The .travel executive team has just returned from the World Travel Market (WTM) in London. WTM is a global event for the travel industry where one can visit virtually any country all under one roof! This business to business exhibition provides a unique opportunity for the whole global travel trade industry to meet, network, negotiate, conduct business and stay updated with the latest developments in the travel industry.
The 4-day exhibition is intense but exciting. In the spirit of WTM, .travel thought it would be a great idea to offer our tips for survival at the World Travel Market.
1) Plan out a route for traveling to the exhibition.
WTM is located at ExCeL London, which is about an hour east of the center of London. The best bet is to travel by public transport; by Tube and then hopping aboard the DLR train to the “Custom House” stop. The ride may be crowded, but the “people watching” is intense!!! If you have the budget, you can also take a river boat or private car, but the ride takes about the same amount of time.
If you are not keen on the commute, you can arrange accommodations at Hotel Novotel, which is a short walk from the front steps of the ExCeL venue. And, they have convenient massage chairs for your “WTM aching feet.” (This is a HINT to wear comfortable shoes!!!)
2) Once inside WTM, acquire a map and a bag
The venue is large, but nicely organized by Continent. Plan out which booths you would like to visit and locate them on the map in order to maximize your time. The WTM website has a great “Personal Event Planner” tool, where you can search for categories that you are interested in seeing, and have them mapped out for you (http://www.wtmlondon.com/page.cfm/Action=ShowCategory/CatPageID=1).
A large bag will be helpful to carry all of the brochures and goodies you will pick up along the way.
3) Be prepared for long lines at lunchtime
There are many places to eat inside ExCeL, but be prepared to wait in a long line to get your lunch. Plan to eat at an off time to avoid the queues, or grab a pre-made sandwich or salad at the Whistlestop food market.
4) Set goals
Decide what you want to accomplish at WTM. Do you want to make new contacts and business deals? Do you want to expand career possibilities? Or are you just “window shopping”? Make sure you have a clear objective of what the purpose of your attendance is. Also, make sure to bring plenty of business cards!
5) See London!
In your free time outside of WTM, see some of the sights London has to offer. There are plenty of museums, restaurants, shows, and historical landmarks to visit. The .travel team had the opportunity to take a ride on the Eye for great views of the Thames and Big Ben and visit the Tower Bridge. Take a break from working and explore!
To learn more about the World Travel Market, visit their website at: http://www.wtmlondon.com/