World Travel Market is a huge exhibition about travel and tourism where countries show off what they have to offer and tour operators deal with each other. Travel Bloggers have their little space in-between those businessman and professionals. I got a Press badge for the duration of the exhibition covering Monday 3rd to Thursday 7th November 2013. In those days, I have learnt a lot about blogging, travelling and how to get attention and be taken seriously as a travel blogger. So here a little report with some useful tips for fellow bloggers.
Firstly, I have attended a party on Monday night at Double Tree by Hilton where I have met lot of professionals, travellers, travel bloggers and agents. The next day, I have been to WTM starting with exploring bit by bit and grabbing some free gadgets and some delicious food. From stand to another, I felt like travelling the world within seconds, two gigantic halls with all countries and territories from the Caribbean to Scandinavia! The 3rd day was great as it wasn’t that much crowded however the last day was empty and quite boring but anyway… here my top tips for WTM and what I have learnt from it.
- – Blog in your native language: I’m from Morocco therefore my native language is Moroccan Arabic and French but I’m blogging in English. Apparently, that is not the best way to get a regular audience as there are loads of people from USA, UK, Australia or wherever they speak fluent English writing about travelling but in my country there are no travel bloggers so no competition and chances to be the pioneer in the industry. That would attract an exclusive audience from Morocco, North Africa and French speaking countries even from the Middle East.
- – Have a business card: The first day I attend WTM I wasn’t taken seriously by anyone really… as I didn’t have a business card. It shows motivation, professionalism and also makes it easier to exchange contact details. At the middle of my second day at WTM, I ordered a set of 200 business cards to take the rest of the WTM and I noticed that it really made it easier to have people’s trust in my blog.
- – Be professional: Having a professional attitude helps to get attention and respect from others… Few times I said that I’m a student but I blog as a hobbie: wrong! That proves a negligent attitude towards my own status as Travel blogger.
- – Try to convince potential sponsors: It seems fairly difficult to approach exhibitors and try to convince them why they would sponsor your trip. My approach is firstly show interest in the product/destination/company, have a quick friendly chat and then ask if they do trips for bloggers to test their products or tours, if they say yes, they are likely to be interested in checking out your blog. If they say no, then it’s time to make them interested in your blog… say what do you blog about, say what you would exactly offer in exchange of free stuff and who is your audience (country, age range, stats…). Exchange business cards and e-mail them later.
- – Advertising is important: I have learnt this week that advertising is very important in the industry of travelling so if a blog does well in audiences then it will surely generate a profit for its owner either by mentionning products or companies names or by advertising through Google Ads.
- – Talk to everyone!: Don’t be shy everyone is generally happy to help and ready to inform about the industry.
- – Tweet a lot: I have noticed that people from the travel and blogosphere tweet a lot, very actively. They know when using the right hashtag at the right time to tweet. Social medias are very important and generate high parts of audiences, a like, a retweet, a follower is an asset for your blog.
- – Dress to impress: Don’t dress as you are just coming from a backpacking trip in the Bolivian desert. A suit and tie is suggested for WTM but you can avoid it with something else just keep your outfit simple, professional and appropriate.
- Don’t miss Miss…: Every country promotes its tourism in a different way some brought their most beautiful women! I have met Miss Gibraltar, Miss Seychelles, Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Miss Tourism Indonesia and Miss Tourism Kazakhstan. They are always happy to take a picture and have a quick chat. A part from the beauty queens, some politicians make their apperances such as tourism ministers and ambassadors. Plus, I have heard a famous footballer was there too!