Keynote Presentation Social media in Tourism

Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy flight

Oh, man. Do I love Athens. I was asked to do the opening keynote at this year’s Social media in Tourism conference in Athens, Greece. It turned out to be one big celebration of hospitality and the power of social media.

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Athens, Greece.


Social media in Tourism

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Social Media in Tourism
Social Media in Tourism
About the conference

Social Media In Tourism

The 2nd Social Media in Tourism in Athens, Greece on 21/01 brought more than 130 executives and professionals from the tourism industry together to discuss and celebrate social media in tourism.

The 21 Greek and foreign speakers gave practical examples of social buzz and “smart” ways of using social media for better and more effective advertising and other, wider, related social media challenges and solutions that were of interest to tourism professionals like hotels, travel agencies, tourism development organizations, and tourism businesses.

Some other speakers included Sam Brookes (Business Director, Seen Connects),  Jonas Carlson Almqvist (Tech Lead Thomas Cook Northern Europe), Dawn Gribble (Founder & CEO of Virtual Solutions), the amazing Estonians Silvar Laasik (Creative Director Zavod BBDO) and Erkki Tuisk (Account Director Zavod BBDO) and some amazing local speakers like Ioanna Dreta (CEO Marketing Greece), Charalambos Karimalis (President of the Greek National Tourism Organization) and Alexis Galenos (Managing Director of EATA (Athens Development & Tourism Promotion Company)).

I was lucky enough to be the opening keynote speaker.

My session

If all is SEO-optimised, all that’s left is creativity.

As the opening keynote, I tried to focus my talk on setting the stage for the other speakers of the day. As many of them would focus on the performance-side of social media (paid ads, even search), I decided to mainly design my talk to be a plea for common-sense and creativity. We can have all the cool technology gimmickry in the world, but if we as travel companies are not worth talking about, all is for nothing.

Simply said: If all is SEO-optimised, all that’s left is creativity.

The conference also got me a nice new travel story. After the conference, I had some drinks with some other speakers and I learned about the Estonian tradition of Karu tuleb, karu läheb. I wrote a blog post about it on my travel blog.

Some cases highlighted in my presentation

I almost died, this is what I learned.

The story how my near death taught me about creating memories worth sharing.

Random acts of kindness

How some little acts of kindness changed the way I look at advertising campaigns.

How surprise travel works

The remarkable story of, where customers are treated as friends.

How housekeeping makes the difference

The remarkable story of how fluffy toys made one housekeeping lady the best housekeeping lady in the world.

The Mexican Wave

Three … Two … One … GO!

For a couple of years now, I have been doing a Mexican Wave at the starting point of many of my talks, all over the world. Here as well.

More on the WaveOther Mexican Waves


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