Friday, 12 May 2017

Why You Should Visit Traverse - A Conference For Travel Influencers

"Wow, we are going to Milan, Milan!", I shrieked. Mr W and I both looked at each other. "I am so glad we went to Traverse now". Sitting in Bristol airport the surprise was finally sinking in, we were going to the fashion capital of the world.

That was in 2016, a few months earlier we had attended an amazing travel blog conference in Cardiff called Traverse, and winning a trip to Milan with the company Surprise Trips was the icing on the cake. So when the tickets were announced to the conference this year, we bought up the tickets in a flash.


Ravensbourne college

You may not know this but I have two blogs, The Diary Of A Jewellery Lover and also Fly Drive Explore that I write with my husband, or Mr W as I call him on the blog.  This over 40's travel blog has a YouTube channel as well. We aim to blog and vlog with a sense of humour, and we are definitely a backpacking free zone, we are just too old to do that and too rickety. Well Mr W is for sure, and too wrinkly... I digress. The point is, Mr W and I both attended Traverse and both got lots from it, even though we are quite different - I like writing, he likes making pretty pictures and moving images.

Traverse this April was held at Ravensbourne College. Right next to the O2 arena in London. This college was a perfect venue, being large, easy to get to and with great facilities for the lectures. 

So what is Traverse? 


Traverse is a travel blogging conference, aimed at influencers at all levels, from bloggers, and YouTubers to Instagrammers alike.

This year there was a two-day program of lectures on a Saturday and Sunday as well as a week-long social programme, putting brands and influencers in touch through fun activities such as escape rooms, meals, cocktail events and even crazy golf. 

How much does it cost and where is it held?

Early bird tickets are around the £50 mark while normal price tickets are £90. This year it was held in London, last year in Cardiff and next year will be Rotterdam. By changing the location each time you get the chance to visit different cities and blog about them too.

What's included in the price?


Exploring London

A week prior to the event a number of activities are organised that you have to apply for. These are free but have limited numbers.

On the Friday prior to the event, there was a fabulous party sponsored by Jet2, at the SkyLoft, Millbank. This is where a number of tourist boards working in collaboration with Jet2 attended, such as Malta, Greek and the Spain tourist boards. A number of competitions and prize draws were held throughout the night and Mr W won a bottle of wine from Malta in a spot the odd one out competition! Never mess with a man who knows his Eurovision song contest.

The main event was held on Saturday and Sunday. Sessions run from 10.30am to 4.30pm and were from influencers that were experts in their field, as well as brands that want to work with influencers. You also get lunch every day, the chance to book a one-to-one with a number of experts as well as access to the after parties. This is where all the fun starts - unlimited drinks and nibbles with the chance to network with other influencers and brands alike make these parties a must do.

The Lectures



The lectures were for all levels and all abilities. From SEO to how to pitch to airlines, they were incredibly useful.  

Monica Stott from The Travel Hack and her session entitled 'Money Making Game Changers' was excellent, it has given me the confidence to ask for my worth. Abi King from Inside the Travel Lab did a great session on 'How To Create Professional Partnerships Based On The Written Word', and this was useful to pick up some pitching tips. Mr W felt Greg Brand's lectures on YouTube to be excellent too.

The Sponsors

There were a number of sponsors to the event, the main sponsor being Jet2 and the Spanish tourist board as well as a number of others including those below.

Sponsorship and reviews


As a blogger, if you are savvy you can partner with brands, restaurants, attractions and accommodation providers prior to the event. I reviewed a beautiful apartment with FG Properties in South Kensington, this kept the cost of accommodation down. I was also sponsored by Three UK, the mobile phone company to attend.

What really appealed about working with Three UK as a brand ambassador at the event was the Feel At Home programme.  This means customers can use their phone abroad at no extra cost to them. Including over 80% of the holidays UK travellers take and 42 countries, including Australia, the USA and all of Europe, it's a great deal. If like me you have been stung with a high phone bill in the past when overseas, you can see it's worth considering if you travel a lot.

Top Tips



To get the most out of the conference here are some top tips.


1. Consider which brands and destinations you would like to work with and what you want to get out of the event prior to the date. Then follow these on social.

2. Do your research so when you chat to them you know about their brand or destination.

3. Take business cards to hand to out and always request one back.

4. Follow up with an email after the event, and attach a media kit or the PR page from your blog. 

5. The drinks parties are fabulous but check if it's just nibbles. If it is, make sure you eat beforehand. You don't want to let the alcohol go to your head and end up dancing on the table in front of the brands you want to work with, yes Mr W I am talking to you here!

