Here, as we head toward Denver, May 19th, and the 50th iteration of IPW—the most important event on the inbound tour and travel industry’s calendar—the INBOUND Report shares recollections of and about the event from those who were a part of IPW (formerly Pow Wow) over the years.
This week, we feature two tour and travel industry professionals—each of whom attended 40 or more IPWs: Barbara Friedman, who retired several years ago after nearly 41 years with Omni Hotels and Resorts, lastly as global director, international accounts; and Jake Steinman, founder and CEO of the NAJ Group, which publishes the INBOUND Report.
Barbara Freidman: “I thought about all the Pow Wows/IPWs, my first being 1974 in Orlando. I went consistently and never missed one until I retired. My last was Chicago 2014. What an incredible experience. And I looked forward to going every year. It was my highlight! In thinking about experiences, here are some memorable moments:
• My first (1974) was the most incredible convention. I felt validated in my job, excited and provided an opportunity to meet many of my clients for the first time face to face. Always treasured.;
• Seeing Tony Orlando and Dawn in Dallas. We were in the Anatole ballroom, and everyone tied their napkins together and started singing. So much fun and camaraderie.
• San Francisco—Tony Bennett was the entertainment/ and trip to Alcatraz; and
• How about the dishes dropping in Albuquerque—Also, the New Orleans suppliers serving us the meal.
Jake Steinman: “My most memorable IPW moment? There were two of them.
“New Orleans 2002 when a bird flew into the convention center and pooped on the head of a Japanese tour operator. To make him feel better, I related that in some cultures this is a sign of good luck. Without missing a beat, he came back with, “you must mean good luck for the 6000 people who were not sitting in my seat.
“In Nashville in 1997 I overheard two German operators from a company called McFlight bantering in the men’s washroom One asked, “what do you think our chances are of selling Nashville,” the other replied, “Have you ever seen the movie ‘Mission Impossible?” Today, Nashville is included in over 100 German tour programs and McFlight is out of business.”