By John Tanzella, IGLTA President/CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s never too soon to plan your next trip to Italy. At IGLTA, we’re busy doing just that—and you’re invited to join us.
This 26-29 October, our 38th Global Convention arrives in Milan, the culmination of planning that began long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Though our original plans (and the world’s) took many twists and turns, our grand gathering is on track for 2022 and moving full steam ahead with registration now open. You can even secure discounted rates now through 31 May with early registration.
There are so many fabulous reasons to come along with us to Milan, Italy's most cosmopolitan city and one of Europe’s most spectacular destinations. Our partners in Milan are working closely with IGLTA to ensure our first convention in Europe since 2014 is safe, fun, and productive for every delegate.
This also is a welcome chance to see how far Italy has come in embracing diversity. Our Milanese partners are proud to showcase our convention as an event that brings positive thinking and a celebration of inclusion to the city. Attendees will be able to explore Milan and support its LGBTQ+ community, and to bring some of that communal spirit back home.
After the past two years, we know it’s vital to use every opportunity to rebuild tourism globally. Milan 2022 is the long-awaited forum to reconnect and build new business contacts, and to return to actual face time with colleagues new and old. In fact, most delegates cite networking as a top reason to attend the IGLTA Global Convention, and 50 percent are executive-level decision-makers.
As so much of our travel industry has changed since the pandemic struck, the convention’s general sessions, panel discussions, and educational breakouts are a valuable way for business leaders to get ahead of tourism trends for the years ahead. Hundreds of delegates from more than 30 countries participate, each of them open to sharing ideas and strategies and developing new collaborations to help grow their business and understanding of the LGBTQ+ market.
The Buyer/Supplier Marketplace is a cornerstone of our convention. It’s an appointment-only show within our conference that matches pre-qualified buyers (including travel advisors, outbound tour operators, meeting planners, etc.) with travel and tourism suppliers. The single-day event generated nearly 500 appointments with buyers that book more than US$25million in LGBTQ+ travel annually at the 2021 IGLTA Convention in Atlanta. In Milan this year, the marketplace will be further enhanced, thanks in part to our partner, Jacobs Media Group (JMG), the London-based, travel-trade industry leader behind Connections and Travolution.
Returning attendees know that we’d never forget to include the best settings for networking. This year we’ll kick off the convention with a grand opening event at the 15th-century Milan Castle (Castello Sforzesco), one of the city’s most extraordinary art and history institutions. Expect other events to represent the best of Milan’s culture and LGBTQ+ community, including the annual Voyage IGLTA Foundation fundraising gala, this year with a masquerade theme.
We couldn’t be more enthusiastic to finally bring the IGLTA Global Convention to Milan, our first in Italy, and we can’t wait to see you there!
(Register today for the 38th IGLTA Annual Global Convention in Milan, Italy, 26-29 October 2022: www.igltaconvention.org/convention/register.)