Speakers

 

Doug Lansky

Author, Journalist, Travel Visionary

Doug Lansky has been living abroad and traveling for close to 20 years in over 120 countries. He has written 10 books, including 2 for Lonely Planet and 3 for Rough Guides; wrote a weekly syndicated travel column in over 40 newspapers for five years; hosted a Travel Channel show; served as a correspondent for Public Radio’s Savvy Traveler show; served as travel editor for Scandinavian Airlines inflight magazine for three years; and contributed to publications such as National Geographic Traveler, Reader’s Digest, Esquire, Men’s Journal, The Guardian, National Geographic Adventure, Huffington Post, and Skift.

On the speaking circuit, Doug has delivered acclaimed lectures at nearly 100 universities. He has delivered presentations for the United Nations World’s Tourism Organization and TEDx Stockholm, and has appeared as an after-dinner speaker at corporate events and both public and industry travel/tourism conferences. Doug spoke to a sold-out audience at National Geographic Headquarters and set the attendance record for keynote lectures at the 2012 and 2013 ITB Berlin conferences.

Richard Millington

Founder, FeverBee

Richard Millington is the founder of FeverBee, author of Buzzing Communities, and a frequent speaker at online community events around the world. Richard’s unique focus is on cracking the ‘social code’ behind successful social groups. FeverBee’s approach combines cutting edge social psychology with advanced data insights and a library of repeatable case studies to transform audiences, employees, and customers into united, supportive groups. Over the past 13 years, Richard has helped to develop over 150 successful communities, including those for Google, The World Bank, Oracle, Amazon, Autodesk, Lego, The United Nations, Novartis, and many more. Richard has delivered keynote talks in many countries, including the USA, Canada, UK, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Australia, Turkey, Switzerland, Romania, and Lithuania. He has also hosted sold-out conferences in London and San Francisco, creating a forum where a community of professionals could connect and share their expertise with one another.

Jackie Fast

Managing Director, Slingshot Sponsorship

Jackie Fast is the Founder of Slingshot Sponsorship, an independent and strategic sponsorship sales agency based in Central London with offices worldwide. Launched with the belief that sponsorship has evolved and now has the ability to truly transform businesses overall, Slingshot has successfully taken their strategic commercial framework and applied it to the world’s leading brands who want to take their investment beyond eyeballs and awareness. Slingshot Sponsorship has worked across numerous verticals with clients ranging from grassroots charities, leading FTSE 100 companies, global music artists, startups, and entrepreneurs. Some of Slingshot’s clients have included the Mayor of London, GB Taekwondo, Spotify, Bloodhound, Marks & Spencer, Universal Music, Haymarket Consumer Publishing, Renault, Wales Rally GB, E.ON, and Shell.

Jackie is a regular keynote speaker within the UK and has spoken at global sponsorship conventions in Europe, Australia, Asia, the Middle East, and throughout North America. Jackie is also a Non-Executive Board Director of the European Sponsorship Association.

Peter Jordan

Senior Tourism Analyst, Toposophy

Peter Jordan has emerged as one of the travel industry’s leading specialists on Millennial consumers and their effect on the dynamics of global tourism. He is an avid follower of tourism trends and works extensively in industry education and forward-planning for destinations and travel brands around the world. Peter is a Millennial traveller himself and has visited nearly 40 countries, researching and observing the ways in which his generation is changing the travel industry and how the travel industry can capitalise on those changes.

Originally from the UK, Peter has worked for the United Nations World Tourism Organization in Madrid as well as the World Youth, Student, and Educational Travel Confederation in Amsterdam. Over the years he has authored industry-leading reports on youth travel, the emerging markets, LGBT travel, and the sharing economy. Today he is applying his knowledge through a range of projects led by Toposophy, an integrated destination marketing agency that assists destinations and travel brands to meet the needs of the next generation of travellers and make the best of what every place has to offer.

Jonah Jones

Product Design Manager, Facebook

Jonah is a product designer with a love for travel and a background in design, programming, photography, and film.

He began his career working in the London startup scene, before joining Google where he worked for 8 years in Mountain View, Sydney, and Zurich, and led the redesign of Google Maps.

