Category Archives: Travel Conferences & Events

Registration Open for Women’s Travel Fest 2016

women's travel fest 2016

Registration is now open for next year’s Women’s Travel Fest. This three-day event will take place Friday March 4th through Sunday March 6th, 2016 at Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York City. The goal of Women’s Travel Fest is to inspire and encourage women to travel the world and help them connect with like-minded women travelers. Miki Agrawal, Annie Griffiths, and Megan McDonough are all scheduled to speak at the event.

Women’s Travel Fest was founded by Kelly Lewis of Go! Girl Guides and directed by Bare Feet host and filmmaker Mickela Mallozzi. To learn more about Women’s Travel Fest and to register, go to There’s good reason to move fast—early-bird pricing is available if you register before December 1st.

Check out the schedule here:

The New York Times Travel Show Recap

15NYTFri_0381 panel

From Friday January 23 to Sunday January 25, The New York Times Travel Show came to the Javits Center in New York City. Friday was the Travel Industry Conference Day and featured a number of seminars and panels directed at professionals in the travel industry, from travel agents, marketers, and tourism boards to travel journalists, filmmakers, and bloggers. Industry professionals were also allowed first access to the Exhibition Hall, which was filled with tables and displays from tourism boards from around the world. All the seminars on Trade Day provided interesting ideas on the current state of travel and what the future may hold. In the keynote panel (pictured above), David Pavelko of Google said that the growth of video would continue to be a major influence online—good news for Tripfilms!

I attended the Focus on Travel Media seminars and the Focus on Travel Bloggers seminar led by Michael Hodson (Trippy Award winner goseewrite on Tripfilms). What follows are just some notes from the presentations, but I think there are some gems in there that may be helpful to those hoping to gain insights shared by some of these leaders in the travel industry. Feel free to email me, connect on Twitter, or leave a comment below if you have any thoughts of your own to share on these topics!


What’s New and Relevant in Social Media
Sree Sreenivasan – chief digital officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art

See Sree’s slides here: 

It’s not how many or who follows you, it’s who follows who follows you.

Twiangulate – to find most influential followers
Crowdbooster – to find most loyal followers

Audiences are overstimulated, hyper-connected, overcommitted, culturally promiscuous, cynical, self-focused…but curious.
Social media’s dirty little secret: Almost everyone will miss almost everything you do on social media. Until you make a mistake.
@EricaAmerica: “If you are good in real life you can be great on Twitter.”

It takes effort. Everyone wants a peek behind the scenes. Mobile is more important than you think. Aim for useful, simple, delightful.

You have to help your audiences to understand, participate, and share. Use Timehop to help with #tbt

Use Twitter and Facebook widgets on your site so that it is updated every day.

Try to have a hashtag, photo, and mention in every tweet. Be generous.

“If you come to the Met, my kids eat.” Come to the Met. “What we’re really in is a battle for attention, and you gave me an hour.”

The Power of Influencers
Adrien Glover – deputy digital editor, Travel+Leisure

Instagram is emerging as an important influencer for travel.

Extreme travel instagrammers.

“Influence” varies from platform to platform. Who follows your followers? Micro-influencers. Travel + Leisure posts an average of 140 posts per day. “It is a lot of work but the results are huge.”

Johnny Jet – travel expert, editor in chief,

Johnny’s stories and experiences.

Use hashtags, mentions. Follow up, participate in Twitter chats, offer contests.

Paula Froelich – editor in chief, Yahoo Travel

You have to know who you are. Can you explain it in two sentences? Yahoo’s goal is to find the escapist in all of us. Over 70% of women are planning on taking a solo trip. You have to know the zeitgeist. It’s quality, not quantity of readers, followers. Go to people you respect and admire. At the end of the day, we are more powerful together than we are alone. Solo travel is small travel.

Facebook and Pinterest may be better at driving traffic. Add a photo, a video.. Video—it can be annoying if I have to spend 8 hours trying to research it.

Reinventing Travel Media
Jeremy Saum – executive editor, AFAR Media.

AFAR magazine: AFAR aims to be the voice of experiential travel. Inspire, guide, and enable travelers to have a deeper, richer experience. Their audience shares a mindset, not a particular demographic. The print magazine is the flagship. The meaning of travel. Not where you go but why you go. AFAR Custom, AFAR Collection, AFAR Experiences to connect offline too.

Monica Drake – travel editor, The New York Times

The New York Times has a long history covering travel, all the way back to a story in 1852 about a journey from NYC to Cincinnati. In the 1930s Travel got its own section in the The New York Times. Now it is a weekly section and lives online as well. There are four elements of the Travel section: 1) Beautiful narratives that inspire you to travel, 2) Service, which are informational pieces to assist travelers plan their travels, 3) News, and 4) Community. She used a piece by a fiction writer traveling in Norway as an example. 36 Hours.

See slides at

Simon Leslie – founder, Ink

Airline inflight magazines, Ink. 80% of passengers read the inflight magazine. Passengers also spent about 20 minutes on average reading inflight magazines.


michael hodson

How to Find and Work with Travel Bloggers
Michael Hodson – past president, Professional Travel Bloggers Association (PTBA)

Advantages of working with bloggers:

– Dedicated followers
– Live in social media
– Evangelists, not just content sources
– Timing/duration of content
– Can also be content creators
– Co-marketing campaign possibilities
– Developing relationships with bloggers as a future knowledge resource.
Other: – niche, language, target audience, style of content, content types

Qualitative Analysis of a Blog: design, self-hosted, niche, age of site, frequency of posting, appropriate content, photo v. video v. text, informational v. narrative, comments and interaction with readers

Numbers alone are NOT the key.

What social media platforms does a blogger use? Who are their followers? Are they contributing regularly? Are people interacting or just broadcasting?

Provide Google Analytics (industry standard) stats. If you want to work with travel bloggers, ask for stats, references, previous posts.

The PBTA –

Consult: what’s your niche? The more narrow, the better.

Good example: Facebook page

Try a contest or a giveaway to get people to sign up for newsletter.

Shoutout to Tripfilms!

The New York Times Travel Show 2015


The New York Times Travel Show takes place this weekend (January 23 – 25) at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. This annual conference is the largest and longest-running travel conference for consumers and travel industry professionals in North America, with hundreds of exhibitor booths in the Exhibition Hall and thousands of attendees. There will also be book signings, cooking demonstrations, and cultural presentations from countries around the world.

Are you going? Let’s meet up! Tripfilms community manager Jamie will be there for the Travel Industry Conference on Friday to soak up information on travel and social media. Please do get in touch: follow @jamieannindigo@tripfilms, and @HotelConfident to connect on Twitter. Would love to connect in person!

Partners in Paradise Travel Video Competition

partners in paradise

This year, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino hosted the Partners In Paradise Travel Video Competition in Aruba. This competition paired up four journalists with four video bloggers to create unique films that capture the best of One Happy Island. The teams had two days to film on the island and one day to edit before showing their films on site at the film festival. Now, the deadline to watch, comment, like, and share your favorite Aruba video has been extended to January 9. We are thrilled to see so many familiar faces from Tripfilms participating in the event. Congratulations to TravelingJulesGloria Powell, and Peter Bragiel for their amazing Aruba videos!

The team with the most views will award one of their fans a three-night stay at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Click on the links below to watch, comment, like, and share your favorite video to have a chance to win the prize!

You can find the full playlist here:

Miss AdventuresPamela Jacobs (@SoloGirlTravel) + Juliana Broste (@TravelingJules)

Wander WomenPerrie Hartz (@PerrieHartz) + Ashley Colburn (@AshleyColburn)

B SquaredPeter Bragiel (@PeterBragiel) + Shayne Benowitz (@ShayneBenowitz)

Culture ChasersGloria Powell (@GlorPow) + Angelica Olstad (@yogipianist)

Remember, the partners with the most views on their video will each be given one trip that they will award to one of their loyal followers, so watch and share now for your chance to have your own adventure in paradise!

Registration Now Open for Women’s Travel Fest


Registration is now open for next year’s Women’s Travel Fest. This three-day event will take place February 27th through March 1st, 2015 in San Francisco, California and will inspire and encourage women to travel the world and help them connect with like-minded world wanderers. The line-up currently includes best-selling author Patricia Schultz, Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo! Travel Paula Froelich, and British explorer Felicity Aston as featured speakers.

Women’s Travel Fest is presented by Go! Girl Guides and directed by Bare Feet host and filmmaker Mickela Mallozzi. For more information and to register (and snag that early-bird pricing), go to

Check out our post covering last year’s Women’s Travel Fest in NYC for a recap and photos with some of our favorite travel filmmakers.

