For a while now, I have taken travel blogging really seriously. I have been actively looking for opportunities to make an income out of my blogging. Sounds like a dream right? Well it is mine anyway. It's not easy, but I love all that comes with it. I love rolling out of bed to my computer screen to share away! Last year when I went to Blogtacular (best blogging event of the year), I heard about the World Travel Market for the first time from Monica, the founder of The Travel Hack. I wasn't sure about it, but since press go there for free I thought I will give it a try! It only happened last week, so I am not sure how it will impact my life still, but I am hopeful.
What is World Travel Market?
It's known as WTM and it's an annual event that happens every November in London, where tourism board, travel agencies, some hotels and other travel related brands come together in one place. There are also few talks about social media and other informative things that I found useful and enjoyable.
Why I went?
The short answer is to travel. The long answer is: the travel industry isn't easy to break into and events like these give you a chance to network and pitch yourself. That's exactly what I did. Plus, I made a few travel blogging friends, which is always a very nice thing.
How I did it?
I had my business cards and media packs in my bag and I just looked at the countries I really wanted to visit in the near future and went to their stand. As a newbie, I didn't book meetings online via the WTM website. People still took the time to talk to me. I would just go there and say this: "Hi I am just wondering if you guys work with travel bloggers. Is there a PR person I could talk to?" some people were very uninterested, but others wanted to have a chat. I noticed that when I had destinations and dates already planned and an actual travel plan and an area within the country, the PR team was more interested in hearing me out.
If you are considering going WTM next year, make sure you keep these points in mind:
- Business Cards!!
Don't even walk in there without them. You can to hand something to people when you start speaking to them.
- Media Packs for those who love numbers.
Some people I spoke to were interested, but wanted to know more about my numbers and demographics. For the event, I made a postcard size media packs that had: Facts about me, Demographics, Follower numbers on each social media, Audience chart.
- Attend the pre conference event
I think that's the best thing I did. I didn't know anyone and I just stepped into the room and then went to one of the tables that had four girls and introduced myself. We hung out the whole evening and then we met up the following week at WTM and supported each other emotionally while pitching ourselves to companies. The event was organised by Travers.
- Sign up for the special bloggers segment at WTM
I am so sad I didn't find about this until it was too late. The sign up for this was through the WTM website and the deadline was like two or three weeks prior. It's limited to 100 bloggers and it sounded like a seriously wonderful thing catered for travel bloggers.