A series of sessions looking at how destinations and travel brands can work with digital influencers will take place on the Global Stage at this year’s WTM London. Digital influencers is a relatively new term that covers many aspects of the blogging community but includes other digital platforms that give destinations and brands access to potential visitors, such as YouTube, Instagram and other emerging video and voice channels.
Three of the highest-profile sessions are hosted by Michael Ball, co-founder and director of Traverse Events and Traverse Connect, a business founded in 2012 specialising in influencer events and outreach for the travel industry. Traverse has worked with brands such as Cheapflights, Topdeck and LateRooms, and destinations including Spain and the Philippines.
The first session takes place on Monday 6th November on the WTM Global Stage: AS1050, from 12.00-13.30. ‘When is a follower not a follower’ looks at how brands can gauge the audience of potential influencer partners through accurate measurement. The speakers are Jordan Simons, a travel YouTuber, blogger and photographer who is chronicling his three-year round the world working trip in The Life of Jord, and Julie Falconer who runs the award-winning travel and lifestyle blog, A Lady in London.
Two consecutive sessions take place on Tuesday 7th November, also on the WTM Global Stage. From 14.30-15.30 Michael Ball will be joined by Emily Leary, a blogger, presenter and digital influencer via her family-focused food and lifestyle blog, amummytoo.co.uk. They will discuss how influencers, brands and destinations can work together to create campaigns targetted at specific customer groups or as part of an event or celebration.
From 15.30-16.30 the following session will reinforce the importance of working with influencers across all available channels, and the necessity for destinations and brands to use a variety of platforms and partners to truly optimise the benefits of working with influencers. The speaker for this session is Macca Sherifi, a blogger and vlogger who has worked with Lonely Planet, KLM and Visit England while also running An Adventurous World Blog.
In addition, the Digital Influencers’ Speed Networking (sponsored by Whalar) will take place at the Global Stage Networking Area (AS1000) at 9.00am on Wednesday 8th November.
Elsewhere, Keith Jenkins, Chief Executive, iambassador, and Melvin Boecher, Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Traveldudes and iambassador, will share their vast experience of working with brands to explain how the return on investment from working with bloggers goes beyond content creation and audience engagement. This session will take place on Wednesday 8th November on the WTM Inspire Stage: EU490, from 15.15-16.00.
Paul Nelson, WTM Portfolio Press & PR Manager, said: “WTM London has always provided digital influencers and the industry a chance to get together and share ideas. Our programme has adapted as the blogging community expands to factor in the overall influencer segment.
“The sessions at this year’s event reaffirm our commitment to providing business-critical insights and information for brands and destinations that are looking at how to work with this increasingly important part of the marketing mix.”