I survived my presentation at Worldview Travel Symposium | Costa Mesa, California, United States | ha ha ha …. just a little Humor, for a great symposium surrounded by some of the most experienced travel agents in the United States. As an Independent/Affiliate Travel Agent at Pisa Brothers Travel Services, a Worldview Travel company and member of Virtouso, I was invited to participate of this Elite group of travel agents to share my experiences on Social Media and how to develop successful Travel Blogs, based on my own experience with carlosmeliablog.com.
Worldview Travel, with headquarters in Santa Ana, California, and 11 other offices within the United States, was founded by Ricci Zukerman, five-time recipient of Condé Nast Traveler’s Travel Specialist Award, Worldview Travel comprises leisure, corporate and specialty travel divisions and is a recognized leader in our industry.
It was a very interesting experience for me to do this presentation for a group of over 200 hundred Travel Agents with an average age range of 65 years old. Old school experienced high-end oriented travel agents from all over the United States, willing to learn about new marketing tools. Their mixed reactions to what they call the new ” X-Generation ” and the fear to change and technology was the most challenging point during my speech, use to share my experiences with my own age range, where Facebook / Twitter / Flickr / YouTube / GoogleBuzz / RSS are common words. But in the end the controversy raised interest into my subject and the outcome was that they know the this has to be embraced and they are open to learn and try new tools, gadgets and technology.
To make it even MORE controversial and interesting, I came out with this slogan for the end of my presentation …” My native language is GAY, but I am fluent in STRAIGHT so everyone is welcome and I mean everyone…”. The crowd loved it, and went into a big round of applauses. In the end my message came across, and I made myself available to all of them to assist them and share my expertise into Gay Travel and Social Media.
At the same time, it was a pleasure and honor for me to share the stage with Becky Powel – Managing Director Member Sales and Services North America of Virtuoso. For those not familiar with Virtuoso, Virtuoso® is a network of the world’s finest travel agencies with knowledgeable advisors who draw upon first-hand experience to craft the perfect vacation for you. Virtuoso affiliated travel advisors have global connections with the best hotels, cruise lines, airlines and tour companies. For you, this means access to exclusive travel offers that you can’t get on your own, along with your best value for the money. That’s the Virtuoso difference. The exciting news is that after my presentation, I was personally approached by Becky and being invited to become share my Posts and Travel Experiences from now on at the Virtuoso BLOG, being this a turning point becoming from what I know the first openly gay Travel Contributor for Virtuoso. A high recognition on my work and experience.
(*) You may download my presentation at this link Travel Social Marketing and Blogging by Carlos Melia.
After a long day, we all gather for Cocktails and the Farewell Diner at the Hilton Hotel in Costa Mesa. (picture above the team of Pisa Brothers Travel). An after that, off to a relaxing time with my office colleagues Fe and Mayla at the Outdoors Jacuzzi of the hotel, to enjoy the wonderful weather of California away for a few days from the freezing temperatures of New York City.