More than 150 travel bloggers, PRs and industry speakers packed into the Clarendon Centre for interactive workshops and expert advice at the one-day event, for which TNT Multimedia was the media sponsor.

The conference was the brainchild of Paul Dow and Michael Ball, who set out to provide an engaging environment, where travel bloggers were able to mingle with industry professionals and specialists while learning.

As well as 12 seminars there were exclusive competitions, massages courtesy of MSC Cruises and top food on offer thanks to, who showcased the best dishes to make in your hotel room using an iron and a kettle (think poached eggs on toast, cheese toasties and, yes, minute steaks).

TNT caught the 10am seminar delivered by Adrian Land, head of inbound marketing at, who shared invaluable tips on how bloggers can ensure their articles and websites are better ranked by Google.

Advice included using Google Adwords without going overboard and ruining copy; making pages light and easy to use to allow Googlebots to crawl effortlessly; and writing engaging pieces which are authoritative and unique.

Next up was Steve Keenan, travel writer and ex-online travel editor at Timesonline and Sunday Times, who offered bloggers an insight into how to pitch stories to publications.

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Keenan put together information from editors from the Times, Guardian, Wanderlust, Independent and Daily Telegraph what makes a successful pitch, and shared the insider advice with a captivated audience.

The afternoon sessions included travel video editing with Greg Brand from, who delivered a workshop showing how he had compiled one of his travel videos (scroll down to watch timelapse video of the session); while award-winning travel blogger Jayne Gorman shared her success story, with an interactive workshop assessing blogs.

The finale of the event was an hour-long, Question Time-styled debate hosted by Kevin May (, with myself, blogger Jodi Ettenberg (, PR Ruth Haffenden ( and Will Peach ( on the panel.

Delegates were able to order beers or wine using the #traversebeer #traversewhitewine hashtags during a lively debate covering topics including how should bloggers be paid for their work, and the future of the blogging industry.

Ball and Dow said: “We wanted Traverse 13 to be welcoming, useful, fun and productive but also to create an environment where people felt comfortable mingling with speakers, sponsors and organisers. 

“From the feedback we’ve heard so far from attendees, we achieved all those things. Following on from Brighton, we’re really looking forward to running some smaller events in London as well as starting to put the plans in place for the second Traverse conference, hopefully for early 2014. 

“Hopefully we’ll have many of those from Brighton back again.”

Carol Driver, group editor at TNT Multimedia, said: “Traverse delivered an engaged, seamless, travel blogging conference, which was buzzing with interaction, learning and ideas.

“TNT is a proud sponsor the event and we look forward to working with the organisers in the future.”

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