Travel Media Showcase: Unsurpassed Destinations & Tremendous Art in Texas


What is Travel Media Showcase? I asked the same question and am so glad I found the answers and participated in this year in the conference run by  J. Vero & Associates. TMS brings “together leading print and broadcast travel media to meet with representatives from the United States, Canada, and international destinations in a highly organized and business-like format involving pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments and fam tours.”

It is the best conference I have been to for Travel Professionals.

Who should attend? Editors, Staff Writers, Assignment Writers, Freelance Writers, Photographers, Bloggers, Video and Film producers for newspapers, magazines, television, broadcast/video/film, internet, travel guides, books.

Travel Media Showcase is a one-stop, opportunity for travel journalists to:

  • Meet one-on-one with public relations and communications practitioners from convention and visitors bureaus, state, regional, and international tourism offices, attractions and theme parks, major hotel chains and destination resort properties, airlines, cruise lines and gaming venues
  • Gather new story ideas and background material on a broad range of tourism products
  • Develop personal relationships with key travel information sources
  • Network with other travel journalists and editors
  • Schedule follow-up media visits to destinations of interest
  • Sign up for participation in upcoming destination-sponsored familiarization trips”

I highly recommend Travel Media Showcase. I met with thirty different destinations and at least thirty wonderful travel writers. This year the conference was held in Grapevine, Texas. It was my first visit to Grapevine but it will not be my last. I loved all our activities. Please enjoy all eight videos to learn more about what we enjoyed and explored together.

Before the conference started, I spent several days with a group of ten amazing women writers on a Girlfriend Getaway in Grapevine, Texas. One night after dinner at Dino’s Steak and Claw, we went to Painting with a Twist. You know you are a blogger if your painting has a hashtag! Seriously, Tatanisha’s boot has the tag #TMSGrapevine16 on it. Watch the video and see for yourself!

A 7-feet-tall bronze winged unicorn sculpture is perched atop the Grapevine Convention and Vistors Bureau headquarters.
A 7-foot-tall bronze winged unicorn sculpture by Linda Lewis-Roark. Photo: Star Telegram

During Travel Media Showcase, we were able to choose a local FAM (familiarization) Trip. I went on “Let the Arts Fill Your Heart!” which began at the Great American West Gallery where we had lunch catered by Main Street Bakery. I was able to interview Sonya Terpening who told me she is a storyteller who uses paints instead of words. I loved hearing about her recent trip to Glacier National Park with thirty women artists to re-create a trip of women artists in the 1930s for the 100th birthday of the National Parks!

While on tour at Vetro Glassblowing Studio, I bought earrings. We also toured the Holder Dane Gallery next door and I was able to interview Linda Lewis-Roark, owner of Grapevine Foundry and Fine Arts Program. Her bronze sculptures are sought after and her 800-pound winged unicorn is on top of the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau’s north tower. Her pegasus is 9 feet from wingtip to wingtip and was placed in December 2015. Lewis-Roark is possibly the only woman sculpture who also runs her own foundry.

 Our art tour of Grapevine then went to the Texas Star Dinner Theater for a performance of the Lone Star Murder Mystery where everyone gets involved in the show. We concluded our day at the Settlement to City Museum where I sat in the One Room Schoolhouse and was amazed by the collection of history objects. Thank you to Grapevine for arranging an amazing day of art. I loved being able to interview two women artists from Texas–here is the video:
One night after a champagne reception, we were treated to a ride on the Jazz and Wine Train! Everyone enjoyed the experience and I even got to be part of the band!

I hope you apply for TMS 2017 in Cabarrus, North Carolina and that I see you there. Happy Writing! Lisa Niver

This article was first published on The Huffington Post. More of our adventures in Grapevine will be in Part 2 of Travel Media Showcase 2016.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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