I have to say… One of the events I always look forward to every year is The Social Travel Summit (STS) organized by iambassador. The collective I co-run, NordicTB, is also their Nordic partner in terms of working with travel bloggers and influencers in the Nordics.

Besides becoming good friends here on this side of the Atlantic, they also feel like family. We laugh together, cry together, challenge each other, and have all watched and helped each other grow.

In a nutshell , STS is all about taking digital travel content and influencer marketing to next levels by paving the way and setting industry standards. I mean, these are the very first group of bloggers and influencers within the travel industry who started demanding to be paid for the quality of content we produce as valued independent publishers. STS is where the world’s leading online travel influencers and travel industry decision-makers meet to share, learn and develop best practices and collaborative success in travel marketing and publishing.

I’ve been to several summits including in Hamburg, Germany, and Inverness, Scotland. Plus, they always put on the most extravagant and exquisite events – from a private fashion show and dinner in a Scottish castle to a special choir performance in Belfast Cathedral and a whole Game of Thrones costume party and photo shoot (scroll down)!

Needless to say, they throw the best parties.

But what I always walk away with after every summit are lists upon lists of concrete action items to take my business to the next level. First, I’ll share some of my favourite business quotes and then, be sure to scroll down for some serious Game of Thrones action and scenes from inside that stunning cathedral.

#STSBelfast even inspired my epic 37 career lessons you can learn from the best U2 songs !

25 Business Tips + Quotes from #STSBelfast

  1. “Where are you now? And where do you want to be? Your brand is a flag that you plant in the ground.” – @NickWestergaard
  2. “When we nail experience, it helps us deliver on our brand promise” –@NickWestergaard
  3. “Where can you close gaps between what you say and what you do? Where can you simplify?” – @NickWestergaard
  4. “There’s too much content. What content can you and only you create? What’s your ‘big rock’?” – @NickWestergaard
  5. “Even when you cover up their logo, you can still recognize their voice and identify them in their text” – @NickWestergaard
  6. “Ask yourself… What business are you really in? That’s the spark that leads to your brand promise” – @NickWestergaard
  7. ”For brands to stand out, they need to stand for something. Move beyond just the personas” – @NickWestergaard
  8. “Advertise smaller. Why not market to people who have heard of you, instead of a totally new audience? Then you can expand out gradually” – @danaditomaso
  9. “Your lane of genius is your sweet spot for growth and results” – @heleneinbetween
  10. “The Pareto Principle: 20% of your efforts result in 80% of the effects” – @heleneinbetween
  11. “I know we want to be jacks of all trades but we need to be aces in at least one of them” – @heleneinbetween
  12. “The four stages of the customer journey – location, planning, booking, experience. How does your content make them go through this entire process with confidence and trust?” – @chrismarr101
  13. “Frustration is the F-word of the Internet” – @chrismarr101
  14. “Specificity is the key to content marketing. The more specific you get, the more traffic you get” – @chrismarr101
  15. “70% of the buying decision is done online. For travel, almost 100% of the decision is done online” – @chrismarr101 on the Moment of Truth
  16. “Who is your competition? Google is probably your biggest competition.” – @danaditomaso
  17. “You’re not your own target market. What does your target market want? You can’t make people want to google you.” – @danaditomaso
  18. “Do you have goals… or are they aspirations or just a really big to-do list?” – @danaditomaso
  19. “A goal without a plan is just a dream” – Erik van Erp @atg_nl
  20. “The blog is the social media rug that ties the room together” – @JasonMillerCA
  21. “The PDF – like toilet paper – is the only digital content technology that hasn’t evolved” – @JasonMillerCA
  22. “Topic relevancy trumps keywords” – @JasonMillerCA
  23. “What conversation do you want to own?” – @JasonMillerCA
  24. “Don’t create more content. Create relevant content” – @JasonMillerCA
  25. “Digital media isn’t killing attention spans. The main focus of our time is finding something worth paying attention to for a longer period of time.” – @JasonMillerCA

Photos from #STSBelfast

Here are some photos from my time at the summit in Belfast. The next one will be held in Ravenna, Italy, in September, and I’m looking forward to returning to the region. You can check out these two posts from my previous time in spectacular Ravenna.