TBEX Cancún Recap


Last week’s TBEX conference at Moon Palace in Cancún, Mexico was an exciting meeting of travel bloggers and vloggers along with other professionals in the travel industry in tourism, marketing, PR, social media, and community management. The opening keynote by Dr. Martha Honey addressed the crucial issue of the role that travel media have in promoting responsible and sustainable travel. Dozens of different breakout sessions throughout Friday and Saturday were led by talented travel professionals, from successful bloggers, travel writers, and filmmakers to social media experts and PR leaders. Familiar faces from Tripfilms were among those who presented, including Dave & Deb of The Planet D and Jade Broadus of Vagabond3It was thrilling to also see that many travelers are interested in creating more travel videos, and we hope to see many new uploads to Tripflms soon from our new friends!

Have you attended TBEX or another travel conference before? What was the experience like for you? Leave a comment below with your thoughts and you could be featured in a future Tripfilms blog post!

TBEX North America Preview: Cancún


TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) is a bi-annual conference that brings travel bloggers and vloggers together with other professionals in the travel industry in tourism, marketing, PR, social media, and community management. It’s an exciting opportunity to learn from talented and accomplished speakers as well as a chance to network and develop face-to-face relationships with other content creators and people passionate about travel. This year’s TBEX North America is taking place in Cancún, Mexico at the Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort from September 11th through September 13th.

We’re excited to see some of our favorite travel filmmakers as featured speakers this year, including Dave & Deb of The Planet D and Jade Broadus of Vagabond3, and we’re looking forward to meeting new and up-and-coming filmmakers and travel vloggers as well.

Are you going to TBEX? Our community manager, Jamie Christensen, will be there representing Tripfilms and Hotel Confidential. Come say hi!

To connect on Twitter, follow @jamieannindigo, @tripfilms, and @HotelConfident. Can’t wait to meet you!


Women’s Travel Fest Dates Announced


We’re excited to hear that dates have been announced for next year’s Women’s Travel Fest. Save the date for February 27th through March 1st, 2015 in San Francisco, California. This three-day weekend event aims to inspire women to take on the world through meaningful travel. Women’s Travel Fest is presented by Go! Girl Guides and directed by Mickela Mallozzi. Stay tuned at for more information on tickets and the list of speakers.

You can also check out our post on last year’s Women’s Travel Fest in NYC for a recap and photos featuring some of our favorite travel vloggers.

New York Travel Festival and Gringo Trails

nytf-logo-e1395417947916Last weekend the New York Travel Festival took place in New York City. Saturday’s events took place at Bohemian National Hall and Sunday’s events took place at Hostelling International. The New York Travel Festival provides information and discussion for “tech-savvy, immersive travelers,” and the event provided consumer, industry, and media tracks along with speakers and panels that were open to all.

It was exciting to meet up with some familiar faces from Tripfilms! Travel vloggers Kelley Ferro, Ryan Van Duzer, Ashley Castle, Elyse Pasquale, and Captain and Clark were all among the speakers who presented at the Festival.


New York Travel Festival, in partnership with, also offered an exclusive screening of the documentary Gringo Trails to Festival media attendees and members of The film is a thoughtful exploration of the effects that travelers, especially backpackers, have on the destinations that they visit. Filmmaker and anthropologist Pegi Vail shows the changes that have taken place over just a few decades in locations like Thailand’s Haad Rin and Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni salt desert, where unsustainable travel has caused damage to the natural environments, but also the ways that the country of Bhutan and the village of San José de Uchupiamonas in Bolivia have been able to plan a sustainable model for tourism that protects the native culture and environment, while still allowing travelers access to these extraordinary places. The documentary ends on a note of hope. Though it acknowledges the damage that has been done in some places, it affirms that it is not too late for other places, if travelers can become mindful of the effects of their travel and do their part to support sustainability.

gringo_poster_zebra-624x794 will be hosting an Ask Me Anything with Pegi Vail on Monday, March 5th, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EST. Visit to join the conversation!

For more information on the film and upcoming screenings, visit

Women’s Travel Fest 2014

wtf 1

Last weekend, Go! Girl Guides presented the first annual Women’s Travel Fest, with the goal to inspire and encourage women travelers throughout the world. The one-day event took place in New York City inside the gorgeous former Ansche Chesed Synagogue, now maintained by The Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts. Featured speakers included Samantha Brown, Sarah Shourd, and Sonia Gil. It was great to see posts and photos from the event featuring some familiar faces—Tripfilms TripVloggers!


Missed the event this year? Mark your calendars: next year’s Women’s Travel Fest will be held in San Francisco on Saturday, May 9th, 2015 (Mother’s Day Weekend). To learn more about Women’s Travel Fest, go to or follow them on Twitter: Go girl!

wtf3 wtf2Photos by Kirsten Alana