So yesterday was my first visit to WTM and I was pretty darn nervous as the day approached. As much as I love traveling and writing about travel, this is a serious travel event and self-doubt and impostor syndrome were both biting, hard. I was meant to start the day at a boat based event, but instead started proceedings shivering standing on the side of the river while the team in charge tried to sort out a solution. Such a shame, I felt heart-sorry for them - you can't fight the tides on the Thames! The boat trip had to be cancelld and alternate routes were the next order of business!
All in all I was feeling pretty deflated by that point. A big old part of me pretty much just wanted to turn away and head home to a day of reading, writing and cats, but I decided to buckle down and cheer up. Once I did I pasted on a smile and started saying some helloes and pretty quickly I met the lovely Alison (partner of Iain, a.k.a. Mallory on Travel) and Annabel. As the London native of our trio I happily lead us to the venue on the tube. Once there we went our separate ways, but I really enjoyed meeting them both.
And then, it was conference time!
The World Travel Market is huuuuuuuuge. Or yuge, if you're a certain presidential nominee. So huge in fact that my first stop had to be Costa, for a coffee (first Christmas cup o the season!). Then it was time to get schmoozing.
And schmooze I did! I chatted with Iceland, high-fived Las Vegas, talked VR with Madeira and had coffee withSan Marino. I walked around and around until my little legs could take no more.
Then thank heavens, it was time for a seminar. I really enjoyed then session on live video, and now have a proper blog-crush on Eat Like A Girl - what a clever, funny woman. I enjoyed the session immensely and the sit-down was top notch after six hours of standing and walking.
Then it was a quick spin around the arena and a hello to some blog friends new (hi, Jessica, lovely to meet you!) and old (always a pleasure, Roma!) and then off on to the next adventure.
I'd really recommend WTM to any bloggers working in travel - there are so many networking opportunities and things to learn. I am gutted I didn't submit my details for Wednesday's blogger/brand 'speed-dating' session (brilliantly I missed the deadline for that because I was....traveling!), because that sounds amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed my first ever day at WTM and have come back full of inspiration and ways to make my next visit even more useful!