The World Travel Market, the world’s largest travel trade show after ITB Berlin, is held each year at the beginning of November in London. “Do you still go there, Elena?” Is it really worthwhile, some of my friends & fellow travel industry members are asking me after my fourth visit there this year. Well, yes. I do. What I truly believe in as part of these large gatherings of travel professionals are the so-called “corridor conversations“: Small talks with an enormous potential to lead to future business. As in, “Oh, hello Elena, good to see you again, in actual fact, I was meant to contact you anyway, we have this project / An idea / Do you know someone who … Oh, you do that (too)?!”
And so it goes. Over dinner or over coffee, at one of the exhibitors’ booths or at the Press Centre. Last summer’s TBEX Travel Bloggers Exchange in Stockholm, Sweden for instance has planted the seeds of my participance as a speaker in the #NBEFinland Nordic Bloggers Experience in Helsinki in early 2017: My dear friend Inna-Pirjetta Lahti and I have now closed the final deal over joining up again in London. Same with the Costa Brava Tourism Board, who I now work with on a major campaign involving creative travel #inCostaBrava in the spring of 2017: Moltes gràcies, Jaume i Gemma, for all your trust and support in this project! It has been honouring to land in London straight from Montréal, after spending well over two months in Canada and still “hitting the ground running” speaking Catalan during my business negotiation with you. Merci, you wonderful people from the south! You truly bring the sunshine wherever you go, i em fa molta il.lusió continuar a treballar amb vosaltres!
“If there was a heart to this community, it’d be you, Elena. Both you and Inna. You two really bring out the sunshine.”
Alastair McKenzie’s words, one of our true & trusted founding members of the digital travel publishing community, still ring in my ears, causing my heart to flood with emotion. Thank you so much for all that trust, dear Alastair. I see it as my honour, and happiness, to continue sharing, networking & learning from some of the best, most inspirational travel people around me, and why not do business based on heartfelt trust and longterm, mutually beneficial relationships? Here are some of the ones I truly count on among my own networks, and was glad for the opportunity to catch up with, at this year’s World Travel Market in London. Check this out.
As far as this year’s learning curve is concerned, there has been a rather interesting talk about “YouTube & the continuing rise of video”, presented by the team @Traverse at London World Travel Market’s “Inspire Theatre”.
Know your niche, find your target, leverage off established messages from your partners: The keys to successful travel video publications are not necessarily new, but rather read like a to-do list that can be applied to almost any kind of (digital) travel publications. Here is a short summary of what has been said that day, including a statement from each of the panel’s participants:
- Stick to a certain consistency in (video) publications: Keep doing what you are doing. Be yourself. Be original.
- Find your niche. Have a unique angle. Stand out.
- Originality: “If it’s your first video, then think about: Who are you talking to?” Do something that you see yourself doing for years! Enjoy yourself!
- It is all about you telling a story. Think about what you would like to watch!
- Get involved in a community. Follow people at similar levels, learn from the like-minded, contribute to possible collaborations, etc.
- Think about timing, such as an event in your community. What is it that you could possibly contribute?
Have a look here in order to watch the entire session on YouTube, really recommended for some of its key messages from top vloggers and digital (travel video) influencers:
“Most people (still) think: Doing video is expensive. Lengthy, time-intense. However, Social Media videos are nothing like that, where post production has shrunk from several weeks to a day! Technology nowadays makes it possible to shoot great video anywhere, all the time. Do seek commission work from vloggers. It really is the way forward.”
Last but not least, let me give you a “Creative Tourism” update. My kind of update, as expressed by the World Travel Market hosting a session called “Creative Tourism: A Necessary Update”. Well done, Caroline Couret & the entire Creative Tourism Network!
It is lovely, and touching, to walk into a conference room at the London World Travel Market knowing it is full of people with exactly the same mindset, interest, and values in travel. Well over a hundred have come (again) this year to join our creative travel session, where even the tourism director of such a prestigious travel destination as Tuscany, Italy (!) speaks of the “importance to re-evaluate” and “focus on niche forms of cultural tourism, such as creative tourism, for our destination …”. This is honouring, and sends out a great message worldwide: Creative travel has long become a globally recognised travel trend that is being picked up more & more around the world – as my recent experience travelling in Canada has also shown.
Curious to see who else was here? Here are all of my photographs of this year’s London World Travel Market: