It’s now hardly any time at all until World Travel Market London kicks off, with the show opening at 10am on Monday 5 November.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article with the help of some of the brilliant influencers who attend WTM, sharing 25 of the best tips for how to make the most of the event. Well today is more of the same, kind of…
WTM is pretty much unparalleled as a business opportunity, and I would always say that professionalism comes first. It’s also well worth noting how much fun there is to be had throughout WTM week. So here are some more tips, this time about how to get the most out of the social side of WTM London, hangovers and all…
Find out when and where the fun is
This may be an obvious one to kick us off, but you need to know where to go and when to be there. There are some big parties that are hard to avoid (Traverse Mingle, Travel Massive for example) but there are also a raft of others. If you have not already, then join the WTM Influencers’ Group on Facebook and keep an eye out for what is happening.
On stand events – professional networking…
As stated at the start of this post, professionalism and business is where it’s at for WTM, but that doesn’t mean you can’t double that up with some fun at the on-stand events. Some of these are invite only, many pop up as the week goes. My recommendation is try and finish the ‘business’ side of your days by 4:30pm, then head to a stand to drink and start the social side of the day.
‘professionalism and business is where it’s at for WTM, but that doesn’t mean you can’t double that up with some fun at the on-stand events’
Alcohol leads to hangovers, deal with them in the best way you can
This is unavoidable for most people who enjoy a tipple and complementary drinks are not hard to find at and around WTM. I personally try and have at least one night where the alcohol intake is minimal, note the word ‘try’ here. My advice, prepare to have a hangover, whatever way you try and fix these beasts, prepare it. Berocca in the handbag, a cold coke in the morning, coffee before you speak to anyone… whatever it is, you’ll be happy you have it.
FOMO is very real
One thing about WTM is that with so many thousands of people, there are likely to be many clashes when it comes to drinks and events. Some people try and do multiple events in an evening, some stick at one place. One thing’s for sure though, you’ll fear missing out no matter what you choose.
Take a walk
WTM is huge, the entirety of the ExCel centre with over 50,000 people in attendance. If you haven’t been before, you’ll be amazed by what you can see and do just by taking a walk around. Grab a friend and go for a stroll, you’ll have fun. In past years I have ended up at beer tastings, in an escape room, sampling cakes, holding a falcon, eating curry, posing with celebrities and more. Make sure you keep some wandering time aside.
‘In past years I have ended up at beer tastings, in an escape room, sampling cakes, holding a falcon, eating curry, posing with celebrities and more’
There are so many competitions at WTM that it’s easy to lose track. Make sure you have enough business cards not just for the meetings, but also for dropping in to prize draws on various stands and at different drinks and parties. Prizes have ranged from bottles of wine to all inclusive holidays, so it’s well worth entering as you go round.
The very last thing to happen as part of WTM at the ExCel are the WTM Festivals. These take place from 4:30pm on the Wednesday evening and happen throughout the venue. Take a look on the WTM website to see which stands are taking part and head to one if you have time. They have live music, drinks, food and all round fun. A perfect way to end the three days a WTM before the final night of partying.
Relax, regardless of how prepared you are
Yes, WTM is stressful, but it is important to stay as relaxed as you can as you bounce between stands and meetings. If you’ve not planned many meetings in advance, that is not the end of the world at all, there are so many great opportunities to meet people, brands and destinations.
Remember why you started this
This may not be true for absolutely everyone reading this, but the vast majority of influencers started their channels because if was something they loved. Remember that, it may be work, but there is no better week in the year for reminding you just how great it is than WTM.
Michael is a co-funder and director Traverse and has involved in marketing and events for the past nine years. Outside of Traverse he runs a football team, travels often and spends too much time with his dog.