50,000 travel professionals descended on Rimini, a beachside, Italian town for the 50th annual TTG Incontri–a 3 day travel market and conference featuring tourism boards, tour operators and travel professionals from around the world. TTG has been one of the leading travel fairs for the past 50 years, but this year was different. This October, TTG added Travel Blogger Destination Italy, a blogger & vlogger conference with the purpose of uniting travel industry leaders with travel media experts.
Travel Blogger Destination Italy (TBDI) showcased 3 full days of panelists from all over the world– leading travel writers, professional travel photographers, viral video creators and travel media innovators. I was honored to be invited to share my tips & experience regarding video. Day One I listened 6 panels with great speakers like Josh Johnson and Katja Presnal, ranging from storytelling to creating a digital strategy. Day Two I moderated a panel on successful case studies, where 5 other travel blogger/vloggers shared one of their greatest campaigns. I was very interested to hear about the reach of a press trip to Visit Finland and was stunned to hear about the run & gun behind the scenes of the filmmaker, Rick Mereki, creator of the travel series Eat, Move, and Learn all of which went viral last summer.
The conference ended on Day 3, hopefully a high note. Eric Warren from the Matador Network and I, presented our 1.5 hour training session on video. We discussed the importance of video and how it can benefit your blog or your brand. We also detailed best practices & tips for shoot, editing,hosting and being a ‘one man band.’ The audience seemed to enjoy our case studies, where Eric talked about his favorite video campaigns with Matador and I relayed the structure & takeaways from my most recent video series for Saint Lucia.
In between panels, we were free to explore the massive international fair, and I had great conversations with tourism boards all over the world. Several tourism boards sponsored the TBDI and graciously hosted us for two fun evenings filled with regional Italian food, wine & music. I was glad I got to try piadina, which is from the Emilia Romagna region–these tasty sandwiches were delicious!
Overall, the Travel Blogger Destination Italy was a highly impactful conference for me. I found the group of attendees to each have such unique stories & strong skills, that I learned just as much from my conversations with them as from listening to the panelists. I also think that locating the conference AT the TTG Incontri fair is a smart way for influential travel media to meet & learn with destinations & brands that could hire them. The feedback from the conference has been overwhelmingly positive and it’s going to go from 120 attendees to 400 next year. See you in Rimini in 2014!