World Travel Market 2015 – The Social Media Video Review

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Last week (2-5 Nov), the globe’s most important travel companies, organisations and tourist authorities descended on London for one of the industry’s biggest trade shows – World Travel Market (WTM).

Hosted at the international exhibition centre, London ExCeL, WTM welcomes over 50,000 travel professionals over four days and generates a staggering £2.5 billion worth of industry contracts.

As a key event in the industry calendar, it also proves to be hotbed of social media activity in this sector, something that spikes our interest at Umpf. For the second year running, we teamed up with leading travel trade media outlet, TTG Media, to produce a daily social media report on the event.

Tracking both official hashtags, #WTM15 and #IamatWTM, we collated the influential contributors, hot topics, most shared tweets and images, as well as day-on-day trends.

Taking a snapshot against last year’s event, social media use has increased significantly as organisations and attendees take to Twitter and Instagram to share their activities and experiences. Tweets using the official hashtags rose from 10,766 to 21,764 (102%) and Instagram uploads 925 to 1,245 (36%). One trend visible when comparing the reports was the increase in social media activity by bloggers and online influencers, rather than just the organisations promoting their attendance at the conference. It made for much richer and varied social conversation around WTM.

Here’s our social media round up of WTM15:

Day One

WTM produced a significant amount of social media activity, with 5,994 tweets alone sent on the first day. This is a staggering 133% increase on last year’s 2,570 tweets sent on day one.

The big winner of the day was Ecuador Tourism, as two of their official Twitter accounts, @TurismoEc and @EcuaTravelTrade, grabbed the top spots for the most retweets.

The reason? They cleverly took the physical into the social space by driving visitors to their stand with award-winning Ecuadorian chocolate available to taste. Not only did it result in great footfall, but a domination of the conference’s social media conversations on day one.

Day Two

Another day of strong social media activity at WTM15 as social conversations increased by 8% compared to day one: 6,486 tweets were sent and Instagram achieved its conference best of 391 uploads. The growth highlights the important role social media has taken at WTM, as this is also a significant 98% rise on day two at last year’s WTM

Instagram in particular featured heavily, with many of the exhibitors showcasing their elaborate stands via the photo and video sharing platform. Kerala Tourism won the day with over 330 engagements on their Instagram upload of a team member in traditional Keralan dress. The tourist authority utilised both official WTM hashtags in its post, contributing to the photograph being the most engaged piece of social media content of the day.

Day Three

The third day of WTM15 again produced significant social media buzz: 2,703 individual contributors tweeted the hashtag #WTM15 or #IamatWTM, with an average of 3.2 tweets per tweeter. The regular Twitter updates by attendees and exhibitors highlighted the important role social media plays in how individuals and organisations promote their presence at the conference.

Day three also highlighted the power of celebrity endorsement on social media, with Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s #VegasSelfie competition one of the hot topics of the day. The competition for a trip to the ‘Sin City’ asked entrants to tweet their ‘Vegas Selfie’ using the dedicated hashtag. To kick things off, the company commissioned Made in Chelsea TV star Jamie Laing to tweet out his #VegasSelfie.

His presence at WTM15, and substantial following of nearly 950,000 on Twitter, created social buzz around the competition. Even though Jamie’s tweet occurred on day one, the competition was still being talked about heavily on social media on day three, making it a continuing hot topic.

Day Four

As seen in last year’s report, social media activity declined on the final day of WTM, with tweets and contributions falling to nearly half the levels of day three. Day four did see the conference’s top tweeter (in terms of engagement) again claim top spot for the most engaged tweet.  Actress and travel blogger Juliana Dever (@Cleverdever) appeared as a top tweeter on each day of the conference with scores of retweets and likes for her WTM15 updates.

Juliana was one of the event’s key influencers on social media as she highlighted some of the best exhibitors and talks. Day four also featured much social chatter around Travel Tourism Think Tank’s  Start Up Pitches event with keynote speakers from business, along with fringe talks involving key travel bloggers.

 

Exhibitors and attendees at WTM15 certainly embraced social media as a platform to promote their presence. With increased use of Twitter and Instagram compared to WTM14, we expect to see this growth continue as exhibitors integrate social media content and activity into their on-stand activity.

If you’re interested in any further social media insights around World Travel Market, or how our reports were pulled together, feel free to email us WTM@umpf.co.uk or drop us a tweet @Umpf.