5 Easy Video Marketing Strategies for Travel Industry Pros and Bloggers

How is your travel business growing online? Would you like to know a totally free and simple way increase visibility for your online brand? Whether you’re a blogger or travel industry brand, integrating a video marketing strategy into your mix is an excellent way to boost your online visibility.

lauraredprint2If you’re wondering how could you possibly fit in another ounce of content generation let alone video, check out the wonderful world of Google Hangouts On Air and use these simple strategies to produce compelling video content consistently.

Google launched their Hangouts On Air (HOA) functionality in 2012 and it’s been growing like wildfire ever since. Personally, I use HOA every week to deliver high content webinars and interviews with experts around the world. You can do Hangouts On Air right from your phone as well by downloading the Hangouts app.

Google HOA essentially allows you to host and broadcast live and recorded discussions and performances to the world for FREE through your Google+ Home page and YouTube channel. By the way, I did say “pre-recorded” video purposefully. You can set up these HOAs so that you record privately and then broadcast them once you’re ready.

With the versatile features that Google Hangouts On Air offer, the possibilities for creating highly engaging, interesting and shareable content are endless.Here are five easy video content creation and marketing strategies

1. Video on the Road or Behind the Scenes

If you’re a blogger, why not get into the moment? Start your HOA from your phone and point the camera on the scenery or a local vendor and share your commentary and new insights of the special places you’ve visit. Then tweet about the video you just created. Embed it on your blog with either a transcription of what you said or further commentary and tweet it again.

If you’re a brand, what better way to grow loyalty than to give your audience a sneak peak inside your facilities and introduce your team. Feature a staff member weekly. Or even feature your customers (who are willing to sign a video release, of course) who love you. That will get them raving about you too. Send out an email each time you do this and let your existing clients get to know your organization better.

2. The Virtual Tour 

Do you have extraordinary photos to share? Why not create an online event to share the photos of a particular location or genre (waterfalls, rain forests, deserts, cruise ship cabins, etc). Share photos via live streaming along with tips, stories, or commentary about the images. An even easier video to create (without being a live event or having to speak), could be simply to show the photos and play music in the background.

When you embed this on your blog, your written descriptions can cover what you would have said in a video. By the way, are you concerned that people will watch and not know who the source is? You can watermark your photos and create PowerPoint slides with contact and website information. If you want to spend time annotating the YouTube video, you can include clickable buttons on your video.

3. Interviews and Demos

Do you know any celebrities or C-Level executives you can feature? Set up a HOA with them and ask them juicy questions. Get the inside scoop on the services they offer. Feature chefs demonstrating a famous recipe, and highlight specialty business owners, cruise ship officers, demonstrate your product or someone else’s that is a companion to yours. If you have a venue that can offer a special discount, use this video in an email and let people know about the offer. Promote on Instagram and Pinterest. You may even want to pay for some Facebook advertising for these special offers.

4. Record the text from your blog post that accompanies the photos

If you’re really strapped for time, but want to dive into video marketing, take your existing blog posts and re-purpose them. If they have fantastic content and images, then simply read your blog post while showing the images on your HOA. You may even find you have more to say than you did in the original blog. For your audience who is more visually oriented, they will LOVE that you are offering video.

Many people enjoy podcasts. Did you know that you can easily extract audio from a video? That means you can place an mp3 file along with the video on your new blog post. That mp3 can also be used on podcast sites. If you go the podcast route be sure to get some good sound equipment.

5. Testimonials for products, recommended destinations, tours, events, guides, etc.

Who loves you? Why not video them from the comfort of their own space. That’s right, when you start a Google Hangout On Air, you can invite others to join the HOA and participate on air with you. All they need is a smartphone, tablet or computer with a webcam. Sometimes the recording quality is not as good as you may like, but the authenticity usually is compelling enough to make it a piece of marketing content.

Use these on your reviews pages on your website. Create press releases. Or simply add them as blog posts that your share about. Remember to send the links to these reviews to the people who gave them so they may share the links with their friends, followers, and connections online.

Re-Purpose the Video on Facebook

A strategy that you may also want apply to all the above video content is to download each HOA (as an mp4) and upload the video to your Facebook business page. Video engagement on Facebook has surpassed that on YouTube. So you can upload the video and link to your blog/website in the video description.

