At WITS ‘18 in Québec City, our speakers covered a diverse range of topics – from perfecting your niche and ethically marketing your business to getting (and maintaining) relationships with brand partners and navigating the pricing and pay gap for multicultural influencers.
We saw sessions about the future of travel technology, 360, and virtual reality and sessions about how AI is changing the social media game.
We began and ended the weekend with two incredible keynotes — Ana Flores, founder and CEO of #WeAllGrow Latina Network, spoke about her experience in the startup entrepreneurship world; and Justine Abigail Yu, Oneika Raymond, Hannah Logan, and Ariel Goldberg spoke on the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements and how influencers can lead those global conversations.
And this year, we are beyond excited to invite dynamic and ambitious speakers to apply to present at WITS ‘19 from May 3-5, 2019 in Portland, Maine!
What makes a standout application?
At WITS ‘19, we are expecting between 400 and 500 enthusiastic women travel creators, influencers, and industry professionals who are eager to learn from the expertise of our speakers. Keep the Wanderful and WITS community in mind when crafting your proposal, and propose sessions that leave attendees with motivation, new knowledge, and actionable insights.
Include at least three key lessons attendees can expect to learn after your session. You are welcome to submit more than one application if you have different ideas.
You can find each of our track descriptions along with examples below. We encourage you to think about your proposal not just as a session, but as an opportunity to educate, inspire, and empower the WITS community. Think outside the box and let your creativity and innovative ideas shine through!
We hope you are interested in being a part of WITS, and we sincerely look forward to reading your application!
What kinds of sessions are we looking for?
Regular sessions will be 60 minutes long (45 minutes for content with 15 minutes for Q&A). Sessions may take the format of a presentation, panel discussion, fireside chat, or roundtable conversation. If you are pitching a panel, please indicate who the other panelists will be. If you are unsure, mention that you are seeking recommendations on panelists from the WITS team. You must include all panelist contact information. It is strongly preferred that you suggest panelists yourself.
NEW FOR WITS ’19, we are exploring the possibility of offering longer, 90-minute workshops for our attendees. Workshops will require hands-on activities with an interactive structure, although the session may begin with a presentation overview of the information. Note that there will be a limited number of workshops offered.
All topics should be geared toward intermediate to advanced bloggers, unless you are applying to speak at Blogger 101 Day.
Media Sessions: Our Media track is for the woman who wants to take her content creation to the next level and the brand that wants to work with online writers. This track features running your blog as a business, the tech side of blogging, and advice on how to work with brands and CVBs. Topic examples include: emerging social platforms or new ways to use/optimize existing platforms, using live-streaming, the “tech” side of blogging (plugins, analytics, HTML, SEO, platforms, etc.), effective analytics reporting to sponsors and partners, the latest in YouTube analytics, working with a CVB after your trip to develop a long-term relationship, how to break into professional travel writing, and next level Pinterest: from social to search engine.
Entrepreneurship Sessions: Our Entrepreneurship track is for the empire-builder and go-getter who wants the freedom to work independently from anywhere in the world. This track features business strategies, marketing tips, and workshops on building a location independent lifestyle. Topic examples include: remote-work strategies for success, women in tech, starting an online business (not necessarily a blog), email marketing, powerful women entrepreneurs, negotiating your way to success, creating (and maintaining) a rock-solid budget, need-to-know info about trademarks and copyrights, and tax and legal considerations for influencers.
Trending in Travel Sessions: Our Trending in Travel track is for the travel professional who is seeking to gear her blog or business to more closely align with the greater travel industry and be at the forefront of change. This track features different and emerging areas of travel and their impact on travel content creators from leaders in the travel industry. Topic examples include: issues in women’s travel, voluntourism ethics and practicalities, women leaders in the travel industry, data-driven travel trends, the emerging wellness travel trend, global communities that are smashing stereotypes faced by diverse women travelers, how influencers can help combat overtourism, indigenous tourism and the ethical role of influencers.