He is currently a Product Design Manager at Facebook in London, and has led multiple diverse teams working on tools to help people share, tools to connect the workplace, and business solutions.

 

Steve Keenan

Co-founder, Travel Perspective

An experienced travel journalist, Steve left print in 2004 when he was Deputy Travel Editor of The Times (London) to become the first online travel editor at a national paper. He introduced social media and video at Thetimes.co.uk, then again at The Sunday Times. Steve left in 2011 to co-found travel editorial consultancy Travel Perspective. He and partner Mark Frary have run the social media seminars at World Travel Market since 2011 and, in 2015, they launched Social Travel Britain, an annual conference which focuses on social and digital marketing progression in British tourism.

Melvin Böcher

Founder, Traveldudes

Melvin Böcher is the Founder of Traveldudes, THE Social Travel Platform, which helps users find social travel content about their desired destination: for travelers, by travelers. A former travel agent, Melvin is one of the top travel influencers online, with over 235,000 followers on Twitter and more than 100,000 highly engaged Facebook fans. Traveldudes provides valuable tips, inspiration and advice from travelers based on their first-hand experience. It is a community of travelers who assist one another on their adventures around the world and help enhance their travel experiences. Melvin is also the creator of Travel Talk on Twitter, (#TTOT) which reaches 2 million users and creates 25 million impressions every Tuesday.

Keith Jenkins

Founder & Publisher, Velvet Escape

Keith Jenkins is the Founder and Publisher of the multiple award-winning Velvet Escape luxury travel blog. Based in Amsterdam, Keith 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 has visited more than 80 countries across six continents. In addition to being a travel blogger, Keith is the CEO of iambassador – the world’s leading international travel blogger network – a company he founded in 2011. iambassador collaborates with tourism boards and brands around the world to produce innovative online marketing campaigns and has, since its inception, won various awards. Keith also speaks often at tourism and social media conferences about influencer marketing and trends. Furthermore, Keith is the co-founder of the Global Bloggers Network, a community of more than 3,000 travel bloggers. Keith has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, BBC Travel, Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveler, and has spoken at TEDxTalk.

Nicholas Montemaggi

Director of Marketing and Project Management, iambassador

Nicholas is responsible for marketing the iambassador brand, expanding and strengthening client and blogger relations, developing iambassador’s education services and longer-term business strategies. Nicholas joined iambassador from the Emilia Romagna Tourist Board where he was responsible for Digital PR and International Online Media Relations for five years. At the tourism board, Nicholas developed, with the iambassador network, the award-winning Blogville Italy project, which is now into its fifth year. Nicholas was also responsible for European Union Relations and Funding Opportunities for the Tourism Sector for the Emilia Romagna Tourist Board, working together with the Regional Governmental EU offices and the Regional Chambers of Commerce Union EU offices, connecting the public sector with small and medium-sized enterprises. Nicholas has spoken at the most important events and fairs of the travel industry like ITB Berlin, WTM London, WTM Africa, Social Travel Summit, World Tourism Forum, Social Media Tourism Symposium, TTI-TTG Rimini, and TBEX and holds workshops and seminars at Universities and DMOs where he shares the latest marketing strategies and experiences from his daily work and projects.

Matt Long

Publisher, Landlopers

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 in order to share 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.

Angelika Schwaff

Founder, Reisefreunde

 After earning a Master’s degree in Journalism and Communications, Angelika Schwaff went on to a successful career in radio and television journalism, communications and public relations. Now, she puts that experience to work as a professional travel blogger of the blog Reisefreunde and a consultant in blogger relations, social media, and crisis communications. She takes on assignments for travel publications and has spoken at international blogger conferences such as TBEX, TBU, Blogst, and the Hive. In 2012 she founded the Reiseblogger Kollektiv (German Travel Blogger Collective) to set professional standards in the German travel blogosphere. Reiseblogger Kollektiv is now one of the main corporate content partners for the travel industry.  In 2012, Angelika joined Keith Jenkins and Melvin Böcher at iambassador to become their Chief Strategy Officer. In 2014, iambassador and Reiseblogger Kollektiv launched The Social Travel Summit.

