We went to Trento, Italy for Traverse 19 and this is what we learned.

We recently attended Traverse 2019, an amazing travel blogging and content creation conference held by Traverse Events in the stunning Italian Tyrol region, at Trento, part of Italy’s winter tourism hot spot, Trentino. It’s the kind of event that you’re guaranteed to get something out of as a traveler, digital marketing mind, photo and video nut, or just want to understand where you’re at in the big picture. For us, it was a chance to get motivated to go from hobbyists to actually getting our stuff together. It also gave us an excuse to enjoy an escape where an historic cityscape meets sweeping alpine landscapes.

Rather than share the specific IP that was provided by some of the world’s best travel writers, Instagram wizzes, SEO gurus, and YouTube stars, we have collected our key takeaways and what it meant to us.

Traverse19 kicked off its Trento celebrations in Le Gallerie tunnels
We arrived late to the opening party but were immediately welcomed

There’s a great spirit of community

There’s a huge blogger family out there. Sure, we all banter over social media and have a few laughs, but we’re all in this together. We share an interest, we’re here to share ideas and experiences and prop each other up when we’re struggling. 

We explored beyond Trento to see some of the galleries and sights around Trentino
Bernie’s ready to party with new friends.

You don’t have to be a full time blogger to get something out of it

We felt like complete freshers/noobs going into our time in Trento but were welcomed as part of the community by everyone – even bloggers we have followed and looked up to came up and introduced themselves.

It’s OK to go to Trento (and other conferences alone)

There are plenty of single travelers who happily attended, furthering their message of being able to travel alone with the confidence of knowing you’ll meet like-minded people and have a great time.

Traverse19 held its first Traverse Creator Awards in a modern art gallery in Trentino, 40 minutes from Trento
The Traverse Creator Awards celebrated excellence in writing and video work

Surrounding yourself with these people fosters creativity

I feel like a spark has been lit and we have been really inspired to jump in and get our act together. By chatting to others on Twitter and then in real life, we get to share the ups and downs, new trends, hashtags, plugins, and apps – but more importantly, the inspiration that drives us further.

situated in the heart of Trento, the Social Theatre has a beautiful painted roof and gilt stalls
The theatre is a stunning setting for the main speeches at Traveerse

There was almost too much to take in

We were lucky as a couple to be able to divide and conquer and go to sessions that we both wanted to see, then take and compare notes afterwards. We also had to find time to get out and explore Trento, a stunning medieval city, with its castle, alpine landscapes, and cobblestone streets.

It’s never too late to fix your mistakes

While we are doing some things right, we’re also doing an equal number of things wrong. Well, maybe not wrong, but we could be doing much, much better. It was comforting to find out we weren’t alone in this. We hadn’t set out with having a plan. We didn’t have a business focus when we started so the idea of turning it into something was scary. But after talking with everyone it clarified for us the steps we need to take and how we can break it down into manageable chunks to improve. 

It’s a long way to the top (even when you start in the Alps)

It’s a long process to getting to where you need to be. Nothing happens overnight. I think this was the one message that was repeated over and over again. 

The Traverse 19 attendees party on the opening night in the former road tunnels by the river in Trento.
The opening party was held in Le Gallerie, a former road tunnel through the mountain.

The value of the event far surpassed the ticket price on so many levels

Firstly, the ticket prices were negligible – especially if you secure an early bird. Secondly, the quality of the presenters, the opportunity to meet face to face with tourist bodies, the included dinners, snacks, coffees and nights out around Trento were a priceless, not because of being able to dine for free but for making new connections.

It’s about developing relationships

There’s no hiding behind the screen and words. You have to get out there, meet people, and let you sell yourself. We’re naturally introverted and so are plenty of the attendees, but after a few days of bonding, we all realized that we shared so many things in common.

We spent two full days taking in the knowledge and wisdom of top travel bloggers and content creators.
Topics covered included SEO, affiliate marketing, Youtube, and building communities

We learned plenty

Instagram isn’t as big and bad as we thought it was. But there is a rhythm, it does take time, and you need to be more selective and consistent with the content. Be really thoughtful about the affiliates who you chose to partner with. They reflect on you and your audience. You want to stick with your niche to keep the trust. We also discovered that most bloggers are as confused by Pinterest as we are.

We were welcomed by Visit Trentino, whose generosity and warmth made it very welcome. Thankyou Trentino Marketing.
Trento’s tourism body were a fantastic sponsor who stand to grow the area’s profile through so many bloggers exploring the area.

These conferences can raise the profile of a location

When you bring together 400 professional bloggers and content creators, it puts a destination on the map. Trento is a place we would never have had on our to-visit list, but now we’ll tell everyone about it in the most positive ways.

Guest speakers included Sass Wyatt from Thinking Out Loud, Erick Prince from Minority Nomad, and Chloe Gunning from Wanderlust Chloe
Guest speakers included Sass Wyatt from Thinking Out Loud, Erick Prince from Minority Nomad, and Chloe Gunning from Wanderlust Chloe

Everyone leaves smarter

Generally speaking, we came in without a clue about most things. We had a vague idea about SEO, hashtag strategies, and writing, but our eyes were opened to the power of affiliate marketing, and how to create an effective pitch approach. Both of us took down notes on how to tackle Youtube as a channel when we are finally ready to edit and upload footage that we always capture but rarely get around to. It was refreshing to see repeat attendees getting plenty of inspiration even after attending for multiple years.

So that was our first Traverse event. Stay tuned for upcoming articles about why you should visit Trento and how to experience the best of Italy without the need for a car.

Traverse is an unmissable event for travel bloggers that teaches you so much, but also introduces you to beautiful places like Trento, Italy
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Russell
Guest

Wonderful read, guys 😃 I think you perfectly sum up why we consider Traverse to be our favourite travel blogger conference and we always leave inspired and ready to create more content. Plus we love connecting with our community and meeting amazing people in real life, just as we were finally able to meet you guys too 😊 Excellent read.

Roma Small
Guest

It was lovely to finally meet you both IRL! Great wrap up of what was a really great conference. See you soon!

Jason Reid
Guest

Great read, I’m glad you were able to take so much away from it. It looked like a lot of fun, I was quite envious how many people I knew had gone. I’ll definitely have to look in to Traverse 2020.