Why WTM should be on the influencer radar.
Whether industries are happy about it or not, influencers/bloggers/ social media personalities are shaping a new way of looking at them. Across many boards, persons with a following are now working with the companies that were once reserved for people with money and traditional media.
But the majority of you who read this, will know that already.
I repeat this because over the last day or so, at my first World Travel Market (WTM) event in London, I have been having many conversations and been to a handful of talks. Some great, some average and some slightly unnerving. Talking to tourism representatives from all over the world, there were mixed reactions to the term “travel blogger”.
Many boards now understand the need for alternative methods of marketing their countries such as influencer marketing for their authenticity, creativity and interpretation. Others are unfortunately still reserved due to the backlash of teething problems that have happened in the last couple of years.
This morning alone, a few too many reps have outright asked “so you just want a free trip to write about” when, I know as a PR, there is actually a lot more that can be achieved. (Yet at the same time, I do know where this attitude is coming from…).
So why should WTM be on an influencer’s radar?
WTM is one of the largest travel conferences in the world. As bloggers we are given access to all three days of a conference that compacts the whole world into two huge rooms. It is a chance to get a taste of countries we had never considered before and learn about industry trends.
Make meaningful connections and start discussions. This is a big one for me. As I mentioned before, I have had some incredible conversations in the last day and a half, but there has also been some not so great misconceptions. After further conversation however, the feeling is slightly different. It is conversations like these that open up gateways for progress and opportunities to arise, not just for ourselves, but for social media personalities and freelancers in the future.
Meet other bloggers! Many stands at WTM will have their own events and after parties, but there are a select few companies, like Traverse, who also run socials for bloggers. From these alone, I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet so many other travel bloggers, who I would have probably never crossed paths with otherwise.
In getting to know other people from socials, it has made WTM as an experience seem less overwhelming and more like a family reunion - even for a first timer like myself.
The key message is that as much as the individual can get from WTM, there is also a lot that can be given and value to add.
Have you been to WTM?