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Technology steals the show at WTM

November 20, 2011

WTM is boosting its “Technology and Online Travel” area this year by 40%. Matthew Parsons looks at who will be
there and the best events to attend

There will be a record 100 technology suppliers exhibiting at WTM this year – 45 of which are new – covering everything from mobile trends and social media, to electronic payments and booking platforms.

There’s an exciting line-up of speakers too, including Nate Bucholz, Google’s head of travel, while Paul Richer, senior partner at Genesys, will be chairing each session.

Here are some of TTG’s top picks for agents…

Tuesday, 11am-12pm
Head to Platinum Suite 1 for the latest in SEO, with the Search Engine Update 2011 seminar.
Attendees will hear how to best manage your company’s presence on search engines from Jon Myers, director of account management, Yahoo!, and Nate Bucholz, from Google.

Tuesday, 12.30-1.30pm
In Platinum Suite 1, the “Content Counts” session should provide agents tips on how your website can feature quality content that can inspire visitors, and convince them to buy from you. Speakers include Giles Longhurst, director at Frommer’s Unlimited, and Maud Larpent, senior manager of review services at TripAdvisor.

Social Media
Tuesday, 2-3pm
Find out about “making the most of social media” with Benjamin Jost, founder and managing director of TrustYou, and Debbie Hindle from Four BGB. They will be discussing why every travel company should be using Facebook, Twitter, customer reviews and other channels to build brand awareness, improve customer service and drive sales, and provide tips on building a social media strategy.

Wednesday, 10.30am-1.15pm
With one of the longest titles, “How and why we created one of the world’s first social media travel applications and made it a top 5 iPad app in 82 countries”, hear in Technology Presentation Theatre TT275 talk about its Explorer iPad app, which it claims sits in the top five travel apps around the world. Speakers include Rob Define, ebookers’ director of product strategy, and Fortune Cookie’s Justin Cooke.

Following Indaba, South African Tourism is rolling out its Touch Table marketing tool.

The device features four high-resolution 46” LCD displays, seamlessly integrated, and allows up to eight people to browse through content with with familiar control mechanisms such as touching, zooming and pinching.

It is designed to showcase South African experiences and destinations, and plugs into the tourist board’s database of 60,000 records. Get tactile at stand AF500.

For bloggers
Tuesday, 12-2.45pm
Visit Florida’s stand is “blogger friendly” this year, with free Wi-Fi and the chance to recharge phones and iPads. Staff will be on hand to talk about upcoming blogger trips with Visit Florida partners to the Sunshine State.

And relax…
It’s not all work – don’t forget the WTM Technology Drinks Reception on Monday, from 5-6pm in the Technology Presentation Theatre TT275, followed by TTG’s Travel Tweetup with DoubleTree by Hilton, taking place on Monday night in Bloomsbury, London. As well as great networking opportunities, we will have two social media “expert” agents, Travel Counsellor Graham Finch-Parsons and Timeless Travels’ Emma Wilkinson, on hand to answer any questions on how to use social media to grow
your business.

Check in with the advice clinicsThe Advice Clinics are returning to WTM, where delegates can book 15-minute one-to-one sessions on Thursday, November 10. A range of topics are covered, but on the technology side TTG’s Matthew Parsons will be on hand to offer advice on social media for your business, while Travel SEO’s Mark Hodson returns to provide individual SEO analysis of your website.

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