Traverse 13, was the first travel blogging conference from Traverse Events; it was also my first travel blogging conference experience, almost a year ago now, in April 2013 in Brighton, UK.
I’ve decided to start sharing some tips and things I’m learning from the blogging events I’m attending for those who are interested, so I thought it only fair that the first travel blogging conference which inspired me to set up this blog, gets a mention first.
My Traverse 13 experience
I attended the following workshops:
- Creative Travel Photography
- Travel writing, editing and pitching
- Pitching/media packs
- Social media
Creative Travel Photography
Tom Robinson facilitated the creative travel photography workshop and he has shared his tips and slides from the session:
Some of the key takeaways:
- Composition, subject matter and colour are more important than aperture and shutter speed
- Remember the rule of thirds!
- Be creative and a geek 🙂
- Be aware of what’s around the edge of the frame – keep edges clean.
- Always shoot raw.
- Keep the horizon straight, although different perspectives and angles can work.
- The best light is at the beginning and end of the day.
- Avoid bright, harsh light.
- Get people to sign model release forms (Tom does this via his phone).
- If you are being paid to photograph, always have a back-up camera. Always.
Travel writing, editing and pitching
Steve Keenan delivered the travel writing session.
Some of the key takeaways:
- The subject is the most important thing.
- Keep it tight and lean.
- Read it 3 times.
- Be brutal with yourself.
- It’s the story, not the destination.
- Focus on what the readers want.
- Pitching to write for others: understand the publication and target audience.
- Avoid clichés.
Ruth Haffenden shared her tips on pitching to travel brands and the importance of media packs for professional travel bloggers. A publisher’s media pack should contain the following:
- Information about your brand – what you stand for, what you write about and how. Your personal experience and any awards or recognition.
- Your key statistics – think volume: analytics, subscribers and social media followers.
- Demographics – where is your readership? What age, social profile? Who are you talking to?
- Independent verification of your status – awards, syndication, case studies, quotes and endorsements.
Julie Falconer provided an overview of using social media effectively and this included three important points; social media takes:
Create a strategy
What is your goal, why are you on social media? How much time and resource do you have? This dictates the number of platforms you should use. What are the motivations of your audience?
Implement a strategy
Set up profiles and brand your identity, build your following (this can take time) and tailor your strategy to each platform. Don’t share exactly the same content across each platform in the same way at the same time. Post interesting and engaging content. Growth snowballs, the more followers, the more interactions and engagement. Be consistent with engagement (regular!) and keep your profiles updated. Try to develop thematic language e.g. conversational.
What works in travel
Immediate, visual, creative and collaborative. Tell a story in real-time. Show me, don’t just tell me.
Measure your performance, reflect on your practice and adapt accordingly. Use Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, URL shortening tools etc. There are also lots of tools to identify the best time to tweet and post. All these can help you identify what is effective.
Keep updated with Social Media Today (I already use this site and it’s great).
Photos from Traverse 13
Final thoughts on Traverse 13
Having attended, presented at and organised a number of events myself (in education and technology), I recognise a well-oiled machine when I see it ! Traverse 13 was a fantastic first blogging conference experience for me and I was genuinely impressed with how professional the event was, for first-time conference organisers, Traverse Events.
The ticket price was incredibly good value, it took place on a weekend, which is another win for someone working through the week and the social events were also spot-on.
Did you attend Traverse 13 and write about it? Please share in the comments, below.