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WTM Social Travel Market is live!

WTM Social Travel Market is live!

Steve Keenan

November 7, 2012

Brought to you by our partners

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Coverage of Day 2 of WTM Social Travel Market now LIVE ON OUR BLOG + here are Thursday’s sessions at WTM Social Travel Market, 2012. The event was created in 2011 and is put together and run by Travel Perspective.

See ALL of the sessions from Wednesday’s WTM Social Travel Market on the WTM YouTube channel



See the line-up for Thursday

10.30am: The room, with space for 350, is filling up nicely. First on at 10.45am is Omid Ashtari of foursquare – which yesterday announced an update to its iOS app. Will be plenty to talk about – when he gets here. He forgot his badge so will be a few minutes late starting up.

Mark Frary kicks off proceedings by asking how the wifi is – predictably, it’s slow “as molasses,” says Alastair McKenzie of Sorry about that. And a quick presentation from Arman Khachaturyan of the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia – which is giving the prize of a trip to Armenia in the Silk Road Challenge we are running with the UN World Tourism Organisation.

OK! Omid is here and we’re off – a good half the room has used foursquare in the past month, which is surprising. Clearly a lot are here specifically for this session. The app has been used by Starwood, Lufthansa and United among other travcos; huge amount of work on redemption – and is absolutely ripe for the travel industry, says Omid. Doesn’t see Zagat or Yelp as competition – in fact, can see foursquare roaring away from them. Did you know 20,000 designers use the foursquare API?

You can see Omid’s Foursquare presentation on Slideshare here.

11.40am: Running a few minutes late but Allister Frost (@allisterf) now on, talking about the psychology of social media.

He says that advertising is now defined as “the cost of being outside the conversation” and that over the past two decades we have moved from the scarcity of spectrum (i.e. outlets such as TV, radio and print) to a scarcity of attention (so many different channels – which one do you use?).

Allister has now moved on to neuroscience (yes really). He says that people’s brains are manipulated by the perception of scarcity and is showing an example on BA’s website saying there are only two seats left at a particular fare. You want it, right?

That very much in demand presentation is below.

12.30: On to video and different ways of cutting it – and James of Inside Japan talks about how they ran a comp to find two bloggers to visit Japan – you can read the feature we wrote about it here. Now up is Nicola Frame from Intrepid, whose Vietnam video with food bloggers The Perennial Plate was hoped to reach 20k views at a cost of £4,000 – it ended up getting 300,000 and was picked up by HuffPost and New York Times. She has now commissioned Perennial Plate to visit 16 countries – with proper PR and social media campaigns around them, and also at around £4k a film which, she says, Intrepid couldn’t do for that price.

His presentation is below.

In a different way of getting video, Matt Carroll of Media Ark worked on a project (see presentation below) with MSC Cruises, whereby six bloggers had film crews at their back and call – as a result, MSC got 19,000 views of the video produced.

2.20pm: Stranded! Couldn’t get to the laptop during the last session on mobile with Kevin May of Tnoooz and Kelly from Gogobot – will file later. Right now, we’re looking at jobs in social media for 2013 – and we’ve got Jason Geall of The Student Room and Joanna Matloka of 77 agency. Jason saying social media needs full-time attention – so create roles for graduates to come into. “I think it’s a full-time job – content and community is going to be key.” Joanna says new media courses at her alma mata college, Bournemouth University, are booked up until until 2014. She sees a big role for community management in future for those who understand online marketing and knows how to integrate PR and social – it can be pushed into unlimited levels. Universities are undertaking a lot of work on making students ‘work-ready.’ Alice, a student, says from the floor that she is on a one-year paid internship and is creating a social media strategy for her travel firm “to help push her past all the other graduates coming out next year.” Alice had a blog pre-work, vital for SM students says Joanna.

4.15pm: Whoops! Moderating another session on bloggers v blaggers (very interesting – will report later) so didn’t update blog. But now into final session of the day – best blogger innovations of 2012. First up: Janice Waugh of Solo Traveller, talking about the launch of The Travellers Handbook series – 5 books about styles of travelling (food, solo etc.,) with more to come. Pricey tho: £12.99 for book version, less online. As @karenbryan says: “Seems a bit strange that #travel bloggers are producing printed books thought we were new media?” But why not? Doing off and online content seems perfectly natural.

Her presentation, if you’d like to see it, is below:

Sarah Lee talks about 4×4, a project to film on four continents in four months – and the TV series that has spun off. Another fine example of diversification. Sarah points out travel industry understands TV and video as it’s old media – so why not milk that while developing new lines of content?

See her presentation here

Nellie Huang next up with her digital magazine. She set up her Wild Junket blog in 2008, moved into travel writing, then set up her latest idea to “expand beyond the website and reach audience in an interactive manner.” Can be found on different platforms, also on an app. Her husband Alberto uses Indesign and is a photographer – which is handy. Is launching a new website for the mag – – and selling on different platforms. Interrogator Jen Howze asks the killer question – how much do you pay writers? Nellie – “We usually pay $150 for 2,000 words.” Making 80% of revenue from magazine sales – aiming to make it 50/50 with advertising. Have 115,000 subscribers, 1.6m unique views each issue and publish quarterly. Aiming for 10m. Sell it for $10.99 for four issues a year. Impressive.

See her presentation and magazine below.

Kash is next, with his passion of (good) hostels (see presentation below). He started a project to visit 50 of the best across Europe – a guide to luxury hostels. Private room with element of an hostel – he’s done 43 so far. Hostels pay a fee to be involved (£250-£300 to cover expenses), his readership is the people who stay in (good) hostels, he’s got 6 sponsors. Producing e-book for April, 2013. #luxuryhostels has generated millions of hits. And he’s getting old print coverage – interesting to see so much cross-over. Has raised £11k so far but it’s about getting the brand out – then hope to capitalise.

Gary Arndt – it’s about earning enough to give me the lifestyle that I want. He’s leading two photographic tours in 2013. “Build a big enough audience and the money will come to you.” He has a literary agent, business agent and assistant – “but I do all the travelling.” He’ll gross six-figures this year. “There will be more and more opportunities out there.”

Lastly, Matt Kepnes – Nomadic Matt. One questions people ask if how do you make money? I sell a lot e-books – but you have to sell a lot at $20 to make money. So in June, launched an “expensive” course for 10 people teaching them how to build an online business with mentorship (higher premium). He doesn’t wants ads on his site but wouldn’t mind a sponsor or two, and wants to sell his knowledge more. Like a concierge site. And in 2014, maybe do something else.

Critics Mark Hodson and Jennifer Howze on the projects: Stand by!
Janice – like the collaborative approach and interesting project. Sarah – colloborative again, but with video ahead of the curve. Nellie – nice looking, pro magazine. It was the numbers that impressed. Kash – a really useful resource, a genuine gap in the market. Gary – presentation struck to the heart: audience, focussed, business model. Matt – planning selling his knowledge in a bespoke way.

Who go the most claps and cheers? As recorded on Mark’s phone and app – it’s Kash!

That’s it for today – but maybe more from the table football challenge tonight!

Midnight: Thanks to the 80+ who turned out for the table football challenge tonight, with special thanks to partners Tbex, Hotels.Com and the Spanish Tourist Office. You can see the excellent photos from the Spanish NTO here – Great night all!.

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