I remember meeting up with a couple of travel blogger friends three years ago at an afternoon tea event and they ask me the big question “Are you going to WTM?”. You can probably only imagine the look on their faces when I didn’t know what WTM was. WTM stands for World Travel Market and it is a yearly exhibition where hotels, tourism boards, hoteliers, airlines and tour companies attend. Everyone who attends has a different reason to attend, but i’m focusing this post on why it may beneficial for us travel bloggers to attend.
After hearing about WTM three years ago, I had just missed the closing of the registration to sign up which usually opens around June and closes shortly before WTM starts in November. Therefore, in 2016 I attended my first ever WTM and as someone who was new to the travel blogging scene and didn’t have anyone to guide me through how it worked, it was a minefield.
Having learned the hard way through trial and error, I knew exactly what I needed to do for my second round of WTM to come most prepared and get the most out of the three days on offer. I only went for the Monday and Tuesday this year, as I had many interviews on both days I was attending, which positively left me with a flat battery after the consecutive two days.
As I was very much aware that even this year, WTM was very much a new thing for many travel bloggers and there were many questions asked, so I going to try and cover every point as best as I can in hope everyone wishing to attend next year has a better insight.
Do I have to register for World Travel Market?
Yes, in order to attend World Travel Market, pre-event registration must be completed as ‘press’ or ‘media’. The registrations open around June, however you can sign up with your email address now in order to get notified. That way you won’t forget.
How does World Travel Market benefit travel bloggers?
World Travel Market brings an influx of PR’s and marketers from all around the globe, it is a chance to showcase your brand and blog in order to secure a mutual collaboration with various tourism boards, hotels and airlines. I have always found that face to face discussions about collaborations have a 50% higher success rate than those discussed over email.
How can I prepare for World Travel Market?
If I were to give anyone who is an existing WTM attendee or a newbie, these are four tips I would share to prepare best for WTM:
- Use the WTM portal to pitch to those who you would wish to have an appointment with and leave your email address so they can contact you directly.
- Create a media kit, that showcases your blog in a short, snappy bite size piece with all the relevant information.
- Have fresh business cards ready that have your social media handles, email and blog branding on.
- Create a short presentation that can be show during your meetings, this should include about your blog, brands you have worked with, testimonials, your stats (social media and blog) and how they can work with you. Most people will ask you to email it to them after WTM, for their reference.
What should I wear to World Travel Market?
Dress in business or smart clothing, after all you are representing your brand. You want people to take you seriously, therefore dress for the occasion. On my first day of WTM this year, I wore a smart blazer, white t-shirt, fitted jeans and smart black loafers. On the second day, I wore a blazer, a shirt, trousers and loafers. Gents, if you wish to go if suits you won’t look out of place I promise. Ladies, you can be a bit more flexible, but wearing a smart blouse, skirt/trousers and dolly shoes would be fine. Equally should you wish to wear a dress and heels, there will be many other ladies wearing the same. Just ensure whatever you decide to wear, you are comfortable in it and will be able to walk around 20,000-30,000 steps in the shoes you decide on.
Is it still beneficial to go if I didn’t get any appointments?
Definitely! When I visited WTM in 2016, I had one appointment and I made my way round all the stands I wished to work with. I wasn’t as prepared in 2016 as I was this year, which is why I felt not much came of my first visit to WTM. However, I did observe my surroundings and how others approached the PR’s and marketers and came back prepared in 2017. Even this year, I didn’t manage to get appointments to all the tourism boards I had wished to work with. Many of them had filled up quite quickly but meeting don’t generally take the full 30 minutes allocated, so you will often find the relevant people free from time to time.
Most of the stands have drinks drop in sessions and conferences you can join, which is another great way to meet the relevant PR’s and marketers.
Whilst you’re there it would be also worth checking out some of the talks put on by the likes of Traverse, Bloggers, Vloggers and PR agencies. They are great to learn new tips and techniques, for example on how to pitch better, how to improve your social media presence and so many more helpful talks.
Will I be able to store my suitcases, luggage and coats?
Yes, there are cloakrooms at both sides of the ExCel London but there is a charge of £1 per item. However, there is a press room specifically for bloggers and journalists which has its own cloakroom and it is free to use.
I hope this guide was helpful to anyone who wishes to attend World Travel Market 2018. If you have any further questions, please do email me.
Until next time…