I heard it on the grapevine that the World Travel Market (WTM) London was the travel event to attend. So, I promptly booked my tickets. The kids have been asking to move beyond holidaying in the UK. Trinidad & Tobago or Mauritius should be our natural choices for our first oversea trip but I wanted to explore other options. Additionally, I was eager to find out more about the travel industry, travel blogging and what opportunities were available to micro influencers. What did I find? Well… I got: holiday inspiration, a better understanding of the industry and what’s expected of infulencers. Overall, my first WTM London was a success.
I always commute into London but WTM was one of the largest press events I’ve ever attended. Hats off to the staff of the London Underground and DLR, they worked hard to ensure delegates’ travel went as smooth a journey as possible. My journey was virtually stress free due to their efficiency ensuring passengers knew where to get on and off for WTM.
Pre-event WTM was also quite good at giving suggestions for accommodations, along with details how to get to the venue.
Excel London was easy to get to. It’s a massive facility with great lighting, ample toilets, and eateries, free Wi-Fi and disable access and so on. WTM London transformed the space into a global dreamland with countries from all the continents showcasing their attractions.
WTM London featured:
- Inspiration Areas
- Agency Pavilion
- Travel Tech
- Luxury Travel
- Responsible Tourism
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The joy of travel: learning something new about a country and it’s culture you never knew. I was drawn to the sound of music, ended up at the #philippines stand. To my untrained ears when I first heard the music I thought it was Mexican or Italian, untill I found the stand and saw the performance … well, now I know what #filipino music sounds like and it’s beautiful 🤗 #wtmlondon #wtmtravels #traveltuesday #thetigertales
I attended WTM London on Day 2. I meet up with Caroline of Travel Eat Slay and Sonia Greyson-Newman (blog of the same name). Sonia and I were new to the show so Caroline took us under her wing. We attended a couple seminars together (The Next Two Years of Infulencer Platforms and Tourism and Brexit Britain) before splitting up later in the day. Together Sonia and I ended our day at the Content Is Still King seminar followed by visiting a view stands.
On Day 3, I was primarily on my own. However, I did arrange to meet up with award winning influencer Kacie of The Rare Welsh Bit blog. I also ran into another award winning influencer, Ursula of Caribbean & Co. It was inspiring listening to their experiences. They helped me to be more confident at the event.
I had the pleasure of having lunch at the Greek stand, at their invitation, on that day. It was delectable. They served dishes from the Ionian Islands and would you believe salt fish (salted cod) was front and centre. One day soon, I’ll try to create their Fried Cod & Garlic Dip and the Salted Cod Orzoto. In the queue, I struck up a conversation with travel blogger, Olivia from Guide to Adventure and another blogger who backpacks solo. It was great not to dine alone but also share experiences.
My WTM London experience drew to a close at the Caribbean Tourism Authority Sunset Hour party. Naturally, there was Soca music and rum punch. For a moment, I forgot it was a chilly autumn day in London. The vibe was nice man. At the party I met the charming Leanne Goddard. She’s the current reigning Ms Trinidad & Tobago. Trinis have a natural warmth and charm that immediately makes you relax. Those few minutes with Leanne felt like home.
FYI Micro Infulencers
In terms of the seminars, there’s so much to share. The bare bones of my take away points as a micro influencers were as follows, in nor particular order:
- There are brands and service providers that will work with micro infulencers
- Be authentic
- Find the media channel you are most comfortable with and build it
- As a travel blogger, the best practice is to put the destination at the centre of the narrative (it’s not about selfies, think like a traveller -what information is important?- )
- Video content will continue to grow (vertical video/ 90 degree filming; think Insta, snapchat etc.) and YouTube is great for capturing stats
- Wellness Travel will continue to grow (there are many opportunities to include wellness into the travel experience)
- Be responsible when taking photos taking, get a good example (no death by selfie)
In the coming months I’ll be sharing more about what I’ve learnt at WTM. Stay tuned.
Did you attend WTM London 2018, or any others in the past? What were your highlights? Comment below.