Like most Visitors Bureaus across the country, Visit Grove City attends several trade shows throughout the year. These shows are primarily used to sell our destination to tour planners, who in turn bring us busloads of visitors (literally, bus loads). I’m asked often what I do while I’m at a particular show, why we choose to attend the shows we do, and it must be great to be paid to go on vacation. While these shows are often fun, I wouldn’t call it a vacation. If you consider 16 hour days of always being “on” and focused on selling a vacation,

GC Booththen I guess I am. This blog series will hopefully answer these and many other questions about how a trade show works and why it is beneficial to Visit Grove City to attend.

First, I should explain what a trade show is and the different types of shows we attend. According to Wikipedia, A trade show is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry (such as tourism) can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent market trends and opportunities. In contrast to consumer shows are open to the public, while others can only be attended by company representatives. We attend both types of shows.

In the tourism world we have group travel and leisure travel shows. Group travel is a show where a representative, usually marketing and sales, attends to gain motor coach travelers. Motor coach business brings more money into the community at one time, with many hotel room nights as well. It’s a win-win for Visit Grove City as we can provide more revenue to more businesses at a single time. A group travel show gives sales managers the opportunity to speak one-on-one with travel planners who bring such groups to various destinations across the country on luxurious motor coaches. Our 4-7 minute appointment lets us describe why our destination or attraction is a good fit for the tour planner’s clients. The bigger shows in the United States include American Bus Association and National Tour Association. There are several regional and niche travel groups shows we attend as well.Ohio Has It!!

A leisure travel show provides local residents of a community to visit our booth showcasing our attractions while speaking to a Visit Grove City representative. At this type of show, the client is generally couples or families looking for unique, inexpensive getaways. These guests fill up hotel rooms and visit attractions much like groups do, only in smaller amounts. We count on these visitors to have such a good time that hopefully they return one day. We attend shows such as Great Vacations Travel Expo presented by AAA, Arnold Kids Expo, and Pittsburgh Women’s Expo.

Look for this series to continue with how we choose which shows to attend, what we do while attending a show, research and follow up, and how we measure success.