We have just touched the tip of the HOA video marketing iceberg. If you have a great video you’ve done with Google Hangouts On Air, please share it in the comments below and inspire others with one of the EASIEST video creation tools available today that is FREE.

Author Bio:  Laura Rubinstein is an award winning digital media strategist, marketing consultant, Certified Hypnotherapist, and author of the bestselling book Social Media Myths Busted. She is the creator of the Savvy Social Media Success System, and co-founder of Social Buzz Club. During the past 20 years, Laura has optimized marketing strategies for over 1,000 businesses. Her profit-generating strategies, and popular blog at TransformToday.com make her a highly sought after speaker and consultant.

TBEX Speed Networking Webinar

TBEX Lloret Del Mar by Laurence Norah-14

Get ready for speed networking at TBEX Asia or TBEX North America. This webinar is intended for both bloggers and sponsors. We will show how the BloggerBridge.com speed networking interface works and also talk about how to make the most of the limited time in a speed networking meeting

Here are the details:

What:  TBEX Speed Networking Webinar. Preparing for Speed Networking with BloggerBridge.com.

When:  September 11th, 2015 at 9 a.m. and

Register:  Register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Welcome These TBEX North America 2015 Speakers

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We are announcing a few more speakers for North America today, and I hope you find a speaker and a topic that catches your eye. This isn’t the end of speaker announcements, so keep an eye out for more coming up soon. Will we see you there?

Adriena Daunt

Adriena Daunt has 15 years of experience leading public relations strategies for tourism brands globally. In her current role with Tourism New Zealand in Los Angeles, she manages PR across six countries in the Americas.

Adriena will be speaking in the industry track about Film Tourism.

Amie O’Shaughnessy

Amie O’Shaughnessy is the Editor  of Ciao Bambino, a leading global travel planning resource for families with children of all ages. Amie founded Ciao Bambino over a decade ago with a mission to enable families with kids of all ages to fearlessly explore the world together. Ciao Bambino pairs an award-winning blog and hotel reviews powered by a team of Family Travel Experts with a boutique, in-house travel agency. Amie is on the Editors Council of SATW and a board member of the Family Travel Association.

Amie will be speaking in the Commerce track about ways to use travel planning as a revenue stream.

Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen  is the host of the Amateur Traveler, a popular online travel website that focuses primarily on travel destinations. It includes a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog. By day Chris has worked for years in technology startups in Silicon Valley. Chris now owns and runs BloggerBridge.com which is a new startup connecting bloggers and industry contacts.

Chris will be leading a session on how to use the speed networking program, BloggerBridge and how to maximize its use to connect the industry and bloggers.

Chris Ducker

Chris Ducker is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of the bestseller, “Virtual Freedom”. Originally from the UK, Chris has lived in the Philippines for 15 years where he hosts the annual Tropical Think Tank mastermind event and has founded several businesses, which combined house over 300 full-time employees. He is also a popular business blogger and podcaster at ChrisDucker.com and founder of Youpreneur.com, an exclusive entrepreneurial community.

Chris will be speaking in the Commerce track about building the business of you.

David Griner

David Griner is the digital managing editor of Adweek, and oversees the New York-based publication’s online news team and the popular Adweek Blog Network. Reaching millions of readers a month, Adweek.com has grown into one of the leading marketing, media and tech publications in the U.S. David formerly served as VP of Digital Content for marketing agency Luckie & Company, where he helped lead several tourism-related accounts, including Alabama Tourism and the Asheville (N.C.) Convention & Visitors Bureau.

David will be speaking in the Industry track.

Diana Laskaris

Diana Laskaris has loved eating, traveling and telling stories since she was a tiny tot, making fabulous cakes with her E-Z Bake Oven and carrying them all the way to Grandma’s house. Now Diana is a professional member of the James Beard Foundation, Les Toques Blanches Du Monde, and The World Gourmet Society. She is co-founder of Food Travelist, which connects food travelers around the world with great brands, destinations and experiences.

Diana will be speaking in the Community track about how to accelerate the building of your community.

Jen Leo

Jen Leo writes the nationally syndicated Web Buzz column for the Los Angeles Times, co-hosts the podcast “This Week in Travel” – available on iTunes – and is best known for editing the award-winning Sand in My Bra series published by Travelers’ Tales. Jen also co-founded the family travel-focused Twitter party KidsNTrips.com, as well as BestKidsApps.com, a popular website that reviews children’s iPhone and iPad apps.

