From the CEO: Live from New York – Let’s Network!
WorldPride 2019 isn’t until June, but its buzz is already getting loud. The event is headed to New York City this year—and IGLTA will arrive early. In this case, two months early, for our 36th Annual Global Convention, April 24 to 27 at the New York Hilton Midtown.
Our annual conventions offer a unique opportunity to make personal connections that can translate into growth for your business. This year, we’ll again gather for education and inspiration. Though above all, our global forum is driven by the power of networking.
As travelers, we know how valuable it is to physically know a place, and to meet locals as well as others who are on the road. Likewise, our convention was created for tourism industry professionals to travel, learn and connect. Hundreds of annual participants actively network for an array of reasons—from building clientele and raising brand awareness to marketing and reaching LGBTQ+ media to meeting new potential B2B partners.
This is the power of networking. Sure, business connections can be made via email or social media. But does that have the same impact as shaking someone’s hand, making eye contact, or even engaging in small talk? They may seem minor, but we cannot forget that those little interactions often spark enduring personal and professional bonds.
Even more powerful are the common interests of IGLTA’s members to serve the LGBTQ+ community, and to open doors for diverse travelers to explore the world. Success in these intersecting pursuits is more reliable through personal rapport.
Come April, the convention will overflow with gatherings crafted to cultivate such key relationships. Each day of the convention will bring new networking opportunities, including the opening reception hosted by NYC & Company at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge; the 24 April appointment-driven Buyer/Supplier Marketplace; the media networking event; and even a pre-conference reception on 23 April hosted by our partners at Pink Banana Media. This year will also introduce our first “Travel. Lunch. Connect.” networking luncheon, featuring special sponsor showcases (learn more here).
At our recent Destination Showcase & Media Networking Reception at the Andaz 5th Avenue in NYC, several guests expressed gratitude for the chance to connect in person. One editor mentioned that there’s real comfort in socializing among like-minded professionals. Another journalist felt a kinship among fellow travel reporters who are gay, even if their reporting extends beyond the LGBTQ+ community.
With so much of our lives tied to digital interactions, it’s encouraging to know that power of in-person networking still thrives in our ever-growing community. See you this April in New York City!
Photo credit: Rachel Stevenson/OUTCOAST Photography