Maybe it’s because everyone at the Women in Travel Summit (WITS) was there on common interest—travel—or because we were all (mostly) women, but there was definitely a positive, inclusive air to the conference.
Not your Typical Business Networking
I connected with fellow travel bloggers, women who just love to travel, sponsors representing tourism boards and travel companies, and tour guides. My favourite way that I connected with these women was through pre and post conference tours through Québec City and the area. The connections made during these tours felt genuine and positive. Not only was it amazing to explore Québec City with other travel bloggers, it felt great to feel respected as I took hundreds of photos, asked questions, and shared my curiosities.
Yes, we did hand out our business cards—but only after we introduced ourselves, had genuine conversations, and it felt natural to do so. WITS participants also connected on social media, especially Twitter, throughout the conference and afterward. In this way, we took the time to support each other, grow our in-person connections online, and everyone won.
This sponsored post is in collaboration with DiamondBloggers. All opinions are my own.
Collaborate don’t Compete
We were all at WITS to learn from one another, share our information, and make travel buddies we could connect with later. This was clear from the first few minutes of the conference. During the breakfast session we were instructed to introduce ourselves to everyone at the table. We shared something about ourselves, what we wanted to learn/who we wanted to connect with, and one thing we can help others with.
Several of the session topics covered diversity. In fact, if I were to give the conference in general a theme, diversity would likely be it. I knew that WITS would be focused on the world of travel blogging, but I didn’t know that I’d get so many had-to-be-there experiences!
During the first session I attended (“Moving Beyond Tired Cliches: Ethical, Diverse, And Responsible Marketing for your Travel Business”), Justine Abigail opened up a discussion around ethical imagery and photographs taken when travelling.
Everyone in the room was respectful and open and willing to share their opinions. This was networking in a positive way! No sleezy business-suit wearing people handing out their business cards!
I connected in person with so many people (a few are in the photos above) whom I’ve only gotten to know online beforehand. I think since most of the bloggers at WITS were there for the first time and also didn’t know anyone else.
After a conference there are ways to keep in touch. I love connecting with bloggers and fellow business women online. My favourite platform for networking is Twitter. I use social media to connect with business women like Chrissy Weems before connecting in person. I’ve been keeping up with the #WITS18 hashtag to keep in touch with the people I’ve met at the conference.