How do you meet dozens of people in the space of just 90 minutes? In our industry, we call it speed networking, or, as some mistakenly refer to it, ‘speed dating.’ It’s where a group of 120 digital influencers (not sure I like that term, but…) gather in a big room and travel company reps can make their way through and talk to whoever is interesting to them.
We set ourselves up, and I brought out my iPad with a short deck I created about GoNOMAD on the table. Soon we were being visited by members of the travel trade–my first visitor promoted tours to Iceland and wanted to promote them on GoNOMAD and have us help her sell the tours on our site.
I met with a man who runs tours in Mongolia, attracted to our sign that identified GoNOMAD as a Mature Traveler market. I have never thought about us like that, but in some ways, it is a pretty good niche. We are for the experienced traveler, that’s for sure.
I was busy talking during the whole 90 minutes, people with tourism businesses around the world, some very small, a few much larger, and then a man came by who wanted to set up a press trip to Vietnam. Sure! All in all, I was pleased with the quality of the participants and felt totally ready with my deck and with how I pitched them.
Later I spoke with a colleague who was disappointed that not enough people came all the way to the back to visit him. It IS a little daunting, having to be chosen, and if you’re sitting there alone, you feel a bit awkward. But like so much of what happens at a trade show, it all comes down to the follow-up, and how well you reach out to the prospects when we’re all back home from London. We will see.