With all the technology available at our disposal to connect, such as Zoom, Skype, Teams and Google Meet, some may be asking themselves if it’s worth attending conferences. Some may feel the information they need can all be found online and the cost (and time away from their business) is too high. However, remaining active in your industry still offers benefits you just can’t get behind a computer screen.
Granted, travel is a little difficult at the moment, and trade shows may seem like a distant thought, but when things settle down for you, it’s worth investing some time into connecting with others in the car rental industry face to face.
Obviously, there’s only a certain amount of your annual budget that you can dedicate to trade shows, so it’s important to pick the ones that are most valuable for your business. You’ll want to leave a trade show feeling you’ve learned something valuable. You’ll also want to leave feeling that you can take what you’ve learned and not only apply that to your business, but use it to better serve your customers.
We’ve narrowed your search of the best trade shows to attend as a car rental operator down to a list of five. Location and timing will likely both be factors in determining which one(s) you choose to attend and the good news is, there are options all over the world!
5 Trade Shows For Car Rental Professionals
1. International Car Rental Show
If you were to only choose one trade show to attend, it would likely be the International Car Rental Show (ICRS), held annually in Las Vegas, NV. Their 2020 event went virtual, taking place in October last year and they expect their next show to take place in-person. The ICRS has a proud 25-year tradition and takes you deep into the car rental world.
With keynote speakers from all around the globe, and professionals from all sectors of the car rental industry in attendance, it’s the perfect opportunity to leave with practical knowledge you can put to use. Gaining an insight on the latest trends will help you drive your business performance. You’ll also discover countless opportunities in shopping around for suppliers, whether you’re in the market for a new car rental software system, fleet tracking, or wish to know more about the latest tools in technology.
2. World Travel Market (WTM)
The World Travel Market is a massive event that has gone on annually for 40 years. While its flagship event is the WTM London, typically held in November, they also hold events in Latin America, Africa and in the Arabian market.
While the show is more of a general travel trade show, the sheer size of it presents so many networking opportunities. The 2019 WTM London included 51,000 participants representing 182 countries, with close to 5,000 exhibitors present. The car rental industry was among the many sectors of the travel industry representing and the event gets bigger and bigger every year. Their 2020 event was held virtually, with their 2021 show scheduled for early November from the ExCel London.
FITUR is another event that covers the umbrella of the travel industry, with a focus on inbound and outbound markets in Latin America. FITUR’s 2020 event in Madrid included 11,040 companies from 165 countries and regions, 150,011 trade visitors and 111,089 visitors from the general public.
Like WTM, the event featured a strong presence of car rental professionals. With this massive five-day event, businesses all over the world get plenty of opportunities to establish contacts, start projects and make agreements. Add to that the presence of 5,300 media outlets and you have a golden opportunity to get your name out there.
4. ITB Berlin
Like WTM, ITB holds trade shows all over the world throughout the year, with their biggest event held annually in Berlin. With visitors from six continents, over 180 countries, more than 113,000 trade visitors and a €7 billion turnover, the ITB certainly lives up to its billing as the world leading travel trade show.
Vendors and suppliers for the car rental industry flock to an event of this size. Whether it be for car rental management systems or connecting to more brokers, the event is a breeding ground for enhancing business connections.
Another added bonus from ITB is that they have now posted their video library online, so there are ways to catch up if you’ve never had a chance to attend.
5. NADA or NIADA
Whichever one you attend will largely be based on the size of your operation, but either event will offer plenty of networking opportunities and to catch up on the latest industry trends.
Don’t be shy in reaching out to a trade show organizer listed above if you feel their show is just what you’re looking for. Attending any of these will be sure to enhance your knowledge of the car rental climate and give you an edge over competitors.
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