Travel Goods Association
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Planning Ahead

ALL MY LIFE, MY MOM HAS HOSTED THE MOST AMAZING THANKSGIVING dinners. Incredible feasts — the woman was outdoing Martha Stewart before, well, long before there was a Martha Stewart.

It's almost mid-November as I write, and I've yet to do a thing with Thanksgiving. If my Mom was in charge, she would've started planning and prepping as soon as she'd closed the door on the last Trick-or-Treater in October. And that, more than anything, was the key to her legendary success.

I'm reminded of this because we're in the throes of putting our 2011 Travel Goods Show plan into action. And with three months to go, I'm watching our exhibitors fall into two camps: They're either lined up with my Mom the planner; or they're aligned with me, and haven't quite set things in motion yet.

Thankfully, I seem to be much better at The International Travel Goods Show than I am at holiday dinners. We've been putting our shoulders to The International Travel Goods Show wheel for awhile now, and things are moving along nicely. The exhibit floor is almost sold out (thanks in large part to returning companies we haven't seen at The Show in some time), we're hammering through the final nuts-and-bolts details of co-location with the International Home + Housewares Show, and we're working on all the signage and little details that give our Show that polished, professional feel that says we're a healthy, vibrant industry.

This is promising to be an epic Show. Co-location with the Housewares Show means we're expecting record-breaking attendance. Many of these attendees will be Travel Goods Show first-timers, presenting a serious opportunity to expand our reach and grow our industry. I've seen some incredible booth renderings from many of our exhibitors, which tells me they're aiming to capitalize on this situation and wow those first-timers.

There's already a palpable buzz about The Show here in our offices, and I think we're going to see a very upbeat, high energy event. We're bouncing back from the recession, and I feel very confident The 2011 Show is going to be a big step forward in our industry's recovery.

I know I'm repeating myself, but it always pays to plan ahead for The International Travel Goods Show, and that's never been more true than this year. Co-locating with a behemoth like the Housewares Show means floor space is at a premium — this Show will sell out, and there's zero chance of opening up more floor space since the convention center is 100% occupied. If you want a seat at the table, now's the time to book.

Take a look at our Show Preview this issue, figure out how you can participate, and make it happen. I'll see you there!


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