Jen will be leading a session for first time TBEX attendees.

Kathy McCabe

Kathy McCabe is the host and executive producer of the new PBS travel series, Dream of Italy. The series is based on her award-winning, 12-year-old subscription travel newsletter of the same name. Kathy  was named one of top 12 Twitter Travel personalities in 2012. She previously worked in USA TODAY’s travel section and began her career in journalism at ABC News in New York, where she was part of the Emmy-Award winning investigative team.

Kathy will be speaking in the Content track about how to create a travel series for PBS.

Sue Reddel

Sue Reddel escaped corporate America after 25 years in global advertisng and created her own dream job as an agency consultant for global brands. She traveled more than 150,000 miles in 6 months and became an expert in smart travel in the process. Sue co-founded Food Travelist to share her knowledge with others and connect with those who love to explore culture through food during their travels, near and far. She has been an adjunct professor in the Integrated Marketing Communications program at Roosevelt University in Chicago since 2008.

Sue will be speaking in the Community track about how to accelerate the building of your community.

TBEX Europe 2016 to be Held in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Today we’ve announced the location for TBEX Europe 2016:  Stockholm, Sweden. The event will be held at the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre on July 14-16, 2016.

“In recent years, travel bloggers have become an increasingly important segment in marketing Stockholm as a destination. We’ve wanted to host a conference like TBEX for a long time, because we can see the potential of conferences in Stockholm’s strongest industries. We also share the same values, such as innovation and openness, which makes us especially happy,” says Karin Mäntymäki, Director of Meetings, Conferences and Events and Stockholm Convention Bureau, Stockholm Visitors Board.

The city itself, with its blend of beauty and creativity, modern conference facilities and excellent social media skills, is why Stockholm was chosen to host the meeting.

Rick Calvert, CEO & Co-founder New Media Expo, and CEO of TBEX explain why Stockholm is a great choice:  “We chose Stockholm for several simple but important reasons. We know this will be the first time many of our attendees have visited Stockholm and they are going to be overwhelmed by how much this city has to offer.  The conference facility is very modern and fits the tech centered culture of our community of travel content creators perfectly. Lastly and very importantly the Stockholm Visitors Board truly understand how important this shift to new media is and they are doing a great work with digital influencers and for their city. We think they are a perfect organization to showcase what TBEX is all about.”

Registration for TBEX Europe 2016 in Stockholm is now open. Super early bird prices are $97 for bloggers and $397 for travel. This the lowest price that will be offered; no discounts apply. Super early bird prices will end on Monday, May 18th at 5 pm Pacific Time. These discounted tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable.

 

More Than Social Media: Costa Brava’s Instagram Plans

 

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Instagram is the perfect platform for sharing holiday photos – and you won’t miss home if your stay is punctuated with Insta-lovehearts. But one tourist board has bigger plans for this visual social media platform than a few holiday snaps. Instagram is fast becoming part of Costa Brava’s worldwide marketing strategy, with the aim of changing outdated perceptions of the region.

If I say Costa Brava, what would you say? Sun, sea, or sand? If, like me, you missed last year’s TBEX Conference Girona you might call to mind a beach strip studded with white high rise blocks, and restaurants offering menus with pictures instead of words. I did. And what did I base that opinion on? Pre-social media memories of orange BBC TV travel presenters sipping on sangria, 70s news reports of a boom in Spanish resorts that my parents couldn’t afford to take me to, and glossy brochures on travel agent shelves in the days when a ‘Trip Advisor’ was someone who sat at a desk in the shopping mall.

A region that has moved on

Perhaps that’s what the Costa Brava was then. But I know from a recent visit that’s not what it is now. Sure, you have your Lloret de Mar resorts filled with Brits that have turned an off-putting shade of tomato. But nowadays the region delivers cosmopolitan cities like Girona, cultural experiences like the Dali Museum, artist enclaves like Cadaques, and world class sailing and diving marinas like L’Estartit. And apart from one blip when all the food critics went to Copenhagen, it has continuously held the title of ‘best restaurant in the world.’

Held back by the past

Yet when I returned from Costa Brava, people only asked if I’d enjoyed my beach holiday. The region may have embraced the future, but the old image remains, hanging round like yesterday’s paella. For the Costa Brava Tourist Board this might be seen as something of a problem. But Jaume Marin, Marketing Director at Costa Brava Girona is upbeat. He believes most tourist boards have an outdated image or legacy to change.

