The last day of IPW was a busy one! We had a lot of last minute appointments and many media interviews. Our CEO Chris Thompson had a roundtable interview with Japanese journalists. We turned the tables a bit and interviewed our partners across the trade show floor on what Brand USA has meant to their organization. We also received a thoughtful memento of our great partnership with Thomas Cook, and met with our partners from the Greater China market. The Taste of the USA lunch broke up the day and was a great way to showcase the food and culture of various U.S. destinations like Anchorage, Alaska, Texas; Louisiana; Florida and Oregon. The day ended with wonderful meetings with our partners on federal row and an upbeat sentiment of a show well done!
We are grateful to all of our fabulous partners and are looking forward to seeing you all next year!
Monday kicked off with our Partner Engagement meeting, where we showcased our fabulous partners, our incredible progress and our new programs. We unveiled more than 100 new programs, click here to learn about these opportunities. Business appointments and press conferences followed our partnership session. We heard a lot of exciting news from our tourism partners and quickly made our way to the floor to meet with more buyers, suppliers and partners around the world. New York and Company put on a fabulous lunch with entertainment from the Broadway Collection that had audiences captivated. We rounded out the day with more meetings, and even a staff photo of our hard-working, ever-growing staff. More news to come from Wednesday.
The first day of IPW started out with the Brand USA press conference, where we showcased our progress and announced many new programs. We showed our sizzle reel and a video we created with CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg about the Brand USA Effect. Next we announced our partnership with National Geographic and Andrew Evans, the famous digital nomad. Lastly, we unveiled our partnership with MacGillivray Freeman films to create an IMAX film showcasing the National Parks. Following questions from the press, we officially opened the Brand USA Media Marketplace and trade show floor. The room was already buzzing with business meetings when we arrived. Taking a break from our business meetings and media marketplace, we hosted our Brand USA lunch. We were pleased to be joined by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who welcomed the audience and highlighted the importance of tourism for the economic development of the city of Chicago. Next up came the main event, the performance of World Class Rockers. This group of Rock ‘n Roll legends wowed the audience with classics like Don’t Stop Believing and Sweet Home Alabama.
The day continued along with a busy booth and lots of appointments, until tomorrow IPW.
Chicago, Illinois welcome IPW suppliers and delegates with open arms this weekend. The important tradeshow kicked of with our collaboration with the Visit USA committees, our partner roundtable and a press brunch. We also hosted two well-attended sets of sessions on emerging and established in-bound markets to the USA. That night we celebrated the official start of the show and our sponsorship of the event at Chicago’s Cinespace Film Studios, a bonafide studio and a wonderful event space to showcase what Chicago has to offer. We dined on delicious local eats, listening to Broadway and MoTown Music, and enjoyed a spirited performance by popular R&B singer Janelle Monae—the international audience was definitely impressed!
After such a fabulous kick off, everyone was ready to get down to business on Monday.
U.S. Travel Association’s IPW is the travel industry’s premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the U.S. During three days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the USA (representing all industry category components), and close to 1,200 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries, conduct business negotiations that result in the generation of more than $4.7 billion in future Visit USA travel.
Check out the highlights of the Ausmerica megafam!
Brand USA and Qantas Airlines recently hosted their first familiarization tour from Australia (the ninth largest source market for international tourists to the USA). Five groups of 10 travel agents traveled on one of five different itineraries throughout the United States. Destinations included: Boston/New England, Florida, Arizona, Texas and New Orleans, as well as surrounding areas. Dubbed the Ausmerica Megafam, the event culminated with an event in Los Angeles at Universal Studios.