The 2017 Social Travel Summit Programme

The 2017 Social Travel Summit will continue to break new ground in travel and digital destination marketing.

As always, The Summit will be a small conference of under 150 delegates that will include top bloggers and influencers from around the world as well as industry representatives who want to leverage that clout. Being small is an advantage. Serious discussions and learning take place in a way that is not possible at larger conferences.

Some sessions on the programme are created to address the specific needs of professional online influencers. Others are designed for travel brands and DMOs seeking innovative ways to work with influencers. And, of course, there will be sessions that bring the two groups together including the Think Tank which, for the past three years, has examined the challenges of influencer/brand collaboration and resulted in the production of an annual White Paper.

As always, there will be plenty of time for networking and fun!

The arrival date for all delegates is Monday, 18th September 2017. City tours are planned for all delegates in the afternoon and in the evening, we will welcome everyone at the Opening Reception. The conference takes place on 19th and 20th September 2017.

Watch this space as we confirm details on topics and speakers.

Keynote

What’s Next and What You Can Do to Be Ready

Nick Westergaard
Chief Brand Strategist
Brand Driven Digital

With over a billion users on Facebook and half of U.S. teens creating and consuming content on Snapchat, it’s safe to say that social media and new forms of content continue to dominate our marketing. As new networks emerge and existing platforms add even more features, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of these rapid shifts. In this insightful and engaging keynote, Nick Westergaard takes a look at seven digital marketing trends that need to be on your radar, what they mean, and what you can do to prepare for them.

About Nick
Nick Westergaard is a strategist, speaker, author, and educator. As Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, he helps build better brands at organizations of all sizes — from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Nick is the author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. Nick is a contributor to the Harvard Business Review and host of the popular On Brand podcast. His thoughts have been featured in news sources such as US News & World Report, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Mashable, and more. He teaches at the University of Iowa, where he sits on the Advisory Council of the Marketing Institute at the Tippie College of Business and the Professional Advisory Board for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is also organizer and host of the Social Brand Forum and a mentor at the Iowa Startup Accelerator.

Keynote

Destination Unknown: How Travelers Decide Where to Go

Simon Lehmann
President
Phocuswright

Taking a deep dive into the leisure travel destination selection process, Simon will provide insights into how US and European travelers decide where to go. He will reveal key motivating factors, preferences regarding offline and online information sources, and websites and apps used by travelers in the US, France, Germany, and the UK. Topics include overall consumer travel trends including travel incidence, frequency and duration of trips, and destination selection patterns. Simon will also look at the point at which travelers choose their destinations, the specialized process that sets destination selection apart from other travel decisions, as well as motivators for selecting a travel destination and specific sources of influence, information, and websites used.

About Simon Lehmann

Simon was previously the CEO of Biketec AG, the producer of the FLYER E-bikes located in Huttwil, and CEO of Interhome, the European market leader in placing more than 32,000 vacation apartments, vacation homes, and chalets in 29 countries. His past experience also includes holding the position of deputy CEO of the Hotelplan-Gruppe in 2012, where he was responsible for the Travel Related & Online Services Division (including Interhome and the online travel agency travel.ch). Over the years, Simon made a name for himself beyond the Swiss borders as an online expert on the travel industry in general, but especially in the vacation rental industry. Simon Lehmann is frequently invited as a speaker for online travel events worldwide and is asked on board as a consultant for startups. He was also a non-executive board member with HomeAway until they were sold to Expedia. Prior to his time at Interhome, Simon was active in various top management positions at Swissport International, a worldwide leading company in the area of airport ground handling and former Swissair Group company.

Keynote

What’s Happening to Influencer Marketing

Kieran Morris
Slingshot Sponsorship

With headlines like “Has Influencer Marketing Effectively Become Clickbait?”, one has to wonder, what’s happening to influencer marketing? There are many genuine, ethical, professional influencers operating on the principal of simultaneously creating value for their audience and their clients. However, with the barrier to entry low and the ability to game algorithms high, there are others using the title “influencer”, who are nowhere near the same caliber. This session will explore: the meaning of influencer by defining what it is to be a rights holder; where the true value lies in blogs and social platforms; the commercial value of micro-influencers; how relationships between brands and influencers can be forged to generate true, long-term ROI for both sides; and the future of influencer marketing?

