2010 New York Times Travel Show Blog (Day 1: When I Was Your Age I Trudged Through A Foot Of Snow To Get To The Show)

Friday, February 26, 2010

The last thing I’d normally think to do after waking up before 7 a.m. on my day off from work and seeing over a foot of snow gathered on the streets is, “I can’t wait to go outside and trek to that paved expanse with sweeping views of New Jersey, otherwise known as the Javits Center.”

But this isn’t just any day, today’s the beginning of those three magical days in February when tourism agencies across the world unfurl their banners, make those final touches on their brochures, and unpack their countless numbers of imprinted pens, key chains, and flashlights in support of their country/province/tour company at the New York Times Travel Show.

The show actually gets going tomorrow when it opens up to the public, but I came today to take in the pre-opening lectures and presentations for travel professionals (how did they ever let me in?). Beside the excellent cheese danishes that were made available this morning, the highlight was, as it normally is, running into all those random travel folk you don’t normally get to see during the year. (Shout out to Tripfilms, The Brooklyn Nomad, GrassTracks Safari, and Jeffrey of the Essential New York iPhone app: “Aren’t you that guy that did that Colombia video?” — it’s so nice to be recognized.)

The theme this year during the morning lectures was an outgrowth of what seemed to be all the vogue last year: the rise of social networking. Of course, those of us under, say, 50, don’t seem to think twice about the subject, given the amount it’s penetrated our lives. But it really is amazing how new and, for many, complicated it is for those whose travel businesses don’t include an all-online focus (ahem).

So, alas, several hours were spent listening to the various intricacies of such newfangled sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and this Foursquare thing. But just as the food coma began to set in to the crowd, an announcement was made at the keynote speech: “Due to the snow, happy hour will be moved to 4 from 5 p.m.” A rush of exultation emanated from the crowd like nothing I’d seen since Samantha Brown arrived on stage at last year’s show wearing a form-fitting cocktail dress.

As you can see, this year I decided to Twitter the event as well as to blog from it, and my tweets will be posted in the handy widget on the right column of the site. Tomorrow the real fun begins with presentations from the Frommers, the New York Times travel crew, and countless other presenters. I will actually charge my camera battery tonight so as to be able to begin posting pictures and video, which I plan to be doing bright and early tomorrow morning. Come on, if I can get up that early, so can you.

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