5 Reasons to attend Heartland Travel Showcase 2022

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The trade show season is upon us, and there’s still time to register for Heartland Travel Showcase, held Feb. 4–6, 2022, in Cleveland, Ohio. Heartland Travel Showcase is a group tour trade show that focuses on the Heartland region of the United States, providing tour operators the opportunity to meet via scheduled appointments with exhibitors from several different states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and the province of Ontario)

“After the show, tour operators will walk away having developed business relationships with exhibitors and other operators that will last a lifetime,” said Kelly Florian, communications manager at Ohio Travel Association. “Operators will have the opportunity to attend a brand new to Heartland educational session designed specifically for their business to help them add excitement to their tour offerings and reach their customers, and they will have several opportunities to network.”

The deadline for tour operator registration is Dec. 9, 2021. Here are just a few reasons to attend Heartland Travel Showcase.

1. You’ll be prepared for travel’s re-emergence

Travel will look different in 2022, and Heartland Travel Showcase can help you plan accordingly.

“Pre-COVID selling tactics won’t work in this new climate,” Florian said. “Business as usual will be replaced with new marketing strategies, a refresh of customer demographics, and creative ways to enhance and add excitement to your tours. This is why you don’t want to miss Heartland Travel Showcase! This showcase has the tools and opportunities needed to advance your business and itineraries.”

2. It’s designed to maximize your time and budget

“Heartland Travel Showcase has always been a compact, affordable show that keeps its attendees at the forefront,” Florian said. “In 2022, that is no different. We are committed to conducting a productive show in an atmosphere where everyone attending can feel safe.”

Heartland Travel Showcase operates on a condensed three-day schedule of Friday through Sunday. Because of Heartland Travel Showcase’s location in the heart of the country, it’s easy to get to, affordable and a draw for many suppliers you won’t see at other shows.

3. There’s a new education session that’ll help you boost your sales

Heartland Travel Showcase 2022 will include an exciting education seminar hosted by US Tours. The session will cover basic marketing strategies to help put more people on your bus, address customer demographics, identify ways to add excitement to your tours, tackle how to enhance your current tour products, identify how to reach new customers, and tips on how to build your mailing lists while reducing marketing costs.

4. You can participate in post-FAM and sightseeing tours

Creative and educational FAM tours help you build credibility with your customers.

For 2022, a newly added post-FAM (Feb. 6–9) offers a new look at Amish Country and features one-of-a-kind hidden gems, such as culinary experiences, artisans and the great outdoors. You’ll also have a Cleveland sightseeing tour to look forward to on Feb. 4. It includes fun excursions like “A Christmas Story” House, West Side Market and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

5. Networking opportunities are endless

Heartland Travel Showcase offers many opportunities beyond scheduled appointments to help you build relationships and learn about new product ideas.

One such opportunity is the Four-Minute Meet, a unique bonus event where operators and exhibitors continue conversations outside of their regular appointments to maximize the opportunity to connect.

“At this unique event, exhibitors make brief introductions, highlight information about travel offerings and invite tour operators to continue the conversation later in the evening and throughout the weekend,” Florian said.

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Courtney Birchmeier oversees the editorial department at Group Tour Media. With half a decade under her belt in the group travel industry, she's eager to connect tour operators and group leaders with new destinations. It's a great day at the office if her dog, a chow/lab mix named "Kiwi," is in tow. In her free time, she enjoys reading (for fun, with no red pen in hand), sampling craft beer (New Holland Brewing's "Dragon's Milk," anyone?) and adding new destinations to her travel bucket list (like Salzburg, Austria).