About Kieran Morris

Slingshot Sponsorship
Staff Portraits

Kieran is responsible for the management of all client accounts across Slingshot Sponsorship’s portfolio. He plays a key role in the strategy and sales phase through to the delivery and management of successful sponsorship activation. With a focus on creating groundbreaking partnerships with Slingshot’s rights holder clients, Kieran has worked to drive the true commercial potential of sponsorship with a number of properties including sports teams, charitable causes, entertainment events, digital applications, and venues.

Keynote

tbd

Kei Shimada
Global Director of Innovation and Business Development Dentsu Inc.

Kei Shimada is Global Director of Innovation and Business Development at Dentsu Inc. innovation arm focusing on both initiating and leading a groupwide innovation initiative while creating new solutions around wearables, neural technology, locational big data and crisis management infrastructures, going beyond the traditional advertising business to cultivate new business models that generate revenue. Kei is also one of the most sought after keynote speakers and mentors on mobile, ICT and wearables. He has given keynote presentations in 20+ countries around the globe at prominent events.

Think Tank

Think Tank: Issues in the Influencer/Industry Partnership

Peter Jordan
Independent Consultant & Researcher

A key objective of the Social Travel Summit is to improve and expand the ways in which bloggers and the travel industry collaborate. The Think Tank is a session in which delegates from both sides of the equation brainstorm and discuss the challenges of collaboration and identify solutions that will benefit all. Approximately thirty participants in total will come together for a lively debate that will produce practical recommendations for all professionals in travel marketing.

This year, the Think Tank will ask participants to look at three key areas:

  1. How to build the case for working with influencers and present it to key decision makers.
  2. How to build the perfect visit: putting together the elements that make the influencer’s visit work for everyone.
  3. Crisis recovery: the role of travel influencers in times of trouble.

Discussions, findings, and recommendations from the 2016 STS Think Tank can be downloaded here. A report on the 2017 Think Tank will be published following the Summit.

About Peter Jordan

Peter Jordan is an independent consultant and researcher who specializes in the curation and interpretation of travel trends for diverse clients from inside and outside the tourism industry. Peter started his career in tourism in 2008 at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid. He has also worked for the World Youth Travel Confederation in Amsterdam, and the Pacific Asia Travel Association in Bangkok. In 2014 he founded his own B2B blog GenCTraveller to help friends in the travel industry keep up with the latest trends. In recent years, Peter has written numerous reports and given keynote presentations on Millennial travel behaviour, the emerging outbound markets, the future of DMOs, the sharing economy, and LGBT travel. His experience in travelling and working with tourism industry associations has given him a panoramic view of global travel, putting him in a strong position to advise on consumer market segments that are experiencing strong growth. Originally from the UK, Peter is now based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Business Planning for Bloggers & Influencers

  • Keith Jenkins, Founder & Publisher, Velvet Escape; CEO, iambassador
  • Janice Waugh, Publisher, Solo Traveler; Founder, Solo Travel Awards

When most of us started our blogs the path was pretty simple: Travel. Write. Promote on social platforms. Repeat. Now, as professional bloggers, we have become publishers and maintaining a successful publication takes a serious approach to business. In this session, we’ll look at how to develop a two-year business plan that will work in the fast-changing online environment. You will leave with a process for clarifying your vision and mission, analysing and refining your business model, establishing short and long-term goals, and determining action steps with milestones – all part of a good business plan.

About the speakers

Keith Jenkins
Keith Jenkins left his ten-year investment banking career to travel the world and carve out a new career as a travel blogger and social media advocate. He is the founder and publisher of the Velvet Escape luxury travel blog and founder and CEO of iambassador, an Amsterdam-based social media and marketing services firm that harnesses the strengths of a global network of elite travel influencers to deliver innovative digital marketing campaigns and compelling content.

Janice Waugh

Janice Waugh

Janice is publisher of Solo Traveler, the site for those who travel alone, and author of The Solo Traveler’s Handbook. She and her team work closely with travel brands and DMOs to meet the interests and concerns of Solo Traveler’s unique audience while serving the marketing goals of clients. Prior to founding Solo Traveler, she had a conference, trade show, and publishing company which, with her husband, she started, grew, and sold. Between businesses she traveled extensively and returned to university to complete a Master’s Degree in History. 

