I confess, I’ve been a little MIA recently, but with good reason! I haven’t disclosed the details of my “new life,” student life, to the blogosphere but I did a big girl thing and transferred to a University to study Hospitality Management! Per usual, school takes up most of my time, but this time around I’m literally studying what I write about on here– travel! I plan on giving you a full report after the semester wraps up in December, but for now, here is what I’ve been up to!
I witnessed international delegates and CEOs gather at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the Global Healthcare Resources and World Medical Tourism Congress during the first week of October. I know, that’s a lot of words, but I’ll clear that up later! Myself and a team from SJSU worked four 12-hour-days setting up the convention and making sure it ran smoothly, and boy was it a lot of work.
On the flip side, I attended IMEX, America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events, at Las Vegas’ Sands Expo during the second week of October.
I’ve always been a big believer in hands-on learning, as I am a visual learner (and fall asleep behind a desk), so getting on a plane and immersing myself in the “event planning lifestyle” for a solid two weeks was an extremely beneficial choice…even if it meant taking my midterms in an airport.
Before working or attending a convention it would never have occurred to me that I would be more likely to spend more time at a booth with a cushioned ground. But, as I learned from the event management companies that make big bucks off exhibitors, a softer ground under the carpet is more comfortable for potential clients and encourages them to stick around.
Of course offering swag is a fun incentive, almost like adult trick-or-treating, but now that I have two full bags sitting in the corner of my room I can say that pens and post-its have been surpassed by much cooler, unique advertising ploys like fresh lavender from Provence, France, crazy fishing flys from Boise, Idaho and postcards I was able to make with representatives from Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Another incentive– food and drink! Offering prickly pear margaritas at Arizona’s booth or Guinness at Ireland’s is obviously going to draw a crowd!
I have posts coming up that will further detail both conventions, but seeing as I was constantly comparing the two when I was in the moment, it seemed best to start with this high-level overview!