The first ExplorerLab travel content creator conference was held on the much-loved paradise island of Mauritius between 12 – 16 November 2019. This new conference concept, created by iambassador, featured a day of plenary sessions for both content creators as well as local industry representatives, followed by several days of content creation workshops, during which expert instructors provided tips and tricks in writing, photography and videography while touring the destination.
We are very proud to have collaborated on this first ExplorerLab with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), with additional support by the CREATE Worldwide agency and AHRIM. For this edition, 30 content creators from 16 countries in four continents were specially selected from more than 390 applications. In addition, highly-regarded destination marketing consultant, Peter Jordan; as well as travel bloggers, Jurga Rubinovaite, Becki Enright and Julie Falconer; and DMO representatives, Emma Mead from VisitBritain and Susanne Hoeller from Graz Tourism, were invited to share their knowledge on a variety of topics.
The delegates and speakers received a warm welcome at the beautiful Maritim Resort by the MTPA and iambassador. Following a cocktail reception at the historic Chateau, the delegates were treated to a lovely dinner prepared by the resort’s head chef.
The conference kicked off the next day at the stunning Lux Belle Mare resort. Keith Jenkins, CEO of iambassador, began the full day of plenary sessions with an overview of the current travel influencer landscape. This was followed by Peter Jordan, who presented the delegates with an update of current trends in destination marketing.
Becki Enright, the blogger at Borders of Adventure, presented her views on influencer ethics and responsible content creation. This session was followed by Jurga Rubinovaite (Full Suitcase blog) who shared her tips on how she grew her blog in terms of readership and business.
The plenary sessions continued with Julie Falconer (A Lady in London blog) who gave the delegates many excellent pointers on developing different income streams. To close the day, iambassador invited Emma Mead from VisitBritain to join CEO, Keith Jenkins, on stage for an interactive session in which Emma provided many valuable insights on how a DMO works with travel influencers, including tips on best practices.
The following day, the content creators met at the Heritage Le Telfair resort for a full day of content workshops, whilst the industry speakers met with local industry representatives for a half-day of PRO workshops on destination- and influencer marketing.
At Heritage Le Telfair, the content creators attended workshops on writing (by Julie Falconer), photography (Laurence Norah) and videography (Caspar Diederik). The classroom-style workshops were followed by practical lessons as they walked around the expansive resort grounds.
During the next few days, the content creators explored the island on a variety of tours, joined by the workshop instructors, to hone their skills.
Farewell dinner and #MyMauritius Awards
On the evening of 16th November, the delegates convened at the Sugar Beach Resort for a farewell dinner and the #MyMauritius Awards.
The delegates were welcomed to the party by the Director of the MTPA, Arvind Bundhun, and CEO of iambassador, Keith Jenkins.
During the awards ceremony, the best pieces of content, specially selected by the workshop instructors, were given a special recognition in the form of a glass shield (produced by a Mauritian artist). The winners were:
- Best Hotel Coverage: Nivedith Gajapathy
- Best Activity Coverage: Greta Omoboni
- Best Sundowner Photo: Robson Cadore
- Best Nature Photo: Giuseppe Milo & Veruska Anconitano
- Best Beach Video: Greta Omoboni
- Best Food Coverage: Verushka Ramasami
- Best Room Tour Video: Nienke Krook
- Best Culture Photo: Dave McClane
- Best Marine Coverage: Annika Myhre
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS!
We could not have asked for a more beautiful destination than Mauritius for the first ExplorerLab! A BIG THANK YOU goes to the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, without whom this would not have been possible! An equally big thank you goes to the team at CREATE Worldwide for their incredible work to organise the logistics, venues and activities, and AHRIM for their valuable support. And finally, we would like to thank all the content creators and speakers who attended #MyMauritius ExplorerLab and made it such a fun and educational experience!