My home base for the days of the IMM and NYT events was the New York Manhattan Hotel in Koreatown. Didn’t think much of it when I first booked the spot but boy is the location pretty darn awesome! Right in the middle of a bustling street with Koran BBQ places all around, as well as a few other options so here’s my take 5 on restaurants you can try if you happen to find yourself in the area...
Weekend crowds can be crazy, plan ahead and wisely.
For the longest time, I’ve heard fellow colleagues in the media ooh and aah about the NYT travel show so this year I took the leap and applied to attend as media. Following are my observations from attending this year! Why a conference in NYC in January though? Yes, I was not happy about location given I went from balmy 70s in Hollywood to almost 30s in Manhattan for this. I guess they have no choice but seriously? Maybe another month? #JustSayin
Loved this welcome artwork at the JFK. the airport was the warmest part of the trip - nothing prepared me for how cold it was outside!!!
While I do recommend heading to IMM wherever you can next, I did have some general observations to share from the experience that I hope is helpful for you if you intend to apply to attend at the next event. If you haven’t already, read here why you should attend, else read on ahead for some more feedback from my first time here...
For the first time, NYC and Company (the organizers that host these media marketplaces in other cities) decided to host a New York City edition. I was already a member on their Travmedia.com site and that is where I learned of the event. You must apply to be accepted to attend, which I did and received confirmation about a month prior to the event dates. It is a full day speed-networking event where you, as a media professional, get 15-minute appointments with different destinations and venues, their tourism boards, representatives, PR firms, etc. to learn more about each other and how you can work together. I thought it was a great idea and jumped on the chance to apply. Here are my observations from the event…
It was held the day prior to the New York Times travel show so the date was a perfect fit to attend both in one trip.
It was only a one-day commitment, held in central Manhattan, fairly well organized.
The online scheduling system is pretty helpful and allows a good overview of whom you get to meet so you can prepare for your appointments.
The 15-minutes for each meeting is a reasonably good time to cover introductory ground to be able to continue the conversation after.
The coffee breaks were great, well serviced and at good intervals.
I did make some good personal connections that I possibly would not have the opportunity to pursue had I tried forging that relationship on my own via email – this was probably the best benefit of being here.
The end of day networking event at the Empire State Building was a nice idea – hosting all attendees in an iconic venue is always a good showstopper.
The staff onsite are very helpful, approachable, really nice, and try to go above and beyond to get you situated.
Many destinations followed-up almost right after that weekend with recaps of our conversations and how we can progress – I think that’s a good sign. Goes to show they are all down for business and not just showing up to an event.
I met so many other media professionals here that, though we cover somewhat similar industries and topics/subjects or are members of other organizations, I have never met in person so this event sort of brought us all together and provided an occasion to connect IRL. In some ways, you could also consider that a good sign that you are in the right place with the right crowd for what you are trying to achieve with your travel writing.
Here's another option for your Valentine's Day plans - Wrightsville Beach, N.C., a hidden coastal gem and a suitable romantic getaway to consider, whether you love poetry, movies, scenery, outdoors or food!