If there’s one thing I learned from blogging all these years is the power of networking, being part of the larger travel blogging community and making friends with so many others that are doing what you’re doing. Coming from the startup world, I’ve been a huge advocate of “getting out and meeting people” and as you’ll learn below, Travel Massive is simply amazing for travel bloggers.
Thou must meet other travel bloggers
You can be stuck on your own little island of travel blogging but what I learned quickly was that, man I can’t do this on my own. Aside from all the travel that you do, travel blogging can be ironically lonely. I spend most of my time at coffee shops to do my writing but it’s just me. And if I didn’t put myself out there whether through in-person meet ups or via online groups, it’d still just be me slugging it out.
Here are a few reasons why you really should be getting out there and meeting other great travel bloggers.
- Why learn things from scratch when you can ask and learn from others who have gone through that journey already? I can’t tell you how many times I learned about a new plugin or press event or whatever through chatting with another blogger
- Be part of a supportive community. Everyone’s looking to help each other out
- It’s fun! Get out of the house and mingle
Thankfully, there are organizations like TravelMassive that make it a whole lot easier to meet like minded travel bloggers in your community. I honestly can’t remember how I heard about it but it was definitely word of mouth and ever since then I’ve been hooked. Hopefully by reading this, you’ll get in on the fun as well!
What is Travel Massive?
Travel Massive is a locally organized meet up for anything travel related – travel & tourism companies, travel bloggers, startups and travel media with the purpose of connecting people together and sharing. Travel Massive groups exist all over the world. The core value is to create a space for travel industry professional to connect and gather locally.
The story goes that it was started in Australia in 2009 by Ian Cumming and Alicia Smith as a casual meeting with a few folks in the online travel industry. It soon grew to a “massive” event and during that time, a Alicia Taggio of Toronto serendipitously was in Australia and made it out to one event and thought how awesome it’d be to do one in her hometown. This then became the start of Toronto Travel Massive. And of course now it’s in almost every single corner of the globe.
The beauty of it all is that these local events are free to attend, are run by lovely volunteers and is honestly the best way to connect with the movers and shakers of the online travel industry.
This may differ from events in other city but at least in Toronto, the monthly meet up usually looks like this:
- Could be in any sort of venue including a bar, hotel, museum, hostel etc.
- 3 hour event on a weekday evening
- Drink tickets and catered food to snack on
- Typically sponsored and hosted by a travel & tourism related company. For example we recently had Visit Florida and Pure Michigan.
- Open mingling the whole night
- Sponsors and Travel Massive organizers will speak for no more than 20-30 minutes
- Prizes given out at the end of the night
However keep in mind that not all Travel Massives are sponsored events so there may not be food and prize perks.
Before I move on, I have to give a huge shoutout to Alicia Taggio from My Life Untethered, Mariellen Ward from BreatheDreamGo, Cristina Canterelli from Chasing Travel and Melissa Shearer from The Mellyboo Project for putting their hard work into making Toronto Travel Massive happen.
How Travel Massive has helped me
Okay so why not just list out all the awesome things Travel Massive has been to me.
- Connected and humbled by some of the amazing blogging talent here in Toronto
- Gotten leads with folks in the travel industry including PR and tourism board reps that attend events or bloggers connecting me with folks they know
- Practically get a free meal every month with epic-ly catered foods
- I’ve won prizes at Travel Massive. Recently won a 3 night stay in Detroit thanks to Visit Detroit
- Been to some amazing venues including The Royal Ontario Museum for the 4th Anniversary of Travel Massive in Toronto where we got a private tour of the Mesopotania exhibit by the curator himself
- Made great friends with travel bloggers I otherwise never would have been able to meet in person
Find the closest Travel Massive near you
Travel Massive isn’t always something you can find on meetup.com so you will want to head over to Travel Massive’s events page to see which cities have organizers and what events are happening.
Toronto is a bit unique in that it has it’s own Toronto Travel Massive website and FB page. The key is to be subscribed to the e-mails so that once a new event is announced, you’ll be able to sign up right away. Toronto Travel Massive has gained so much popularity that if you don’t register quick, you’ll often find that there’s a waiting list because so many people want in.
For all other cities, I’d recommend you heading over to the Travel Massive events page linked above as other cities use varying platforms. That being said, I have been told that Travel Massive is currently working on a consolidated platform that will allow all cities to be connected and create a truly global virtual community. The hope is for this to be launched in 2015.
Don’t have one? Start one!
If you just found out that your city doesn’t have one, why not start one up in your own city? Learn how to start your own Travel Massive by applying and getting approved.
Erika of Travel Massive is actively looking for new chapters to sprout up so if you’re the kind of person who wants to take the lead and make it happen, please give her a shout.
- Want more tips and tricks from the toolkit, just head over to the master Travel Blogger’s Toolkit page to keep on learning!