Wow, can you believe it’s been over 3 years since the last TravelCon? Hands down, after attending the first two TravelCons, I believe that it is the premier conference if you are a travel influencer, blogger, writer or truly aspiring to be any one of these.
Back in 2019, I gave my beginners guide to TravelCon and now I’m back again with another one! Let’s get ready for Memphis!
The Beginner's Guide to TravelCon 2.0
So, it’s your first TravelCon and you have a lot of questions. You’ve scavenged through old blog posts, read through Facebook threads, and exhausted every other resource you could find. You’re ready to do whatever it takes to get the absolute most out of this convention.
I want to help you have the best time, so here are 10 ways you can make the most out of TravelCon.
1. Have a Goal In Mind
One of my favorite quotes is, “A man without a vision is a man without a future.” Coming to TravelCon with a goal in mind is one of the best things you can do. Is your goal to understand the fundamentals of travel media, build skills, learn new practices, or hear from some of the leaders in the industry?
Whatever it is, make sure you are clear on your intentions. If you have a clear idea of what goals you’d like to reach, you will have better luck with figuring out how to best spend your time at the conference.
Try writing them down or sharing them with a friend or colleague!
2. Plan Ahead
Explore the schedule, research speakers, and get to know the area. If you go into the conference with some kind of plan, you will have less trouble making the most out of your time and won’t get as overwhelmed by all the amazing opportunities.
3. Network, network, network
There are so many incredible people attending TravelCon and I know each and every one of them will be dropping gems of knowledge all week. That means there are plenty of opportunities to meet and build great relationships with people.
I recommend that you take advantage of these moments, because you never know what you could do for someone and what that person could do for you. Not to mention how many new friends you can make!!
4. Be On Time
Furthermore, you will want to be on time for your appointments. You only have 15 minutes with a brand or sponsor and you should maximize all time your time with them. And honestly, it is just courteous!
5. Be Prepared
Do you have business cards? Do you have a media kit? Some of you might be saying, “Jeff, what the hell is a media kit?” If you don’t know what it is, there is this powerful tool called google that will kindly help you out.
Also, you can design your very own media kit on Canva and print them out at your local printing store.
How about a greeting? I recommend you have these 3 things prepared and ready to go wherever you are:
What’s your name?
What do you do?
Why are you here?
If you have an appointment, take some time to research the company you are meeting with. Trust me this really helps!
6. Actually Attend Sessions
I know multiple people who go to conferences (pay lots of money to), but never step into one session. To be honest, there are times when I am dog tired and I want to just go upstairs and crawl back in my extremely comfortable hotel bed.
I get it and I am not judging you if you just came for the parties. I just think that you could get so much more from attending sessions as well.
7. Download the App
If you haven’t downloaded the TravelCon app, now is the time! Nomadic Matt and the TravelCon team made sure to share the benefits. According to the team, “You’ll be able to keep track of the event in real-time! You’ll be able to get information on sponsors, speakers, [and] interact with other attendees (there’s even a messenger capability too). Get real-time updates, see the schedule, make appointments with brands, learn about the parties, and get any other updates that need to be shared.”
8. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
When I went on my first overseas trip to Japan 17 years ago, a mentor told me, “Greatness, happiness, and FUN are just on the other side of your comfort zone.” This is a great mindset too have at the conference. Seriously, you won’t be able to maximize half of what TravelCon offers unless you challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone.
Go introduce yourself to your favorite speaker or influencer, attend that session, eat lunch with someone you don’t know! You got this!
9. Follow Up!
You will meet so many people, and it can be really tough to remember everyone you meet weeks after the conference. Following up helps you stand out and build rapport.
I recommend you send an email, text, or schedule a call within 3-5 days after a conference. It may lead to the opportunity you’ve been looking for! There are tons of apps that can help you along the way with things like organizing your business cards.