A big part of becoming a Travel Blogger is networking and when you think you’ve done networking, network some more. The World Travel Market being held in London, England at the Excel Center from 5-8 November, 2012 is an excellent place to do this.
I first went to WTM last year (2011) on a suggestion from Gary Arndt from Everything-Everywhere.com whom I’d met at BlogWorld in Los Angeles and he was also heading there. I went online and looked up the details, contacted my friend who lives in London and got it all worked out. Prior to that I had no idea it all existed.
WTM 2011 was one of the better conferences I’ve ever attended. The networking was intense (more about that later) and it had really good sessions albeit in somewhat small rooms so the lines were pretty long to get in. Also, you had to stalk out your space as the interest in some of the sessions was insane. But all with good reason as this conference delivers. And guess what its free! Just fill out a detailed registration form and you are in. Here is a list of the travel blogger-related sessions you don’t want to miss this year. I’m an airline geek, so I’ll try to attend some of the airline sessions hoping they won’t conflict wit the travel blogger sessions. The full list of event can be seen here.
It also has exhibits from countries all over the world. Its sheer craziness. I certainly did not even have time to visit all the exhibitors, but I sure tried.
In addition to all this, there are parties after the daily activities where you can mingle and meet other travel bloggers and influencers. It was great to meet people whom I’d only read about online and just also met for the very first time. It was there that I met Nomadic Matt, Janice from Solo Traveler and Travel Bloggers Unite’s Oliver.
There was also a number of other parties where we all got a chance to hang out with each other and got to know bloggers a bit more. It was all a lot of fun and totally worth it.
One of my fond memories of the event though is the scavenger hunt that was put on by Travel Trails. This was a special event and I really enjoyed it. I got special mention as I did the hunt without a smartphone to guide me and still finished it. The pot of gold was at a bar in the Shoreditch area where you got to meet and mingle with other travel bloggers. I made many contacts there which I have to this day.
If you don’t have a friend to stay with, you will need a place to stay. Here are some Affiliates for you to choose from; two (9flats.com and Enjoy Bed and Breakfast) of them I met last year at WTM:
In case you need one you may use these links.
- 9flats.com finds places in locals homes (met at WTM 2011)
- Airbnb.com finds places in local homes
- hotels.com – finds all kinds of accommodations worldwide
- Enjoy Bed and Breakfast – finds bed and breakfasts worldwide (met at WTM; not an affiliate link).