Professional Development Sessions at IMM

Expert-led Sessions for IMM Exhibitors

A key feature of IMM is our Professional Development Sessions - your chance to gain valuable insights from top industry professionals.

The sessions will take place throughout the show's second day (14 March 2023) and offer opportunities for exhibitors to expand their expertise in everything from media relations to digital campaigns. Our speakers and panellists are top journalists, senior PR professionals and well-connected influencers.

The 20-minute workshops are pre-bookable on Meetings Manager, allowing you to schedule valuable professional development into your busy IMM day.

More on our sessions for 2023 will follow.

Speaker Sessions From IMM 2022

What Travel PR learned from the Pandemic

Paul Charles The PC Agency

In our first session of last year's IMM, Paul Charles, CEO of The PC Agency, offered his insights into key moments from the last two years and discussed how the travel and tourism industry can learn for future crises.

A former BBC News presenter and adviser to Sir Richard Branson at Virgin Atlantic, Paul Charles is founder and CEO of The PC Agency, a leading travel PR and Comms consultancy (www.pc.agency). Paul has been a leading commentator and government adviser during coronavirus, offering vital insights into global travel decision-making. The PC Agency advises governments, C-Group leaders and companies on their consumer, corporate, crisis and digital reputations, and was named Most Influential in Travel by PR Week five years running (2017-2021). Paul is also Co-Founder of Thrive, a travel think tank.

Under the Spotlight | The Travel Editor

Mark Palmer, Travel Editor, Daily Mail

Mark Palmer, travel editor of the UK’s highest circulation national newspaper, offered invaluable insight into how his media title sources its content and how it works with the PR sector. His advice covered everything from pitching story ideas to creating press facilities, ensuring delegates get the inside track on how to make it big in the Mail.

Mark Palmer has been Travel and Property Editor at the Daily Mail, the UK’s highest circulation national daily newspaper, for more than ten years. He is truly a veteran of Fleet Street, having worked variously at the Evening Standard (Londoner’s Diary), Sunday Telegraph (News Editor) and Daily Express (Executive Editor). He is the author of two books – one about football, the other a history of Clarks shoes. He lives in London and the Scottish Borders. His list of banned words for all journalists and PRs is a matter of industry legend.

Inclusivity in PR Storytelling

Uwern Jong, Experientialist®-in-Chief of OutThere magazine

Uwern Jong hosted an eye-opening session which argued for a need for greater diversity in travel PR and journalism, to answer the demands of consumers who are looking for media and travel providers to outwardly demonstrate inclusivity and eliminate bias.

Uwern co-founded OutThere, the luxury and experiential travel and lifestyle journal, alongside Creative Director Martin Perry over 10 years ago, with a dream to promote a more diverse media landscape and better representation in the luxury travel industry for his own community of LGBTQ+ travellers and for today’s widely intersectional and diverse luxury audiences, showcasing the voices of those under-represented in mainstream media and the stories of inclusive brands looking to change the status quo. Uwern has been named as one the “50 most influential people in British Luxury” and an “Editorial Leader of the Year.”

Panel Sessions

What We’re Writing About in 2022

Liz Edwards, Assistant Travel Editor, Times and Sunday Times. Sophie Lam, Travel Editor, i, Amelia Duggan, Deputy Editor, National Geographic Traveller

As the world emerged from the pandemic and with it, the resurgence of international travel, three of the UK’s top travel editors offered IMM delegates an insight into what travel content was expected to grace their pages in 2022 and beyond.

Liz Edwards works across The Times and Sunday Times’ print and online travel output. The job involves planning, commissioning, editing and writing - and rarely enough travel. Nevertheless, she’s squeezed in articles on everything from postcards to private jets. Liz was appointed commissioning editor in November 2019, joining from the Sunday Times Travel Magazine, where she spent seven years, rising to become associate editor. She’s previously worked on titles including Olive and Wanderlust, with a few freelance stints. Her interests include food, art, walking and swimming. 2022 might be the year she finally tries a cruise. Liz is shortlisted for the Consumer Staff Writer of the Year in the TravMedia Awards.

Sophie Lam oversees the i’s travel content across print and digital platforms. She commissions, edits and writes travel news, destination features, reviews, interviews and commercial projects and works across print and digital. Sophie started her career in travel at The Independent in 2004 where she was appointed Head of Travel across ESI Media (The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, i and London Evening Standard), in 2014. She left ESI to re-join i under its new owners in 2017, during which time she launched i's Staycation Awards.

Amelia Duggan is one of award-winning National Geographic Traveller’s senior commissioning editors and feature writers, and deputy editor since 2019. Formerly a freelance journalist, working abroad in countries including Chile and India, she was awarded Young Travel Writer of the Year and Specialist Travel Writer of the Year (for her work on Latin America) at the 2019 Travel Media Awards. Offering readers 10 issues a year plus numerous supplements, including the quarterly National Geographic Traveller Food, National Geographic Traveller is the UK’s number one consumer travel publication by subscription.

Let’s Get Social: The Next Stages in PR’s Digital Evolution

Anneka Roberts, Vice President of Digital at Finn Partners Chloe Gunning, Influencer (Wanderlust Chloe)

Digital specialist Roberts and top influencer Gunning combined to deliver an insight into how PRs’ relationship with influencers will evolve in coming years, discussing everything from strategies to channels, with case studies thrown in. Our delegates emerged considerably better versed... in the Metaverse!

Anneka Roberts leads social media and digital strategy across FINN Partners’ global travel client base. She has over 10 years’ experience across industries from energy to travel. She’s a speaker on influencer marketing, specialising in strategy, content marketing, online crisis comms, online brand identity and trend forecasting. Anneka has led award-winning campaigns, helping Jamaica win a first place at the 2019 Corp Comms Awards. She managed a #ThanksToTravel campaign, where influencers spread their appreciation for travel during the pandemic, achieving 1m engagements and landing ‘Best Global Organic Social Media Campaign’ at the 2020 Global Digital Excellence Awards. Anneka’s fierce passion for social media, digital communication and thinking differently enable her to produce unique, innovative, and outstanding work for her clients.

With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe Gunning is the content creator behind top travel blog Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Over her 7+ years in the industry she has worked on numerous travel campaigns, with brands and tourist boards including Lonely Planet, Google, Visit England, Germany Tourism and Visit USA. She regularly works with travel PRs to bring campaigns to life, producing inspirational content for multiple platforms.

Four Great Reasons to Attend IMM’s Professional Development Sessions

1

Extend Your Expertise

Our sessions take place on IMM day two and offer exhibitors outstanding opportunities to gain fresh insights and learn new skills.

2

From PR to Digital and Influencer Marketing

Our sessions cover everything from how travel media plan their pages through to travel PR best practice. You’re certain to find a session that will give you the insights and inspiration to maximise the impact of your future campaigns!

3

Increase Your Return from IMM

IMM’s professional development sessions add significant value to exhibitors’ return on investment from the show.

4

The Power of Two

Take a two-person stand at IMM and you can dedicate one team member to managing your meetings while the other attends a session.