What is this all about? For those already signed up for IPW next May in Las Vegas, be prepared for an e-mail this week from the U.S. Travel Association, which operates IPW, with details on the launch June 1-3 of the event’s online marketplace—the digital version of the most important trade show on the business calendar for the USA’s international inbound tour and travel industry.
Malcolm Smith, US Travel’s senior vice president of business development & general manager, IPW, told INBOUND in an interview that the digital IPW provides IPW exhibitors and buyers with the opportunity to use the online platform to leverage the tools available at the online marketplace and better prepare them for doing business when the real-time IPW takes place May 10-14 next year in Las Vegas. (IPW 2020, originally scheduled for this May 30-June 3 2020, was cancelled due to the coronavirus-driven global pandemic.)
The online IPW marketplace will “serve as a magnet for the whole year,” he said, while lauding the decision by Chicago, which was originally going to be the venue to IPW 2021, to re-schedule its own tour as host for June 27-July 1, 2025.
Concept is actually a decade old: Explained Smith: “This actually started back in 2010 with the media. You had a press room with more paper than anyone wanted to deal with and journalists carrying all that collateral back with them. So, we developed an online press room. And that was started primarily for the PR people so that press releases, press trip information, story ideas could be uploaded. And you can use it, also, to upload videos—so that all the journalists who receive a lot of material during the show, after the show could go and access it, download it and have it right there. No matter where they are in the world.”
Above: A page from the IPW Press Room Site
Also, Look for the IPW Daily: In addition to the IPW online marketplace this weekend, on Saturday June 1st, exhibitors and buyers will also be able to read the latest on what to expect at the online marketplace from the IPW Daily preview issue for IPW 2021. Additional issues of the publication will appear later this year and next, prior to the next “real-time” and live event in Las Vegas.
Asked if the experience of using online market digital tools might detract from the one-on-one personal experience IPW delegates derive by attending the live event, Smith was quick to tell us that he did not think so, pointing out that the online platform will enable both to ramp up their interest so that they can better use the time they have during one-on-one business appointments and at social functions.
And IPW be bigger and better as a result of the digital tools now available to delegates, as well as the physical facility that will be the venue for the event. IPW 2021 will be among the first large shows to use the new West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Slated for completion by December 2020, the West Hall will provide 600,000 square feet of convention space, 150,000 square feet of meeting spaced rooms for a total campus exhibition space of 2.5 million square feet.