The Social Travel Summit 2018 will continue to break new ground in travel and destination marketing.

As always, it will be a small conference of just around 150 delegates which will include top bloggers and influencers from around the world as well as industry representatives seeking to leverage their clout. Being small is an advantage: serious discussion, networking and learning takes place in a way that would be impossible at larger conferences.

The arrival date for all delegates is Monday, 24th September 2018. In the afternoon, a variety of city tours will be organised for all delegates. In the evening, the delegates will be welcomed at an exciting and fun-filled reception and dinner.

Social Travel Summit Schedule


Monday, 24th September 2018: Arrival day for all delegates
11:00am – 2:00pm: Registration of influencers hosted by VisitBritain at Bullitt Hotel.
2:00pm – 5:00pm: Registration open for ALL delegates at The Merchant Hotel.
From 12pm onwards: departure of pre-conference tours
5:00pm: Introduction to STS for first-timers at Champagne Bar, The Merchant Hotel
5:30pm onwards: Opening Reception and dinner. The Reception kicks off in The Great Room at The Merchant Hotel and continues with a Street Art & Food Tour in the Cathedral Quarter. The tours leaves The Merchant Hotel at 6:30pm. The groups arrive at The Dark Horse (pub) at 8:15pm for Part II of the Opening Reception.
Tuesday, 25th September 2018
7:00am – 8:30am: Pick-up and tour of Titanic Belfast
8:00am: Registration opens for ALL delegates at The Merchant Hotel.
9:00am – 5:00pm: Conference at The Merchant Hotel
6:15pm: STS group photo at The Merchant Hotel
6:30pm: Proceed to STS Gala Dinner at St.Anne’s Cathedral
Wednesday, 26th September 2018
9:00am – 5:00pm: Conference at The Merchant Hotel
7:00pm onwards: Closing Reception and dinner at Babel, Bullitt Hotel

Day 1 of the conference (Tuesday, 25th September 2018) will focus on growth marketing, specifically on outcomes – how to define, measure, and achieve real goals. The conference kicks off with an energetic and thought-provoking opening keynote. This is followed by peer-to-peer sessions where delegates are able to share experiences in influencer marketing and learn from each other. The rest of the day will feature insightful sessions on defining and achieving marketing goals. And, of course, there is the Think Tank which, for the past four years, has examined the challenges of influencer/brand collaboration and resulted in the production of an annual STS Think Tank White Paper.

Day 2 (Wednesday, 26th September) will dig deeper into travel marketing and proven strategies. Delegates will learn from expert keynotes, as well as sessions on destination marketing in emerging markets, case studies from peers and social media ‘pay-to-play’ strategies.

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

Scroll down to read about the speakers and topics. Watch this space as we confirm more details on speakers and topics.

Jason Miller 

Global Content Marketing Leader, LinkedIn

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photographer

Jason A Miller is a B2B marketer and global content marketing leader at LinkedIn by day, and a rock ‘n’ roll photographer by night. He’s also a prolific keynote speaker, professor of marketing strategy at the University of California, Berkeley, and the best-selling author of Welcome to the Funnel: Proven Tactics to Turn Your Social Media and Content Marketing up to 11. His unique approach to digital marketing is born of his 10 years in the music business. His ideas and strategies are both inspiring and proven to work on the frontline, helping overcome some of the biggest challenges that marketers face today.

Topic: Standing Out with Demand Generation Marketing

How do you stand out from the crowd and build a demand generation engine to fuel your business goals? With a multi-channel, integrated digital strategy that encompasses traditional tools like email and websites, with marketing automation, social media, and influencer marketing. In this session, rock star Content Marketer and Demand Generation expert, Jason Miller, will break down what you need to acquire, nurture, and convert the traveler into a customer and advocate for your blog, social platforms, website, destination, and/or product. Strap in and get ready for the ride of your life – it’s going to be an adventure.

Chris Marr

Founder, Content Marketing Academy


Chris is the founder and driving force behind the Content Marketing Academy, the UK’s largest membership organisation of its type. He is also the leading voice of the growing Content Marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing. His drive comes from a desire to help people break free from the world of interruption marketing.

Through workshops, events, coaching, and, of course, a ton of freely available content, Chris has become a respected Content Marketing educator. Like all educators, Chris is also a dedicated student. He’s interviewed and facilitated events with many of content marketing’s most notable thought leaders. The knowledge he’s learned from the likes of Jay Baer, Ann Handley, Marcus Sheridan, and Mark Schaefer has been shared freely with the members of his growing community. Chris has also connected with many content marketing practitioners who have achieved remarkable success. By shining a light on these businesses and sharing the stories of their success, Chris perfectly blends the theory and practice of content marketing.

