The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority recently attended the annual International Pow Wow tradeshow, hosted at McCormick Place in Chicago. Sharing a booth with the South Shore CVA was Fair Oaks Farms, The Shrine of Christ's Passion and Ramada Conference Center in Hammond.

During the three-day show, more than 1,100 exhibitor booths held by U.S. suppliers of USA travel products and destinations conducted pre-scheduled business appointments with nearly 6,000 international and domestic travel buyers and journalists representing more than 70 countries. As a result of the appointments, more than $4.7 billion in future Visit USA travel is expected to be generated.

According to the South Shore CVA's Chief Marketing Officer Heather Becerra, the South Shore CVA had appointments with delegates representing Taiwan, China, Germany, Canada and Belgium. From the appointments, follow-ups with more information will be sent to the connections made. Becerra believes attending tradeshows is important for the organization because they present the opportunity to learn what various markets are looking for in a destination.

"Tradeshows provide an efficient way to get information in the hands of the people making travel decisions," stated Becerra. "They also allow us to have appointments with many companies in one place." Appointments scheduled outside tradeshows can be less cost-efficient and time consuming.

In addition to the supplier exhibition, IPW included a Media Marketplace. During the marketplace, suppliers were able to connect with nearly 500 national and international media representatives.

"During the Media Marketplace, we were able to pitch various attractions and offer information to media personnel from throughout the world," said Nicki Mackowski-Gladstone, VP & Chief Communications Officer for the South Shore CVA. "We spoke with delegates from Brazil, London, Canada and Romania who were very interested in learning more about the Indiana Dunes, Fair Oaks Farms and sporting opportunities along the South Shore."

Additionally, the South Shore CVA received a list of all media outlets represented, featuring more than 300 magazines, news sites, television programs and freelancer writers.

"With the list of media outlets, we can learn more about the company and tailor the information we send based on their audiences' interests," said Mackowski-Gladstone.

Other tradeshows the South Shore CVA attends includes Heartland Travel Showcase, Ontario Motor Coach Association, American Bus Association and African American Travel Conference.