Industry-to-Industry Panel – The Online Challenge

  • Susanne Höller, Head of Destination Marketing, Leitung Marketing und Touristik
  • Gemma Suñer, Online Marketing Manager, Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board
  • Mela Mörtenbäck, PRManager, Tirol
  • Emma Mead, Head of Global PR for VisitBritain/VisitEngland

This session is not open to influencers. It is designed so that colleagues within the destination and travel marketing sphere can speak openly about the details of their marketing strategies and experiences with influencers. Our panel will address the typical challenges faced by marketing managers as they redirect funds from traditional marketing channels to influencer marketing. Topics will include:

  • How to sell influencer marketing to senior management
  • Why pay an influencer
  • How to set expectations with the blogger and management
  • Measuring the impact of a campaign
  • How to organize internally for influencer marketing

About the speakers

Susanne Höller
Susanne has been with the Graz Tourist Office since 1993. She is responsible for the international promotion of Graz as a city destination to tour operators and travel agencies. She also assists travel bloggers and the media in their destination coverage of Graz. With more than 20 years in the field, she has in-depth knowledge of destination marketing, including product development, and adjusting to trends such as influencer and content marketing. Su is an active member of European Cities Marketing, a non-profit organization of European cities tourist offices and convention bureaus where she works in the knowledge group of City Marketing, dealing with the issues and challenges of the changing role of a DMO to become a DMMO – Destination Marketing and Management Organization.

Gemma Suñer
Gemma is the Online Marketing Manager of the Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board in Spain. #inCostaBrava and #inPyrenees are some of the most innovative destinations when it comes to relationships with content creators, and were hosts of TBEX 2012 and 2015, where Gemma led the organization of the programs for bloggers around the conference. She has also led the organization of more than 60 blog trips and other innovative projects such as Instagram Your City and Resident Bloggers, through which the whole destination has received successful results and members of the community have turned into content creators. In cooperation with Emilia Romagna and iambassador Gemma was part of the organizing team of #EuroFoodTrip which has become one of the most innovative destination digital marketing campaigns.

Mela Mörtenbäck
Mela is working as PRManager for Tirol, one of the biggest tourism destinations in Europe. She helps to promote Tirol as the number one holiday destination in the alps and is also responsible for international blogger relations. She implemented theorganizations strategy for working with bloggers/influencers and has already realized several campaigns. Mela has profound knowledge in both PR and digital media and has consulted for brands such as Austrian Airlines, T-Mobile, Burton Snowboards, and many more. Mela is a blogger herself and understands very well the challenges and prospects on both sides.

Emma Mead
Emma is currently Head of Global PR for VisitBritain/VisitEngland, responsible for creating and implementing the global PR strategy, and ensuring that activity is integrated across marketing and the rest of the organisation. Influencer marketing sits within Emma’s team in the organisation and in the last 2 years has been successfully integrated into many international campaigns. Taking a leadership role in shaping marketing processes and the way VisitBritain uses the content generated through the PR programme is her focus for this year.

Branding Matters

Nick Westergaard, Chief Brand Strategist, Brand Driven Digital

Strong brands with something to say matter now more than ever. This session will review and recast the role of brands and provide a framework for building a solid brand, telling your story, and aligning your social media strategy to the outcomes that matter most to you. Practical planning and implementation tactics will be shared along with free and premium tools for success.

About Nick Westergaard
Nick Westergaard is a strategist, speaker, author, and educator. As Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, he helps build better brands at organizations of all sizes — from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Nick is the author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is a contributor to the Harvard Business Review and host of the popular On Brand podcast. Nick’s thoughts have been featured in news sources such as US News & World ReportEntrepreneurForbes, Mashable, and more. 

The Definitive Guide to Influencer Ethics

Matt Long, Publisher, Landlopers

Over the past few years the ethics of bloggers and influencers working with DMOs and brands has been hammered out in the Summit Think Tank. Yet, the questions about ethics continue to arise. You will leave this session with a clear understanding of how influencer ethics are exercised so that the credibility that brands and DMOs need influencers to have are maintained and everyone achieves their goals. Topics to be covered include:

  • Picking the right influencer
  • Understanding legal and moral requirements
  • Contracts and deliverables
  • Cooperative itinerary planning
  • Trip management
  • Post-trip content and continuing monitoring

About Matt Long

An experiential luxury traveler at heart, Matt Long shares his adventures with thousands of readers every day through his award-winning site, LandLopers.com. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world then shares his tips on where to go, what to see, and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Based in Washington, DC, Matt has been to more than 70 countries and all 7 continents.

