Women have been traveling for the entirety of human history, and yet many still view travel and travel blogging as a "man's world." But imagine, if you will, being at an event that not only challenges that perspective, but lays the groundwork to reshape it. Imagine being surrounded by 150 other female travelers, bloggers, and web entrepreneurs. Imagine connecting, networking, writing, and promoting, all in the heart of Chicago. Thanks to the inaugural Women in Travel Summit, held in Chicago’s legendary Palmer House hotel, you will have to imagine no longer!
This summit, targeted at encouraging and celebrating the accomplishments of women in travel, has something for everyone. It boasts three tracks for attendees to explore: the Traveler, the Blogger, and the Entrepreneur. The Traveler can look forward to sessions to tempt and expand her horizons, from ethically-minded volunteership to traveling on a tight budget. For the Entrepreneur, sessions on monetization and turning traveling into a profession will provide an opportunity to hone her business skills and grow her career. The Blogger’s track, targeting both text and video bloggers, grows her aptitude for editing, networking, and beating writer’s block.
But wait- there’s more! In addition to sessions targeting their particular interests, attendees are invited to multiple networking and sightseeing events throughout the weekend. An open lunch on Saturday takes attendees to see Chicago’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, held in nearby Grant Park. For the early risers, early morning yoga classes will do just the trick. And for all attendees, a variety of tweet-ups, networking power hours, and evening social events facilitate blog promotion, business development, and opportunities to travel further than they ever have before.
Two keynote speakers will be featured at the summit. On Saturday, Jeannie Mark- better known as Nomadic Chick- will inspire attendees with a presentation about women in travel entrepreneurship, and on Sunday, Evelyn Hannon of Journeywoman will keep attendees hungry to change the travel world for good. Readers wishing to get a taste of these two powerful authors can visit their websites. Jeannie Mark can be found at http://www.nomadicchick.com/, and Evelyn Hannon is at http://www.journeywoman.com/.
Finally, attendees can rest assured that summit attendance and budget hotel rates are within their grasp. By using the promo code available on the summit’s registration page, attendees can stay at the Palmer House at the spectacular rate of $139/night and enjoy all its comforts and amenities- including a taste of the Women in Travel Summit’s signature cocktail at the Saturday soiree.
The summit kicks off with a networking party on Friday, March 14 and continues through Sunday, March 16. Register now at http://witsummit.com! $149 for general admission, $99 for one day.
Written by Erica Laue Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Programming Team.
Mandy's Mashups is a proud sponsor of the WIT Summit!
NAFSA 2013 has just finished and hopefully all of us have fully recuperated and our feet have returned to normal size after all that walking and standing. I thought after all the events of this extremely busy week I would take the time to recap some of my favorite activities and events.
First of all, I want to thank everyone who came out to the Tweet Ups and to the first ever #TweetIEs. They both were a huge success. We had over 40 people attend the first Tweet Up and about 30 attend the second Tweet Up on Friday. We were averaging about 50 tweets an hour using the #TweetIEs hashtag during conference hours which is way more than I expected. Everyone who participated definitely helped make this new event a huge success and this was much appreciated. I hope we can continue this in the future. If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to leave them here or tweet me!
As always, I enjoyed all the networking opportunities that NAFSA offered as well as the chance to catch up with all my colleagues, friends, and acquaintances that I only get to see once a year at this monster event. My favorite reception had to be the Rainbow SIG's bash at Hamburger Mary's which was a drag show. That was the highlight of the week and it seemed that everyone was there. That Rainbow SIG definitely knows how to throw a reception. Way to celebrate 20 years! Of course NAFSA is not all about the receptions. :) I was able to meet with numerous partners as well as potential partners. I even presented a few times to packed rooms and received some positive feedback from my presentations. All in all even though I exhausted myself thoroughly, I made the most of my time in St. Louis and made as many connections as I could. I am just sad that I couldn't attend more sessions since there seemed to be many great sessions listed on the schedule this year.
As many of you know I am on NAFSA National and Regional leadership at the moment in additional to presenting and doing my "little" day job duties. This basically means my time is not my own at the Annual Conference. However, this doesn't mean I couldn't fit in a little fun (outside the receptions) while in St. Louis. I was able to try the extremely sinful Gooey Butter Cake and I rode the tram to the top of the Arch. The tram is definitely not for those that are claustrophobic in the least. Think little round ball riding up the arch. The view was worth it though and it is something I can check off my least.
What was your favorite part of the NAFSA 2013 Annual Conference? It can be a session, reception, site you visited, or a food you ate. Let me know! Talk to you soon.
Since it is that time of year and many of us are preparing for the 2011 NAFSA Annual Conference in Vancouver I thought I would write a post about how to make the most of the annual conference, whether you can be there or not, by using social media.
First of all, I wanted to mention that my cell phone provider is Verizon and they told me that any texting I do will be part of my normal package so I plan on communicating primarily through these means. So if you have Verizon this may be a good way to go. You can use your texts to update your Facebook and Twitter accounts even when you cannot access the internet so this is a nice, inexpensive alternative.
Second, I want to say - Make Use of Your Resources. This is extremely important. For this I am mostly talking about social media but this also pertains to networking in general. This can mean the people you know, the sessions you attend, the receptions you go to, etc. You can learn quite a bit from the simply conversations you have with people in passing at any of the above events.
Now in terms of social media, the NAFSA Annual Conference is a hot bed of activity for those both at the conference and those that are unable to attend but you are using social media. If you haven't started using Twitter or something like this, NOW is the time. There will be thousands of tweets happening from the sessions, official and unofficial TweetUps, receptions, information meetings, and the exhibit halls. So you can find out what is happening even if you can't be in the other session you want to or if you can't be there at all. In addition, if you can't be there you can also ask questions and many times others tweeting will see these questions and either answer or ask the presenter for you and get the answer.
For those attending the conference, I want to highly recommend you attend the TweetUps to meet others using social media technology. Plus, I have been assured there will be free wifi for the TweetUps so it is your chance to take advance of this plus meet a great group of people!
I also love all the pictures people post of attendees in action. This could be of presentations, the exhibit hall, receptions, whatever so if you are going this is your chance to let everyone know what they are missing :) and encourage people to attend a session.
I also encourage everyone who has a social media account or who is thinking of having one to start using it before the session to find out what the popular sessions will be, the popular events, and the great places to visit in Vancouver will be. You can also ask questions so you can head to Vancouver ready to hit the ground running since it is a sprint not a marathon of a conference.
Finally, I would like to suggest that everyone log in and create a profile using the NAFSA Conference Connection so you can set up your agenda and schedule meetings with organizations/institutions you want to meet with and so you don't double or triple book yourself (not that I ever did that :)).
I hope you have found these suggestions useful and hope to see many of you in a few weeks in Vancouver.
This blog is all about social media. I hope to offer tips, tricks, advice and more on using social media within international education and international travel.