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The Digital Tourism Think Tank is delighted to announce that it will once again be represented at the prestigious WTM (World Travel Market) London 2014. We're extremely glad to be part of this exciting event again, particularly after the success of our Digital Debate for DMOs last year. The event will take place between 3rd and 6th November 2014, at the Excel, an exhibitions and international convention centre in London. We will be holding a number of sessions on the Wednesday and Thursday of the event, intended to convey some of our expertise in digital marketing to assembled attendees. The WTM is the UK’s largest travel technology show, and there were over 10,000 visitors to WTM in 2013.

Innovators Get Involved

Ahead of this event, we’re interested in speaking with any exhibitors who have products or innovations related to digital tourism, particularly in the mobile sector. We're offering any interested parties a fantastic opportunity of participating in our ‘Mobile: Thought Leaders and Innovators’ session, which will be located right in the heart of the tech zone on Thursday 6th November between 10 am and 12 noon. This is a marvellous opportunity to pitch your wares to the hordes of delegates which will attend the WTM event. The WTM 2013 event was attended by no less than 50,000 delegates, but this year’s event promises to be even bigger. WTM has more than doubled in size since 2010, with 112 percent growth in attendance during the last four years. Exhibiting at the WTM provides the unmissable opportunity to be part of a trade show which generated £2.2 billion worth of business in 2013.

As a valued innovator in the digital tourism sphere, you will have the opportunity to appear in the second part of our program alongside other innovators, experts and travel industry leaders. We are particularly pleased to announce that our event at WTM in London will be moderated by Alex Bainbridge (TourCMS). Alex has showed himself to be one of the leading innovative entrepreneurs in travel and digital technology, and is a regular contributor to key digital events. Once the event gets underway, our chosen innovators will have the opportunity to pitch their particular line of business, or digital innovation, to an audience of potentially thousands. Once this has taken place there will be the opportunity to have a lively debate with delegates regarding how mobile is having a massive impact on the travel industry.

A multi-billion pound investment event

While the WTM event in London is notable for being the largest digital tourism event in the United Kingdom, the event delivers not merely quantity, but also quality. According to research carried out by the event’s organisers in 2013, no less than 95% of exhibitors who attended considered that they met good quality people during the event. Given that WTM generates literally billions of pounds worth of investments and business each year, it really does represent a fantastic opportunity for anyone who has a digital innovation that craves oxygen or needs to gain traction.

Industry thought leaders and innovators

Aside from the opportunity to pitch your particular innovation at WTM, the Digital Tourism Think Tank is also running several other sessions at the London event. The Thursday innovators workshop will be prefaced by our ‘Mobile: Thought Leaders and Innovators’ session, which will bring together some of the industry's leading thinkers and innovators in order to share their thoughts on the new mobile world of travel. This will be an extended session during which the Digital Tourism Think Tank will invite some of the leading figures in the tourism industry to share their perspectives on mobile, and their vision for 2015 and beyond. Leading industry players, such as TripAdvisor, will be present, and such esteemed companies will undoubtedly be able to share unique insight and information regarding the mobile sphere. The central focus of this session is to tease out from an entertaining and lively discussion how mobile will develop in the future, and how it will impact upon tourism.

Stories That Sell

The Digital Tourism Think Tank will also be running a couple of sessions at the event on Wednesday 5th November. The overarching themes of the day's sessions will be storytelling and mobile. The first session on Wednesday will be dedicated to ‘Destinations in Focus: Stories that Sell’. As the name would suggest, this particular session is aimed at providing destinations and tourist boards with useful information and an enlightening perspective on the industry. In this day and age, destinations are faced with a raft of perplexing challenges related to the digital landscape. Harnessing digital media is essential to shape the opinions of customers, and inspire travellers to visit a particular destination. But over the past decade, the demands of visitors and planning cycle related to them have become ever more complex and sophisticated.

This session will thus look at an important approach to marketing destinations, namely telling deeply innovative and engaging stories about them. Traditionally, marketing destinations has been based on selling the place to customers, whereas modern approaches are increasingly focused on creating a digital identity and branding. Destinations, experts and professional storytellers will speak on how they perceive the future role of digital content in the travel industry.

Mobile in the mix

The second session on Wednesday 5th November is entitled ‘Visitor Buying Cycle: Mobile in the Mix’. This particular session will look at the vast impact that smartphones have made on the travel industry in just a few years. It is only seven years since the original iPhone hit the market, and in that time mobile devices have completely transformed the travel industry. Although some particularly innovative travel companies have been able to demonstrate the huge potential of smartphones, many continue to struggle to get to grips with this still relatively youthful platform and technology. This vital session will walk attendees through some of the best ways to deal with smartphone marketing for the travel industry.

Speakers from the Digital Tourism Think Tank will take the audience sequentially through every cycle of visitor planning. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear directly from industry leaders and experts regarding how mobile platforms are impacting each stage of travel. Whereas once marketing was primarily targeted at the pre-booking stage, today mobile is influencing commercial decisions before, during and after a trip. Mobile should have a role in all businesses' strategies, and this insightful session should not be missed.

Register as an Innovator today

We’re very much looking forward to the event, but are particularly excited about meeting innovators in the digital sphere. If you’d like to join the Digital Tourism Think Tank and Alex Bainbridge on stage at the WTM for this exclusive Mobile Thought Leaders and Innovators session, all you have to do is to be one of the first ten to sign up through the Digital Tourism Think Tank’s Innovator Application.

In just a few clicks you could be speaking to the industry about your mobile products and services and how they change the way we discover, plan share, buy and sell travel to customers. With attendees expected from no less than 186 nations, and such big names present at WTM as Google, Yahoo, American Express, LastMinute.com, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Thomas Cook, and many others, this is an extremely rare and valuable opportunity that you simply shouldn't pass up if you have an innovative digital product related to tourism that needs to attract custom.

We look forward to seeing you in November.

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