It was the most beautiful time of the entire trade show “Ferienmesse Wien”. “Do they offer free goodies here?”, is what visitors passing the stand of Creative Tourism Austria might have been thinking, watching about 30 journalists & travel bloggers gather for an interesting networking event at the largest travel trade show of Austria. Finally we meet! Nice to see you here. Thanks for coming! Tine says: “Here’s another beer for you!” offering each participant some good old Austrian Stiegl beer from Salzburg. Stiegl brewery is a member of the Creative Tourism Austria network and offers such exciting travel experiences as learning how to brew your own beer in Salzburg. After brewing our own beer in the city of Salzburg last year, I really want to go back and repeat the experience. On this day, Tine and her colleague Stephanie meet the collective of the Austrian travel bloggers for the first time: “We hope you come and see us soon! Of course, we are interested in further successful cooperation.”
Journalists ask, travel bloggers answer. And vice versa. It is good to see that the media landscape slowly grows together joining forces – in the light of creativity, a happy atmosphere and (most likely) the excellent Salzburg Stiegl beer.
I have already “met” Florian, of Travel Pins, by him joining my blog parade in November 2013 – finally we also meet in person. The same happens here at the travel blogger gathering with Tamara Bogner, who writes on www.coupledays.at. Working in the Social Media content department, she talks about her interesting professional goals. With Gudrun Krinzinger (reisebloggerin.at) & Angelika Mandler (Wiederunterwegs.com), we have already shared many a creative blogtrip together. Besides us online travel writers, there is also a growing number of “blogging journalists” or bloggers with a background in journalism, PR or Social Media present at the networking event – once more a sign that the borders between traditional and new media journalism are starting to blur.
My dear Austrian colleague Günter Exel is an example for this trend – he rose from a “classic journalist” to one of the country’s top networking & digital (Twitter) experts. Once, you find him tweeting live from the Vienna Travel Trade show, then again from Asia, then the World Travel Market in Brazil. Cool thing! We sure can learn a lot from Günter. Brigitte Pfisterer, of Nethotels.com also approaches me in a constructive way: “Elena, how can one support you?” I get so happy over this kind of comments and feedback, showing after all that “our travel blogging activities” are taken more and more serious.
Last but not least, I want to say a big word of Thank you to Charlotte Ludwig, of PRPlus, who since our meeting at the ReiseSalon Travel Trade show last year has turned out to be an active, key networking person between the travel industry and travel bloggers in Austria: Being the experienced tourism and PR expert she is, this is a very valuable sign of support to all of us. Cooperation efforts such as these where many years of experience pair up with fresh energy are what makes long-term, sustainable efforts for all parties possible. We hope to set internationally renowned, positive examples for such cooperation. Exciting news, in any case!