Where were you on Saturday 9th February?

If you have any involvement in the travel and tourism trade, then hopefully you were at Great Days Out, the industry event held at EventCity in Manchester. Group Travel World was the official media partner this year and judging by reactions, the day was both enjoyable and very useful for everyone involved.

After an early start for many of us, and a drive up the M6 for GTW, doors opened at the venue for exhibitors to set up. The hall quickly became a buzzing hive of activity, with everyone pitching in and hauling everything from banners to boxes of leaflets to their stands. Steam soon started rising from the coffee machines in the central café area, providing a welcome caffeine fix for those of us already feeling the effects of the early start…

A wonderful variety of stands filled out the hall, including hotels, attractions, transport options, tourist hoverboards, travel products … and of course the ever-popular Farmers’ Market area, packed with delicious local and unique produce, which soon had everyone flocking round for the free samples.

Harley and Georgie making the most of the free samples…

It was lovely to see so many of you there and catch up. We handed out loads of free copies of our magazine, got the word out about our fantastic directory (www.grouptravelworld.com/directory) and entered loads of people into our brilliant raffle. Our stand had a great position next to the live entertainment arena, so we enjoyed the sounds of the 3rd Davyhulme Scouts and Guides band and the lovely enthusiastic Do Your Thing choir throughout the day – and a town crier’s bellowing announcements, complete with bell to alert the entire hall – no PA system required!

Personally, I loved seeing the imaginative methods organisations use to promote everything they have to offer. As well as the old classic – FREE STUFF! – there were some great costumes (and a giant SpongeBob) on display, eye-catching props and interactive activities to participate in, including segways and a climbing wall.

I get to meet a visitor from South Lakes Wild Animal Park

As I’ve only been in this role for a few months, it was a great opportunity for me to put some faces to names and meet some of the people I’ve been in touch with recently. Colin and Harley, our Sales Managers, did a great job of introducing me to clients and friends old and new. It is also rumoured that our Subs Executive Georgie was spotted making a great new ‘connection’ with a handsome young man from Delta Force Paintball… watch this space, and I’ll keep you updated if I find out anything more.