Published On: Tue, Oct 20th, 2015

Social media takes centre stage at WTM London

WTM-2014-Facilitates-a-Record-£2.5-Billion-in-Travel-Industry-Deals-800x500_cThis year’s social media programme at World Travel Market London 2015 takes place across three days and will feature senior executives from Facebook, Twitter and Tripadvisor as well as startups, destinations, bloggers and publishers.

Organised in partnership with Travel Perspective, the sessions begins on 3 November in the South Gallery before moving onto the Global Stage for 4 and 5 November .

The keynote speaker for the programme is Lee McCabe, global head of travel for Facebook. He will talk about how travel firms can leverage Facebook’s 1.5 billion users in his presentation entitled “Facebook future: mobile, messaging and virtual reality”.

This session takes place on 4 Nov from 1.30pm to 1.55pm on the Global Stage AS850.

Twitter is another worldwide platform which is engaging with the travel industry. Samir Bhana, its sales manager for UK and Ireland, features in a face-to-face interview with Mark Frary, co-founder of Travel Perspective.

This takes place on 5 November from 12.50pm to 1.25pm, also on the Global Stage.

Tripadvisor is another Nasdaq-listed billion-dollar blue-chip business represented in the social media programme. Product director Sarah Davey appears on a panel of experts, each of whom will choose their favourite new travel start-up and explain what is so exciting about it. Each startup will presents to the panel with the audience voting to decide which one is “Travel’s Next Big Thing”.

Her insight will be worth listening to – in 2009 she founded Tripbod, a digital platform which connects travellers with local experts, and which was bought by Tripadvisor in 2014.

This session immediately follows McCabe’s keynote.

The other six sessions include sharing best practice examples from destinations, travel firms and businesses outside the sector. Working with bloggers from outside the travel industry is also on the agenda.

“Content marketing” is also up for discussion with a panel offering travel firms advice on publishing.

The programme ends with a session on how travel firms can use video marketing in the age of mobile, hosted by two executives from YouTube.

WTM London, Conference Manger, Charlotte Sutton, said: “We’ve been running a social media programme for a number of years, and every year interest in the topic grows.

At the same time, social media is maturing as a marketing and sales channel, but there is still lots to learn for the experienced and newcomer alike. This year we are also looking outside travel for best-practice examples.”