Monday, February 9, 2009

New York Times Travel Show Roundup

There are not many good reasons to spend a 60 degree New York City Sunday indoors, let alone inside a convention center. Unless, that is, you are a travel writer, in which case there was no better place to hang this weekend than at the New York Times Travel Show.

It was held at the Jacob Javits Center along with the 2009 NYC Comic Conference, a peculiar event that afforded us travel show-goers a glimpse into the world of die-hard comic fans, their intricate props and costumes proof of their devotion to the art of weirdness.
But over at convention center South, the scene was travel writer's dream; a global networking bonanza. Although I had planned to do the circuit with the Lost Girls, they stayed true to form and never found their way. So alone I went, bouncing from booth to booth, exchanging cards, tasting international cuisine and stopping to absorb some of the many cultural performances happening around the show.

Highlights in no particular order:

  • The Travel Writing 201 seminar hosted by Max Hartshorne, Kent St. John and Julia Dimon

  • Israel's Muscat dessert wine

  • Chatting with Andrew Zimmern about travel TV

  • Learning trade show tricks from fellow writer, Mike Evans, like how to present your business card to the Asian tourism boards (two-handed approach)

  • Poland's perogies

  • Running into Eddie Bergman, my long lost high school buddy who had his own booth, Africa Travel Association

  • Speaking Italian with the wildly flirtatious guys from Rental in Rome, a reminder of the fine line between Italian business and pleasure

[Photo: Cnet]

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