Standing Out in the Digital Landscape

  • Susanne Höller, Head of Destination Marketing, Leitung Marketing und Touristik, Graz Tourismus
  • Janice Waugh, Publisher, Solo Traveler; Founder, Solo Travel Awards
  • Caroline Makepeace, co-Founder, yTravel Blog
  • Anna Fawcett, International Media and Influencer Manager, VisitBritain

The World Wide Web is a big, busy place. You don’t have to stand out on the entire net, just within your specific niche. Our panel of travel influencers and industry representatives have set themselves apart with unique programs that support their brands and serve their business goals, and they will inspire you to develop one of your own. The pros and cons, what they’ve learned, and what they would do differently will all be shared.

About the speakers

Susanne Holler
Suzanne has been with the Graz Tourist Office since 1993. She is responsible for the international promotion of Graz as a city destination to tour operators and travel agencies. She also assists travel bloggers and the media in their destination coverage of Graz. With more than 20 years in the field, she has in-depth knowledge of destination marketing, including product development, and adjusting to trends such as influencer and content marketing. Su is an active member of European Cities Marketing, a non-profit organization of European cities tourist offices and convention bureaus where she works in the knowledge group of City Marketing, dealing with the issues and challenges of the changing role of a DMO to become a DMMO – Destination Marketing and Management Organization.

Caroline Makepeace
Caroline is the co-founder of yTravel Blog, one of the world’s biggest travel blogs, alongside her husband, Craig and their two daughters. They work with brands and tourism boards in an authentic and powerful way to connect with their story and engaged community. After completing a successful 18-month road trip around Australia, they are currently replicating the same concept on a 2- 3 year America Unplugged road trip. They’ve collaborated with brands such as Ford, Amex, Skyscanner, Booking.com, Prana, Allianz, and many international and state tourism boards. Caroline regularly shares her insights at travel, blogging, and social media conferences. Tourism Queensland, who they worked with for over two years, regularly says that “yTravel is the gift that keeps on giving.”

Anna Fawcett
Anna is the International Media and Influencer Manager at VisitBritain, managing the global PR and influencer programme across 21 international markets. Anna’s international tourism experience includes working on multiple tourism ventures in New Zealand, and at the world renowned Edinburgh Festivals; there Anna worked with DMOs, local industry, media and influencers to promote Edinburgh as the World’s leading festival city. During her time at VisitBritain Anna has been lead on a multitude of influencer campaigns including #TrexTuesdays, and the #WelcomeToEngland project; an initiative to promote ‘Welcome’ in England, after the Brexit vote. Anna also led VisitBritain’s hosting of iAmbassador’s Social Travel Summit Inverness in 2016 – #STSInverness. The success of which resulted in a PRWeek Global PR Award for ‘Best Global Partnership’ between VisitBritain and Iambassador for the delivery of #STSInverness.

Janice Waugh

Janice Waugh

Janice is publisher of Solo Traveler, the site for those who travel alone, and author of The Solo Traveler’s Handbook. She and her team work closely with travel brands and DMOs to meet the interests and concerns of Solo Traveler’s unique audience while serving the marketing goals of clients. Prior to founding Solo Traveler, she had a conference, trade show, and publishing company which, with her husband, she started, grew, and sold. Between businesses she traveled extensively and returned to university to complete a Master’s Degree in History.

Algorithms Are Killing Us! Winning at Organic and Bought Social Media

  • Marion Vicenta Payr, Photography & Travels, Content & Influencer Marketing
  • Lynsey Sweales, CEO, SocialB; Vice Chair, Social Media Council

Facebook, Instagram, and all social platforms that reach any level of success work algorithms to their revenue advantage, not to our organic success. This session will look at the risks and rewards of working organically, when and how to buy social results, strategies to build up truly “owned” channels, and new opportunities like Messenger & WhatsApp lists as a way out of the algorithm misery of the newsfeed.

About the speakers

Lynsey Sweales
Lynsey has been described as ”frighteningly knowledgeable” and ”the best digital trainer ever” by some of the world’s leading brands. With over 16 years of experience, Lynsey and her team specialize in providing social media, digital marketing training, consultancy, and campaigns to all sizes of businesses including many leading MICE, Associations, and tourism organizations such as Emirates, Visit Europe, Meetings & Exhibitions Hong Kong, and the Estonia Convention Bureau.

Marion Vicenta Payr
Marion studied journalism and media management at FHWien and worked for one of Austria’s largest newspapers (during the founding days) and at a startup that brought HD television to Austria. She spent a total of 9 years in the offices of those startups and of an international pay TV corporation in Direct Marketing, before her side project became her main business in 2016. Photography became Marion’s passion when she registered on Instagram as one of the first in Austria in the beginning of 2011. Now Marion is a self-taught photographer and travel blogger and has made this her main career. Marion is a speaker on Influencer Marketing, Instagram, Mobile Photography and Social Storytelling. She gives lectures on Mobile Photography & Instagram.