“The most important thing about marketing is the perception. More than the reality. And every destination has problems with perception. Even places like New York have a mountain to climb,” says Jaume. “I think Barcelona has one of the strongest images for a destination in the world. Yet tourism is focussed on one part of the town, overloading the capacity of that part of town.”

A marketing man with a plan

Jaume is putting his belief in social media into action – or, more specifically, into a catchy little hashtag. In the time it has taken me to write this post someone will have probably looked at an image tagged #incostabrava. By the time you’ve read this article someone else is likely to have used that hashtag on a new image. Many of these pictures have sun, sea, and sand woven into the mix, but many others do not. There are pictures of spires and statues. Of alleyways and arches. Of markets and museums. Of forests and farmhouses. Of tall towers and top tables.

When I last checked there were 76,640 images on just that one hashtag. Jaume Marin believes that over time, hearts and minds can be changed through these single snaps that, together, make an almighty holiday album. But why would Instagram be more effective than leaflets and brochures? He argues that new generations are being influenced by social rather than traditional media and publicity.

“It’s no good if I say ‘The Costa Brava is more than beaches.’ Somebody else has to say it,” Jaume tells me. “If someone local says it, then it’s not the tourist board creating brand, but our own community creating it.”

Another part of his strategy is to bring expert bloggers and travellers out on a regular basis. “They have a big number of followers and people rely on them and believe them. In the past the tour operators were important and there were millions of brochures produced. But that is the past. Who creates the perceptions now? A campaign like Instagram is real and it’s authentic. Local people are part of it. And they are proud of it. This is a growing community.”

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Instadays filled with instalikes

The tourist board has been facilitating the growth of the hashtag by organising free Instagram days – free guided photo walks with Instagram experts on hand to offer tips – across the region. I attended one in Cadaques. It was a sunshine fiesta of 200 snappers and I was still looking at pictures of it on my phone several weeks later. And this free Instagram day was then repeated somewhere else. By the time I met Jaume in England in June, he had clocked up 14 of them, with another 18 in the pipeline.

But I was curious. Did he put so much faith in social media platforms that they were becoming central to his marketing strategy?

“Yes. We are switching,” he said, nodding. “We are a public administration and we don’t switch from one day to another, but in the end it depends on the people who are involved, and if I’m still there, we are going to switch.”

A measurable marketing expense

One of the advantages, he explains, is that social media is measurable, unlike other channels where he could put his marketing budget.

“The circulation of a newspaper might be 100,000. But how many people read it? I don’t know. And my advert might be on the 38th page. I don’t know how many people read the 38th page. With a blog I know how many people read it and for how many minutes.”

But he’s also aware that figures aren’t everything, even in tourism, and that sometimes accountability is taken a bit far.

“Are we going to measure how much people enjoy an exhibition? Is a hotel going to ask what the return is on changing the chairs? Or how many people benefited from changing a light bulb?” he asks with a shrug.

Expanding the network

Before he left England, Jaume was keen to track down UK Instagrammers.

“I would like to set up an Instagram day with the igersLondon and igersCostaBrava communities. If we met for a day and it was a failure then we would still have a great weekend. And if we met for a day and it was a success then Instagram days could be expanded all over Europe. And we would be the pioneers.”

Author Bio: Kirstie Pelling is one fifth of The Family Adventure Project, a website all about families getting active and having fun together. Along with husband and co-founder Stuart Wickes and their three children, the family have cycled more than 12,000 miles, across more than 20 countries. And with 20 years of journalism and travel experience under her belt, Kirstie is an expert in inspirational adventure writing. You can follow her and the family on Twitter @familyonabike, Facebook, G+, Instagram and YouTube.

Ireland Plays Host to TBEX & More

 

2013 has been a busy year in Ireland, and TBEX is just one of  many events that have enjoyed the mirth and fellowship or Irish hospitality.

TBEX Speaker Post: Crafting a Marketing Message for Travel Ads

 

Gina-Tarnacki-200x200Are you doing marketing with ads to gain traffic to your website? Finding the happy balance between an online ad that just gets clicks and one that gets a healthy ROI – not to mention the results you’re looking for – can be tricky. Whether marketing via a banner ad, text ad, search campaign, or email broadcast, the way in which the advertising message is worded can make a huge difference in the kind of return you see on your ad.

