See You in Vegas?

Hopefully all agents will be interested in attending this year’s THETRADESHOW. The fact that the ASTA event is being held in the West should be added incentive for agents in our region.

By: Kenneth Shapiro

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s award season at TravelAge West. Not only is this issue’s cover story on our Trendsetters Awards for travel agents (/article.aspx?id=16290) you should have also received a supplement on our supplier-awards series, the WAVE (Western Agents’ Votes of Excellence) awards. I hope you enjoy both issues, and help us in recognizing the best of the best.

Speaking of recognizing agents, as most of you probably know, ASTA’s annual THETRADESHOW will be taking place in Las Vegas just about a month from now (Sept. 9-11). The show will feature seminars and guest speakers (including our own Senior Editor Ana Figueroa, who is moderating a cruising panel); dinners and networking events; and, of course, a chance for agents to get the latest news from suppliers. If you haven’t made plans to attend the show, check out ASTA’s Web site at, where you can get more information.

I hope many of you will take the time to attend. There’s no doubt that the individuals that work for ASTA have a deep respect for travel agents, and work hard to make sure agents have a strong voice. Perhaps it’s easy to overlook the importance of that when business is good and the industry is on an upswing, but you shouldn’t wait for bad times before you get out there and give back to the groups that support you.

In addition, the fact that this year’s THETRADESHOW is being held in the West is an added incentive for agents in our region to attend. With the show alternating between Orlando and Las Vegas each year, let’s not give suppliers the impression that agents in the West are less motivated than those back East. Plus, I know for a fact that the folks at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority are putting ASTA on the top of their to-do lists. I’ve been talking to Art

Jimenez, director of leisure sales at the LVCVA, and it’s clear that even with all the conventions that roll into Vegas each year THETRADESHOW, and by extension travel agents, is being looked at as a true VIP event.

So let’s hope the LVCVA and ASTA hit the jackpot next month. K.S.