5 Reasons Travel Bloggers Should Attend Conferences


Have you always wanted to be a Travel Blogger?

Many people ask me how to get started in travel writing. One of the best choices I made was to go to every conference I could find last year. I went to Travel Media Showcase in Grapevine, Texas in 2016 and was just in Cabarrus, North Carolina for the TMS 2017 conference.

Why should you attend Travel Media Showcase?

1. Travel to new places

Travel Media Showcase is in a different place each year. This year when I went to the conference it was my first visit to North Carolina. Our night at the Charlotte Motor Speedway included laps around the track in the pace car and time to talk to friends and network with destinations.

5 Reasons Travel Bloggers Should Attend Conferences
Alexa from 52 Perfect Days, Carolann from One Modern Couple & Lisa from We Said Go Travel

2. You will eat great FOOD! We explored the city on our local FAM (familiarization trip). I loved our day of ARTS ACCELERATED in Downtown Concord. Thank you to Gianni, Executive Chef Heather Stadler and the entire team at Gianni’s Trattoria for a fantastic Italian lunch. They definitely create art through their food. I loved all the beads and stories at The Bead Lady and Hive Concord but the best was when we all screamed for ICE CREAM at Cabarrus Creamery. I loved the biscuits and breakfast at Tupelo Honey Cafe.

3. Learn about new things!  

We went to a former North Carolina prison which operated from 1929 until 2011 and has been turned into Southern Grace Distilleries, a craft-distilled small batch whiskey and bourbon that saves lives! The more you drink, the more they help the planet! A donation is made to local animal shelter for every bottle sold of Sun Dog 130. A $1 from every bottle sold of Zero Dark 130  is donated to a charity to benefit those who serve and their families.  Sun Dog Pink Lemonade is Sun Dog 130 mixed with pink lemonade and a donation is made to breast cancer research for every bottle they sell. “Sun Dog Apple Dumplin’ won a silver medal in New Orleans at the American Whiskey and Bourbon Competition. Sun Dog Apple Dumplin is a 45 proof corn whiskey mixed with fruit juice. For every bottle we sell we make a contribution to Habitat for Humanity.” Thank you to Leanne Powell, founder and grand-daughter of a bootlegger, for an amazing start to a fantastic conference!

5 Reasons Travel Bloggers Should Attend Conferences

While in “jail” at WhiskeyPrison, I was honored to be recognized for my articles and video about #TMSGrapevine with this talented group of travel journalists. The winners: Howard Blount, Kelly Stilwell, Melody Pittman, Tammilee Tillison with Joanne Vero and Leigh Hurst Lyons (not pictured: Liz Mays) Thanks to Joanne Vero from #TravelMediaShowcase and Leigh Lyons for the grand prize award. Thank you to Carolann and Macrae from @onemoderncouple for the photo.

5 Reasons Travel Bloggers Should Attend Conferences

4. Network with other bloggers!
I loved seeing so many travel blogging friends. Last year, I was given several suggestions that I tried all year and this year we had a discussion about how to take those ideas to the next step. I really appreciate how everyone shares their successes and wants to see others do better. Thank you to Kelly Stilwell from Food, Fun & Faraway Places for her patience and persistence to help me understand PINTEREST! She even made this featured image for me to use! Now that is an AMAZING friend!

5 Reasons Travel Bloggers Should Attend Conferences

5. Meet with destinations

At this conference, you have one on one networking meetings with destinations. It is very well organized and planned out in advance. You can request meetings and so can the tourism boards. This is a great way to learn about new places and find stories to tell. I promised Colleen Hodson that I would go to my first Dude Ranch even though I am afraid of horses. Tanque Verde Ranch get ready! This would be part of my 50 things before I am 50 project which I started because of Tammilee Tillison and her project for her 40th birthday last year. Amazing things happen when we all come together! See my video for more of what happened and my meeting with Colleen!

VIDEO: What Happened at Travel Media Showcase 2017?

Travel Media Showcase is the conference run by  J. Vero & Associates. TMS brings “together leading print and broadcast travel media to meet with representatives from the United States, Canada, and international destinations in a highly organized and business-like format involving pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments and fam tours.”

Who should attend? Editors, Staff Writers, Assignment Writers, Freelance Writers, Photographers, Bloggers, Video and Film producers for newspapers, magazines, television, broadcast/video/film, internet, travel guides, books.

5 Reasons Travel Bloggers Should Attend ConferencesTravel Media Showcase is a one-stop, opportunity for travel journalists to:

  • Meet one-on-one with public relations and communications practitioners from convention and visitors bureaus, state, regional, and international tourism offices, attractions and theme parks, major hotel chains and destination resort properties, airlines, cruise lines and gaming venues
  • Gather new story ideas and background material on a broad range of tourism products
  • Develop personal relationships with key travel information sources
  • Network with other travel journalists and editors
  • Schedule follow-up media visits to destinations of interest
  • Sign up for participation in upcoming destination-sponsored familiarization trips”
5 Reasons for Travel Bloggers to Attend Conferences
Lisa Niver & Johnny Jet love Chocolate Cake
5 Reasons for Travel Bloggers to Attend Conferences
Lisa Niver & Charles McCool at afternoon meetings

Where will you stay?

This year our conference was held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Concord Golf Resort & Spa. My corner room had plenty of space and light and I could even hula hoop in my living room. I went to the fitness center every day and I absolutely loved my hot stone massage. Not every Embassy Suites by Hilton has a spa so I was not sure what to expect from Spa Botanica which was a fantastic place for pampering on the first floor of Embassy Suites Charlotte-Concord Golf Resort & Spa. I felt relaxed, re-energized and ready for my meetings at Travel Media Showcase.

5 Reasons Travel Bloggers Should Attend ConferencesThank you to Joanne Vero, Cabarrus County and the entire Go with Hub Team for a great conference!

Lisa Niver

Carolina Panthers Bank of American StadiumThank you to Herbster for my back stage tour at the Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium.

I loved seeing how the TV show came together.

Carolina Panthers Bank of American Stadium
Carolina Panthers Bank of American Stadium

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is a speaker at the Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Dallas Travel and Adventure Shows for 2023. Her podcast, “Make Your Own Map,” has been watched in more than 11 countries on 4 continents. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have nearly 2 million views. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. https://bit.ly/m/lisaniver Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

2 responses to “5 Reasons Travel Bloggers Should Attend Conferences

  1. What a true blessing I have been given- to be able to say that through your work you have met some of the most talented individuals, who share your passion and allow you to embrace so many experiences while feeling like you are not working at all! Lisa Niver, I cherish the times we are together, I am thrilled to be part of your journey and I look forward to watching you reach great heights!! Good good job Ompah loompahs!

  2. This really very nice information that you have shared with us. Thanks for sharing it. It is good to attend conferences like this.

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