In London, the World Travel Market can be a wonderful place to meet people, make business happen, and learn all about the travel industry. It can also be truly overwhelming. In this post, just for bloggers, I’m going to review 18 top tips for attending the World Travel Market.
If you’re looking for short, sweet, and to the point, I’ve got you covered right here. If you want waaaaay more detail, tons of links to review that expand on topics, then head on over to my ultimate WTM guide for bloggers for everything you could ever want to know!
Check the website in July and just get it done so you don’t forget. Register as “Press”
Book your hotel early
London is a crazy city to get a hotel anyway, you don’t want to wait too long to find a place to plop after a long day at WTM. You can even book your hotel through my personal link.
Join the Facebook group
Lots of announcements are done in the WTM influencer group, not by WTM directly, but by people who either work closely with them or are finding things out first.
Join the LinkedIn group
Just to stay in the loop a little extra, go ahead and join the LinkedIn group, as well. Couldn’t hurt and there might other announcements because it’s not just for bloggers/influencers.
Create your elevator pitch
Sometimes you might get a 10-minute meeting and other times you might just pop by and stand and want to let them know you came by. Be quick and tell them why they should care about you. Create this early and memorize it!
Apply for speed networking
All the brands, PRs, and destination representatives come to you! How cool is that? You get 5 minutes with each person before they have to move on, so be fast but thorough. Here’s the link to apply through. It will only be open for a short while each year.
Design a custom bag to stand out
Don’t forget business cards!
Create your own at Moo (most popular and my favorite) and find some blank ones to take along as well. Some people forget theirs or they run out, either way, you’ll be prepared and they’ll be impressed. But order early!
Start requesting meetings in late September
Getting an early start, but not too early, is important to get on people’s schedules because they do fill up fast. This also can help you get into to the invite-only events if they know you are interested to work with them.
Create your press kit/media kit
Even in digital form and created on Canva, this can be helpful. If you already have a tablet, that’s a bonus! Offer to email it to them right away and make yourself a note to do, that way you don’t have to print, and they don’t have more paper to take back with them. Roma from Roaming Required came up with that helpful tip!
Write on business cards
Some people say this is a big no-no, but I put codes on them. This helps when sorting through them later, even putting “WTM” on them helps to know that’s where you got it. But you could also indicate if it was a one-to-one meeting, or someone else gave you their card. This helps for follow-ups.
Plan destinations ahead of time
The ExCel is a VERY big place, so if you do cover the entire world, make it so you aren’t running from one end to the other every hour or two because that will tire you out quickly. Maybe focus one area per day or half day.
Create a schedule
You can use the WTM portal for this or Google Calendar (or your other favorite calendar). Just keep in mind, if you are traveling to London from anywhere that is not in their time zone, make sure your events are set to London time or you will get all mixed up!
Keep your Oyster Card topped up
Tens of thousands of people go to the ExCel during this event, and you don’t want to stand in line there to top up your transit card when trying to leave and rest or get dinner. Check your balance in the mornings to avoid frustration.
Be professional and polite
This is a business event, so you’ll want to act the part. Be kind, ask thoughtful questions, be personable, respect people’s time, firmly shake hands, be present when having a conversation (i.e. not being on your phone).
I’ve already mentioned the ExCel is massive, so wear shoes you can actually walk for a few miles in. For clothes, represent yourself and your brand, but keep that professional flair with it.
Whether you make your own, bring some fruit, or hit up the grocery store, there is so much going on that you may not want to stand in line for lunch food. Just make sure you listen to your body during the event.
Use the Press Centre
Whether you need a break from talking, or just to sit down, the Press Centre is there for you. As a bonus, it has its own coffee area and working spaces if you need to put some headphones in and get work done.
Yes, this was the short version! For much more information, see the epic post that the WTM people even check to make sure everything is accurate.