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 just over 100 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!

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


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.

Think Tank: Issues in the Blogger/Industry Partnership

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.

At STS Inverness 2016 the Think Tank involved approximately thirty delegates who were asked to discuss five topics and come up with recommendations, suggestions, or solutions. Their discussions, findings, and recommendations are presented in the STS Think Tank Report that can be downloaded here. A report on the 2017 Think Tank will be published following the Summit.

Business Planning for Bloggers & Influencers

Fail to plan and you’re planning to fail. Learn how to develop a two-year business plan that will cover and clarify your mission, business model, goals, and action steps with milestones – a plan that will work in the fast-changing online environment. Leave with the process and templates for success.

For Industry Only – The Online Challenge

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 people who don’t understand it, how to establish expectations for campaigns, why to pay bloggers when you don’t pay journalists, and the fundamentals to ensuring campaign success.

Branding Matters

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.

The Definitive Guide to Influencer Ethics

Over the past few years ethical issues relating to bloggers and influencers working with DMOs and brands have been hammered out in the Summit Think Tank to ensure strong results for all parties. This session will present the conclusions of those discussions. You will leave with the definitive guide to influencer ethics.

Projects for Standing Out in the Digital Landscape

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 who have set themselves apart with unique programs that support their brands and serve their business goals 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.

Your Brand and Algorithms: The Art & Science of Social Media

Gaining influence and traction on social media requires a combination of what works for your brand and an understanding of the algorithms for the various platforms. This session is not about gaming an algorithm but understanding it so that you efficiently serve and grow your audience and prospects. You will learn about the latest algorithm updates for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram and how to apply that knowledge

What’s Working and What’s Not

As you implement your social strategy there are many small details that will affect your success. Take the guesswork out of determining the best subject lines for emails, social media copy, blog design, post titles, and more by using A/B testing. Our marketing expert will explain the theory and tactics of A/B testing (comparing two versions of something determine which one performs better) while our Google Analytics expert will show you how to measure the results.

SEO & Reporting for Influencer-Client Relations

What data is being left on the table? How can it be best used for your success and that of your clients? Our online expert will dig into the many sources of data you, as an influencer have at your disposal and show you how to gather and share it. Best practices in reporting will be discussed and, as with the previous session, our GA expert will show you how to pull the data you need from Google Analytics.