What happens when 300 female (and a few daring male) travelers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs get together for a weekend full of inspiration and motivation? Wanderful things happen! There are all kinds of travel industry conferences out there, but the Women in Travel Summit (WITS) is a conference unlike any other that completely exceeded my expectations. I racked my brain through everything I learned during the weekend and put together my top five tips to make the most of your WITS experience. If you’ll be joining in for WITS 2016 in Irvine, California, get started with the following suggestions to become a WITS rockstar!
Don’t Be Intimidated
No matter your travel experience or what stage you are as a blogger or entrepreneur, everyone is welcomed at WITS. And I don’t just mean that as a figure of speech. You will truly feel a strong sense of community at WITS revolving around female travel where open communication is encouraged and people are interested in hearing your story.
If you fall into the newbie category, it may seem like everyone has it all together and has always known the right moves to make. I’ll let you in on a little secret. You know that saying, “fake it ’till you make it”? It’s happening a lot more often than you think. Everyone at WITS is in it together to help each other out, and everyone has their own area of expertise. Take advantage of this opportunity by asking questions and taking plenty of notes throughout the weekend.
Channel Your Inner Confidence
You will be attending an event focused on women and travel. Now is the time to dig deep and find that confidence! You have the chance to meet so many interesting female travel bloggers and entrepreneurs, some of which you may have been following for a while or have interacted with online but haven’t had a chance to meet in person yet. Even if the introvert inside you is fighting against it, channel your confidence and strike up a conversation. You never know when a long lasting friendship or business relationship may occur!
Remember That No Idea is Too Big or Too Crazy
Are you ready to take the leap as a full-time travel blogger? Maybe you are thinking about embarking on your first solo female travel journey around the world? Do you dream of owning your own tour company? No matter what it is, your ideas are welcomed at WITS. Not only will you be surrounded by non-judgemental support and encouragement, but people will also be genuinely interested in your pursuits and will be happy to provide any suggestions to help you achieve your dreams.
Plan Ahead, But Prepare For Spontaneity
You for sure want to look at the schedule ahead of time and plan what sessions you want to attend, what sponsors you want to talk to, and even set up meeting times with sponsors or other attendees. However, as with travel you should be prepared for plans to change. If you feel like a different session than you had chosen to attend is calling your name, switch it up and go with your gut. You can always find someone else to grab notes from on sessions you missed!
You do You, Boo
In the words of Brooke Roberts, “you do you, boo.” Ultimately you should be focusing on why you are attending WITS and what you hope to learn to make your blog, business, or even your travels more successful. Not everyone is attending WITS for the same reasons. Know what you want to get out of WITS and what you are going to do in order to accomplish your conference goals.
Although this was my first time attending WITS, it was not my first conference. Based on my past experience I was expecting to feel completely drained by the end of the weekend, as per my usual conference routine. I was pleasantly surprised after WITS to find that I felt energized instead. I wasn’t depleted of my energy. I was filled with inspiration, encouragement, and a new realization that a group of like-minded people coming together really do have the power to make a difference.
Were you at this year’s Women in Travel Summit? What tips can you add to become a WITS rockstar?