I’ve always believed in the power of ideas and that it can transform lives, make business and take the society forward. One such idea was creating a very organic group of like-minded travelers in this nation who enjoy traveling, hosting travelers, photographing, blogging or are travel startup owners. In Kolkata, we had one such “Travellers Meet” on 4 May 2016. Srivatsan, who was an invited speaker in the Kolkata session took it up and organized another travelers meet in Chennai.
Madras Photobloggers in association with Kolkata Bloggers organized the Travellers Meet in Chennai. The event was hosted in Urban Desi House and was supported by Zeiss and Manfrotto. The speakers were Shrinidhi Hande, Yours Truly, Srivatsan Sankaran and Sai Priya.
I loved Shrinidhi’s presentation on traveling on a budget. It was a detailed corporate presentation, one which refused to miss any detail to help the audience. You can find Shrinidhi’s post here.
This was my first speech in Chennai and I did not know what exactly to present. Should I have presented an idea for the people to work with? Or should I speak about personal branding in blogging? Or do I become Bengal Tourism’s unpaid brand ambassador? Or do I speak about Srivatsan and how our friendship is now seven years old? Instead, I thought of bombarding them with questions.
It was incredible being there in Chennai for the travelers meet. Roughly more than thirty people could make it inside the Urban Desi House. There were a few friends who had come but could not enter the café. It was packed with people with mostly younger people. Almost touching 30, I find most active people young anyway!
I tried presenting to them three points of view:
- As a community.
- As an individual in a community.
- As an individual strictly.
As a community, we should be asking ourselves questions like
- Are we strengthening ourselves? If yes, how?
- Are we generating enough knowledge and documenting it for the entire community?
- As a community, are we making enough money out of it? If yes, what are the means?
- Whom can we benefit? How much and how soon?
As an individual in a community, we should be asking questions like
- Am I getting enough knowledge from the community?
- Is my writing/presentation getting better?
- Am I getting technically more aware? Do I know the latest tools which will help me blog better?
- Am I engaging more users per month because of the community I am in?
- Can I convert this audience into customers or clients?
- How am I contributing to the community?
As an individual, I ask myself questions like
- How different or unique is my content from the rest of the bloggers?
- Am I able to retain my individual identity?
- How different or unique is my presentation from the rest of the bloggers?
- How am I interacting with my audience offline?
- How exactly am I adding value and to whom?
- How am I able to generate revenue for myself?
I went on to explain in my own ways how there could be alternate travel plans in the same destination at the same point in time, which would give a traveler a unique perspective of life in the destination. Since it was a fifteen-minute slot, I ended it with a few photographs that I have shot and inviting people to join me in a new venture.
Sai Priya discussed the problems a solo woman traveler faces. It became men-bashing to an extent. She showed some excellent photographs that she had shot during her travel.
Srivatsan spoke about why photo-blogging is required in the future and about the art of story-telling.
The individual members of Madras PhotoBloggers showcased their photographs and related their experiences of being a part of the Madras PhotoBloggers.
The feedback has been encouraging. Of the negatives pointed out in the consolidated feedback form, the venue was pointed out to be an issue. The next time we organize a travellers meet, we would take care of it.
Let me know if this interest you. Kolkata Bloggers in association with Madras PhotoBloggers wish to take this forward and organize photography and blogging workshops in different cities across India, starting with Chennai and Kolkata for obvious reasons. If you are interested, please fill this form by clicking on this link.