Lessons Learned from the Family Travel Conference and the J&R jr Kickoff Party

J&R Swag BagsLast weekend was a busy one. On Friday, I stuffed swag bags all day in preparation for the J&R jr Kickoff Party downtown.  Then late Friday afternoon I hurried uptown to the first ever Family Travel Conference, which started at 2pm, and went pretty much straight through until Saturday afternoon.  Sunday morning, up early to head back downtown for the J&R party. Finally, at around 5pm, I got home and collapsed.

By now I’ve had a few days to re-group – and had time to think about the lessons learned from attending a two-day event, and planning a one-afternoon event.  Vera Sweeney did a good job of summing up the tips for travel bloggers, so I’ll just give you my top ten general lessons learned.

1. Travel Bloggers get the best perks.  While us Mom bloggers are writing for diaper bags and coupons, Travel Bloggers are writing for vacations and press trips. Yeah, I know.

2. When stuffing Swag Bags, don’t have soooo many different things.  Sure, it’s great for your guests, but you, the stuffer, will suffer serious back pain from all the bending and lifting.

3. Virgil’s BBQ (now open in the Bahamas at the Atlantis Resort) makes awesome wings (800 pounds of them for Superbowl Sunday), incredible pulled pork, but will leave the un-used-to-eating-like-that in a BBQ induced coma.

4. Always provide name tags for your event attendees/party guests…especially if you only know them by their Twitter name.

Which leads to number five:

5. Wear ear-plugs, so when people do the “Oooooh You’re @soandso” squeal, you won’t be deafened.

6. Having a Magic Show, A Princess Show, a singer, three arts and crafts stations, Wii stations and Xboxes will not be too much for a room full of blogger-kids; they’ve seen too much to be overwhelmed by anything. (I stand corrected, DadaRocks and J&R jr.)

8. TripAdvisor may be awesome, but check out Travel Video Postcard to really SEE where you’re going.

9. Luxury Travel Mom really is about the luxury.  In the funniest, nicest, least snooty way possible.  But I still want her job.

10. After planning/setting up just ONE party, I appreciate even more what a great job Traveling Mom, Family Travel Forum, Travel Media Showcase and Taking The Kids did in setting up this conference at the very lovely Omni Berkshire Place.

and since #10 wasn’t really a lesson learned (more of a thank you!) one more:

11. Whether throwing an event or attending one: high heels are not your friend.

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