A week on from the scintillating atmosphere that filled the London Excel Centre and it is truly missed. A Business networking hub in one big spectacle, I believe many companies there definitely achieved their targets and for the ones that might have been unlucky, I’m sure they loved the vibe that was flowing for those four days.
For me it was a humbling experience that I enjoyed every minute of, I see everything as a learning situation so there’s no doubt this one was up there. I remember the journey to the Royal Victoria Docks on that morning commencing Tuesday 4th November, I was confident as it is important to be yet quite nervous, I was trying to remain level headed and make a good impression of myself.
Tuesday 4th November – Thursday 6th November 2014
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on the business side of things, but I knew it was going to be a huge occasion. Going past Canary Wharf and West India Quay, of course there was going to be a lot of sophisticated high class people but when I walked up to the steps of the Excel Centre, if the building didn’t startle me, the amount of people in one place did. It was announced that there were about 10,000 exhibitors and traders in the Excel Centre for the WTM, on the 4th November 2014. The final count up was given today and the WTM had 52,000 Travel Industry Professionals, more than I had even imagined.
The World Travel Market is an annual Travel and Tourism Trade Show which consists of Exhibitors and Traders. The majority of the exhibitors are Hotels, Tour Groups and Resorts that come under a Country Tourism Board. There was every country in the World there exhibiting for new business links and partners mainly to consume services from the traders that were from Marketing Agencies and Companies. I’m from a Marketing Company so we provide services like Email Marketing Platforms, IT solutions and General Marketing and branding services to improve exhibitors traffic flow.
I was very happy to have the opportunity to be amongst some of the biggest and best marketers from around the globe. I met some great people that I hope to build a working relationship with, others well, you might recognise them…
Rudolph Walker also known as ‘Patrick’ from BBC soap Eastenders was one of three stars representing Trinidad and Tobago, he was there along with Manchester United FC legend Dwight Yorke and Cricketer Brian Lara which were very genuine guys to be with.
The reality was I was in a place where this was normal, however my first WTM experience had me of course excited to see people I enjoy watching on TV, Dwight Yorke one of Manchester United’s best strikers ever was in a place without millions of security guards surrounding him, it was a real pleasure…
Surprisingly a lot was happening in the Caribbean stands and the Indian Ocean countries, traders see these countries as the targets to push their products to, being less exposed to tourism and technology, it’s an easy way to get business if I’m honest. I saw the UAE stands and they were only occupied if the Governors were having meetings with very few traders, not many companies have the tools to boldly offer UAE states.
For myself it was all a surreal feeling being there in itself, I had a few meetings with exhibitors and discussed Marketing activities and future projects, I feel grateful for the support a lot of exhibitors gave me. They admired my confidence and approach, obviously being 17 years old, I was looked down on by competitors quite a lot, it was a Exhibition Centre full of sharks, everybody wants to gain business connects.
I was told I’ll have a bright career ahead if I keep up my consistency, my manager tells me and exhibitors from Vietnam and Russia also informed me, I took that with great pride but humility as ever. I know that next year I will be much sharper when pitching to exhibitors.
I was fortunate to meet with representatives from Etihad Airways, they are also Manchester City FC sponsors. They are such inspiring people, even the security guard protecting the Official Barclays Premier League Trophy 2013/14 season…
Seeing the air hostesses so laid back for the first time in my life, was a surprising event I will never forget. Throughout the three days there, I picked up memories I will never forget, definitely felt like a dream.
I met with the manager of Greek Company Avra Tours, he deals with Groups, Tours and Marketing projects there and it what a funny sense of humour he had, I hope we can build a good relationship with him in the future.
The Province of an Island Resort in the Philippines had an issue with attracting Tourists, I’m afraid it is confidential and that is all I’m aloud to say but what impressed me the most was their hospitality towards us, offered us Philippine delicacies and water, very friendly people, this project will no doubt be an exciting one.
In the Asia section, I visited China quite a few times, I noticed things weren’t as busy as the other stands, I believe this was due to budget issues that many of the Asian countries are affected by. I noticed this as I spoke to Managing Directors. Europe was the most busiest as a whole; a vast amount of people were there everyday. Europe has Spain and France in it, two out of three being the most visited places in the World statistically, the other being USA.
Small countries such as Panama were at the WTM, in Marketing it’s all about exposure, the best Marketing and Branding Companies can dig deep, find the USP’s about a country and push it out to the audience attracting tourists resulting in more traffic. This man was representing the Panama Culture.
If I’m to conclude to this blog on the World Travel Market, I’d say it was a terrific few days that I really enjoyed, I know next year I will be ready to network and meet more people than I did this year. I learnt a lot about Marketing as a whole, it’s about knowledge, the more you know, the easier it is to attract consumers.
I hope to build relationships in the coming weeks with people I met, this has given me a massive push to keep working on improving my skills to market my products to the highest level I can do.
Who knows, if my business connections don’t go great next year… maybe my blog next year will be better than this.
Thanks for reading.