Heartland Travel Showcase bolsters the group travel economy in the Heartland region of the United States and Ontario. It connects tour operators looking for sellable tour itineraries with group travel representatives for businesses and destinations that provide the Heartland group experience, resulting in more group business.

As it has for more than 33 years, Heartland Travel Showcase focuses on growing the group travel market in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Ontario. Heartland Travel Showcase's targeted approach ensures that everyone you meet does business in the Heartland, meaning every contact is key. This compact format makes the show affordable and focused, ensuring you spend the least amount of time out of the office.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions from Attendees:

  1. How is Heartland Travel Showcase different than other marketplace shows?
    The Ohio Travel Association owns and produces Heartland Travel Showcase. It is a tradeshow designed to showcase the unique group tour product found only in the Heartland. The show floor is arranged in aisles by state. Travel industry suppliers have booths, and the buyers walk the floor and move from supplier booth to supplier booth for their appointments. The appointments are held in the decorated booths to create a feel for that venue or destination.

  2. Where and when is the 2018 Heartland Travel Showcase?
    Buffalo, NY
  3.  When and where is Heartland Travel Showcase in 2019?
    This information is coming soon!

  4. Who may attend?
    This is a trade-only event. Qualified professional tour operators (buyers) and travel industry professionals representing attractions, destinations and hotels may attend.
     
  5. Is the show set up by appointments?
    Yes. HTS has a total of 75 appointment slots, conducted on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
                
  6. How are the appointments selected?
    Appointment requests are pre-scheduled for the three HTS appointment sessions. Beginning in January and ending in February, all appointment-taking delegates have the opportunity to electronically research and request appointments with the organizations they most want to meet with at HTS. The automated scheduling system matches appointment requests and schedules appointments to provide a spectrum of appointments that are Perfect Matches (PM) – those made by both the buyer and the seller, Operator Requests (OR) and Exhibitor Requests (ER).

    Heartland Travel Showcase also provides a director request opportunity. During this phase, sellers have the opportunity to request additional appointments with buyers. The buyer will accept/decline direct requests following the initial phase of online appointment scheduling. 

  7. How long do I have for each appointment during the pre-scheduled sessions?
    You have six minutes to discuss business one-on-one and open doors for future business in the pre-scheduled appointments. Tour operators (buyers) have two minutes to move to the next appointment.

  8. Are there any open tradeshow times?
    Yes, Saturday morning and afternoon and again on Sunday morning.

  9. Where is the registration desk on the day of the event?
    This information is coming soon!

  10. What is the dress code?
    Business casual with comfortable shoes for the tradeshow and casual for the evening functions

  11. Is there on-site shuttle service?
    This information is coming soon!

Frequently Asked Questions from Exhibitors/Suppliers

  1. Whom do I contact with Exhibitor-related questions?
    Please call Janet Johnson, show manager at 1-800-896-4682.
     
  2. What if I haven't been receiving mailings to exhibit?
    Contact the show manager Janet Johnson at jjohnson@ohiotravel.org to be added to the mailing list.
     
  3. As a supplier or Tour Operator do I need to be a member to participate in the show?
    No, Ohio Travel Association members, however, receive a discount. You must be an Ohio business in order to become a member of the Ohio Travel Association. If you are interested in a membership, please contact Karen Eylon at keylon@ohiotravel.org.
     
  4. Do I need profile sheets?

    ·  All exhibitors are required to have profile sheets for the tour operators.

    · Learn how to create a profile that meets show standards and helps to sell your destination or product.

    · Exhibitors may pay a nominal fee to gain additional exposure by having their profile sheet placed in every registered tour operator binder. For more information, contact Janet Johnson at jjohnson@ohiotravel.org

    · Exhibitors may bring profile sheets to hand out at exhibit booths during scheduled appointments or open tradeshow times.

    · Exhibitors may NOT distribute profile sheets during the Four-Minute Meet.

Frequently Asked Questions from Tour Operators

How do I schedule appointments?
 All tour operators are required to provide company profile information in Heartland Connections (the online program used to schedule appointments). Specific instructions will be shared as the event nears.


Meet the Team

Janet Johnson
Showcase Manager

Melinda Huntley
Ohio Travel Association Executive Director

Karen Eylon
Partnership Development Manager

Chad Duplain
Communications Manager

Beatrice Mitchell
Meetings & Event Assistant


Heartland Advisory Council

Sharrona Burns, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
2018 Heartland Travel Showcase Chair

Patrick Bourque, York County CVB

Tammy Czarny, Lakefront Lines

Dorothy Fortney, Made in America

Mary French, Quest Coach

Tiffany Gerber, Tuscarawas County CVB

Michael Guidi, Carr’s Holidays, Inc.

JoDee Hooley, Shipshewana/LaGrange County CVB

Lisa Kukulski, Circle MI

Leah Mueller, Visit Buffalo Niagara, NY

Troy Orwig, Good News Travels

Tony Tackett, Pike County Tourism

Charlene Troggio, Breakaway Tours