Here Are 6 Reasons Why You Should Attend the 2019 IAAPA Expo


Previously known as the Euro Attractions Show (EAS), the IAAPA Expo is going to bring over 14,000 tourism industry professionals together from across the globe to the tourism capital of the world: Paris. That’s a LOT of people which translates to a LOT of opportunities for you to take your business to the next level.

That’s why we are going to be there. Here are more reasons why you should attend and how you can make the most of your experience there.

The IAAPA Expo: What’s It All About?

The IAAPA Expo is a trade expo for all professionals in the tourism, leisure and attractions industry. Whether you’re a tour operator, investor, supplier or just want to participate in the tourism industry.

Trade shows like the IAAPA Expo are where tour operators flock to network; to get the latest industry news and resources; and to get specific updates and developments in the niche market they operate in.

So if you’re a tour operator, you should be attending several travel trade shows and events each year. They provide you with critical and the most up to date information and resources within the industry.

With thousands of industry professionals expected to be in attendance at the IAAPA Expo in Paris, you’re going to want to be there to expand your network and identify the right buyers and partners for your business.

Our team is going to be there; you can find us at booth #3456!

meet the regiondo team at iaapa expo europe

Here are some reasons why you should attend the IAAPA Expo and other travel trade shows.

Why You Should Attend the IAAPA Expo

Attending trade shows in general gives you the chance to get clued in on the latest industry trends and topics. There are always a fair selection of panel discussions and keynote speakers at trade shows like the IAAPA Expo that you could learn a lot from. Those panels usually have Q&A sessions at the end where you could ask key business questions and get answers on any challenges you may be facing. That’s priceless.

Beyond that, here are 6 reasons why you should attend the IAAPA Expo, and other travel trade shows in general.

1. Brand Awareness

The main reason why a lot of tourism professionals flock to travel trade shows like the IAAPA Expo is to boost their brand awareness in the industry.

Think about it this way: People who attend travel trade shows are from various sectors of the travel industry, from across the globe. Be it tour operators, hoteliers, distributors or agents. They are all in one place (which is a rarity) to network with and showcase their brands to various industry professionals.

By raising your brand awareness in the industry, you’re able to increase your bookings via your distribution network. It helps to remember that other businesses within the industry are not really your direct competitors, but businesses you can partner with to increase your brand identity in various parts of the world.

More specifically, you can network with other professionals who can help you increase your bookings. For example, you could network with distributors and travel agents who could relay information about your company to their clients who are traveling to your location.

You will have access to people from all walks of life within the industry, as well as travelers who are interested in booking their next tour. For example, you could bump into travelers who are looking for interesting tours and activities.

Travel trade shows are generally an easy (and cost-effective) way to increase your bookings and brand exposure.

2. Conduct Market Research

Travel trade shows are a good place to conduct market research and test out on any new products, travel packages and services you may consider offering.

For example, since you can (and should) create marketing and promotional materials to distribute at trade shows, you could offer a discount or promo code to encourage people to book any new products or services you want to introduce to the market.

You also get to identify key and innovative market trends at travel trade shows. Overall, attending travel trade shows is a simple and cost-effective way to conduct market research.

3. Get Discounts and Win Raffles

There are many freebies at travel trade shows like pens, pins and keychains. However, seasoned trade show goers know that the real freebies are raffles for things like free trips, tours, travel perks, discounted hotel rates, rental cars and other travel-related goodies.

And you can bet there will be some good ones at the IAAPA Expo.

However, if you have limited time, and are on a mission to see specific vendors and distributors, you’ll need to avoid the giant roulette wheels and simply focus.

If you have time later, participate in those raffles because you could win something great.

4. Lectures and Demonstrations: Get Industry Knowledge

You will likely find industry celebrities like travel talk show hosts, travel writers, guidebook writers, travel influencers, major trade shows like the IAAPA Expo. Check out the online program to see the list of the many industry celebrities that will be in attendance at the IAAPA Expo.

IAAPA Expo lecture

Indeed, the main point of travel trade shows is for you to learn from the very best in the industry, but in a fun way.

Other fun activities include things like dance performances and cooking demonstrations from around the world. You can sit, rest and enjoy those performances and demonstrations before making the rounds at the booths that interest you.

(Don’t forget to visit us at booth #3456!)

5. Talk to Vendors from Around the World

There will be hundreds of vendors from various countries at the IAAPA this year. This is arguably the best reason why you, as a tour operator, should attend travel trade shows.

It’s an opportunity for you to speak to vendors from around the world without being fearful of “sales-y talk”. A lot of the vendors in attendance are just happy to be there; to speak with you, give you business insights, and share their experience as a business that’s operating in a part of the world that’s foreign to you.

You could end up receiving a significant discount on a promotional package that could actually help your business. At the very least, you’d walk away with insider’s knowledge on their national destination.

6. Make It a Family Affair

Travel trade shows like the IAAPA Expo have a lot of family-friendly activities, in addition to workshops, lectures and performances. That means you can bring the whole family along!

Activities like zip lining, rock-climbing, trampolines and inflatable obstacle courses are all big draws for families that will be in attendance this year.

However, keep in mind that when trade shows like the IAAPA Expo can get (really) crowded so it may not be a good idea for children to wander off on their own.

How to Make the Most of Travel Trade Shows

We have to admit that travel trade shows can be quite overwhelming, especially a prominent one like the IAAPA Expo. So here are three tips to make the experience a lot less overwhelming for you and your team.

Get Your Hands on a Copy of the Exhibit Map

You should print out a copy of the exhibit map and highlight the locations of the trade booths you’re interested in. You can get a copy of the exhibit map when you register for the IAAPA Expo or on their mobile app.

Dress for the Occasion

To ensure comfort throughout, dress like you’re going on vacation. For example, you should wear comfortable shoes (since you’ll be on your feet awhile), layer up (large convention centers can be quite cool but warm up when a crowd forms), carry a bag (for all the goodies and pamphlets you’ll receive) and bring water and snacks.

Get There Within the First Hour

Travel shows are least crowded within the first hour while peak hours are between 10AM – 2PM. The last hour is also less crowded but by then, everyone is tired and ready to get some rest.

Our advice is to get there within the first 90 minutes as it is easier to plan your route for the day and get your bearings before the crowd pours in.

Questions to Ask Vendors and Distributors

Here are a few questions you could ask vendors and distributors at the IAAPA to effectively gauge if their products, services or potential partnership would be beneficial for your business:

  • What makes your products or services unique?
  • Do you offer specialized support for your products/services?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you work with companies like mine? If so, for how long?
  • What is your product or service pricing structure?
  • Do you offer any other products? Complimentary products/services?
  • Can my existing systems and processes seamlessly integrate with your product/service?

Remember that the point of trade shows like the IAAPA Expo is for you to gain as much industry knowledge as possible and to form relevant partnerships to help drive your business forward. So feel free to ask any questions that will help you hone in on the right partners and distributors to grow your business.

Wrapping Up

We all know that in this industry, you have to be in the loop on current trends, customer preferences and best practices. The best way to stay in the loop is to attend travel trade shows like the IAAPA Expo (arguably the biggest tourism trade show).

You’ll get an opportunity to stay in the loop; keep a close eye on your competition; network; learn (and teach) other industry professionals within the global travel market; and lastly, generate leads and perhaps get some sales.

We hope to see you there!

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