IPW (formerly known as International Pow Wow) took place in Orlando, May 31-June 4. In preparation for New Orleans hosting the 2016 event, the CVB secured a triple booth and two public relations registrations.

All tourism sales managers were on-hand to facilitate and manage more than 200 appointments due to the increased level of interest for New Orleans.  Our booth backdrop, a 30-foot mosaic of the city made of Mardi Gras beads, caused amazing buzz throughout the show. Having the artist there to answer questions and give interviews was a huge success. Stephen Perry wowed the journalists at the press conference prompting many of the international journalists to proclaim ours as the best press conference they have seen at the show in years.

"The opportunity to host IPW 2016 is a game changer for international travel to New Orleans,” said Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our sales teams travel the globe to meet with travel professionals and encourage bookings to New Orleans. For IPW 2016, we will bring more than 4,000 travel professionals here to experience the destination – our innovative food, music and Jazz Bandstorybook architecture – firsthand. Through this one event, we expect millions of international travel dollars invested directly into the city’s and region’s economies for years to come.”

Kristian Sonnier and Lauren Cason organized a jazz band and brought a chef from New Orleans to provide an authentic experience.

In conjunction with the Atlanta and Nashville CVBs, New Orleans hosted our annual Rhythms of the South pre-event cocktail party for The United Kingdom buyers at IPW. This year was a huge success with more than 85 buyers attending.