Tourism Currents: social media for tourismOver at our Tourism Currents learning site (are y’all reading our monthly free newsletter on social media for tourism?) Becky McCray and I are PUMPED to announce a new initiative….

The two of us will teach a one-day workshop for CVB, DMO and other tourism folks on October 13, 2010 as part of the BlogWorld and New Media Expo tech conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This is a big deal because we’re always telling clients and Tourism Currents members that to really understand what’s going on with tech and social media, you have to “go where the geeks are” – events like South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi,) BlogHer, SOBCon and BlogWorld – and be immersed in how they communicate.  I’m always chuckling when I listen in on non-geek conferences via Twitter hashtag and hear them exclaiming over tools and methods that they’re hearing about for the first time, but I was exposed to 12-24 months earlier at some nerd fest.

Tech and social media stuff moves fast; you need to keep up in order to make intelligent decisions about whether to incorporate something into your marketing efforts.

We wanted tourism people to check out BlogWorld because it gives them a chance to connect with thousands of bloggers, podcasters and other online content creators (plus there’s a travel blogger track kicking off the day after our workshop in addition to food bloggers, sports bloggers and more.) These are your potential online champions; the people who are fans and supporters of your destination or attraction and who can help spread the word about you online.

Rather than have people come to such a huge event and be rather overwhelmed, we’re working with BlogWorld founder Rick Calvert (a travel enthusiast himself) to design a social media seminar that will introduce tourism folks to our “geek world” and how it can upgrade their communications work.

In addition to our daytime classes on the best ways to connect with online influencers, we’re planning networking meetings, tweetups and possibly “speed dating” sessions to help destination marketers network with the people who can provide them with online coverage.

This is still in the very early stages so I’ll let you know when we get more details worked out, but put October 13, 2010 on your calendars!