Match the Message to the Site

First off, you need to decide what you’re trying to accomplish with the ad. Do you want people to book a vacation through your site? Are you hoping to get new sign-ups for your email newsletter? Or are you pushing a limited time deal? Depending on what action you want the user to take once they get to your site, you’ll want to land them on the page that makes most sense for them to do so – therefore, make sure the ad matches up with where you’re sending users on your website.

If you want to push African safaris and are landing users on that section of your website, make sure the ad says something about African safaris – don’t make it a broad “Vacations to Everywhere” banner ad. You’ll frustrate the user and not get the type of traffic you’re looking for. Likewise, if your ad is to “Book a 7-night cruise to the Mediterranean for just $499 today” land them straight on that sailing; don’t put the user on the homepage and make them search for the sailing as you’ll likely get fewer bookings.

More Clicks Do Not Necessarily Equal Success

Remember that “Vacations to Everywhere” example? There’s another reason having such a generic ad can be a bad idea. Having lots of users click on your ad can seem like an advertising win, but if you’re paying by CPC (cost per click) and your ad messaging is too broad, you may end up seeing a poor return on your ad investment. Qualify your users with the ad messaging so you’ll increase your chances of getting the best kind of traffic for your site.

Have a Strong Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is you telling the user what you want them to do. Whether it’s as simple as “Click Here” or “Buy Now,” or as detailed as “Click to sign up for our newsletter and get exclusive vacation savings” or “Book Today and Get $50 off Your Rental Car” you want your ad to clearly tell users what action you want them to take. The more detailed the message, the more qualified the traffic. Depending on your branding and ROI goals, you’ll have to decide accordingly how limited you want to make the interest scope for the ad.

With online marketing today, you have many options for how to tailor and target your advertising. Messaging is an important part and is only the start. With segmenting, retargeting, and more options, you can set up your marketing messaging to get even stronger results.

Author Bio: TBEX Dublin speaker Gina Tarnacki is a freelance travel writer and marketer. She is the owner of Tarnacki Marketing, a boutique marketing and writing agency. She has six years of travel marketing experience, including working as the Director of Marketing for a large online travel agency. In addition to conducting online marketing for an array of mostly travel-based clients, she also writes for a number of travel publications, including her personal blog, OneDayinaCity.com.

TBEX Speaker Post: Dublin, City of Storytellers

 

Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin (photo by Aaron Parecki)

Old Library at Trinity College, Dublin (photo by Aaron Parecki)

It’s so fitting that TBEX is coming to Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature. Has there ever been a city more influenced by its writers and shaped by the arts? The renowned Irish literary tradition, boasting four Nobel Prize winners, is constantly looking forward, embracing new styles and forms of writing. And now a new generation of storytellers are descending on the city, inviting the deep-rooted legacy of Joyce, Wilde, and Yeats to shape their budding manuscripts.

While in Dublin, take the time to acquaint yourself with the founding fathers and mothers of Irish literature – and reap the benefits of their inspiration!

The Book of Kells

The written word has dominated Ireland for over a thousand years. Take a step back to 800AD and revel in one of the most beautiful books ever created. The Book of Kells is four volumes of lovingly illustrated vellum pages containing the Latin texts of the Four Gospels. You will find it on display in the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin.

Bonus! The Book of Kells is only one of the highlights at Trinity College Dublin. Marvel at the many exhibits in the Old Library and wander the cobblestone paths of the campus to find other treasures.

Dublin Writer’s Museum

Swift or Sheridan? Shaw or Wilde? Yeats, Joyce or Beckett? If your time is limited, the Dublin Writer’s Museum will help condense centuries of history into one magnificent collection of books, letters, art work, personal artifacts, and more (see if you can find Mary Lavin’s teddy bear!) The stunning museum architecture will encourage you to linger, as will the Chapterhouse Café, whose scones I can heartily vouch for!

Bonus! If you plan on also visiting the James Joyce Center, you can take advantage of a special combined rate to enter the two facilities.

The Abbey Theatre

As the first state-subsidized English theatre in the world, the Abbey has always stood out as a unique institution. Founded by Lady Augusta Gregory and WB Yeats, the Abbey courted controversy at a very early age. One of its first productions was John Millington Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, whose unprecedented portrayal of scandalous events in rural County Mayo caused riots in Dublin in 1907. Never one to shy from a little drama, the Abbey has been a steadfast supporter of Irish playwrights ever since.

