I'm not going to lie, I joined NATJA primarily because their 2019 conference was located within driving distance from me- not because of the organization, not because of any other member benefits, it was purely out of the convenience I have in getting to Syracuse (2019's host city).
My decision to do this came in 2018 when I quit my job to blog full-time. Around that time I made a conscious decision to start attending new conferences, because at a certain point if I want to grow I need to get outside of my comfort/knowledge zone to learn new topics and meet new people. (I like conferences like TBEX and Travelcon just fine, but I found myself only attending these for the networking opportunities- not the sessions.)
As such, I figured it was time to broaden my horizons when it came to conferences to see if I could get more out of the industry at large. The first was IMM in NYC, and now NATJA (the North American Travel Journalists Association) for their annual conference.
While I did not get anything at all out of the sessions (sadly), I have to say, it was a pretty nice trip all the same.