Last weekend I went to my first ever blogging conference Traverse. I bought the ticket on a whim months ago after meeting one of the organisers Michael at a different event without really putting too much thought into it. Traverse is mainly aimed at travel bloggers though so you may be wondering why on earth I decided to go to it rather than any of the more generic ones.
Well, a couple of years ago I started a second blog which was primarily to share my travel experiences but if you’ve ever had your own blog you’ll know how much work goes into it and trying to keep up with two blogs as well as a full-time job, other hobbies and having some semblance of a social life that doesn’t always revolve around going to blogging events and being on social media constantly wasn’t something I was capable of so it had to give but I’ve always wanted to write more about travel.
For some reason I had a bit of a mental block that told me I couldn’t put travel content here on Broke in the Big Smoke as it had such a London centric name but then a couple of people pointed out to me that A Lady in London and The Londonder both have London explicitly in their titles and that doesn’t stop them from posting travel content and so I started the long, arduous task of copying over all those old travel posts to this blog and creating that nice little travel section I have up there on the menu now. I’m not quite done but there’s still quite a bit of content up there that you might not have read before so go take a looksy!
So there, that’s a thing I’m going to be covering here more often – but I want to do it in a way that’s useful to both my readers and potential brands who may want to collaborate in future. So what did I learn over the course of the weekend?
I’m a small fish in a big pond…
Over 500 bloggers attended Traverse and it’s estimated that there are x blogs on the internet already with approximately x million posts published every day. That’s a LOT of content so I need to make sure that what I put out there is the best I can make it and hopefully make it appeal to those who read it.
… but there’s room for everyone
Blogging events can lead to cliques but there was a real community feel at Traverse whether you were a brand new blogger who’d only been at it a few weeks or one who’s travelling the world full-time because of it every one was chatting to everyone regardless of number of followers they have on Instagram.
Networking is hard for an introvert
I think I’m going to do a whole other post on this and tips on how to survive but as an introvert I found being switched on and constantly meeting new people to be completely and utterly exhausting. This did mean that I didn’t have much energy left for schmoozing with the brands to see if they were interested in working together but for me this initial event wasn’t about that.
They throw a damn good party
From the opening party at Skyloft hosted by Jet2Holidays to a Saturday night cruise down the Thames courtesy of CheapFlights and the incredible food at the Iberica closing party in conjunction with Spain – the drinks flow freely, the venues are incredible and of course the people are all fantastic too!
Tweet for a drink is the best concept EVER!
For the final closing panel of the weekend Traverse use tweet for a drink so that people aren’t coming and going from the bar while the panel is running – instead you tweet with a particular hashtag such as #TraverseWhiteWine and a description of where you’ll sitting and one of the lovely staffers will bring it right to your seat. If only all panels were like this!
You’ll have the itchiest feet in the world after
And if you can manage to resist the urge to book something immediately you’re a stronger person that I am!
Next year Traverse is leaving the UK for the first time and taking the conference to Rotterdam! If you have any interest in travel blogging I thoroughly recommend it and you can sign up for the latest updates on next years show here.