As a registered nurse, I have found solace in travel and content creation. Over the last several years I have shared my travels with the world through my YouTube channel The Wanderful Life of Kayla. Creating travel content for fellow travel lovers is a passion of mine but it's a passion that my co-workers and friends do not understand. And I know I am not alone.
Being a YouTuber, travel blogger and/or content creator can be very isolating but it doesn't have to be. If you are feeling alone, want to improve your craft and network with industry experts than I highly suggest that you attend a travel conference!
I just recently attended my first travel conference and it will not be my last! A travel conference is a great way to network with others in the industry, help you improve your skills and give you the motivation you are looking for. As a first time travel conference attendee these are the 5 reasons why I think you need attend a travel conference!
There are so many reasons to attend a travel conference but as a first time travel conference attendee and as someone who is fairly new to the travel content creation space, these are the 5 reasons why you should consider attending a travel conference.
1. Meet Other Travel Content Creators
One of the biggest benefits of attending a travel conference is being able to meet and network with fellow travel bloggers, influencers and YouTubers. The travel niche is expansive and you probably follow a lot of travel content creators on social media and even talk with them through your Instagram DMs.
During my attendance at my first travel conference, I was able to meet all of my Instagram friends that are in the travel space that I have been talking to you for years for the first time in real life! It was so nice to finally meet so many people that you have followed and even have personal conversations with online.
Being able to physically connect with new and old friends is a great way to learn from others, network and realize we all have the same doubts, fears and struggles that comes with content creation. Over the span of a weekend, I met and talked with so many creators about travel, how I can improve my blog and most importantly I left having new friends that just get it. And having a circle of friends in the same industry that understand the struggles and the small wins is the main reason why you should attend a travel conference.
2. Learn from industry experts
Each travel conference is slightly different. But each travel conference offers different workshops and keynote speakers to help you improve and learn new skills to level up your business.
At TravelCon, they offered several workshops at an additional cost before the conference that focused on how to become a better travel writer, how to improve your photography and a drone workshop. In addition to these additional workshops, each conference offers keynote speakers and learning sessions that provide insight to different topics that are included in the conference price.
Some of the included keynote speakers and learning sessions that I attended included the secrets of YouTube, how to grow on Pinterest, how to land paid brand deals and a taxes 101 class, just to name a few. As you can tell there are a lot of industry experts that are there to help you improve your business, which is a main reason why most attend a travel conference.
3. Find inspiration and motivation
I know how hard it can be to find the inspiration and motivation to continue creating content. It can be discouraging when an Instagram reel doesn't perform like you wish it would or a blog post doesn't get the views you think it deserves. And then you have imposter syndrome and comparing your success to other creators in your niche's success.
All of these factors can make you feel burned out, uninspired and unmotivated to keep creating the content that brings you such joy. But for me, being surrounded by so many creators and attending so many motivational speeches, it reinspired me in a way that I can't really explain. Sitting in each session during TravelCon made me rethink about my brand in a different way and it made me feel motivated to keep creating content.
So if you feel like you need a swift kick in the butt a travel conference is for you!
4. Network with brands
As content creators we all want the opportunity to pitch ourselves to brands that may not have considered working with us if we sent a cold pitch email. Cold pitching can lead to a lot of unanswered emails with no new brand partnership opportunities. Trust me, this is something that I am all too familiar with.
As a nano influencer I dream of pitching tourism boards and some of my favorite travel brands. In fact I have and yet here I am still at square one. So being able to pitch tourism boards and talk with individuals who are directly in charge of a brands partnership is an invaluable experience.
During my time at TravelCon I was able to talk to tourism boards for Wisconsin, Arkansas, Mississippi, Toronto and Japan. But I additionally talked with travel brands such as GetYourGuide, Intrepid, SafetyWing and World Nomads just to name a few.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to sell yourself and your brand. Tell that tourism board or brand why they should work with YOU. Hand out your business card. Get the brand's business card so you can follow up. Bring a media kit. Because honestly this is your opportunity to seal a deal that could take your brand to the next step in your content creation career.
5. Explore a new place with FAM and Press trips
What is a FAM trip? FAM stands for familiarization trip which gives attendees of the conference an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the destination in which the conference is being held. These trips are free of charge to the attendee of the conference.
This was my first experience with FAM trips. TravelCon was held in Memphis, TN and Memphis Travel was the tourism board that sponsored the event. The FAM trips were all dedicated around the history of Memphis. Some of the FAM trips included tea time at the Peabody, eating barbecue at Charles Vergos Rendezvous and a tour of Graceland.
FAM trips are an easy way to see the destination of where the conference is being hosted and a fun way to meet other attendees of the conference before the conference starts.
So have I convinced you to attend a travel conference? Oh I have? Perfect! I am so glad that you can see all of the benefits in investing in you. Travel conferences come with a price tag but honestly I loved TravelCon so much that I can't wait to attend more conferences! Unfortunately, TravelCon will no longer have future conferences as the 2022 conference was the last one but below are a few other conferences that are similar and the ones I am considering attending.
Travel Conferences to Consider
Prior to attending TravelCon, I had no idea so many different travel conferences existed but thank you to all of the wonderful creators that I have met, I am able to share with you a few of the conferences that I think you should consider.
Women In Travel Summit
The Women in Travel Summit (WITS) is a 3-day conference for content creators, influencers, DMOs and industry experts. At WITS, attendees will learn skills to strength their craft and grow their brands as well as connect with brands and fellow creators.
I have reserved my spot and will be attending the 2023 WITS conference in Puerto Rico! I would love to meet and network with fellow travel content creators, so if you want to join me click here to reserve your spot!
Traverse considers themselves to be the anti-conference. Their website says they are more of a festival than conference with still keep the elements of learning and mingling with brands and fellow influencers. This conference is located in Europe. A lot of content creators were talking about Traverse and I am interested in possibly attending this conference.
Women's Travel Fest
The Women's Travel Fest is also a 3 day conference that focuses on creative female entrepreneurs in the travel niche. Like WITS and TravelCon, Women's Travel Fest includes workshops and a schedule filled with industry experts.
Travel Blogger's Exchange
The next conference is Travel Blogger's Exchange (TBEX) and is one of the largest conferences for travel creators. It once was just for bloggers but they now provide workshops and breakout sessions to help perfect your story telling, writing, photography, video creation, podcasting, SEO and so much more. TBEX has several conferences throughout the year with hosts in both the US and around the world.
If you are a travel content creator you need to consider attending a travel conference. Yes, they can be intimidating. Yes, they are an investment. But these conferences are a wealth of knowledge for you to grow your business through improving and learning new skills.
In addition to gaining new skills, you will also be gaining a new community of fellow creators who share the same love and passion for travel and content creation. So I say take the leap, invest in yourself and attend a conference. You will thank yourself later.
Let me know if I have convinced you to attend an upcoming travel conference. If so, which conference are you thinking of attending? If you would like a full blog post on how to prepare for your first travel conference let me know. I have learned a lot attending my first conference and I could write a full post on the DO's and DONT's for attending your first conference. Consider it a guide on what not to do. Until then, I will see you at the next conference!
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