Negotiating the Terms of a Partnership

  • Becki Enright, Travel Writer & PR Director, Borders of Adventure
  • Martina Jamnig, Key Account and Marketing Manager, Austrian National Tourist Office

This session will take an in-depth look into the negotiation and management of the relationships between influencers and DMOs from both sides of the equation. A new relationship and strategy must dovetail with existing tactics and campaigns. The speakers will cover the formulation of new ideas and their integration, how to make sure both the influencer and the DMO gain maximum exposure and output; how to make the relationship work over a long period of time and what it means to be a country spokesperson without being an ‘expat blogger’. The original pitch, negotiation, implementation and next steps will all be covered.

About the speakers

Becki Enright
Becki is a British travel press award-winning writer at Borders of Adventure and a PR consultant with over 13 years combined experience, having represented some of the biggest consumer brands at some of the UK’s leading international PR consultancies. Her quasi-journalistic and socio-political commentary style of writing focuses on the concept of ”journeys to change perceptions,” with insight into social, historical, political, and economic factors that shape the country and tourism footfall. Becki regularly reports on misunderstood, post-conflict, and lesser-known aspects of destinations. When travelling to a well-established or popular destination, she aims to find a different angle in order to overcome stereotypes and cliches and entice readers to dig a little deeper. Based in Vienna, she is currently the official UK Ambassador for Austria Tourism – a Blogger-DMO partnership that marks the first of its kind in the industry.

Martina Jamnig
As the Key Account and Marketing Manager in London for the Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO), Martina has worked on a number of influencer campaigns. She was also influential in the decision to allocate a specific budget for such campaigns.

Martina has worked with ANTO London since 2008, starting as PR Manager. It was in this position that she began working the blogger/influencer community. In 2010/11 she managed the first blogger trips and, with Tyrol / Innsbruck, the first blogger conference in Austria.

Where to Focus in the Fast-Changing Digital World

Lynsey Sweale, CEO, SocialB

For brand marketers and DMOs new to working with influencers and the various social channels, it can all be a bit overwhelming. How do you narrow down and focus on what is really going to return results? In this last workshop targeted at the travel industry you’ll get the guidance you need to take what you’ve learned and apply it strategically.

About Lynsey Sweales
Lynsey has been described as ”frighteningly knowledgeable” and ”the best digital trainer ever” by some of the world’s leading brands. With over 16 years of experience, Lynsey and her team specialize in providing social media, digital marketing training, consultancy, and campaigns to all sizes of businesses including many leading MICE, Associations and tourism organizations such as Emirates, Visit Europe, Meetings & Exhibitions Hong Kong, and the Estonia Convention Bureau.

Ask the SEO Expert

  • Erik van Erp, Founder, Around the Globe
  • Audrey Berner, Publisher, ThatBackpacker.com

With the decline in social reach and the rise of voice search, understanding SEO is more important than ever. Erik will first teach his top 3 tips for SEO and Analytics for mature blogs. Then, using ThatBackpacker.com as a sample site, he’ll demonstrate how to implement these tips to get results. After that, it’s all you and your questions, some of which will be drawn from your feedback in the iambassador Facebook group before the event.

About the speakers
Erik van Erp
Erik van Erp is the founder of Around the Globe. What started as a personal blog during a trip in 2002 has become one of the biggest active independent travel communities in the Netherlands. Erik, a travelling nomad himself, knows the needs of travellers. For over 10 years he has used his IT background to develop unique tools to provide support to travellers during their journey. Erik is a speaker at travel conferences and universities and is one of the initiators of travelbloggers.nl. This is a platform where travel bloggers, online journalists, publishers, and online magazines work together to collaborate, amplify each other’s campaigns, and share knowledge. Together with the travel industry they search for the best possible results, resources, and possibilities to effectively create successful campaigns.

Audrey Berner
Audrey is the creator of ThatBackpacker.com, a travel blog that has been helping readers plan their travels and experience destinations since 2010. She also runs a YouTube travel channel together with her husband, Samuel, where they take viewers on visual journeys, showcasing attractions, local eateries, and unusual activities, helping would-be travellers visualize what their trip could look like and go from dream to reality. Audrey’s travels have taken her across 50+ countries filling up a few passports along the way, and she shows no signs of slowing down!