Claudia Beatriz

Founder, Aprendiz de Viajante

Claudia Beatriz is a mother of 2, traveler, author, and speaker who 12 years ago, traded the laid-back beaches and sunny Rio de Janeiro for the fast-paced international flair of Washington DC and then moved to Orlando, Florida, where she still lives. The founder and Publisher of Aprendiz de Viajante Travel Blog, Magazine, and Travel Guides, Claudia was also the curator and speaker at the first International Bloggers Conference(EIBTUR) in Brazil. She loves traveling the world and is committed to making a difference and helping her readers travel more responsibly.

She has spoken at several international tourism conferences such as WTM London and Latin America, TBU, and One Travel Conference and in 2011 she founded a network of travel bloggers called RBBV (Rede Brasileira de Blogueiros de Viagem), which has currently more than 900 Brazilian travel bloggers.

When she is not traveling or writing for the blog and magazine, she works as a Content Management and Social Media Consultant for several international organizations in Washington, DC including the World Bank, United Nations, IFC, and IDB.

Erik van Erp

Founder, Around the Globe

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.

Kate McCulley

Publisher, Adventurous Kate

Kate McCulley is the publisher of Adventurous Kate, the leading travel blog specializing in solo and independent travel for women. Kate’s travels have taken her to more than 63 countries and she shows women how it can be safe, easy, and a lot of fun to travel on their own terms. Her blog has provided her full-time income since 2010. After five years of living nomadically, Kate now splits her time between New York City and the world.

 

Rachelle Lucas

Founder, The Travel Bite

A foodie with a zest for life and passion for travel, Rachelle has been blogging since 2007 when she started documenting her life as an innkeeper.  As her wanderlust grew, she sold the inn to pursue travel writing full-time and has since been to over 45 countries in pursuit of the tastiest meal. She’s been recognized in PEOPLE Magazine, USA Today’s Top 10, and by Trip Advisor as one of the Top 25 Culinary Travel Blogs to follow.  In addition to writing, Rachelle is also an experienced on-camera personality who is frequently featured on television, from national commercials to morning shows.

Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Writer, Photographer, Travel Blogger

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning writer, photographer, and travel blogger who contributes to National Geographic Traveler, The Guardian, Travel + Leisure, and many high profile travel publications. She is the editor of Slow Travel Stockholm and her photography is represented by National Geographic Creative. She is a co-founder of the NordicTB Collective which brings together top professional travel influencers and digital storytellers in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland.

Ana Silva O’Reilly

Publisher, Mrs. O Around the World

Ana Silva O’Reilly is a 30-something globetrotter who finds her peace and quiet on a long-haul business class flight to somewhere warm. An avid traveller, Ana is also a good daughter, religiously following her mother’s motto: “If you leave home, it has to be better,” or “I love camping, in 5 star hotels.”

She documents her stylish escapades on her travel blog, Mrs. O Around the World. Ana has worked with a variety of brands, including Sovereign Luxury, American Express, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Belmond, Kempinski, Visit Britain, and Visit Palm Springs.

John Pilkington

Content Marketing, trivago

John heads up the Content Marketing team for the UK & Ireland at trivago, where he co-ordinates content production for the blog Room5. John has been working in communications for the past four years and has been chronicling his own travel adventures on his blog Continental Breakfast Travel since 2013.

Niamh Shields

Publisher, Eat Like a Girl

Niamh Shields is one of the UKs leading food and travel bloggers, winning the coveted Observer Food Monthly Best Blog Award in 2011, and listed as one of the most influential people in food in the UK by Debrett’s and The Sunday Times in 2014. Niamh is passionate about travel and storytelling and has embraced Snapchat for this very reason. Niamh will be speaking about Snapchat and its potential for the travel industry.

