I spent a weekend last month down in Kingston, London for the Traverse #Traverse15 travel blogging conference.
The conference was held over the weekend of 27th – 29th March in the lovely Kingston Upon Thames, situated in Southwest London. I was actually backpacking around Australia when I heard about the blogging and social media conference especially for made for travel bloggers and instantly I signed up! Simply the idea of meeting other bloggers doing what I do was a great opportunity so I signed up for Traverse and then a few weeks later I also bought my #Blogstock ticket!
Traverse is a unique conference experience designed to bring together travel bloggers, PR’s, Tourist Boards and Travel Companies for a weekend of networking, learning and most importantly fun! Keep reading to find out more about my weekend of “blogspiration” at #Traverse15. I travelled down to London after a full week of work in Cambridge and made my way over to Bethnal Green to meet my partner for dinner. I didn’t make the Friday night as I was feeling under the weather and wanted to be prepared for the Saturday and Sunday. On the Saturday I jumped on the underground and made my way over to Kingston. I used the underground to Wimbledon and then used the #Traverse15 UBER app discount voucher to get over the university. I will do an UBER review another time!
I attended several sessions throughout the day including:
– The first session I attended was ‘On working with PR companies’ which specifically looked at bloggers working with a PR company. Julie Giraud suggested that it is like entering into a long term relationship – you need to be compatible, have similar goals and already know things about each other.
Julie also highlighted that the best way to approach a PR company is at a networking event (at the bar according to Julie) or by using Twitter and the #PRrequest. One main point that hit home for me was “When pitching to PR companies make your ideas fun, quirky and inspiring” – you need to make yourself more appealing than every other blogger.
– The second session I attended was Learning Outcomes from ‘SEO with David Tutin from Expedia UK & IE. This session was great and was held by a very enthusiastic David.
He talked about SEO, what’s new and how these changes will affect your blog. David highlighted the changes with Google and its algorithms and their latest update due on April 21st.
– The third session I attended with Social Media: Beyond the Basics with the lovely Elle. Elle has worked with some amazing international brands and has an awesome career. Elle discussed the importance of using social media analytics and suggested ‘Export’ features will offer more insight to bloggers.
Elle also highlighted that a good social media strategy should include details like: how often to post, types of content to include, a content calendar, image guidelines, community management and advertising details. I also saw Elle for a session individually where she gave me advice on my own blog.
– I attended a session with KLM/ Air France, how they work with bloggers and their plans for 2015 including the re-launch of their awesome vintage DC3 aircraft, launch of their 787 Dreamliner and new programme for bloggers and Press – Bring Your Wings.
– The day ended with a debate on various travel topics in the business schools lecture theatre. I loved the ingenious use of Twitter for ordering drinks during this! You simply tweeted your choice of drink i.e. #traversebeer #traversewine and where you were sitting, and voilà, a lovely member of the Traverse 15 team would deliver a drink straight to your seat! AMAZING.
Overall I left Traverse 15 feeling inspired to grow my blog and to continue this blog to be the best that it can be. Traverse 15 was an excellent event, I learnt a massive amount, made some new friends and I had so much fun doing so. If you have the chance to attend the next one or even #BlogStock later this year, I would definitely recommend it.