Jonathan's WTM Survival Guide
It's almost that time of the year where the leading players in the world of travel come together at ExCel London for the biggest event on the travel calendar; World Travel Market.
Getting to ExCel
Public Transport is the easiest way to get around London. Whilst there is ample car parking available at the venue, travelling by car can be quite slow especially at peak times on London roads. London Underground Jubilee Line is the quickest route towards ExCeL. At Canning Town Station alight and change onto a Beckton-bound DLR Train (Docklands Light Railway) to ExCeL. Allow extra time for travelling in case of any unplanned delays, and be sure to check the status of the lines before you travel: https://tfl.gov.uk/tube-dlr-overground/status/
Pack an emergency sandwich
Somedays it can get to 4pm and you haven't had a moment to take a breath yet alone have something to eat. Pack an emergency sandwich in your bag and a bottle of water, it can be a lifesaver on those very busy days when you are dashing from meeting to meeting.
Prepare your house of Cards
By the end of WTM you are probably going to have enough cards to open your own travel casino. Be extra prepared before you arrive each day to make sure you have a surplus of business cards packed in a safe place to always present yourself properly. You will no doubt receive a multitude of cards across the 3 days, be sure to add any notes to the cards in pen to help remind you of any particular notes you want to remember about your new business introduction, and place in a safe place at the end of each day. And most importantly, be very careful not to mix up your cards with those you have received, you don't want to accidentally give away your competitors card to your potential client.
Walking the world
Don't expect to sit down. Ever. It's going to be a lot of time on your feet, and if there's additional networking functions after hours, your feet are really going to feel the pinch. Take an extra moment when picking the footwear to go into your suitcase to ensure you not only look professional but your feet can last the distance! WTM is not the time to wear those new shoes for the first time, and make sure you pack some emergency plasters for those unexpected blisters (ouch!).
Batteries are not included
Your number one business tool is going to cop a beating over the 3-days. With little access to mains power throughout the exhibtion centre, portable external chargers for your smart phone will be keep you online and charged up.
Let’s face it, trade shows are long! There is a lot happening at WTM but that doesn’t mean that you need to see or do it all, it’s easy to stop and rest. Take some time to sit with new or old friends, enjoy a conversation and recharge. Remember the show is 3 days long!