Making the Most of GBTA 2019: Top Tips for Chicago

Making the Most of GBTA 2019: Top Tips for Chicago

The 2019 GBTA Convention is headed to Chicago in August. Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned attendee, it is important to think ahead and make the most of an action-packed week of learning and networking.

With over 175 education sessions and over 400 supplier exhibitors, it is important to identify target learnings and contacts you need to bring value back into your program in 2019 and beyond. A little planning before you go ensures that you come home with the right information and relationships!

Here are our top tips for attending GBTA 2019:

Identify target partner meetings.

Connect with current and potential partners that align with your program strategy for the coming years. Make A and B lists of vendors to visit to maximize your time. Evaluate your program goals and projects for the coming year and align your target meetings to support your goals. You can check the full 2019 Exhibitor list here.

Get familiar with the map.

McCormick is a big place. Look ahead of time and know where education and expo sessions will be held, your transportation options, and be sure to check out the expo hall floor plan. Identify must-see vendors on the expo map and try and group appointments accordingly to maximize your time and ensure you visit different sections of the expo floor.

Flex those time-management skills.

Manage your GBTA experience like a tour itinerary and set up meetings with critical vendors ahead of time, once you have them grouped on the map. Use GBTA’s My Convention Planner to keep your appointments organized. Be sure to leave time between to visit the booths that interest you in person as you walk each section of the expo. You never know what you might learn or who you might run into!

Identify target peer networking.

The annual convention allows you an opportunity to collaborate with travel professionals outside your local chapter network. Check the buyer company list and take this opportunity to network with thousands of peers from similar industries and facing similar challenges in the upcoming year. If you need help getting connected, ask CTM, or other current vendor partners, to introduce you to like-minded peers with whom you can share ideas.

Leave some downtime.

The best tours leave a couple of hours for time on your own. Chicago may be hot and humid in August, but it offers a wide range of potential leisure activities if you can spare a few hours sometime during the week. Whether you have an hour or an afternoon, check out some ideas here.

Bonus tip!

Don’t miss the CTM booth! Schedule time with CTM in booth #4023 for the latest on CTM technology, service and how we can drive your return on investment. We hope to see you there!