With social media and artificial intelligence gaining credential access across multiple platforms, ranging from daily life to marketing, one of the leading global travel events decided to go the digital way.
World Travel Mart (WTM), a B2B travel event for the global travel industry is set to open gates from November 6-8 in London, this year. Considered as one of the most influential travel events for networking, the WTM London provides a diverse platform for boosting global reach through industry networks. However, this year, WTM decided to go the extra mile by laying emphasis on the impact of social media and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
— WTM London (@WTM_London) October 19, 2017
Dubbed the future of tech world, AI is perhaps the biggest technological revolution in man’s history. Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that aims to create intelligent machines that teach themselves. “Much of AI’s growth has occurred in the last decade. More progress has been achieved on artificial intelligence in the past five years than in the past five decades. Rapid machine-learning improvements have allowed computers to surpass humans at certain feats of ingenuity, doing things that at one time would have been unfathomable,” quotes Forbes.
In a world, where MNCs such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google are spending billions on research and development of AI, it is of utmost importance for a leading brand to keep up with the trend. For instance, IBM alone has spent USD 15 billion on Watson, its cognitive system (read AI) as well as on related data analytics technology.
Keeping in mind the growing importance of AI, a keynote session in WTM on November 6, will see a face-to-face interview with Travelocity founder Terry Jones. Jones will talk about how Artificial Intelligence will become more important for the industry and how to use it to innovate. Jones, who will be interviewed by Mark Frary, was also involved in the launch of Kayak and is currently chairman of Wayblazer, a company already using Artificial Intelligence to disrupt the traditional travel market.
It will also venture into the multi-faceted usage of social media to gauge marketing opportunities and solve digital marketing queries. WTM London, Conference & Seminar Manager, Charlotte Alderslade said, “Social media has already impacted travel in an enormous way and Artificial Intelligence will have an increasingly large impact in the years to come, so these sessions are a must for any marketer.”
Social media sessions
How destinations market themselves as social media grows in importance will be a key topic in this year’s WTM London. The issue will come under the spotlight for two days of the event on November 6 and 7 when panel discussions and keynote speakers will share insights during the Social Media programme, organised by Travel Perspective. A chance for marketing professionals to expand their skills ‘digitally’, a key session on the WTM Global Stage will discuss the question-‘Is influencer marketing the way forward for destinations?’ Social media expert and former Times journalist Steve Keenan will chair the discussion; among those on the panel will be key figures from social media marketing specialists Whalar, Qubist and Dash Hudson. The discussion will take place on the closing day of the event.
— WTM London (@WTM_London) October 25, 2017
This will be followed immediately by another session that looks at the topic from a different perspective. ‘Why destinations have to change how they sell themselves’ will examine how Airbnb and Visit Sweden have worked together to promote the country. Additionally, Visit Jersey will describe how video content is now used to accompany and illustrate accommodation and package tour offers. The panel will also show how Airbnb has launched Trips, which encourages accommodation owners to turn tour guide. The session will ask if this new collaborative model is the way forward. The discussion will be moderated by author, journalist and social media consultant Mark Frary and will include speakers from Visit Sweden, Visit Jersey, Airbnb and Cape Town Tourism.
The programme also includes sessions on how social media can help World Heritage sites manage tourism sustainably and how to grow a personal brand as a vlogger in addition to the usage of Facebook, the multiple usages of which will be discussed elaborately.
The silver lining? The two days will culminate in the Best of Social Media 2017 awards, with five finalists, a judging panel and an audience vote to find the Awesome Winner 2017.