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World Travel Market – is it worth it?

I didn’t go to the WTM this year. My reason is simply because I feel I can network with the people I need to from the comfort of my own office, rather than trekking the length of the country down to London to do so – such is the beauty of the internet. For me, to attend the WTM would be an entire day taken up, and there’s a lot that can be done with that time. Am I being a little naiive with this view? To be honest, had I attended, I’d have been more interested in seeing what was on offer than networking with others. (Does that make me antisocial?!) If you attended the event this year, please let me know how it went and what you got from it, by posting a comment. And no… hobnobbing with Dannii Minogue at the Etihad Airways stand doesn’t count.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. I’ve often doubted the merit of these events too. You obviously get various seminars but in my experience you seldom learn anything you wouldn’t have picked up from following the latest industry trends on blogs and other such sites.

    You also get to meet various vendors, and if you’re in the market for something at that time then it can be a useful experience to meet new companies. If you’re not though you generally just get sold at by all and sundry.

    Finally you have the networking opportunities. I suppose there is this but with the social networking tools available gone are the days when trade events offer opportunities you wouldn’t get elsewhere.

    I dare say I’ve missed some benefits out but I’m with you in the unsold camp thus far.

  2. Agree what the event offers are more important. Think it may help to start when one has few networking. Once enough contacts, it matters to better maintain the network relationship. :)

  3. As much as conferences takes time, energy and work to attend, there is value in meeting face to face. It puts a completely different context on a relationship.

    That said, you do have to be pragmatic about the conferences that you attend to determine where you’ll get the most bang for the buck.

    For example, the WTM took places just before the PhocusWright Travel Innovation conference, which is where PlanetEye’s executives will be going.


  4. I didn’t make it this year either, although I was meant to go and felt a bit ‘guilty’ for not doing. However, I think you have to be really focused at WTM and if you are not, you certainly do waste a day or two.

    I do love ‘face-to-face’ networking though, and think it can really help to make new alliances and strengthen old ones, but you have to pick your events/stands carefully otherwise you can just get caught up in the fun of it all, and how bad would that be?! ;-)

  5. I am just back from WTM and I am feeling unbelievably inspired and motivated to travel in a responsive form. After attending the conference for three extremely busy and packed days, I have walked away with a renewed sense of what people are doing in the tourism industry to help others. As I represented Elevate Destinations, a philanthropy travel company, I found the overall atmosphere to be very informative.

    I agree that it is not the best setting to network unless you have previous clients or connections, but the seminars are worth attending. I am the author of Elevate Destination’s Responsive Travel Blog and I found the Responsible Travel Day to be highly enlightning for anyone in the tourism industry that is facing the issues that plague the industry.

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