Nordic Bloggers’ Experience (NBE) is my baby born nearly 4 years ago, now already an active and playful toddler. Whatever you think – that is the truth. Let me tell you the story behind this campaign.
Four years ago I used to work as the manager of MATKA Nordic Travel Fair and we got the idea to invite some international bloggers to Finland during the travel exhibition to raise the awareness of MATKA, Finland and Helsinki.
“Let’s create a big international blogger conference to Finland”
I had no idea how to do this. I had heard about TBEX and some other international travel blogger events but never participated in one. While visiting ITB Berlin in March 2013 I almost accidentally walked into a presentation held by Sebastian Canaves and afterwards I briefly told him about my idea.
Next Wednesday, I received an e-mail from him and we started to plan a co-operation. Soon I met Visit Finland and Visit Helsinki and we discovered the name Nordic Bloggers’ Experience and started to plan the campaign more in detail.
We were really happy to be able to work with the best travel influencers right from beginning. Sebastian also gave me really important support in understanding the world of bloggers before I had a blog of my own. Later I realized that the only way to understand all the challenges and opportunities that the travel bloggers are facing is to have my own blog. That is how I suggested my sister Inari that we should transform our Family Travel Handbook to a blog – and so the Finnish Family Travel Blog was born.
Already in the first year, the concept of the campaign was the same as today 4 years later. Pre & Post tours around Finland and neighboring countries, networking and seminars at MATKA Travel Fair with exhibitors, Blog Labs to develop blogging business led by the industry experts and of course the social program including the legendary sauna evening. I am really proud of the great line-up of speakers we have for the upcoming event in January.
”I had a fantastic time at NBE – it was likely the best travel blogging conference I have ever attended.”
We started to call this group our NBE family and we have organized several get-togethers both during WTM London and ITB Berlin. The unique feeling of the campaign has attracted more and more influencers to Finland and this year we received around 500 applications! Unfortunately, we can only select a maximum of 70 bloggers to participate in the campaign in January 2017, including 11 Finnish host bloggers hosting the group together with our team. The selected participants are coming to Finland from 27 countries and are blogging on 18 languages.
The feedback from our participants and partners has been overwhelming. During the past years, the campaign has also been awarded with the Blog Marketing Award, Evento Award and the Finnish Communal Marketing Award for the results and the quality or organizing the campaign. In 2016, the social media reach of the campaign was more that 40 Million!
Our NBE team consists of 7 people this time. From MATKA we have Annika and Riikka, from Visit Finland Eva and Virpi and from Innastus Kathrin and Veera are working with me hard to make everything perfect both for all the participating influencers as well as for the partners and speakers.
“Even though the team has grown, we try to keep up the personal way of doing things, sharing our own experiences and hugging everyone when they arrive.”
My dream is to be able to accept all the applicants to Finland and organize a really big event for all of the travel influencers from around the world! While this is not yet possible, I have also created another event called PING Helsinki, which is open to all influencers from all industries and will be organized on April 27th to April 29th, 2017 in Helsinki. The registration to that event will open in January 2017