Topic:  From SEO to Sales: A Strategic Approach to Content Marketing

Content marketing is widely misunderstood, and in the UK, the majority of bloggers and business people are at the novice level of understanding. This leads to a lack of results and a low level of commitment. Let’s change this today. Chris is a “no BS” kind of guy who wants to help you understand how the dramatic shift in consumer behaviour impacts how your content is found and used to help consumers make an educated buying decision, ultimately leading to sales and revenue. At the Content Marketing Academy, Chris teaches a wide and varied collective of business people and marketing professionals the true principles of content marketing. Their stories and successes will be shared in this fast-paced and interactive session. There will be challenges. There will be homework to do. There will be light bulb moments. And most of all, you will learn something new. You will leave this session with a strategic and commercial approach to content marketing, a clear understanding of how SEO and content marketing work together, and a fresh philosophy and methodology to increase your content marketing ROI.

Ian Cleary

Founder, RazorSocial

Ian Cleary is founder of the award-winning blog and content marketing agency RazorSocial. He is a lecturer on Content Marketing at Rutgers University and has been featured in The New York Times, and Forbes. He contributes to the latter publication monthly. Ian is also co-founder of OutreachPlus, an email outreach tool which automates, simplifies, and speeds up the process of sending highly personalized emails to a new or existing audience. In a report by Onalytica, Ian was listed as the 25th most influential person in social media globally and the 38th most influential content marketer. Ian speaks at top marketing conferences around the world, including Social Media Marketing World, Content Marketing World, and MarTech. Forbes recently referred to Ian’s presentation at MarTech as “one of the most memorable presentations of the conference.” He has contributed articles to VentureBeat,, Huffington Post, and many other leading online publications. Ian was also a contributing author to Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars.

Topic: Optimizing Content for Outcomes

No matter how good your content is, you need to optimize its creation and promotion to ensure that you achieve the desired outcomes. This requires an advanced understanding of keyword research, pillar content, content conversion funnels, and how they all can improve Google ranking. During this session, Ian will share a 5-step process for ensuring that you get the maximum reach and benefit possible for the content you produce for your site and the content generated as part of a collaborative campaign. You’ll walk away with a more strategic approach as well as practical steps to implement.


Erik van Erp

Founder and Publisher, Around the Globe

As the founder and publisher of Around the Globe travel community, Erik is one of the top influencers in the Netherlands. The Around the Globe community has, since its inception in 2002, grown to become one of the largest independent traveler communities in the country. With his background in IT, Erik has developed unique tools to provide support to travelers during their journeys. An avid traveler himself, he keeps abreast of the changing needs of his audience by constantly polling and using innovative analytical growth strategies.

Erik is a speaker at travel conferences and universities revealing digital marketing strategies and analytical topics in an easy, understandable way. Erik is the Director of IT for iambassador and advises iambassador bloggers and the iambassador Management Team on technical and analytical challenges to help the travel industry move forward. He has and will play an instrumental role in developing the iambassador blogger database with its integrated project management, tracking, and ROI calculation systems where he will continue to develop and execute iambassador’s IT strategies, client reporting, and internal communication platforms.

Laurel Robbins 

Laurel is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel, one of the most influential adventure travel blogs in the world. She is a sought-after speaker, having delivered the keynote at UTD Brussels, as well as having spoken at many industry conferences, including ITB Berlin, WTM London, WTM Dubai, NBE Finland, TBEX Athens, and TBC Asia Colombo. She’s known for her practical and insightful presentations and for applying her business experience to the travel industry. Laurel still works on influencer campaigns but her main focus is now on her tour operator business, offering hiking and wildlife holidays. You’ll find her in the mountains almost every weekend.  

Topic: Defining Desired Outcomes and How to Measure Them

Digital influencer campaigns have become the new norm. With every campaign you learn new things, but we should ask ourselves some questions. Are we (influencers) executing campaigns correctly? Have we (industry) set the right goals and made the right selection? Is there room for improvement? With the internet moving more and more in a data-driven direction, we as an industry need to adapt and learn how to incorporate the tools and data available to track our own success and learn how to look at the outcomes. There is more to it than you might think. During this presentation both industry and influencers will learn how to set goals and define outcomes, how to correctly execute campaigns, how to measure them, and how to learn from previous projects. Finally, we will look at what the future might bring and how you can prepare for it.

