It’s the relationships, stupid!

Over the past week I’ve been reminded how much connections, networking and conversations matter.

Last weekend I went to the Boston Globe Travel Show, where I talked to and heard from a variety of other travel professionals. Yes, I heard some new ideas, and some things said sparked new ideas for me. But an even more important element of these conversations, given the personal and professional stagnation I’ve felt over the past few months, was the reaffirmation that I do have something valuable to offer. My history in the tech/internet industry, plus my continuing interest in technology, social media, and business models, gives me perspective and expertise not particularly abundant for many tourism boards, tour operators, and even travel/tourism writers. I can offer this expertise as an adviser, or I can use it as a perspective from which to write or as a competitive advantage.

This week I’ve been hitting Social Media Week in New York. Honestly, most of the dozens of panels essentially cover the same thing over and over again (Social media is important! Crowdsourcing! Curation! Pinterest!), within the context of niches – advertising, travel, health & wellness, journalism, politics, and so on. Nothing I heard blew my mind, but I did meet particular people who are doing interesting things and have interesting things to say.

And now I must shut up and continue following up with a bazillion people or so.