I was invited to the ICTT (International Conference on Travel Technology) India which was held in Trivandrum.
It was a first of its kind of travel and technology conference in India by ATTOI (Association of Travel Trade Organizations, India). I have shared the program’s link in an earlier post.
A two day conference with 17 speakers from all over the world, it was a huge success. The chief minister of Kerala inaugurated the function. My favourite among the guest speakers was Shashi Tharoor who simply stole the show with his short yet powerful speech.
Shashi Tharoor has a huge no. of fan followers on Twitter.
The stage is set for 2 days’ brain storming sessions.
The conference was to help all those who were looking to understand how the travel technology trend is going to take shape in future. It turned out to be a very enriching experience for all the delegates & attendees. The topics ranged from Disaster management to Analytics for better ROI to different tools to be used, and so on …
Here I’ll talk about only those major points and learnings from the conference which are useful to us, that is travel bloggers. These are words by experts; I prefer & value them more than any SEO guy who approaches me everyday.
1) Don’t be everywhere – Don’t copy others said Chad Wiebesick. Just because someone else is on a particular social media platform (e.g. Instagram, Google+ etc), doesn’t mean you have to be there too. There is absolutely no need to be on a social media platform if YOUR audience is not there. Also, don’t be on too many platforms if you can’t handle them all.
2) Listen – The famous social media speaker Sheila Scarborough iterated the art of listening. Listening is more important than speaking. Remember we have two ears and only one mouth, so listen twice the amount you speak. Don’t always open your mouth to get attention. Listen to others as well.
I have seen many bloggers who always boast and talk of something or the other; some leave their blog links at every possible opportunity. It’s time for them to change.
3) Cement relationships – Listening also means connecting with your readers. Reply to comments. Your readers have taken time out from their schedule to comment on your blog. If you don’t have time to communicate, how else do you think your blog will survive in the long run? Add value and contribute to discussions. Make your fans Hero.
4) Don’t be a sucker – As one of the speakers said, if you have BOUGHT fans & followers on any platform then you are a big sucker! And I so agree with him. No matter how big is your number of fans & followers, it’s all about how many of them really engage in conversation with you. Dummy fans will never retweet, like or strike a conversation. So, those of you, who have bought followers, you are a sucker.
5) Decide – Decide what your main objective is. Travelling, writing, day job, business, blogging etc. What is it? Go in introspection mode, spend sometime and decide. Please remember, there are hundreds of them like you out there. Concentrate on what you cannot do without, and make THAT your objective. It could be as weird as boasting. 😀
For example, if you have a day job which you cannot leave, is it worth competing with those who are pursuing blogging career fulltime and getting jealous or panicked over things not happening for you?
6) Alone doesn’t mean lonely – If possible, create a niche. I have been telling it for many years, I am glad that the experts also have the same view. If you feel you are alone in your path, be it. You will be considered an expert there. Be different from the herd. I know of people who have created a niche for themselves and are more successful than those who want to be everywhere. I can actually take a long session on this topic alone. 😛
7) Content & frequency – I spoke about this in last year’s conference also. Pay attention to your content and frequency. There’s no need to blog everyday if you don’t have anything worth sharing with others. Respect your readers’ valuable time. Decide on a frequency which suits YOU and stick to it. Chad gave an example about a blogger who writes a contentful short post (50-100 words) everyday. He is equally popular as the one who writes one big post once in a month!
8 ) Visuals are important – Use visuals for telling your story. A survey says, as much as 75% of FB statuses are clicked or liked if they have photo in it. 3/4th of people post photos on Facebook after their vacations or travels. You may not have a DSLR; a smartphone is good enough to show people where you had been to.
There are many other smaller yet important points which I wanted to share but this post is quite long now. You can see more photos of the conference on my Facebook page.
Feel free to shoot any query. I’ll be more than happy to discuss them. 🙂
On the other note, one of the speakers and now a friend Adam Franklin from Australia has shared a wonderful analysis of top 20 Tweeters at ICTT India and yours truly is at 14th position, just behind him. I didn’t expect it because I couldn’t tweet much for two reasons. One, I was too busy listening to the presentations. Two, the wi-fi issue.
Thanks to the organizing committee and the entire ICTT team for doing an excellent job.
If you want to travel places with me, I suggest you to join me on my Facebook travel page.
P.S.- This article belongs to www.lemonicks.com. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. If you are viewing this on a website instead of your RSS feed reader, then that website is guilty of stealing my content. Kindly do me a favour. Please visit my site and help me taking action by letting me know against this theft. Thank you.