at least unique travel experiences, we were more drawn to the adventure travel booths, or other specific destination exhibitors instead of the booths for beach vacations and cruises.
From a consumer stand point, especially a college student consumer stand point, I was unable to find a deal that really fit my budget. On the other hand, I walked away with several booklets and pamphlets with information that will be very valuable to me when I do have the money to travel independently. Plus we filled out submissions for giveaways at almost every booth offering one, so I’ll be crossing my fingers to see if I win anything!
If you’re thinking about going next year, Wicked Good Travel Tips submitted a helpful article “10 Great Deals We Found At The Boston Globe Travel Show”. The main point of the article: if you have the money to book a trip it is definitely worth doing your booking at travel shows.