SUMMER 2019 | VOL. 44 NO. 2
Cut Through the Noise
Welcome to the Post-Show Issue of Travel Goods Showcase. I love this issue – which just might be my favorite of the year – because when you look at what’s in these pages, it really should be called the “Best of the Travel Goods Show” Issue. It’s a distillation of everything that makes The Show special and without peer.
I had an interesting – and admittedly frustrating – experience working on this issue: I needed product info to fact-check a story, so I Googled the manufacturer and product name. What I got was dozens of pages of links to retailers. Worse, the links weren’t even for the product in question – these were online storefronts that carried the brand, not the product. I Googled the manufacturer’s name alone and didn’t fare any better; Google couldn’t find the company site, the results were cluttered with the brand’s retailers.
It was after hours, and after trying multiple search terms for 20 minutes, I gave up. In the end I had to wait until morning, when I could call the manufacturer and get what I needed – after looking up the number in The Show Directory because Google couldn’t even turn up that info.
So Google and the Internet, history’s most powerful information technologies, couldn’t get me what I needed – they couldn’t cut through the online chatter. But within a minute of dialing the phone, I had my answer. And I’d made a new industry contact.
This was mind-boggling. And, it turns out, a good object lesson. Had I not picked up the phone, the best info I could glean online was secondhand knowledge from a retailer’s website. And that’s simply not good enough to base business decisions on.
Which makes this a perfect metaphor for what happens when you sit out The Travel Goods Show. If you’re a manufacturer, it says you can’t be bothered to tell your own story. And if you’re a retailer, it means you’re settling for secondhand product info, which pales in comparison to handling the real thing and talking directly with the manufacturer. It’s like reading a guidebook, watching a few YouTube videos and saying you’ve experienced New Orleans.
Now more than ever, The Show is indispensable. It’s your one chance to experience the brands and products that power our industry, in one place, at one time. And next year, it also happens to be a terrific excuse to see New Orleans, one of the country’s great destination cities.
The Show encompasses everything good about the travel goods business. It’s the very best of the industry. Which makes this issue among the very very best. Enjoy.