Appointments

At Travel South's Domestic Showcase, it’s all about appointments and networking. Our key objective is to create the maximum number of opportunities to connect Suppliers and Buyers. During Marketplace, Buyer delegates receive a book of pre-scheduled appointments with the Suppliers they most want to see at Showcase. In keeping with a tradition of Southern Hospitality, Showcase social events and networking functions are organized on a grand scale and extremely well-attended. These events provide fun, entertaining and educational programming in social settings that allow Showcase delegates opportunities to network and connect with other industry professionals.

Key Appointment Dates
Requesting Appointments
Journalist Appointments
Keeping Appointments
Getting More Appointments

Key Appointment Dates

  • January 20, 2016 - Appointment Requests Begin
  • February 19, 2016 - Appointment Requests Due
  • February 26, 2016 - Schedules Available Online

Requesting Appointments

All delegates will be issued a "My Domestic Showcase" link to enter the online appointment site. Delegates will use this link to access marketing information about each company, however only appointment-taking Buyer and Supplier delegates will have be able to submit the appointment requests. The site will provide detailed instructions of how to request appointments. The appointment scheduling section of the site opens at 1:00pm (ET) on Wednesday, January 20, 2016; all requests are due by Friday, February 19, 2016 at 5:00pm (ET). During this time, you will be able to access profile sheets on all Buyers and Suppliers registered for Showcase. Since Buyer registration will remain open, this list will continuously be updated until registration closes on Friday, February 19, 2016. 

A list of pre-scheduled appointments will be available online for each company approximately 10 days prior to Showcase Marketplace (on or before February 26, 2016).

No appointment book will be completely filled for every delegate. Breaks in the schedule, as well as open appointments, will be provided for each delegate.

Journalist delegates may request special appointments and/or interviews with Suppliers. Travel South USA recommends that all Supplier delegates have a press kit available that highlights your distinct offering to the travel industry.

On average, Suppliers receive approximately 25-30+ pre-scheduled appointments.

Supplier delegates should submit a minimum of 70 Buyer requests prior to 5:00pm on February 19, 2016. We also strongly recommend that Suppliers submit up to 20 journalist requests.

Journalist Appointments 

Travel South USA is committed to promoting the South through all possible venues and editorial media is an important part of any overall marketing plan. During Marketplace, Suppliers will have an opportunity to meet with Journalists attending Showcase. Suppliers interested in meeting with journalists may request up to 20 appointments under the Journalist tab in the appointment requests. Supplier/Journalists appointments must be a perfect match (both request each other) and Suppliers must opt in for an appointment to be scheduled. Please note that an appointment with a journalist will only be confirmed after all other scheduling is complete so it will not replace a possible Buyer appointment.

Keeping Appointments

During Showcase, Buyers visit Suppliers in their booths and keep seven-minute appointments discussing how they can best do business. Announcements are made every seven minutes telling Buyers it is time to check their schedule and move to the next appointment. There are two minutes between each appointment.

Each member state has an aisle for their delegation and companies with properties in more than one Travel South USA state are assigned to the "Regional" section; unless the key contact makes a special request for a particular state. Having companies organized by state assists tour operators in planning itinerary and story ideas.

All Buyer and Supplier delegates participate in all four Marketplace sessions.

It is recommended that Suppliers bring itineraries and a presentation binder or laptop/tablet with information about their destination or property to show tour operators what is available in the area. (Please note that electricity is not provided in the Supplier booths but can be obtained through the Convention Center - see the Marketplace page of the website for more information. In most cases, laptops and tablets can be adequately charged during breaks and between Marketplace sessions so electricity is not essential in the booth.)

In addition to Marketplace appointments, a wide variety of social events are scheduled during Showcase to provide an opportunity to do business in a more relaxed setting, plus learn about some of the exciting destinations in the region.

Getting More Appointments 

Trip Ideas and Itineraries...

Since perfect matches (mutual appointments for which the Supplier company and the Buyer company have requested each other) are scheduled first by the electronic mating system, contact companies in advance and ask the representative to request an appointment with your company in the online Passport (opening January 20, 2016). This will greatly increase the chances of scheduling an appointment with the desired company. Mutual requests are not guaranteed, but traditionally more than 90% of mutual requests result in an actual scheduled appointment.

Update your online company profile! You can update and make changes to your company profile at any time. It is important that your profile is up to date and accurate.

When you receive your list of scheduled appointments, begin planning your strategy for on-site meetings. If you did not receive an appointment with a desired company, contact the representative from the company and try to coordinate an informal meeting. If you can’t find an open time slot, walk to lunch together; meet for breakfast; coordinate your flight schedules so you can ride the airport shuttle together or ride together to an event; invite them for dinner during Dine Around on Monday evening. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

If you are a Supplier, do not take it personally if a tour operator does not schedule an appointment with you. The operator may have specific needs that do not include your area at this particular time. Exchange cards and stay in touch letting them know about new products and itinerary ideas.

Sell each other! If you have a great product, don't keep it a secret. Introduce yourself to other companies on your aisle and tell them a little about what you are selling.

Always have a business card with you! Not only to exchange them…many people have booked tours or gotten stories placed from notes on the back of a business card!

Stay near your booth! There are many comments from Suppliers who said they had some of their best appointments from people walking by!

Take advantage of one of the new sponsorship opportunities available at Showcase. Check out our Sponsorship Program for more information!