Making the Most of Your Time at IPW and Connect Events in Las Vegas: The U.S. Travel Association’s IPW, the largest Visit USA marketplace on earth, will open once again this September in Las Vegas—15 months after it was scheduled to take place—after the COVID-19 crisis and global pandemic basically shut down international travel. Joining IPW will be Connect TOUR, which will make it possible to do both domestic and international business at the co-located events.
For the upcoming IPW in Las Vegas, Malcolm Smith, U.S. Travel’s senior vice president of business development and general manager of IPW, told a webinar audience just as the last issue of INBOUND was published, that IPW is designed to “reconnect, rebuild and reunite the industry.”
During a day dedicated to “what’s new” and “how to” questions and answers aimed at those who would be attending IPW—INBOUND attended the session for the Americas—Smith emphasized some of the key changes that IPW-goers will experience this September 18-22. (The Connect TOUR schedule runs September 20-22 and is fully integrated with IPW.) Among those changes will be: a requirement to wear face masks at the event; shorter business appointments (15 minutes instead of 20); and hours more of networking time that will effectively eliminate “open” time.
FAQs: Here, from Team IPW is a compilation of answers to frequently raised questions that many IPW delegates have asked.
Q: Some countries are indicating that they may not be able to travel until October or later. How will these source markets affect IPW if it is able to continue as scheduled?
A: We anticipate a virtual component for countries facing restrictions or significant hardships; due to time zone challenges, these appointments would likely be held prior to the live event. We will have updates on a virtual component by mid-June.
Q: Since international travel is restricted at this time, what time frame will IPW organizers give suppliers regarding committed international attendance?
A: IPW’s Book with Confidence campaign allows risk-free registration for all delegates through June 30. We will work with countries facing entry/return restrictions in hopes they ease prior to September.
Q: Have you surveyed international buyers to see their comfort level in attending this tradeshow?
A: We are in touch with Visit USA committees and our recruitment chairs on a regular basis. There are various levels of comfort and desire to travel; but most have expressed a strong desire for a return of travel and in-person meetings. Vaccine distribution will hopefully improve likelihood of travel.
Q: With the federal government saying that the U.S. will have everyone vaccinated by end of May, have you heard any whispers of a revised border travel policy that will make attending IPW for our international buyers easier?
A: U.S. Travel has organized an International Working Group to work with the administration on a safe and responsible return to international travel. We will communicate any developments with delegates.
Q: Will there be a Media Marketplace this year? If so, any details you can share at this time?
A: Yes! Due to space challenges, we are working with an adjacent resort property to host the 2021 media marketplace. Stay tuned for exciting details.
Q: Will Media Marketplace still allow two representatives?
A: At this time, we are restricting it to one representative. We will monitor the situation and our meeting space to see if we can accommodate more.
Q: Will the Media Marketplace have the added safety design features, i.e., plexiglass barriers, distanced tables, etc.?
A: Yes, we will maintain spacing and have plexiglass dividers. Please visit ipw.com for our complete safety enhancements.
Q: Similar to media marketplace, are there plans for press conferences?
A: Yes, press conferences will return. We are moving from 40 minutes to 20 minutes to accommodate more of our exhibitors and keep them fresh and fast. More details to follow.
Q: What are the social distancing requirements during meetings?
A: We will maintain spacing and have plexiglass dividers. Please visit ipw.com for our complete and most up-to-date safety enhancements.
Q: With the new social distancing requirements in between booths, what will the new size of the booth be?
A: Single booths are still 10’X10; double booths will be 10’X26′ and triple booths 10’X42’; if you have an existing structure, we recommend centering in the space. Please contact [email protected] and we would be happy to work with you.
Q: If you are only allowing two delegates per booth, how will appointments work?
A: Each booth has one IPW appointment schedule. If you would like to maximize your presence, you may want to consider the Connect TOUR add-on for an additional set of domestic appointments.
Q: Does the capacity for booth include staff/buyers?
A: The capacity is for two exhibitor delegates per booth; buyers attending appointments do not count against this. We will continue to monitor CDC and local guidelines to determine if we can adjust this rule in the coming months.
Q: When will IPW & Connect appointments be held? Will IPW & Connect appointments be on separate days or on the same days?
A: They will be concurrent, so you would need at least two staff members to manage two appointment schedules.
Q: Will we be able to schedule appointments with domestic operators through the IPW platform?
A: You can purchase a Connect TOUR appointment schedule through ipw.com for $995. A contact will be assigned to this schedule and appointments will take place in your booth. Receptive operators and global OTAs will still be registered as IPW buyers.
Q: If we can only send one delegate and not two, are there any suggestions on how we can manage both IPW & Connect schedules?
A: It will not be possible for one person to manage two schedules as appointments may overlap. The open networking time would be a good opportunity to meet with additional buyers not scheduled.
Q: Will the IPW and Connect TOUR delegates be in the same booth space or two different booth spaces? In the same building or a different building?
A: The two events are fully integrated into the IPW show floor and appointment times. All appointments take place in exhibitors’ booths in the LVCC West Hall.
Q: Will Connect TOUR buyers have access to walk around the general IPW Marketplace during the networking time?
A: Yes, they will be fully integrated into the event and show floor
Q: What happens if we prepaid last year for more than two people per booth?
A: We will refund the difference. We suggest holding off a few weeks to see if capacity limit expands. Contact [email protected] if you have any questions or wish to have a refund now.
Q: What happens to those of us who paid for IPW 2020 and rolled over our payments for 2021? Are we still registered, and do we need to make changes to our both purchase as we may have more delegates registered?
A: You have been automatically registered for 2021. Please reach out to [email protected] to review your account and make changes as needed.
A Note on IPW’s Connect Partners: September 2021 will mark the first-ever co-location of IPW with three events organized and hosted by Connect Travel. Following are brief info-bytes about the events.
Connect TOUR, September 20-22, 2021. Connect TOUR is a domestic travel show, specifically designed to address industry needs. The event combines the right timing, a unique format that creates an efficient and effective environment to expedite the sales process and close business and a robust educational track to inspire and inform industry leaders in a rapidly evolving market. Connect Tour is the premier hosted-buyer event that brings together the most active tour operators, suppliers and experts in Domestic tour and travel for preset appointments, keynote general sessions, planner/supplier roundtables and quality networking.
Connect THRIVE SUMMIT, September 18-19, 2021. Connect THRIVE Summit is focused on community development through LGBTQ travel, sports, and entertainment. This one-of-a-kind marketing summit features dynamic general sessions and networking events alongside a series of pre-scheduled, one-on-one connections between destinations, resorts, hotels, attractions, domestic and international tour operators and travel agents, sports rights holders, media, marketers and brands.
eTOURISM SUMMIT, September 20-22 2021. Founded in 2000, eTOURISM SUMMIT attendees get up-to-the-minute, real-life examples of the latest applications in video, content marketing, email marketing, search, social media, mobile and web design. In an intimate setting, attendees get concrete ideas from their peers about how to get the most bang for their buck, learn guerilla marketing tactics, participate in interactive sessions, and hear about dozens of case studies to find out what’s working…and what’s not.
For more about Connect Tour/IPW, visit: https://www.ipw.com/connect-tour
Visit here for a list of key IPW dates and deadlines.