Peter Jordan

Independent Consultant & Researcher, GenCTraveller

Peter Jordan is a consultant and researcher specialised in the curation and interpretation of travel trends, for diverse clients from inside and outside the tourism industry. With a background in industry education as well as marketing and communications at various tourism industry associations, he has gained a panoramic view of global travel, including the influence of consumer trends on travel behaviour. He started his career working for the United Nations World Tourism Organization in Madrid and has also worked for the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation, as well as the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

In 2014 Peter founded the travel trends site GenCTraveller and also became an international associate of Toposophy, piloting the company’s research. He has built a strong reputation for delivering insights on tourism, marketing and consumer trends that are trustworthy, thought-provoking and inspire people to take action.

Topic: STS Think Tank

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. Up to 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 is going existential with the question: “How to create authenticity?”

Participants will discuss and provide practical answers to questions such as:

  • How to strike the right balance between staged and spontaneous content?

  • When it comes to authenticity, what value can a blogger provide, compared to other influencer types?

  • How should a blogger deal with covering hotspots and crowded destinations?

Dana DiTomaso

President & Partner, Kick Point

Dana is President & Partner at Kick Point, where she applies marketing into strategies to grow clients’ businesses, in particular to ensure that digital and traditional play well together. With her deep experience in digital, Dana can separate real solutions from wastes of time (and budget). In her spare time, Dana is the past-president of the Advertising Club of Edmonton and is the weekly technology columnist on CBC Edmonton AM. She also enjoys drinking fancy beer and yelling at football players.

Topic: Turning Ideas into Actions: Developing a Realistic Plan 

You’ve learned many new tactics and tools today — now how will you turn those ideas into a plan that you can actually implement? How do you decide what is worth doing and what isn’t going to help you get to where you need to be? In this talk, Dana will teach you how to turn data into insights that help you prioritize realistic goals. They will provide guidelines to help you build an action plan that integrates online, offline, pay-to-play, partnering strategies, and content marketing. You’ll leave with a better understanding of what makes a budget realistic and the ability to invest more effectively in your marketing strategy.

Nick Westergaard

Chief Brand Strategist, Brand Driven Digital

We welcome back Nick Westergaard to The Social Travel Summit. Nick is Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, where he helps build better brands at organizations of all sizes — from small businesses and Fortune 500 companies to President Obama’s Jobs Council. He’s also the author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. An in-demand speaker at conferences throughout the world, he also teaches branding and marketing at the University of Iowa and hosts the popular On Brand podcast. Nick lives with his family in Coralville, Iowa.

Topic: Brand Now! STS Take-Aways Through a Branding Lens

Strong brands with something to say matter now more than ever. Throughout the Social Travel Summit we’ve emphasized outcomes over outputs. We’ve looked at how to identify desired outcomes, digital marketing strategies to meet them, and how to measure success. It’s time to look at your takeaways from two days of learning through a branding lens. Nick Westergaard wrote the book on branding in the digital age. He’ll teach us to recast the role of branding and provide a framework in which to fit your takeaways to build a solid brand that tells your story and is ready for collaboration.

Emma Mead

Head of Global PR, VisitBritain/VisitEngland

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 3 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 and influencer programme is key to the role.

Cáit Berry

Digital Marketing Manager for North America, VisitBritain

Cáit is the Digital Marketing Manager for North America at VisitBritain, where she oversees all consumer and travel trade marketing activity across paid, earned, and owned channels. Before jumping into the world of destination marketing, Cáit spent her time at digital agencies working with brands across technology, beauty, CPG, and healthcare. A native of New York City, Cáit spends most of her time on Twitter, watching Netflix, or hanging out with her husband and 2-year-old black lab, Zuzu. 

Topic: Pulling Back the Curtain on Influencer Marketing

Let’s really get into the nitty gritty of not only how VisitBritain — a major tourist board — does influencer marketing, but the challenges we face along the way. From taxpayer’s money and small budgets to governmental red tape, we’ll discuss the obstacles we encounter behind the scenes and how we overcome them. For marketers facing similar challenges, we will teach you the tools to thrive in this ever-changing space. For the influencers, we will leave you with a better understanding of how we can strengthen our relationships and alleviate frustrations. Finally, we will discuss how VisitBritain has integrated influencer marketing into everything we do, including how we are testing new digital innovations and opportunities.