Bonus! William Butler isn’t the only Yeats in Abbey history. His brother, Jack, illustrated Synge’s books, designed sets for the Abbey, and had three of his own plays produced there – yet he is most distinguished as an outstanding painter. You can see his work at the National Gallery of Ireland, including The Liffey Swim, for which Yeats earned Ireland’s first Olympic Medal for painting – an exhibition event at the 1924 Paris Games.

Famous Footsteps

While writers may spend endless hours at their desks, in Dublin you can pound the pavement instead! Take to the pretty cobblestone streets on a literary walking tour (or pub crawl, as it may be). The James Joyce Center offers Dubliners guided audio tours, ranging from 2 hour mini-excursions to 10 hour epic adventures. For those looking for a little lager with their literature, The Duke Pub is the launch point for the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl. I join this tour every time I’m in Dublin – it’s always fresh, entertaining, and even a wee bit educational.

Bonus! Irish literature is celebrated throughout the city through public art. The statues of Joyce and Wilde are the most famous, but dedicated fans can find even more.

Irish Writer’s Center

Wrestling with Writer’s Block? Looking to do some writing of your own? The Irish Writer’s Center welcomes visitors, who will surely appreciate a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city to concentrate on their own work. A 50 Euro membership (25 Euro for students) comes with perks such as free wi-fi, coffee & tea, private writing rooms, computer use, archive access, and special events.

Bonus! Feeling inspired with the gift of gab? The Storytellers of Ireland and Milk and Cookies Stories offer artistic events celebrating Irish storytelling in Dublin and across Ireland.

No matter where you go, there’s always a pocket of Dublin steeped in literary history, awaiting your discovery. Dublin is the perfect city to reflect on what it means to be a writer and a storyteller, and I’m hoping that you will draw on the city’s rich cultural legacy to create some new masterpieces of your own!

vanessachiassonAuthor Bio: TBEX Dublin speaker Vanessa Chiasson is the founder of TurnipseedTravel.com. She is passionate about getting great value – the best possible travel experience for your limited time and money. Speaking at TBEX Dublin marks Vanessa’s third visit to Ireland. In previous visits, her graduate studies in the Irish political economy were oft disrupted by a passion for art, culture, history – and bakery visits!

Invitation to Tea with the Lord Mayor of Dublin at the Mansion House

 

You are cordially invited to meet with Former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr. Andrew Montague for tea at The Mansion House, the official residence of Dublin’s first citizen. Learn about the Mayoral office and its historic connection with the Mansion House. The Mansion House is said to be haunted and the Lord Mayor himself has witnessed the ghostly happenings first hand while living in this famous house.

The Mansion House, residence of Dublin's Lord Mayor, Dawson Street

The Mansion House is one of Dublin’s finest and most loved buildings and has been at the heart of city government since 1715. Original construction started on the project in 1705, and was intended as a townhouse for Joshua Dawson, the developer of Dawson Street and Nassau Street. Joshua Dawson seldom lived in the house. Ten years later and still partly unfinished, it was sold to Dublin Corporation for £3,500 (€4,444), in addition to an annual rent of 40 shillings and an agreement to provide a loaf of double refined sugar, weighing six pounds at Christmas.

The Mansion House’s most famous features include the “Round Room”, where the First Dáil assembled on 21 January 1919 to proclaim the Irish Declaration of Independence. On 21 January 1969 a special fiftieth anniversary joint session of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann assembled there and was addressed by the then President of Ireland, Éamon de Valera.

Some additional notable facts about the Manor House:

  • It is the only mayoral residence in Ireland which is still used for its original purpose
  • It is the oldest Mayoral residence in Ireland and in Britain (Dublin preceded London by 15 years in providing an official house for its mayor)
  • It is the oldest free-standing house in Dublin
  • The first Dáil met in the Mansion House Round Room in 1919 and cabinet meetings of that Dáil were held in the Dining Room.

The invitation to tea with the former Lord Mayor of Dublin is limited to 30 people.

Date:  Saturday, October 5th at 11 am

Place:  Meet at The Mansion House, Dawson Street in Dublin

Sign up here.

TBEX Speaker Post: Identifying Your Multicultural Layers To Stand Out From The Blogging Norms

 

I was recently at a foreign press event, where the majority of the media present was not only print, but also British.

