This past June, I had attended IPW19 that was held in Anaheim, California. This marks my 4th time attending IPW. I still remember my 1st IPW that was held in New Orleans, Louisiana (2016). Then it was Washington, DC (2017). Followed by Denver, Colorado (2018). And this year in Anaheim, California (2019).
If you have noticed, every year, IPW is being held in a different host city in the Untied States. That’s what makes IPW so special and is one of the largest Travel Conferences in North America. Having a different host city brings excitement, freshness and new content for the attendees. For many other industry conferences, sometimes, the event is being held at the same city, same convention centre, things can get boring rather quickly.
When a different city host the attendees, we get to see what that city has to offer. From the food, bars, outdoor activities, sightseeing opportunities, we can soak in the vibe, the culture, the atmosphere the host city brings.
As the IPW’s website sums it up, “U.S. Travel Association’s IPW is the leading international inbound travel trade show, driving $5.5 billion in future travel to the United States. It is a national showcase of America, where U.S. travel exhibitors connect with travel buyers and media from more than 70 countries to promote their products, negotiate future businesses and build relationships.”
I enjoy IPW as it is a conference that brings all the decision makers together to make things happen. Everyone plays a role. You have U.S. travel exhibitors connect with travel buyers and media, informing them what’s new in each of their respective destinations. Travel buyers such as the tour operators can then design or update their various travel itineraries to cater to their customers. Travel agencies can also book bulk of hotel rooms from new hotels or newly renovated hotels for their clients. Media delegates such as myself book media appointments with the travel destinations and learn what their destinations have to offer and try to make things happen by creating individual press trips or sign on one of their FAM trips. Furthermore, the attendees are not only limited to Canadians or Americans, IPW also bring in international people in and experience IPW.
These appointments, networking events help close deals, help facilitate things to move forward coz many of these executives can make final decisions and thus, able to makes things work. This is what makes IPW such an amazing conference as it provides an unique, prestige and productive platform to make things happen.
Although everyone works hard, making business meetings and closing deals, IPW also provide unforgettable entertainment experiences. Every luncheon in between business meetings, media marketplace and exhibitions, there are live performances to entertain the attendees. For example, this year, The Beach Boys performed. Broadway musical shows from NYC performed and Pop Singer, Jason Derulo performed during lunch times. Many times when I show some of their performances on my social media platforms, my followers often ask, “What type of luncheon are you in that have famous people performing?” LOL. Welcome to IPW!
One of my highlights at IPW was watching hip-hop legend, Snoop Dogg performed at Huntington Beach as part of the Visit California event. It was so exciting since Snoop is born and raised around the area. He performed in an outdoor setting. Imagine, listening to great hip hop music in the outdoors and on a beautiful beach. Thankfully, the weather was nice and sunny and amazing! To have a hip-hop artist performing at IPW is also a breakthough, showing the organizer is being open minded to have hip-hop artists to perform.
IPW19’s opening ceremony was held at Disneyland and the best part? We were one of the earliest group of people to check out the most anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy Edge. The whole theme park is so cool. The attention-to-detail of the Star Wars theme park was well done. Highly recommended to make a visit but do expect long lineups.
Also, media delegates such as myself can select media tours on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is optional but Sunday is mandatory for media. I had selected a nice spa day at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa at Dana Point. It was truly relaxing and much needed detox before going in full force for the entire IPW experience. And on Sunday, I signed up for the Culinary Food Tour where we were hosted by 2 amazing restaurants at the Anaheim Packing District. Food and beverages were amazing. It was some of the best food I ate during the entire IPW and I was so glad I had experienced such wonderful food.
IPW is definitely a very well run organization and every year, there is just so many things to do, it’s amazing! Special thank you to IPW for having me. I am grateful and thankful of every opportunity. It never gets old at IPW coz every year, it’s a different city, a whole new experience and memories in the making!
IPW 2020 will be held next year in Las Vegas, Nevada from May 30 to June 3, 2020. Click here for more INFO and how you can register and plan your trip to attend IPW.
The incredible IPW19 experience was provided by the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW. However, as always, the opinions expressed in this post is entirely my own.