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TravelAbility Summit Shows organizers how to Humanize the Virtual Conference Experience

Not the NEW normal…or the NEXT normal…but a case study to find the BEST Normal

SAUSALITO, CA, USA, June 25, 2020 / -- While some travel industry conferences and events are adapting and embracing virtual attendance, many are scaling back, canceling or rescheduling to 2021. As the industry’s only disability-focused conference, the TravelAbility Summit team, supporters and advisory board believe that the destination and disability-focused education, insights and networking that takes place at this event is essential for the tourism industry and that the conference will go on.

With a variety of customizable attendance options via the in-person/virtual attendee hybrid model, the TravelAbility Summit is further reinforcing its slogan, All Means All. The conference's 2020 location, Orlando, Florida, provides easy access for many considering attending in-person and virtual event options elevate opportunities for European destination marketing organizations and others across the US to participate.

“Over the past two months, our team has spent hours of screen time attending virtual conferences ranging from technology to education to comedy clubs, evaluating new Zoom-like platforms that best capture the experience of live events.” said Jake Steinman, founder of TravelAbility Summit. “And, we’ll be applying the best of the best of what we’ve found to our event and openly sharing the results with the industry.”

The online conference will serve as a case study for travel industry meeting planners who don’t have the time to research and evaluate all the of new self-service turnkey platforms and innovative technology that have been released. A few highlights include…

• Collaborating with pros: a former Broadway producer will direct both the live and virtual event; and a stand-up comic will serve as emcee, and a behavioral psychologist will help design in-person spaces where physical distancing protocols will feel less unnatural.
• Virtual tools: virtual whiteboards, virtual business cards, QR codes, games, holograms
• Shorter presentations/better takeaways.. 73 total presenters limited to 7- 10 minutes + Q&A
• Random One-on-one speed dating: 3-minute sessions
• Testing flexible registration options--including a la carte options by the hour
• New insights about sponsorships, value proposition and ROI
• New tools that make virtual conferences accessible and may help avoid litigation
• A few of Virtual reception breakout rooms that emphasize human connection…
o Who let the dogs in? introduce your favorite pet
o My Covid Crib: home tours
o Did you hear the one about? humorous stories/jokes
o The Hot Tub: attendees appear in bathing suit attire + wine

According to the Convention Industry Council (CIC) $115 Bn of the $263 bn in direct spending of meetings in the U.S. is travel and tourism related. Leading trade associations believe that virtual trade events will have a permanent role as a complement to broaden the reach for those who cannot attend in person.

“We’re willing to do our small part to help the meetings industry, which has been decimated by the pandemic, understand what works and what doesn’t.” said Steinman. “While we understand that some of our ideas may fall flat, we’re willing to openly share our experience afterwards to help the industry rise again, as planners may not have the time to do the due diligence or the appetite for risk.”

For more information go to TravelAbility Summit 2020 and for up to date news go to TravelAbility Insider

Contact: Jake Steinman

Jake Steinman
TravelAbility Summit
+1 415-339-0578
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