10th Summit Provides Fresh and Innovative Networking Programs

20 November 2013

“A sincere thank you to the ATTA for a truly memorable ATWS in Namibia. It was a stellar conference held in a stellar, memorable and admirable location ... we were so pleased to have been included again this year. I would like to say, as well, that we are proud to belong to an organization that 'walks the walk' ... one which actively supports responsible tourism and is a trailblazer in promoting sustainability and mindfulness of the earth's precious resources.” - Kathy Crotty, Fogo Island Inn/Shorefast Foundation

© ATTA / Cameron L. Martindell/offyonder.com

The tenth annual Adventure Travel World Summit has continued to reflect the ATTA’s commitment to provide increased opportunities for deep and meaningful networking for delegates. Specialized Pre-Summit Adventures, the Global Marketplace, and 2013’s new MediaConnect sessions provided several arenas in which to explore business partnerships and prospects.

Several specialized Pre-Summit Adventures featuring trips tailored specifically to special interest activities, providing quality time to connect while experiencing Namibia’s unique product offerings. A group of ATTA’s cycling operators shared a bike-based adventure, while a cultural trip designed for our members from WINTA emphasized interactive visits with local Namibian tribes.

"Namibia! This country was trying hard to steal my heart before my plane landed. Once on the ground and on my PSA, my heart was stolen. We criss-crossed Namibia by mountain bike and 4X4, visiting the Namib desert, Sossusvlei and ticking off some wildlife along the way, most notably giraffe. H&I Adventures is now working hard to finalise a new mountain bike safari tour to this wonderful country, Namibia!" - Euan Wilson, H&I Adventures Ltd.

Wednesday, October 30th saw a morning of successful business-to-business meetings in the Global Marketplace. More than 40 countries and 100 suppliers were represented, including 11 Namibian operators, who highlighted the offerings of our host destination. Our international network of buyers had the opportunity to meet with potential partners in markets both familiar and new, using each meeting for education, dialogue and the development of unique and innovative adventure travel opportunities.
“I had several buyers remark to me that they didn’t think they’d be able to use the entire 20 minutes and thought it a bit long but after having chatted with me about the Copper Canyon, we filled every second and they were amazed at the insight they went away with for Copper Canyon as a new destination for their businesses. The time also went by very quickly so it didn’t feel like work at all but was really rather enjoyable to meet with all the different buyers.” - Yolonda Norman de Fernandez, Amigo Trails

This year brought a new opportunity to connect with media through our MediaConnect sessions. Mixing panel sessions on media trends and tips from top travel journalists, bloggers and experts with chances to pitch ideas and ask questions during multiple ‘speed-dating’ sessions, the program offered a fresh format for delegates to engage with the adventure travel media. Through our online networking site, Summit Connections, delegates were able to conduct advance research on more than 35 editors, journalists, travel writers, bloggers and photographers participating. Each media delegate had a comprehensive information sheet with tips on the do’s and don’ts of making a great media pitch, as well as their top travel interests. Armed with this knowledge, delegates were able to select the candidates they found most relevant to their business and use each four-minute speed dating session to pitch story ideas, gain insight and forge relationships.
"The MediaConnect at the Summit was a highlight for me. I received the background information on each journalist well ahead of time so I could do my homework and plan which client stories would resonate with each journalist. The session was intense but impactful and I already have one story placed thanks to one journalist on a tight deadline! Now I just have to follow up - which will be easier because I have established relationships. I find just by telling journalists I met them at ATWS they respond. That speaks volumes." - Deirdre Campbell, Tartan Group

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Throughout the Summit, sessions were designed to place a priority on creating opportunities for dialogue within the global delegation. The Peer-to-Peer Exchange sessions offered delegates the chance to assemble in focused groups to discuss important topics, share best practices, and gain valuable insight and feedback on the issues most applicable to each group. The first overnight Days of Adventure, and the integration of Q&A into each breakout session, the ATWS continues to provide networking opportunities within the context of in-the-field experiences and topical industry conversations.
“Our Two Day of Adventure was fabulous for networking as it was on a train – and so what better way to network than to sit in a beautiful lounge on a historic train, watching the wildlife and scenery and pass the time. It was truly a great way to get to know our fellow adventurers.” - Maria Elena Price, ExperiencePlus! Cycle Tours