Industry Insights Sessions: Our Industry Insights track provides a deep dive into the current state of the travel and tourism industry, with a particular emphasis on how influencer marketing can combat a lack of much-needed diversity. This track will appeal to industry members, brands, sponsors, and influencers looking to form deeper partnerships. Topic examples include: ethical and responsible marketing for your business, the ROI of influencer marketing, and tapping into diverse markets by utilizing social and digital media influencers.
Blogger 101 Day Sessions: Blogger 101 Day is an extra half-day of programming specifically designed for attendees who are new to blogging and digital content creation. This is an opportunity for beginner bloggers — or those who have not yet started a blog, but would like to — to get a head start on the exciting and informative sessions taking place during the weekend of WITS. Participants will learn from experienced bloggers, influencers, and entrepreneurs about the basics of blogging, promotion, and setting themselves up for success as they set off down the path of becoming a travel influencer. Topic examples include: an insider look at the life of a travel blogger, how to perfect your travel niche, how to make your audience fall in love with you, creating an editorial calendar, and social media 101.
NOTE: Please do not pitch us a session about inspiring others to travel or sharing tips for how to travel. Our attendees are seasoned travelers who are building brands, businesses, blogs, or a combination of these.
• Complimentary registration at WITS ’19 (you’ll be refunded if you’ve already purchased a ticket).
• Individualized social media promotion via Facebook and Twitter.
• Commission on affiliate ticket sales.
• The opportunity to earn extra money through mentor one-on-one sessions.
• A special invite to the exclusive VIP networking event where you can meet other inspiring speakers and build important business connections.
• The option to sell swag in our WITS marketplace.
• A killer swag bag filled with extra goodies from our amazing sponsors.
• The opportunity to speak at a unique and rapidly expanding conference!
Please note that WITS is unable to offer speaker stipends, honorariums, or travel or lodging expenses for accepted applicants. We understand that this creates a barrier for some individuals to participate in our events, and are looking for ways to make this more equitable in future years.
What have past speakers said?
“I’m totally blown away by how organized, professional, and interactive this conference is – but even more so by the intentionality you all put into each speaker and panel. I’ve never seen a more diverse roster of speakers for a travel and business conference before and that needs to be applauded! A+ for inclusivity – it just straight up makes for better, more compelling conversations and presentations! WITS is a class act of a conference and should be recognized as such.”
–Justine Abigail Yu, WITS ’16, ’17, and ’18 speaker
“Thank you for putting together another fantastic conference. I’ve been to many over the past few years, and can tell you that WITS is consistently the best organized, with the richest mix of content for all levels of experience. Although you include several high-profile speakers, there’s no sense of being dazzled by celebrity at the expense of providing valuable tools. This is rare and refreshing. And the parties don’t hurt, either. 😉 I hope you all know that you do a fantastic job of providing excellent educational and networking resources not just for female bloggers/influencers, but for women in business, as well. I feel really grateful to have been a part of WITS for the past two years, and look forward to more. See you in Portland!”
–Robin Catalano, WITS ‘17 and ’18 speaker
“As a first time speaker I could not have asked for a more supportive group. The WITS team and attendees made me feel like what I had to say mattered and that my opinion was not just warranted, but valued. Fantastic experience and I hope to repeat it again.”
–Hannah Logan, WITS ’18 speaker
“As far as speaking engagements go, this was one of the most organized conferences I’ve spoken at! The WITS team is on their A game for collecting info and prompting us to make sure we get our materials in and are on top of what we need. I’ve never been this ready!”
–Jana Seitzer, WITS ‘17 speaker
“Speaking at WITS left me feeling incredibly honored to be part of such an important conversation around purpose driven travel, and part of such an adventurous, compassionate community of empowered and introspective women. The women who speak and attend have important, amplified voices to share important insight with their networks on how to make the world a better place and how to make travel better, safer, and more meaningful for all involved. The other panelists and speakers were incredibly inspiring and we all started fascinating and deep conversations that will continue well into the future. Well done WITS!!! I loved every minute!”
–Jessica Hansen, WITS ‘17 speaker
How to apply.
Applications will be accepted until 11:59pm ET on Tuesday, December 4, 2018.
ALL applicants will be notified if they have been accepted by mid-February 2019. Please do not inquire on the status of your application.