Helene Sula

Founder, Helene In Between

Helene quit the corporate world and packed up two suitcases, two dogs, and she and her husband moved from Dallas, Texas to Heidelberg, Germany- a country she’d never stepped foot in. The purpose was to travel Europe, write about her travels, and encourage others to live out their dreams. She is a full time blogger who has a passion for photography and capturing the moment. She has helped 1,000s of other bloggers build and grow their brand through tried and tested strategies she learned while working in digital brand strategy, social media marketing, and marketing. Helene has been featured on national and international TV, radio, and named one of the most traveled bloggers in the world for 2017.


Topic: Getting Out of the Trenches – How to grow your influencer business by hiring, delegating and leading the team. A plan for success.

Running a successful blog is an incredible amount of work. Doing everything yourself can take a toll. Is it time to ask for help to get more bang for your buck? Getting help can boost your blog, income, and help you spend time on the things you love doing. But what tasks should you delegate? How do you find the right people? And how much should you pay? I’ll share how I found the people that made the difference and set you up with a plan for success.

Claudia Beatriz

Founder & Publisher, Aprendiz Viajante



Shivya Nath

Founder & Publisher, The Shooting Star



Tutu Zhu

Founder & Publisher, Jessie Zhu




Topic: Destination Marketing Beyond Europe and North America – Opportunities and Strategies

In this panel session, influencers from three emerging markets, Brazil, China and India, share their insights on the best ways to reach out to and resonate with travellers in their home markets.


Dana DiTomaso

President & Partner, Kick Point

Dana is President & Partner at Kick Point, where she applies marketing into strategies to grow clients’ businesses, in particular to ensure that digital and traditional play well together. With her deep experience in digital, Dana can separate real solutions from wastes of time (and budget). In her spare time, Dana is the past-president of the Advertising Club of Edmonton and is the weekly technology columnist on CBC Edmonton AM. She also enjoys drinking fancy beer and yelling at football players.

Sorcha MacKenzie

Chief Brand Officer and Creative, Conversion Copywriter 

Sorcha MacKenzie can be found where creativity meets big business. Her career spans 15 years and numerous brands including Disney, Marvel, and LucasFilm. She helps clients develop killer, insight-led brands, executed with creative, conversion-focused copy that engages their ideal prospects and drives action. When she’s not writing and strategizing, Sorcha’s usually binging on her latest Netflix obsession. 


Topic: Realistic Strategies for a Pay-to-Play Social World


We’re living in a Pay-to-Play social world where buying ad space doesn’t guarantee success. In this session, Dana and Sorcha will focus on how to succeed in a saturated social media market. Dana will discuss strategies to set you apart, including how organic and paid can work together. And, Sorcha will share how the right copy can help increase conversions by making your ideal audience sit up and listen, and most importantly, take action.



Blogger-to-Blogger Panel: The Most Valuable Strategies/Tactics of the Past Year


This session is only open to travel bloggers and influencers thereby creating a forum for free and open discussion of the issues of professional travel blogging. After each speaker makes a short presentation on his or her topic the session will continue on an informal basis allowing participants to explore deeper into the topic(s) of their choice by asking specific questions of the speakers.


What’s new in video – Melvin Boecher, Travel Dudes

Projects for PR and more work – Shivya Nath, The Shooting Star

Maximizing SEO with current content – Sofie Couwenbergh, Wonderful Wanderings   

Managing the Client – contracts, editorial control, revenue – Sarah Lee, Live, Share, Travel

Getting Your Mojo Back – Karen Sargent, Global Help Swap

Moderator – Matt Long, Landlopers


Industry-to-Industry Panel: The Most Valuable Strategy/Tactic of the Past Year


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.


Moderator: Su Hoeller, Graz Tourism

How to turn videos into engagement/conversion machines – David Trastour, Amadeus Video Solutions

A longer-term influencer strategy: finding & training a brand ambassador – Gregor Kleczkowski, wombats CITY Hostels

How to get more bang for your (ever shrinking) digital marketing spend – Lelde Benke, Latvia Tourism

Thinking outside the box: novel ways to utilise influencers/content creators for the short and longer term – Keith Jenkins, iambassador

Revenue Streams that Don’t Involve Travel

To be able to focus 100% on your blog because it delivers 100% of the income you need is a goal amongst many travel bloggers. To achieve this involves multiple revenue streams and, preferably, a number of them that are very low maintenance. Our panel will discuss how to build affiliate marketing, ebooks and other programs and advertising into revenue streams that punch above their weight.

Affiliate Revenue – Emilie Perrot

Ebooks – Patricia de Camargo, Turomaquia

Advertising – Janice Waugh, Solo Traveler

Moderator – Kash Bhattacharya, Budget Traveller