Last weekend I attended my first ever Traverse Conference held at the Ravensbourne in North Greenwich. Traverse is now in it’s fifth year of annual events after hosting in different cities from Brighton to Cardiff. Although this was my first Traverse, it’s safe to say this year’s was on another scale with nearly 500 attendees! Over the weekend, I was staying with Jessica and Lucy in an Air B&B. It was my first Air B&B experience but it all went smoothly and I had such a great time with the girls.
I thought I would share my experience and a few things I learnt from the talks, panels and workshops. I took a ton of notes, so I’ll summarise the main outcomes of each session. Some of the sessions were by bloggers or Industry professionals and others were brand led and going over how you can work with them.
- Research, Research & Research before connecting with PR’s and their clients.
- Make sure you are relevant – Don’t pitch a luxury hotel if your niche is budget travel.
- Be polite, always go the extra mile to say thank you.
- Have an updated Media Kit with stats, no bulk text and have it uploaded on your blog.
- If you take great photos, keep a portfolio of your work.
Money Making Game Changers with Monica Stott from The Travel Hack
- Prove your influence.
- Charge for everything or Charge for Nothing. (I’d say this applies if you’re at more of an advanced level)
- Create specific posts to drive affiliate marketing such as specific reviews on a product.
- Monetise through working with alternative brands such as Suitcases, Bags, Cameras etc..
Monica has also written a round-up of her talk on her blog The Travel Hack.
How to turn your Visitors in to Loyal Followers with Sabina Trojanova from Girl vs Globe
- Friend, Inspire & Guide.
- Become a friend to your readers.
- Be visible on your blog & include photos of yourself.
- Ask questions to drive conversation & reply to comments.
- Have a consistent posting schedule.
- Constantly make an effort to keep improving on your photography and video skills.
- Collaborate with other bloggers & converse on Facebook groups such as Girls Vs Globe & Girls Love Travel.
How to be prepared when Pitching to an Airline with Kerwin McKenzie from Loyalty Travels
- Research what Airlines are currently promoting, is it a new route?
- Pitch ideas to in-flight magazines
- Meet Airlines at conferences such as ITB & World Travel Market
Before and in between the sessions you had the opportunity to chat with some of the sponsors of Traverse. This was a good chance to share your business cards, have a little mingle and pitch your ideas. Sponsors this year included Cathay Pacific, Top Deck Travel, Hamburg on Tour, Affilinet, Visit Spain, Donkey Republic, Visit Ireland and Trip.com. Each stand has something going on whether it’s a competition or Affilinet had a Crystal Maze style game!
I got to meet the Three team who had sponsored my weekend at Traverse to learn more about their Feel at Home service. This service is great for people like myself who travel quite frequently as it covers 42 destinations and you are able to use your phone just as you would at home at no extra cost. I also got to meet the other Three Ambassadors; Melissa, Sally, Emily and Elizabeth who were all really lovely!
Traverse had numerous events going on in the lead up to the event but unfortunately I was down in Brighton and Windsor so didn’t have a chance to join any. Traverse started for me on the Friday night when we made our way over to the Milbank Tower near Westminster for the Jet2 Holidays Opening Party. The location offered incredible views over the city and gave everyone a chance to mingle before the conference.
Saturday Night’s party was a total highlight for me. Cheapflights had teamed up with City Cruises to take us all on a party along the Thames. Can you believe I’ve never done a boat cruise in London before?! Taking a cruise along the Thames is the perfect way to see all the sights such as the O2, Tower of London, Canary Wharf, The London Eye and Houses of Parliaments. Departing from Greenwich at 7pm, we got to see the sunset over the city and it just reminded me how beautiful London really is. It certainly was also an interesting sight to see everyone clamber over seats to get that million dollar shot of Tower Bright with The Shard in the background.
On the final evening, we had the closing party over in Canary Wharf at Iberica. The party was in partnership with Visit Spain so there was plenty of tapas dishes floating about and the cava was flowing. I also found out that I had won one of the Top Deck’s #Ultimate49 competitions, which was very exciting. So a massive thank you to Top Deck for my new wireless headphones!
Want to attend next year?
Traverse 2018 is heading overseas for the first time to the city of Rotterdam. I’ve never visited Rotterdam before so this will be the perfect opportunity to explore the city. Traverse 2018, See you there!
Again, a massive thank you to Three UK for sponsoring my trip to Traverse. It was a really amazing weekend, I got to meet so many new lovely faces in the community which was a highlight for me. It wasn’t all alcohol and parties, I did learn so much from all the speakers and came away feeling so inspired and motivated. There’s hopefully going to be a few changes around here – nothing too major though! If you’d like to find out more information about Traverse, head over to their website here.
Have you been to Traverse before? Have you used the Feel at Home service with Three?