We don't often write about upcoming conferences and projects (i.e., the business side of things), but many of you have expressed interest, so we're trying to make amends. We also understand that this blogging and business stuff isn't for everyone, so we won't be offended if you decide to head to our thoughts on Paris or Mt. Fuji instead.
Days get shorter, nights cooler. Summer is sadly coming to an end, but another period of travel and speaking begins.
So where will the next month take us? Porto, Portugal; Monterey, California; Washington, D.C. and Amsterdam. Yes, we're aware that's a lot of movement in a month (whatever happened to staying still?!) Here's what's happening.
7-9 September – Porto, Portugal: Travel Bloggers Unite (TBU)
Ah, Portugal. Our memories of visiting Porto go back almost twelve years to backstreet bacalhau, port wine tasting, and a transportation strike at the end of our backpacking honeymoon around Europe in 2000. We spent the latter part of our time in the city trying to figure a way out before the strike could leave us stranded and missing our Christmas flight home from Madrid. We made it barely, with a middle-of-the-night stopover in Salamanca, Spain that featured several hours of clubbing between trains.
But we digress down memory lane.
This time around we head to Porto to speak at TBU, a travel blogging conference, on the topic of leveraging skills into new opportunities and projects, in How to Build a Business, Not Just a Blog. This will be our first appearance at the TBU conference and we're looking forward to meeting more European-based bloggers and organizations. We will also take a post-conference trip to Portugal's Duoro Valley for a taste of Portuguese wine and nature, always a fine combination.
We're excited to be working with airberlin as our environmental commitment sponsor for the following two conferences connected with sustainable tourism.
We have flown with airberlin quite often in the past and are looking forward to partnering with them for a trip that will take us from Berlin to San Francisco and back to Berlin from New York. When we met with the folks at airberlin recently we were impressed by their environmental record, including having the lowest fuel consumption per service operated of any network carrier in Europe. Because of all this, we believe they are an excellent sponsor match for these events.
16-19 September – Monterey, California: Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC)
Monterey is a special place for us. It's the spot where we met by chance almost exactly 15 years ago. So perhaps it's fitting to return there to speak together professionally as a team.
We will speak at ESTC (Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference) twice, once in a workshop geared towards helping tourism boards and destinations to better market their sustainability efforts and to leverage them in differentiating their products and educating consumers.
On the last day of the conference, we will participate on a panel entitled Improving Strategies for Sustainability Communications where we will address methods to build engagement and brand advocacy with current and potential customers.
As you might guess, a key thread running through both our sessions: effective storytelling through the creation and distribution of high-quality content using social media.
If you are interested in the topic of sustainable tourism and eco-tourism but you cannot attend the conference, follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #ESTC12.
25-28 September: Washington, DC: Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Annual Meeting and Open Forum
Continuing on the theme of marketing and social media storytelling, we'll speak on a similar topic at a workshop at the U.N. Foundation-backed GSTC Annual Meeting and Open Forum, an event geared towards sustainable tourism companies and destinations. The objective of our presentation: to help participants understand how to better deliver their sustainability stories and to use social media in a way that increases understanding of what sustainability is, why it matters, and most importantly, why customers should care and act.
GSTC's Open Forum on September 26th is free to the public and focused on the themes of sustainable destinations, the economic impact of sustainability in travel and the measurement and marketing of these initiatives. If you live within reach of the Washington, DC area and have an interest in these topics, consider signing up to attend. This event offers a terrific opportunity to meet some of the leaders in the sustainable tourism field in an intimate setting. Plus, we'll be there too.
If you are unable to attend any of the GSTC annual meeting events but are interested in keeping up with with the discussion, be sure to follow along with the #GSTC2012 hashtag on Twitter. We'll be live tweeting from the GSTC Twitter account (@GSTCouncil) as well as our own (@UMarket)
3-4 October – Amsterdam, Netherlands: EyeforTravel
We look forward to returning to Amsterdam after too many years. We'll speak at the EyeforTravel Mobile and Social Media in Travel conference. The theme of our talk will dovetail effective storytelling and quality online content in the context of travel companies working effectively with bloggers.
And what happens after all this? We return to Berlin, catch a breath, process it all, and prepare for the remainder of the fall and winter. Stay tuned for upcoming travel and life plans.
If you have questions regarding any of the conferences above or the topics we're speaking on, please get in touch.
Thanks for following along and for your continued support. Now back to our regularly scheduled travel and life inspiration…