Carol CainI am not without my shyness and apprehension of walking into a crowd of strangers. But I have learned to get past it and move forward. I grabbed one of the drinks being served, searched to see who wasn’t too deep in conversation, and went in for the hello.

My target: a pair who silently sat sipping on their drinks.

“Hi! How are you? May I join you?” I said with confidence and a big smile.

Fast-forward into an hour of conversation when one of them felt comfortable enough to say, “You know, we were sitting here for a good hour without having anyone talk to us until you came and introduced yourself the way you did.”

“That’s so American,” said the other.

Of course, I took it as a compliment considering that we were having a lovely time, but felt compelled to correct them.

“Well, I can see how you would think that,” I responded. “But I actually like to think that my very friendly, outgoing personality is due to my Dominican heritage.”

And there it was. The moment where I took a generalization of who I am and turned it on its head, not to challenge, but to educate and inform. This was followed by a wonderful conversation on the Dominican Republic, my favorite dish, and whether I spoke Spanish fluently or not (Yes, I do. No, it’s not my first language. No, I was born in Brooklyn). In this moment, I stopped being a stereotype, or at least one stereotype, and revealed that culturally, I had many layers.

Turns out that we all do, but so few of us feel comfortable enough to share them in our storytelling or blogging, least of all when blogging for business.

Traditionally in media, the general rule for many of those in control of it is that the person in the front lines, be it in front of the camera or writing the lead stories, has to have a voice and a look that is “relatable”. However, despite our increasingly global environment, it’s been some time since the guidelines have been updated. We are finding that those who represent the media are relatable to a decreasing audience, leaving a much larger number without a voice or representation of any kind.

Many aspiring bloggers, or bloggers looking to breakout into a larger medium, fall prey to the ideology that being relatable means continuing to deliver an image, a style, and a voice that is homogeneous. Many agencies looking to please the brands they represent also often look for that safety net without venturing into diversity.

Because of this, few of us dare delve into the many cultural layers we all have that would not only make it much more fun to share our story, but also make us much more interesting to an increasing number of readers and consumers.

Because few have done it before, we are sometimes unwillingly to be the first ones for fear of rejection and marginalization.

Multiculturalism is a marketer’s worst nightmare because they rely so heavily on their demographical statistics for commercial outreach. Are you of color? LGTB? A mommy? A daddy? Hispanic? American? European? They need to put you in a market, so that they can better pitch you. But, it’s not how things work anymore. Especially in a world where one person can be all those things.

Dig deeper into the layers of your own multiculturalism and you will find a story that hasn’t been told in a way that only you can tell it .

So how to start? Well, you certainly can’t fake it, though chances are that in trying to be “media friendly” you’ve built a persona that isn’t as in tune with who you really are anyway. You’re going to have to break down those walls.

You can start with the following example questions: Which of your multicultural layers speak most strongly to you? How does your being a parent impact how you travel? How do you feel as a black person in China? What is it like to be a native Spanish speaker from the Caribbean trying to communicate in Spain? What experiences do you have as a Catholic in Saudi Arabia or a woman in India or an American in Europe?

All of these experiences impact how we see the world, how the world sees us, what we learn from it as travelers, and in turn how we tell our story to those who need to hear it the most. The beauty of it all is that we are never alone in how we identify, and there is always someone out there waiting to hear us, which in turn feels like they are being heard too.

Identify your multicultural layers, learn to balance your voice in a way that is both informative, fair, genuine, and honest, and you can successfully build a brand that is still relatable to many different people, both within and outside of your culture. You do have to be courageous, because going against the norm can be a scary thing. But I assure you there are tons of people out there who just can’t wait to meet you.

Author Bio:  Carol Cain is a former PR Pro turned award-winning travel and food blogger. At Girl Gone Travel, she enjoys sharing her adventures, with or without her beautiful family in tow, in the hopes of inspiring and motivating others to travel.

Originally from Brooklyn, Carol has studied and lived abroad, experiences that have nourished her wanderlust.

Her travel stories have appeared in publications for Forbes Travel Guide, American Airlines, G Adventures, and Lifetime Digital Media, as well as New York Family and Better Homes and Gardens magazines. She has appeared on broadcast outlets for both Spanish and English media, including Telemundo, CBS, NBC, and ABC.

You connect with Carol on FacebookLinkedInGoogle+Pinterest, and @CarolACain on Twitter.