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Here at the Digital Tourism Think Tank, we’re thrilled to bring one of our #OntheRoad events to London in partnership with New Mind | tellUs. The Knowledge Exchange 2014 is a two-day conference exclusively for the destination community. The event will bring together some of the best minds and most influential people in the digital tourism community for two days of presentations and hands on workshops that will be enlightening destinations of all shapes and sizes from the UK and Scandinavia.

The Knowledge Exchange 2014 will take place on the 25th and 26th September at the attractive setting of The Crystal located in London’s Royal Victoria Docks. The conference will provide the opportunity to hear the insight of some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the digital travel industry, as well as providing a fantastic opportunity for networking with DMO representatives from the UK and Scandinavia.

Aside from the industry experts and keynote speakers who will be in attendance, there will also be the opportunity for attendees to network with representatives from the TripAdvisor team, who are the headline partner of the Digital Tourism Think Tank. The event will provide a raft of opportunities for anyone interested in and keen to get updated on future trends in the digital world and tourism industry.

GET INSPIRED - DIGITAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR DESTINATIONS

Day one of the conference will open up with our own Nick Hall outlining some of the emerging trends in digital and the opportunities and challenges that these present DMOs. With Emarketer recently documenting that there are 1.75 billion smartphone users in the world already, and with Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project suggesting that mobile payments will have made both cash and credit cards obsolete by 2020, there are clearly vast opportunities in this arena.

ENHANCING THE VISITOR EXPERIENCE THROUGH DIGITAL

The next part of the conference will see numerous speakers talk about the potential of digital to enhance visitors’ experiences. Figures obtained by Google indicate that 69 percent of business travellers and 51 percent of leisure travellers watched online travel videos in 2013, which contributed to the 118 percent growth in views in just one year.

A particular highlight will be the ‘Customer Experience in a Digital World’ presentation by Lindsay Herbert; the Head of Digital at multinational digital agency Precedent. Lindsay will be discussing how the challenges of businesses can be resolved by enhancing customers’ experiences in both the virtual and real world.

THE CHANGING FACE OF DESTINATIONS

As the world evolves, destinations need to evolve with it. More and more travellers and holidaymakers are continuing to change the way in which they use digital technologies both while on holiday as well as before and after a trip! Google found that 53 percent of all consumers used smartphones for aspirational travel research in 2013.

Given this reality, destinations are branding themselves in unique ways to target specific demographics. Two successful examples of this are Wonderful Copenhagen, and Visit Oslo whose innovative digital strategic thinking have both been profiled by the Digital Tourism Think Tank, and thus we’re delighted that Knowledge Exchange 2014 will feature presentations from Emil Spangenberg and Mille Marcussen of Wonderful Copenhagen, as well as Tormod Olsen and Katrine Mosfjeld of Ticketmaster Norway and Visit OSLO respectively.

These four speakers will all be presenting insightful information on how destinations are changing, how destination marketers are responding to this and the strategic opportunities stemming from that.

MAKING BUSINESS SENSE OF YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY

In the modern, mobile-centric world of commerce, digital strategy should be considered essential for DMOs. The 2013 Traveller Report indicated that travellers still want travel information on-the-fly during their actual trip; 42% of leisure travellers using their smartphone or tablet for this purpose according to their research.

Speaking about making business sense of a digital strategy will be Paul Goad, the founder of the global advertising technology company, Crimtan. Paul has a wealth of experience in this area, and will be explaining how the platform that Crimtan offers provides exceptional opportunities for destinations, and how they can take advantage of them. We will also hear and discuss this with different destinations to hear about different ways forward to become more commercially driven as a destination.

DAY TWO - WORKSHOPS

The second day of The Knowledge Exchange 2014 will be focused on a series of informative workshops, enabling participants to interact with a number of speakers.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF REVIEW SITES

Acquiring a strong online reputation is essential to the success of any business or destination, and online review sites have become extremely important in the travel industry. Tim Schofield from TripAdvisor will give valuable insights into how to get the most out of review sites. TripAdvisor is the world’s leading travel site, with 260 million unique visitor each month. The insight that Tim provides will be invaluable to any DMO wanting to manage its image, branding and online reputation on TripAdvisor.

MOBILE STRATEGY WORKSHOP

The keynote speaker for this part of the conference will be Tine Thygesen from Everplaces. Tine is supremely well placed to talk about mobile strategy, as she is one of Europe’s most successful female digital entrepreneurs. Tine is the CEO and co-founder of Everplaces, a community-based mobile app which enables users to share travel reviews and experiences. Tine’s workshop will focus on informing delegates how to build a sophisticated digital strategy, and will have a strong element of interaction.

CONTENT STRATEGY REVISITED

In this final section of the workshop day, attendees will revisit their content strategy with Martin Schobert from Tourismusdesign. Is your content strategy fit for purpose? Travellers are expecting more and more with regards to content that destinations are providing. Rich, visual and fully immersive content is now what destinations need to deliver to meet travellers' expectations. Martin will take all destination on a journey and completely revisit destination content. Experiences and challenges that destinations are facing will be shared with the goal that all destinations revisit their content strategy on their return into their offices.

You can register your interest in attending The Knowledge Exchange 2014 here.

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