I’m a big fan of conferences as this is where you learn and meet new people. I’ve been to countless conferences and learned many thing and met many people. Has it worked? You bet it has!
Always remember that you are a part of the Press so you should register as such. Also, you can apply to speak at these conferences as well.
There are several throughout the year so I strongly recommend finding one you can afford (many are free) and attending it. I’ve listed a few that I recommend below, and you can find even more by searching for “Travel Conferences.” If I missed any, please leave them in the comment section and I will add them to the list:
- CES – If your niche is technology as it relates to travel, this conference is a must for you. I’ve been going for years now and every year is a blast. It’s held in Las Vegas in January of each year. It used to be called Comdex, but I think they went belly up and were taken over by CES. Same stuff, just a different name.
- Matka – Held in Finland especially for bloggers to work with the Finnish Tourist Board
- Destinations, the holiday and travel show – Held in Manchester, England.
- Adventure Travel Conference – Held in London, England. This is a trade-only business development and networking event for companies and individuals who is into adventure travel.
- Adventure Travel Show – Held in London England. Dedicated to traveling off the beaten path.
- Affiliate Summit – Held in Las Vegas, NV. If you are interested in making money via Affiliate marketing – and you should – then this is a great conference to meet Affiliates and explore things that can possibly make you some income.
- New York Times Travel Show – Sponsored by the New Times, this show is held in New York City at the Jacob K. Javits Center. It’s worth going as you can talk with many Tourism Boards from different countries, plus see a bit of New York City while you are there. It’s like a mini-World Travel Market (see below).
- Women’s Travel Fest – Held in San Francisco, late February.
- International Media Marketplace – Held in London, its a great place to meet brands that are interested in the travel space.
- ITB – The World’s Leading Travel Show they say. Very similar to World Travel Market in London, but bigger it is worth it if you want to meet with Destination Marketing Organization from around the world.
- SXSW – It’s called South By South West and this party-fest is held in Austin, TX in March each year. The tickets are pricey, but if you can find a hotel go as there are plenty of parties at the local bars, hotels, etc. The conference showcases social media, music and technology, to name a few. Many Tech announcements are made here. If you have a newfangled product, this is a great place to launch it. Plus, you get to meet many other bloggers as well.
- Social Media Marketing World – Held in San Diego, CA, this conference has all the heavy hitters in an Social Media marketing. If you want to u your game and meet the influential people in this area, this is the conference to attend. Can’t make it in person? Get a virtual ticket.
- Eye For Travel TDS Europe
- North America Travel Journalist Association
- Traverse – Held in the U.K. annually
- Women in Travel – A travel conference for female travel bloggers.
- WTM Latin America – This is the southern hemisphere version of the main WTM in London. It is usually held annually in April in Sao Paolo, Brazil. This is a great place to meet Direct Marketing Organizations primarily in the Latin markets.
- Arabian Travel Market – If you are looking for information for the Middle East, then this is a good conference to attend.
- Phocuswright Europe – Phocuswright is pretty big in the travel sphere. Usually they have an entire area at conferences like ITB. It’s great to get trend information as well as meet heavy hitters in the industry.
- IPW – This is a travel marketplace show held in the U.S. They only have a limited number of spaces, so apply early.
- Travel Media Association of Canada
- BlogHer Conference – A conference for female bloggers.
- ComicCon – This is just a fun convention to attend. If you are a sci-fi geek or comic book geek, then you should attend. Not much networking, but you have to have some fun and you get to meet the stars of your favorite old shows. If nothing you get some Instagram photos, tweets and a blog post out of it.
- TBEX Europe – Held in different parts of Europe each year
- World Domination Summit – Held in Portland each year, it is hosted by Chris Guillebeau, who has visited all the countries in the world. I heard about this conference postfacto in 2012 when I saw tweets of other travel bloggers attending. So I kept abreast and signed up early in 2013 for the July 2013 conference. It was a blast. I’ve met Chris twice, actually at a TBEX conference where he spoke and also at his “End of The World Party” in Oslo, Norway. He’s a great guy. I’ve attended in 2014 and 2015 as well.
- Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – I’ve not attended this one, but its airline travel focused for the business travel sector of the industry.
- Podcast Movement – Its about all you want to know about podcasting. They usually have some heavy hitters in the podcasting arena keynoting.
- Affiliate Summit – If you are interested in making money via Affiliate marketing – and you should – then this is a great conference to meet Affiliates and explore things that can possibly make you some income.
- Book Passage Travel Writes and Photographers Conference
- Travel Media Showcase
- Visit Europe Media Exchange (VEMEX) – held in various cities
- Adventure Travel World Show
- ProBlogger Event – These are held by Darren Rowse from Australia. Darren is pretty big in the blogging sphere with a huge following on his Digital Photography School blog. He’s also one of the nicest person I’ve met. The Conference is a great excuse to visit Australia and usually Darren teams up with the local Tourism Office to offer blog trips. He also holds other conferences around Australia throughout the year.
- Social Travel Summit – Free for bloggers if you can demonstrate your social media prowess. Held in different places each time.
- TBD Italy
- ITB Asia – Singapore. A great place to meet travel contacts in Asia.
- Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)
- TBEX Asia – Manila, Phillipines
- WTM London – Held in London in November, this conference brings together many Direct Marketing Organizations. It’s a great place to meet sponsors for your blog if that’s what you are looking for. The networking possibilities are endless here as many bloggers do attend this event. It’s like having the entire world under one roof. Despite the cold November temperatures in London, it’s worth it.
- PhocusWright – Annual travel industry trends conference.
Conferences that Runs Multiple Times/Year Or Are Online
- Book Shows – A great place to see the publishers, large book stores, authors, just about anyone in the book publishing business. So if you are thinking of writing a book, this would be a good place to hang out. When I attended BlogWorld in New York, there was one in the same building and our conference passes allowed us to attend that event. It was enlightening to see how it works. I was also able to talk to a few of the publishing houses and met a few travel authors.
- Brendon Burchard Total Product Blueprint/Expert Academy – I attended his course so I could learn about how to put myself out there and what kind of products I can make to share my knowledge. Plus I wanted to see how different conferences are run. He does pretty well at his conferences. Pretty insane. His courses are expensive, but I did one of them and got access to another, 2-for-1, so not a bad deal.
- TMS Family Travel – All about family travel
- Travel Adventure Show – These are held throughout the year in several U.S. cities.
- Local Meetups – Check Meetups.com for local events. There are usually many of these going on in any one city each week.
- Local Entrepreneurial Meetups – I’ve only attended one of these in Houston and it was really very good. It gave me a chance to talk to entrepreneurs in my city and understand their needs. I also made contacts to whom I can either refer or request information. I found out about this one from attending a local computer geek conference. You can check Meetup.com to find these as well.
- WordCamp – If you use WordPress as your blogging platform, then this is an excellent way to meet some local talent. You may even find someone to help you with your site if you do need help. The cost is usually minimal in comparison to the information you receive; plus the obvious networking. If you can get tickets attend the one in San Francisco, CA as that’s usually the biggest one and you may get to meet one of the guys (Matt) who created the software. I first met him in Houston, TX as he came home for a local meetup.