Last Thursday night, I descended upon 92YTribeca in NYC for a panel discussion called Travel Gets Social: The New World of Travel Media.
Also in attendance: Maggie Soladay whose tweet about it first caught my eye, Michaela from Briefcase to Backpack, Sherry from Ottsworld, and Brian from No Debt World Travel. Later, I gathered that the rest of the room was filled with PR people.
Mark Johnson, founder of Jaunted.com and Hotel Chatter, moderated the night's discussion, which revolved around how social media is being used by travel writers, companies, and hotels. The panel consisted of Matt Gross aka The Frugal Traveler for the New York Times, Bowen Payson of Virgin America, and Adam Wallace of the Roger Smith Hotel.
I sat, sipping my Pabst Blue Ribbon, and nodding along to a lot of what was being said. I was happy to hear Matt was a Couchsurfing proponent, while Adam's independent hotel had clearly proven it understands how to leverage blogs and social media to increase business. There was a lot of Twitter talk, and I admit to tweeting something during the Q&A, however later on, I noticed very few others beyond Maggie and I had done the same. What's up with that…at a social media event no less!?
After the Q&A wrapped up, I managed to spend time chatting with everyone from the panel, plus a bunch of PR folks including Sarah from the Glam Globetrotter. As the lobby began to clear out, Mark invited Maggie, myself and a few others to join him and his team for drinks.
We ended up at an empty, but intimate, Spanish restaurant nearby. Salsa music was playing over the sound system, and sangria and tapas were ordered. Needless to say, the talk revolved around travel. I enjoyed the extra time with Cynthia, Editor (and tweeter) of Jaunted, and Juliana, the Managing Editor of Jaunted, Hotel Chatter, and Vegas Chatter.
Read Cynthia's perspective on What You Missed When Travel Media Took Over Tribeca Last Night