Thoughts from other bloggers


To get the most out of Traverse, I'd say definitely come prepared. Bring a notebook and pen as you'll be taking lot's of notes from the sessions you will attend. Bring up to date business cards to hand out to brands and other bloggers you’ll meet across the conference. When networking with brands at Traverse, know your blog inside out when you're pitching your ideas and do a little bit of research on who’s going to be there before the weekend. Rachel Nicole


There are so many fab sessions at Traverse that it's easy to feel a little overwhelmed, especially if it's your first visit. I'd recommend taking a good look through the schedule before you get there, and work out what your priorities are for your own blog. Do you want to start working with brands? Is improving your vlogging skills a priority? Would you like to learn more about SEO? Once you've worked out what's most important for *your* blog, then you can pick the right sessions to get the most out of your visit. Sally Akins

So I would say if you are a travel blogger consider attending Traverse. You will have fun, learn something new and make valuable connections with influencers, destinations and brands, and you never know, you may even win a holiday! Just like me.
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39 comments

  1. Oh, I was so close to attend it !! I checked all, almost booked the tickets.. and had to postpone.it ­čśĹ due to some unexpected travel. I hope to go there next time

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    1. It was excellent Monika, hope you can make it next time.

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  2. It was lovely to meet you and the other Three bloggers - and the conference was such a fab event. I can't wait to go back next year!

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  3. I'm sure it's a very interesting conference and there would be a lot to learn there.

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  4. Well done on winning those tickets, very lucky! As a travel blogger Traverse sounds like the type of conference I would love :) will definitely look into going to the next one x

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    1. A lot of people didn't even enter. I always enter the competitions as I've won some fabulous things in my time.

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  5. Traverse was indeed a really great conference,I too attended nad learnt so much from it.

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  6. I cant believe I double booked myself and missed Traverse in London the other week, opting to go to the Netherlands instead for a long weekend break. Oppsie. Great write up and thanks for showing me what I was missing. Next year in Rotterdam it is then :D

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    1. May meet you in Rotterdam then Danik.

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  7. OH, that sounds like a cool conference! I wish to attend one day :-)

    ♥ Jasmin N
    // Little Things With Jassy

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  8. This is really amazing experienced and so much fun all in one place. And how lucky that you and your busband winning those ticket, can't be more happier. xox

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  9. This looks so cool! I will definitely have to put it on my list for next year. I really want to try and get more into the conference circle and there are so many to go to I'm learning! Can't wait for the next one.

    Best,
    Rebecca
    bexpeditions.com

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  10. I didn’t know about this event. I should be attending more such events. It’s a great learning for travel bloggers like us.

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  11. I would love to attend such an event!

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  12. Traverse seems like a perfect conference which every serious blogger should attend and there is every chance of learning many new things like SEO etc. It is also a great opportunity to meet various brands and later pitch to them with your media kit etc. Wish we had many such conferences out here!

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  13. LOL. Lovely to meet you in the flesh at Traverse - for me that's actually the biggest draw - I get to meet people I've chatted to online for ages.

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    1. Yes Fiona! It was lovely to meet you too. Wish we had more time to talk.

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  14. When I realised this travel conference was on the same weekend I was in London, I was really kicking myself. It sounds like a great networking event for travel bloggers

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    1. You have to go next time Zena, it was so worth it.

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  15. I wish to experience this one day! It looks interesting and fun!

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  16. That Three deal for travel abroad sounds absolutely fantastic, I've never heard of a phone company doing that! Business cards are the thing I always forget but need to remember

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    1. Yes it is a great deal especially as the US and Australia are covered.

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  17. I totally need to do this next time round!!

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  18. Sounds like you garnered a lot of helpful info!! :)

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  19. Wow. I've never even heard of this conference before, but I'm so jealous that you were able to go. It looks awesome there. It sounds like you had a great time!

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  20. This event sounds like a great opportunity to connect with other travel bloggers and learn/support each other. I'd love to get a chance to attend such an event! :)

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  21. I've never heard of this conference, but it sounds wonderful. It looks small and intimate and easy to make your way around. The sessions sound just perfect - SEO, Partnerships, etc. Sounds like you got a lot of the experience. Thanks for sharing about it.

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    1. Yes it's not too huge and the partnerships you can get out of it brilliant too. I love the sessions as well.

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  22. Traverse seems to be quite an interesting conference and I am so glad you got so much from your last trip there. I also quite like the part that it's a moving conference - so you get to visit a new city every time and possibly even win trips with partners :)

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  23. I would love to go to an event like this! Seems like there is so much that you learnt!

    www.emma-jayne.co.uk

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  24. Thanks for the heads up on Traverse - I've attended TBEX before, though last year in the Philippines was my first blogging conference - I would love to make it to the next Traverse ... oh and congrats on your trip to Milan! How incredible!!!

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    1. I want to go to TBEX next year, and thank you, it was an amazing surprise.

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  25. Sounds like such a great conference! I really wanted to attend this year, but unfortunately we couldn't fit it into our schedule. Will have to try to attend next year--thanks for the suggestion! Also, that's so cool you won a trip there, too--how fun!!

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  26. What a cool experience! I want to go to a conference like this some time in the future!

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  27. One thing I like about influencers/travelers' conference is the exchange of ideas and of course, the sharing of experiences.

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