The World Travel Market is a massive travel trade show held in London yearly. If you are a travel blogger, this is a great event to network and meet with Tourist Boards, Travel PRs and other travel bloggers. The show is absolutely massive it will take at least a couple of days to get through it. To get the most out of the show, you really need to have a game plan. Here are some tips on how to prepare before going to WTM.
- Business cards
- Bring a lot of business cards as you never know how many people you will meet. I have just ordered a new batch of mini cards from my favourite printer, Moo Cards.
- Update your media kit
- If you prepare your media kit before hand, have it ready to email to the people you have met. If you don’t have one yet, prepare a one pager with your contact information, some images, your stats and previous campaigns.
- Print your badge
- If you preregistered, you should print your badge before attending as this help you skip the queues and you can get off at a different DLR station.
- Be professional
- If you are going to WTM to meet with a lot of travel professionals, treat this like a business event and dress appropriately, smart casual or a simple dress. This leaves a lasting impression. Also wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking a lot.
- Arrange meetings before hand
- You can download the WTM app which shows you all the available press conferences and presentations happening at the show. You can use it to schedule meetings and keep your calendar. I find it quite clunky to use so I prefer to keep a printed version on hand with a map handy too, as it is not easy to find your way to all the various meetings.
- Set your schedule
- Check out the WTM presentations and press conferences that you want to attend and start by adding those to your schedule. Then arrange your other meetings around these keeping in mind that it takes at least 15 minutes to get from one place to another. Don’t forget to leave some time to wander around some of the other stands as they always have fun shows and displays to see.
- Press conferences and other sessions
- It is always useful to attend press conferences as you get to meet the representatives directly and get your questions answered. I find them quite informative but you need to pick the ones that interest your schedule will fill up quickly.
- Getting there
- The best way is by using the DLR. If you have registered and printed out your badge, you can take the DLR to the Prince Regent Station and get in through that entrance. If not, you will have to use the entrance the Custom House stop. At the end of the day, the platform gets very crowded. You might be better off taking the train one stop in the opposite direction and jump on there. You are more likely to get on the train that way.
- What to bring
- Download the Evernote app as you can use this to take pictures of business cards and it saves to your phone and can also simultaneously send a Linkedin invite. I also use it to write notes and take images of things to remind me of what I need to follow up with.
- Bring a portable power pack as you will be there all day and you won’t have time to stop to recharge your phone. I use this one by Varta which has 2 USB ports and enough power for 3 charges. A great feature is that it has been drop tested, you want one that is quite robust as you are carrying it around with you all the time.
- Bring a bottle or water and some snacks. There are a lot of food outlets at theEcxel but there are normally really long queues.
- Bring a large tote bag to keep all the brochure, cards and USB sticks that you will be collecting along the way.
- Use the press centre
- There is a room with a lot of press materials that you can collect. Most of the press conferences are held around the rooms at the press centre. There is a cloakroom here but at the end of the day, there is always a very long queue so be prepared. You can arrange meetings at the press centre but it is always very busy and not easy to get a table.
- Follow up
- After WTM, follow up with the new contacts that you have made via email. Also invite them to connect on Linkedin too. In the email, remind them about what you discussed and how you can work with them.
The first time at WTM is quite overwhelming, but go with a plan and be open to exploring new horizons and meetings lots of people who can help you with your travel blogging plans for the next year. If you can’t make it to WTM, you can come along to our next event as our guest speaker is Travel PR Julie who will talk about how travel bloggers can work with brands.
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