This coming November I am headed to London for the biggest travel event in the world, World Travel Market. There will be over 45,000 attendees from over 190 countries in attendance. There will be tourism boards, tour companies, airlines, hotel groups, restaurant and travel bloggers like myself. It is the perfect opportunity to interact with hundreds of individuals in the travel industry and to make connections for the future.
The main purpose of my trip is to meet with tourism boards, hotel groups, airlines and travel bloggers. Each day, I have over a dozen appointments to discuss with each of these companies about visiting the destinations they represent. My goal is to line up the next decade of my travels. Besides the appointments I have arranged, I will also use my time between meetings to walk through the convention and introduce myself to many other representatives.
I have also been invited to two special events- a networking event with Travel Bloggers Unite and the Hostel Bookers Travel Bloggers Awards. Both events will be filled with Travel Bloggers, which is what I have been looking forward to for years!
Here are some of my friends in the biz who I will be meeting up with: Marcello: Wandering Trader, David: GoBackpacking, Nellie: Wildjunket, Melvin: Travel Dudes, Ana: Mrs. O Around the World, and Gary: Everything Everywhere.
I thought it would be a great idea to create a documentary-style video series about why World Travel Market is a MUST event for every travel industry professional. The videos leading up to the trip will highlight my preparations. The first video I created is titled “Why World Travel Market?” It explains the reasons why I am heading to London and a bit of info about myself for anyone who doesn’t know me already.
The next few videos will be about putting together my schedule for World Travel Market. It’s simple: I need to wake up around 2:15 a.m. to get to the office by 3 a.m. in order to get in contact with all the Asia/Middle East/Africa and Europe tourism offices. For most countries in Asia, 3 a.m. Eastern Standard is 3 p.m. their time.
In the first video about scheduling my days, I take you into my world on how to put this together. I find that the hardest part is that many tourism boards don’t speak English, making it difficult to set up meetings with some of the Asian countries.
As you see, I start piecing the schedule together. After one night of cold calling, I managed to schedule my first day at WTM. Since then, I have done more late night calls, which have proven to be successful.
Here is the second video of my middle of the night calling, which was also a great success!
What my schedule looks like right now (as of October 26th).
I will be following up with tourism boards that have not yet responded, and making a few more sleepy-eyed calls during the next three weeks.
There will be a few more videos about scheduling my meetings, and after that I invite you to follow along with me during my journey to London. I booked my apartment with Wimdu, which saved me a fortune in comparison to getting a hotel during this event. I will be getting many tourism boards and travel bloggers on camera to tell me a little about themselves and why they have chosen to be at World Travel Market. I want the series to show travel professionals that this is the ideal event to attend to make vital contacts.
As I create more of these videos, I will be posting them to this blog post. To get updates right away please subscribe to my Youtube Channel. I know this is going to be an event that changes my life forever and takes my company into a new direction for 2013 and beyond.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Join me on my mission to conquer World Travel Market 2012!