We’ve put together our list of the 10 must-attend travel marketing conferences of 2018 for anyone looking to network with top travel professionals, learn about emerging trends, and build out an innovative tourism marketing strategy that speaks to today’s travelers.
The NY Times Travel Show: New York City, NY (January 26 – 28 2018)
Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2018, the New York Times Travel Show takes visitors on a trip around the globe while offering a wide range of activities, forums, cultural performances, and exhibits for travelers and travel industry professionals alike. Seminars focused on specific regions and types of travel allow participants to delve into the unique issues and trends among those travelers. With over 560 exhibitor booths, 280 industry speakers and experts, 100 cultural presentations, and 30,000 travelers and industry professional attendees, NYT Travel Show offers a unique opportunity to connect with industry leaders and consumers from around the world.
Skift Forum - Europe: Berlin (April 26 2018)
Being called the TED of Travel, Skift Forum Europe is the first conference focused on top marketers, strategists, and technologists in the travel industry. Skift aims to change the way that the travel industry sees itself and how it’s seen by the world by analyzing the changing trends in the digital age of travel and the way that marketing and technology intersect. If you’re looking to network with key stakeholders from major travel brands, then Skift Forum Europe is for you! Can’t make it to Berlin? They also have the Skift Tech forum in June, and the Skift Global Forum in New York City in September that both promise to keep building on the big-picture future of Travel in 2018 and beyond!
HT-NEXT: San Diego, CA (March 12-14 2018)
Produced by Hospitality Tech, HT-NEXT is where business and technology meet. Hotel decision-makers and influencers come together to talk about technology, eCommerce, digital marketing, data, and analytics as they relate to the travel industry. The theme of 2018 conference is unleash "the experience" -with experience becoming a driving force behind a hospitality brand's perception and technology being the key to creating those experiences. With attendees from Hard Rock International, AccorHotels, and Wyndham Destination Network, HT-NEXT will provide a space for vendors and IT professionals to work together to create the future of the travel industry.
Eye for Travel: San Francisco, CA (April 9-10 2018)
Touted as the largest digital travel conference on the West Coast, Eye for Travel Summit is separated into three separate themes: Mobile and Tech Innovation Strategies; Social Media, Marketing, and Data Strategies; and Startup Village. With the goal of helping companies to compete for bookings like digitally native brands, they’ll bring together key stakeholders across different verticals and discuss marketing and social media strategies. Notable brands from the 2017 conference included: United Airlines, Airbnb, Trip Advisor, and Intercontinental Hotel Group. The 2018 lineup is no less impressive, boasting speakers from HotelTonight, Expedia, and Hilton Worldwide.
Digital Travel Summit: Henderson, NV (April 30 - May 2 2018)
Brought to life by the creators of eTail, the Digital Travel Summit is the event that connects digital marketing, eCommerce strategy, and customer engagement for travel, hospitality, and leisure companies. With a focus on harnessing technology and enhancing the customer experience to build customer loyalty, the summit brings together key stakeholders to discuss how acting more like retailers can not only foster loyalty, but convert customers into brand cheerleaders. Speakers for the summit include executives from Marriott International, Google, and Finnair.
PR Society of America Travel & Tourism Conference: New Orleans, LA (June 3-6 2018)
PR Society of America puts public relations and brand perception front and center during the American Travel & Tourism Conference! Hot topics like experiential marketing, social media influencers, brand perception will be discussed by leading practitioners, media, and thought leaders in the travel industry. Marquis speakers include the Director of Communications at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, the Executive Editor at CNN Travel, the Editor in Chief at National Geographic Traveler, and the Deputy Editor of Food and Wine.
No Vacancy: Sydney, Australia (July 17-18 2018)
With a focus on bringing together Australian accommodation providers, tech companies, and digital marketers, No Vacancy is a dynamic event that tackles all aspects of booking and guest experience. The format is a mix of networking opportunities, presentations, data, debates, panels, and small-group discussions on topics like online reputation management in the age of social media, automations and robotics within the hospitality industry, and generating consumer loyalty.
Future Travel Experience Global: Las Vegas, NV (September 10-12 2018)
Future Travel Experience Global brings together top travel industry professionals to reveal their latest customer experience visions and collaborate on what the end-to-end passenger experience of the future will be like. The theme in 2018 in "disrupt or be disrupted." Split into three categories: ‘Up In The Air’, ‘Terminal Design & Delivery’, and ‘Labs and Start-up Symposium’, FTE aims to unite all aspects of travel to create a seamless experience from start to finish. Past keynote speakers have included Boom Supersonic, Jet Blue, and Microsoft.
Phocuswright Conference: Los Angeles, California (November 13-15 2018)
Over the last 20 years, Phocuswright Conference has cemented it’s standing in the ranking of the best travel conferences to attend. Combining top names in travel, hospitality, transportation, and the technology that unites it all, this is a unique opportunity to network with major players and learn about the latest trends in the industry! Past speakers include the President and Chief Executive OfficerExpedia Inc., the Vice President, Travel and Shopping at Google, and the Co-Founder & CEO of HotelTonight. Phocuswright also features competitive pitches. Innovation gets competitive during live events like Battle Ground, Summit, and Launch where companies are given their chance to demonstrate their innovations in front of a panel of ruthless judges and a live audience.
USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace: Phoenix, AZ (November November 30 2018)
Split into two parts, The USTOA Annual Conference and Marketplace offers both an “Active Member” portion and an “Associate Member” program. Offering participants a uniquely intimate setting to network with some of America’s most respected and renowned tour operators, all activities offer invaluable insight into the North American travel market. Top US-based travel industry leaders and decision makers will introduce case studies and new tools and tactics while sharing thought-provoking ideas and analysis of recent trends affecting the industry and travelers all over the world. Bringing together travel companies with a combined annual sales volume of over $11 billion, USTOA promises to deliver unique opportunities to network, make new contacts, and conduct business with over 700 travel professionals.
Did we leave out one of your must-attend Travel Marketing conferences of 2018? Let us know on Twitter, @pixlee.