by Chris Russo, ASTA President and Chair
If you're not yet blogging about your travel adventures, you should be. Who better than you to let people know about the creamiest gelato in Rome, the best surfing beach in Baja, or the ways you save money visiting Southeast Asia? After all, when people are planning a trip, they want to know what real travelers have experienced, not just what the guidebooks tell them a place "should" be like. Travelers today are getting information from hundreds of sources, and then they're turning right around and becoming sources of information in their own right, thanks to the advent of blogging and social networking sites.
Of course, you need to know how you can make your blog stand out among the thousands of other travel blogs. That's where THETRAVELBLOGGERSSHOW
comes in. Go to Orlando this September 11-12, and you'll learn the most effective ways to blog about all the trips you’ve taken. Sponsored in part by Tripatini.com, this can’t-miss event, which is being held in conjunction with THETRADE
SHOW (North America’s top travel trade show) will teach you how to keep content fresh, get the word out, and make your blog a must-read. This is your chance to learn the secrets only the professional bloggers know.
The two-day event will start on Saturday, when you will have a free afternoon so you can enjoy some of Orlando’s top-selling attractions, best retailers, and exclusive events. For bloggers, Orlando goes beyond just theme parks and family travel, appealing to those who cover subjects such as spa travel, shopping, music/nightlife, golf, and dining. And Orlando is excited to show you, the voice of the traveling public, what it has to offer.
Sunday morning you'll get to attend seminar sessions with some of the most successful bloggers in the business. Topics include the following:
- A Top Travel Blogger Shares How He Does It. Well-known journalist, consumer advocate, and travel blogger Chris Elliott will teach attendees the ins and outs of producing a blog that is on everyone’s must-read list. Elliott is National Geographic Traveler magazine’s reader advocate and writes the syndicated Travel Troubleshooter column, which appears in more than 50 U.S. newspapers and Web sites. Additionally, he produces a popular weekly commentary on MSNBC.com and writes the Navigator column in Sunday’s Washington Post. He has hosted the TV show What You Get for the Money: Vacations on the Fine Living Network and has been a regular commentator and producer for public radio. He’s also the co-host of Rudy Maxa’sWorld with Christopher Elliott, a weekly two-hour radio show about travel that’s heard on 100 radio stations and XM Satellite Radio.
- Working with Travel Marketers and P.R. Agencies. Do you get press releases and calls from marketers trying to get you to write about their company or destination, but you haven’t even been there? Some travel bloggers depend on publicists for access to travel information and experiences to write about, and they value their news tips. Other bloggers dismiss publicists and marketers as time-wasting spammers. Edward Hasbrouck, Practical Nomad, will explore the sources of misunderstanding and some of the win-win ways that travel bloggers, publicists, and marketers can fulfill differing goals and roles while helping each other.
- One Subject, One Blog: Do’s and Don’ts for Niche Blogging. This panel will be moderated by GoGalavanting.com’s Kim Mance, with Nomadic Matt's Travel Site’s Matt Kepnes, Solo Traveler’s Janice Waugh, Wanderlust and Lipstick’s women’s travel expert Beth Whitman, and J The Travel Authority’s Jeanine Barone as panelists. Today, there are blogs that cover any subject you can dream of, but what sets the winning blogs apart is the blogger’s ability to consistently provide interesting and fresh content, no matter how narrowly focused the subject. The really good niche blogs make readers want to come back again and again to learn and even to add their own comments. This seminar will provide those looking to spice up their blogs with essential tips from the pros.
Sunday afternoon you'll have access to the trade show floor, where hundreds of travel suppliers from around the world will be exhibiting. There, you can learn about multiple destinations, connect with important people in the industry, and possibly move one step closer to your next trip.
The $35 registration fee to attend THETRAVELBLOGGERSSHOW
covers blogger track sessions and special THETRAVELBLOGGERS
SHOW functions as well as access to THETRADE
SHOW (Orlando, Sept. 12-14). If you want to revisit content from both events once you return home or view sessions you were not able to attend on-site, you may purchase a "Best Value
" package, which in addition to everything offered as part of the basic registration also includes access to conference recordings for just $109 until Aug. 1, when the price goes up. You can also take advantage of complimentary tickets to Orlando theme parks including Universal Studios Florida, Universal Islands of Adventure, Disney Parks, SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica.
SHOW is sponsored in part by travel social network Tripatini.com. Follow the event on Twitter (@trvlbloggershow with hashtag #trvlblog10) and on Tripatini. To learn more about the event or to register
, visit THETRADESHOW.org