Hosting two Social Media Week Lagos sessions for the second consecutive time is not something I take for granted. I am grateful to God for such an opportunity.
I did a write up on how to plan, host and smash your first SMW Lagos event. Check out the write up and be inspired to pitch for SMW Lagos 2020.
SMW LAGOS 2019 #TRAVELAFRICADAY: #SMWTRAVELSTORY
Our two sessions were scheduled for Travel Africa Day which usually holds on a Tuesday. Travel Africa Day events highlights the interconnection between travel and digital media and how it impacts travel and tourism in Nigeria and across Africa.
Our first session was a panel titled “Stories of Nigerian Travelpreneurs: Starting a Travel and Tourism Career”. Our speakers were Pelu Awofeso of Travel Next Door & Waakabout Online, Tolulope Dopemu of Travelotus, Nneka Isaac-Moses of Goge Africa, Chinyere Uche-Ibeabuchi of National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) and Sam Adeleke of Travel With Sam.
The word “Travelpreneur” is a combination of two words ‘Travel’ and ‘Entrepreneur’. Therefore, it can literally be defined as ‘an entrepreneur in the travel business’.
During the session, each speaker shared their stories on how and why they started their Travelpreneur journey. They also gave tips and advise on how to start and build a Travel and Tourism career or business in Nigeria.
Mrs. Isaac-Moses warned that “profit in cash” does not come immediately when venturing into the tourism industry. But “profit in opportunities” is the biggest take-away. Opportunities to explore, learn and connect with people from diverse cultures and nations is one of the many benefits of working in the travel and tourism space. Eventually, “profit in cash” will roll in as long as you are consistent, diligent and producing great content.
She shared stories about how her company, Goge Africa, started 20 years ago when there was no social media. How they eventually started getting paid after years of producing tourism content on television and magazines. She emphasized how social media has helped to spread the word about the tourism potentials in Nigeria and Africa and how lucky the present generation are to have such a platform to promote their tourism business
Pelu Awofeso emphasized that passion is key when building a career path in the travel and tourism space. He explained how frustrating things can get especially when one is not making profit at the early stage. But that as long as you have the passion for travel and tourism, then you would be able to move higher and stronger in the industry.
He shared some of his experiences as a Travel Journalist and how important it is to have quality content about the places you explore as a traveler. Sharing your contents on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will help connect you to the right audience and partners.
Sam Adeleke advised those who want to start a career in the tourism space to work under a tourism organization before venturing into a tourism business. Gaining the knowledge under an established tourism organization will give hands-on experiences that would eventually come out handy when launching your own tourism business.
Concerning how to use social media to attract the right customers and partners, he advised using the right gadgets and tech platforms. Buy a phone with good camera quality so that you can take good pictures and video to upload on your social media platforms. Consistently share quality content and eventually you will get the right people buying and working with you.
Mrs. Uche-Ibeabuchi talked about the importance of getting adequate knowledge and information when venturing into the tourism and hospitality space. She emphasized the importance of having quality training and education about the industry. She mentioned some of the courses and programs NIHOTOUR offers that would help those interested in starting a career and business in the tourism space could take.
She emphasized the necessity of putting the right content and information about your tourism services online. It is important to ensure your potential customers are not put off by your contents on social media.
Tolulope shared how she started her Travel Agent, Travelotus and how they provide clients with seamless travel services ranging from accommodation, flights, visas and tours. She also explained how they use social media to advertise their travel services and how it has gained them customers.
We also discussed Sustainable Tourism, which is using tourism to impact the 3Ps of society: People, Planet and Profit. Our panel spoke about how we, as Travelpreneurs can use our businesses/career to make impact in our communities.
Tolulope shared how improving data would help develop Sustainable Tourism in Nigeria. With adequate collation and proper documentation of data, it would be easy to identify areas for improvement and development in the industry. This will eventually bring about a positive impact in the growth of the tourism industry in Nigeria.
Sam talked about Travel Massive, an online community for travel industry founders, leaders, and creators. As the Chapter Leader for Lagos, he explained how Travel Massive uses their online platform to provide resources and tools for startups, tours and activities, and enabling creatives in the tourism industry to build connections, learn, and share their stories. For him, one of the ways to develop Sustainable Tourism in Nigeria is to encourage Tourism Technology (ICT Tourism). We were fortunate to have the Founder of Travel Massive, Ian Cumming, in attendance.
Others also spoke about how we could contribute to the communities we visit by buying directly from the locals, respecting cultural values and helping to preserves natural resources (the environment).
END OF SESSION
Each speaker gave their last words which could be summarized as follows:
- Feed your travel and tourism passion by getting involved
- Create great content on social media about the places you explore
- Join networks and communities that would help you grow in your Travelpreneur journey
- Get adequate training, education and hands-on experience that would help you start and build your Travel and Tourism business/career
- Be consistent. Be diligent. Keep the passion alive!
At the end of the session, Pelu Awofeso gave out his books to three lucky winners who answered questions based on what was discussed during the panel.
With the diversity of Travelpreneur speakers, the panel session was very informative and educative. After the session, the audience had the opportunity to mingle, take selfies and discuss with the speakers.
For my #SMWTravelStory Afrocentric look, I partnered with the following ‘Made-in-Naija’ brands:
- Dress Shirt by NACK
- Sneakers by Footwox
- Earrings by Adayah
SWM LAGOS 2020 LOADING…
The next day, I had the privilege to join the SMW Lagos Co-founder, Ngozi Odita and the Communications Director, N’dada Vaz during the #SMWLagos 2020 Loading…Info Session & Meet-up. I got to share with the audience my experience as a two-time successful pitch partner. It was a humbling opportunity 😊 I’m looking forward to hosting more session(s) in 2020 and beyond *fingers crossed*
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Yesterday, I was given the privilege to share with the audience my @smwlagos experience as a two-time successful pitch partner during the #SMWLagos 2020 Loading… Info Session & Meet-up. Thanks to the Co-founder, Ngozi Odita @ngoziodita & the Communications Director, N’dada Vaz @vazwashere for the opportunity 😊 I’m looking forward to hosting another session(s) in 2020 😊 Rocking my @nack_apparel Stamp dress and pair of @flossyshoesnig black lace up 👟 Photo Credit 📸 @eniolatito #SMWLagos2020Loading #SMWLagos2019 #AjalaNene👣 #NeneUwa🌍
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Photo credit 📸 Sir Inyene Photography