A few months ago if someone had mentioned World Travel Market or WTM to me I would have stared blankly back at them.
I learned more over the months leading up to the event that takes place at the Excel Centre in London from 7th to 10th November. So much so that I headed to the capital with a game plan as to who I wanted to approach. That plan soon went out of the window!
So what is World Travel MarketThe World Travel Market is the opportunity for travel companies from around the globe to build links with countries, PR companies, the Press and other travel companies.
This year travel bloggers had their opportunity to put their perspective forward in a specific session on "How Working with Travel Bloggers Can Increase Sales and Brand Visibility", as organised by Travel Bloggers Unite.
Admittedly this was the main reason for me attending, I wanted to see what the future holds for travel bloggers in an industry that until recently appeared oblivious to bloggers.
Meeting Bloggers at Visit Florida and a Bulgarian LunchArriving around midday I made my way to the Visit Florida stand who had arranged a meetup of bloggers to talk to PR and tourist boards of the Florida region.
This was my first opportunity to speak to a tourist board directly and to be honest I pretty much fluffed it. Trying to sell my blog doesn't come easy but I'm learning.
I found myself tagging along to the Bulgarian lunch held in a nearby hotel. Following an interesting speech by the tourism minister for Bulgaria it was time to mingle with the PR people. This time I found it easier and hopefully that came across.
The "How Working with Travel Bloggers Can Increase Sales and Brand Visibility" SessionMaking our way back to the World Travel Market and to the room for the bloggers session the queue outside took everyone by surprise and it ran along the corridor. The room became packed as we listened firstly to Juame from Costa Brava on the success of a recent blog trip he had set up that invited bloggers to the region.
It was interesting to hear from the other side of what we do. I hear good and bad stories from fellow bloggers but this was the first opportunity for me to hear how it had worked from the provider's perspective.
Hopefully Janice and Keith have highlighted how vital bloggers can be over the coming years in helping tourism boards reach the people that want to visit their country.
Though a manic and tiring day it was worth the short visit mainly to get an idea of what is expected as a blogger when attending such large scale events.
And next year I know what to expect and will come ready for action!
Where you at the World Travel Market in London? What were your expectations? What did you get out of the visit?