Travel Goods Association
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The Big Picture

AS I SIT AT MY DESK WRITING THIS COLUMN, The International Travel Goods Show IS just a few weeks away (it will be closer still by the time you read this). If you're in retail, you're probably gearing up for the 2010 season. If you're in manufacturing, you're probably consumed with finishing your Show preparations. I know we are.

At times like this, when you're completely engrossed by what you need to accomplish to prep for the year ahead — whether it's staffing, training, refreshing in-store displays and local advertising; or last-minute product launch details, prototyping and setting production schedules — it's almost impossible to see what's happening beyond your own company. Which is why this issue of Travel Goods Showcase is so important.

Our annual show preview is what we call our Big Picture issue. It's when we look beyond a specific market segment to provide an overall view of where our industry is headed. And, with its focus on new products and new exhibitors, it's one of my favorite issues of the year.

That big picture is so important, yet all too easy to ignore when you work in this industry. That's quite the opposite scenario for consumers. Consumers may have a specific need when they walk into your store, or purchase your products, but that need is only part of their overall travel picture, which is formed by the ever-changing nature of travel, and the ever-morphing selection of items that make travel simpler, better and more enjoyable. If you don't see where we're headed as an industry you can't see what today's consumers are going to want, which is part of what makes The Show so vital for doing business.

Our two feature articles on the new items you'll see at The Show makes this issue one that can have a lasting impact on your business in the upcoming year. These new products are some of the most important things you'll see on The Show floor, and they're things you'll undoubtedly want to investigate more closely and plan your Show day around. And with other Show details like information about our educational seminars and "Lunch and Learn" sessions, where-to-stay info and floor plans, this issue is your de facto Show planning guide.

One of the biggest benefits of attending The Show is the simple fact that it takes you out of your own personal world for a few days, and puts you in a position to see the big picture. It's something I'm lucky enough to see every day working in TGA's offices. It's an industry that's continuing to innovate, one that's on the move. Enjoy the view. I'll see you at The Show.


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