I love it when a group of people who share the same passion get together, exchange ideas and share their stories. At the Getaway Travel Blog Conference held last Saturday, we did just that. The conference was a fun and casual social gathering where inspirational stories were told and new friendships were forged. The overall vibe was relaxing and the setting was intimate and small-scale. Aside from the interactive side to it, it also provided a useful platform for tourism professionals to talk business and discuss partnership ideas.
Held in Cape Town, South Africa, the Getaway Travel Blog Conference (GTBC) drew in travel bloggers, tour operators and PR folks from all over the country. This being Getaway’s second travel blog conference was clearly a success, with plenty of attendees raving about it on Twitter – follow the hashtag #GTBC and you’ll see what I mean.
In my opinion, the best part about the conference was the mix of speakers ranging from travel bloggers to PR experts, WordPress genius and photographers. The speakers offered practical advice on everything from starting a blog, how to gain an audience, building up a social media following, to getting ideas and going global. It was a diverse cocktail mix, perfect for attendees from different walks of life. Unlike the previous conferences that I’d been, it didn’t emphasize on what bloggers could get, instead it focused on what we could give and create – and that was a huge takeaway for me.
Photo by Getaway Magazine
The photography presentation by Andrew Brauteseth from Guy with Camera inspired me to take photography more seriously, while Mike Sharman, ex-comedian and present owner of digital communications agency Retroviral, got the whole crowd roaring with laughter (every conference should have a Mike). Keith Jenkins (my buddy from Velvet Escape) did an excellent job of showing how travel blogging has changed the media landscape, with clips and stats from the previous blogtrips we’ve been on together.
I spoke about travel writing that drives traffic specifically for travel bloggers. It was my first time on stage and those who were there would have seen how nervous I was, going up to the stage with a glass of wine. Long story short, I survived it.
Here are the slides from my presentation for those are interested in travel writing. I sure hope to be back for next year’s GTBC. To the Getaway Magazine team and Cape Town Tourism, kudos to the job well done!