Six Things I Learned at Arival

by | Oct 1, 2018

The past week at Arival was exhausting, exhilarating, and awesome for the entire Arival team. Here are six things I learned at Arival. What about you?


  1. Titles Don’t Matter. Most Arival attendees are CEOs, whether they don the title or not. Some may be owner/operators of small businesses, but they have to meet payroll and make the same tough decisions as executives at big public companies. That’s why you’ll never see a “VIP” reception at Arival, or different badges for speakers and attendees like there are at other conferences. Every Arival attendee is a VIP. 


  2. Answer, Please. Whether you’re the CEO or a tour guide, or both, you want answers. You may not like the answer, but you will respect it. You need to know, so you can make the business decisions you need to. 


  3. The Hot Seat Really Is Hot. The executives from TripAdvisor, Expedia, Airbnb, Big Bus, Google and Booking who took to the stage for our Ask Me Anything interviews are in a tough spot. They have many constituents to serve. They have to make tough decisions that affect many and not everyone will agree with them or like it. Being on stage like that is not easy. It’s high pressure. We should all thank each of them for stepping in and stepping up. Arival is about real and respectful dialogue that affects us all. 


  4. No Time for Small Talk. Two of the most talked-about sessions tackled really big issues: Akila McConnell of Atlanta Food Walks took on the topic of race and racism, and Dan Dipiazzo of SeaWorld walked us through the PR onslaught his company faced and how they powered through it. Hats off to both. And to all of you for embracing them. 


  5. Arival Has the Best Attendees. I’ve been to far too many conferences, and I’ve never seen a community come together, support each other and have as much fun as I did this past week. This is more than just a community. It’s the In-Destination Industry. It’s the Best Part of Travel. 


  6. Your Opinions Matter More than Ours. This is Your Arival, and I’m much more interested in what you have to say. Email me at [email protected] with your hitlist of learnings, and we will publish them on (let us know if you want us to disclose your name or keep it confidential). Let’s share what we’ve learned with our community.

Keep an Eye Out:

We are preparing our attendee survey and will send it soon. We need your feedback to make your Arival twice as good (yes, TWICE AS GOOD) in 2019.


























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