Kirstie Pelling

Travel Blogger, Journalist, Poet

Kirstie Pelling is an adventure seeking professional travel blogger, journalist, and poet. She co-founded The Family Adventure Project, an award winning UK adventure blog and is currently building a brand as a digital travel poet, Poet in Motion. She writes and performs poetry inspired by travel, technology, and her own obsession with social media and has shared her work at some of the UKs biggest travel and social media conferences. Through and beyond her poetry she works with destinations and brands to engage audiences through creative ways of storytelling on blogs, social media, and in the real world. Recent work with GoLakes Travel produced a coffee table book, video poems, and poetry on boats and buses, all encouraging Lake District visitors to get out of their cars and See More using bikes, boats, buses, and their boots.

Nienke Krook

Founder, Dream.Pin.Go.

Nienke Krook is a former school teacher from the Netherlands, currently living in London and working full-time in the blogging industry. As “The Travel Tester” she writes about experiences around the world that lead to self-development.

On Pinterest, Nienke runs a community of over 500,000 travellers dreaming, planning, and booking their next trip. She created the largest resource of quality location-based travel content in her community “Mappin Monday” and educates travel brands on Pinterest strategies in her latest project, “Dream.Pin.Go.”

Nienke has worked with a variety of travel brands on optimizing their Pinterest accounts and gives regular presentations and workshops on leveraging the power of this visual platform. Her online video course, aimed specifically at Pinterest use for the tourism industry, will be launched in June 2016.

Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk

Travel Blogger, Photographer

Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk is an award winning travel blogger and bouncy ball world champion based in Berlin. A qualified communications designer, she has been blogging for more than 9 years and started her own travel and photography blog Smaracuja in 2011. She is a founding member of German blogging collective Reiseblogger Kollektiv and has been working as a social media and blogging consultant for major tourism brands and appeared as an expert at ITB Berlin, Social Media Week, German Federation of Journalists DJV, The Social Travel Summit and German TV and Radio stations several times.

Her strong visual work stands out due to her significant eye for details in high quality photography, videography and illustration and her readers appreciate her ability to find and show off beauty in things not classically considered aesthetic. Thus she became the ambassador for “ugly-pretty” photography during a Canon Europe campaign and has been featured and interviewed on the Instagram Blog as the first German mobile photographer.

Mariette du Toit-Helmbold

International Destination Marketing and Tourism Thought Leader

Mariette du Toit-Helmbold is an international destination marketing and tourism thought leader, a writer and public speaker on tourism, destination marketing, brand innovation and digital marketing.

She established Destinate, a boutique international destination and tourism marketing agency, in 2013 after an enviable tenure of 10 years as the CEO of Cape Town Tourism.

Mariette and the Destineers work with brands and destinations within and beyond South Africa to unlock their full potential, applying their knowledge and pursuing their passion for innovative, people-centred marketing and tourism. Their areas of expertise include global consumer trends, new markets, city tourism dynamics, wine tourism and the impact of new technology and the web on tourism.

Yvonne Zagermann

Publisher, Just Travelous

Yvonne Zagermann is the publisher of the award-winning travel blog, JUST travelous. In 2012 she co-founded the Reiseblogger Kollektiv (German Travel Blogger Collective) to set professional standards in the German Travel Blogosphere and she’s also a member of iambassador. She has been a speaker at international conferences such as ITB, TBEX, TBU, CMT, STS and GTM. Yvonne is also a professional German TV journalist with over 15 years of experience in travel shows, news, documentary, and corporate films for hotels and destinations. For her report, “red! @ the city: Berlin“ she was awarded the Columbus TV Preis in 2012 by the German travel journalist association. Yvonne is based in Berlin.

Kash Bhattacharya

Publisher, Budget Traveler

Kash Bhattacharya, widely known as the Budget Traveler, is also the ‘ideas man’ and iAmbassador’s new Director of Creative Concepts. Kash was one of the creators of the innovative Blogville concept, which has since been replicated around the world, from Finland to South Africa. Kash is the Founder and Publisher of the award-winning Budget Traveller blog. The focus of his blog has always been to show people how to travel in style on a budget. He has been featured by the New York Times, Lonely Planet, Guardian, Vanity Fair & National Geographic.

Marc Smith

Publisher, 30 Day Adventures

Marc’s mantra is “awesome is around every corner,” you just have to look with an open heart. Until Marc started 30 Day Adventures he had only road tripped through British Columbia with his family and enjoyed the occasional week of beach fun in Puerto Vallarta. Four years later, Marc has been on over 80 planes, been on the road approximately half of each year, and explored North America from the Islands of Hawaii to the Flower Pots of New Brunswick. Don’t ask for his favourite destination because he hasn’t found it yet!

After ten years running a successful events company in Vancouver, Marc got stuck in the routine. Throwing caution to the wind, he shut down the company and embarked on a 30 Day Adventure being a tourist in his own city. Every day he chose a suggested activity from his community of followers and embarked on the adventure. He documented it on his iPhone and then when it was over wrote a story about his adventure. Today there are over 1,000 adventures documented on 30 Day Adventures.

Catharina Fischer

Consultant, Tourismuszukunft

Catharina is a freelance consultant for Tourismuszukunft, one of the leading digital consultant networks in Germany. They support companies, mainly tourism but also other industries, to realize their digital projects, studies, and campaigns. Furthermore, they train and create digital mindsets and provide guidance and strategy for digital change.

Catharina has 8+ years’ experience in tourism online marketing and 5+ years’ experience in social media marketing on an international level, gained as Head of Social Media at the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). She developed at GNTB the worldwide Social Media Strategy for more than 12 international markets, designed several international Online and Social Media campaigns with influencers worldwide, and has built and planned the Social Media department. She has an excellent track record in managing large, international campaigns and broad knowledge to measure the output. In October 2016 Catharina will launch together with Leipzig Tourism and Saxon State Chancellery the Video Summit Leipzig, an event where selected professional video bloggers meet the industry and vice versa in order to share knowledge of successful campaigns, productions, and new technologies as well as how to integrate video into marketing.

Emma Mead

International Media And Influencers Manager, VisitBritain

Emma Mead is International Media And Influencers Manager for VisitBritain, the National tourist board for Britain. Working across 22 international markets, Emma supports the regional offices with hunting down newsworthy story ideas, itinerary planning, and social/PR integration – which includes ensuring that influencers are an integral element of our PR plans in each market.

Emma led VisitBritain’s first-ever global blogger trip in April 2014, which saw 30 bloggers from around the world travel across England, Scotland, and Wales on six themed itineraries, including Food, Fashion and Shopping, Adventure, and Film, and she has played a key role in shaping VisitBritain’s strategy for engaging bloggers and social media influencers.

Emma worked closely on VisitBritain’s first partnership with iAmbassador, in which three iAmbassadors served as official campaign curators for VisitBritain’s Countryside is GREAT campaign in the US and has since managed the influencer strand of delivery for new global campaigns such as #OMGB.

Sabina Woller

Social Media, trivago

Born in Germany and raised in Africa, Sabina manages trivago’s social media channels in the UK & Ireland. Having worked in digital marketing and the tourism industry for more than seven years, she has developed a love for innovation, technology and social media. She holds a degree in International Management and brings experience in areas of management, marketing and customer service.

Denise Bartlett

Communication Manager, trivago

Denise is the Communication Manager for the UK & Ireland at trivago, a role she took on in 2012 and has loved ever since. A day’s work can involve anything from analysing the latest hotel price trends, to publishing our unique travel data or advising users on the best time to visit a city.

Michael Turtle

Publisher, Time Travel Turtle

Michael Turtle worked as a broadcast journalist in television and radio for a decade before becoming a travel blogger. He has been travelling the world continuously for more than five years and sharing his stories and photography on his blog, Time Travel Turtle. The site has won numerous awards including being named as the Best Lifestyle Blog by the Australian Writers Centre.

David Johnstone

Managing Director at After Digital

Responsible for driving the growth and direction of the agency, David has worked with the company for over 12 years helping it go from strength to strength. His academic background in software development perfectly positions him to work with our clients in establishing clear goals and objectives for their digital projects. Combined with over 15 years experience in sales for AD, Hewlett-Packard and the Phoenix Car Company he brings client-facing expertise and a sound understanding of the e-business market and UX design to the role. David has overseen complex digital solutions for the likes of EDF Energy, People Make Glasgow, Azure and Atlas Hotels.