When you bring together hundreds of creative adventurers in one of the most awe-inspiring places in the world, chances are they’ll share some fantastic ideas. Last week, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) hosted its annual Adventure Travel World Summit in Anchorage, AK. Not only did the event produce some incredible photos and videos (if you haven’t seen the slideshow of the ATTA storytelling team’s photos in this post, drop everything you’re doing and check it out!), but it also brought together some incredible visual storytellers.
Check out the six interviews below to learn tips for your brand from masters of visual storytelling.
Gregg Bleakney: How to Craft Your Story
Gregg Bleakney started out his career in visual storytelling as an adventure travel and cycling photographer. Now, he runs the visual agency WhereNext in Bogota, Colombia, producing photos and videos for companies like ExOfficio and H+I Adventures. As the agency’s hashtag, #FeelSomething, might indicate, he and is team work with their clients to craft a story that strikes a chord with travelers who dream of experiencing something new. Trying something new is always fun and exciting, if you are planning on traveling the globe then one thing you can consider is a Push Pin Travel Map. It can help you keep track of the places you’ve been to as well and has the potential to be a powerful narrative tool or feature for video or photo content. You may also want to go green whilst on your own travels as a great way to add back to the world. If you want some more information on this then you can check out Green Ways to Travel the Globe for more information and adventure advice! If however you are still not sure then you should read some great personal stories to inspire you.
Check out this story the team produced for TDA Global Cycling, which is packed with first person perspectives.
Gregg says travel and adventure brands should start by engaging audiences with a beautiful story. If people associate your brand with a beautiful story, they will be more likely to buy your products in the future. Check out the video for Gregg’s tips for how to craft your story, how to find inspiration in your customer data, and how visual asset management is crucial for his own workflow and for his customers.
AJ Kinney: Create Community with Content
AJ Kinney is the Director of DMO Partnerships for Matador Network, which aims to create community by connecting travel brands with travel content creators. AJ explains that the company’s mantra, “travel is people,” informs every piece of content and every initiative, like the new app TravelStoke. Check out this piece produced by Matador that shows you “Seattle through the Senses:”
His advice for travel brands is to focus on differentiation. What makes your brewery or farmer’s market stand out from all the other breweries and farmer’s markets? And he says the key to communicating what’s different about your destination, your tour, your product, is the human element. Check out the video for more!
Andy Austin: Partner with the Right Content Creators
Andy Austin is a travel photographer who lives life on the road – literally. He lives in a van so he can be out shooting incredible landscapes every day. Check out this great shot for his current project, #MontanaFallTour:
Andy says authenticity is key for brands that want to work with influencers and engage audiences on social media.
“The thing I always tell brands is be yourself,” says Andy. “Even though you’re representing a company, don’t feel like a robot.”
This is a great tip not only for communicating with your broader audiences, but also for communicating with influencers. Watch the video to hear Andy’s tips for recruiting the right content creators to be influencers for your brand.
Laura Knudson: The ROI of Video Content
GLP Films took home the top prize at the ATWS Adventure in Motion film contest with a video for the Mountain Lodges of Peru. The video tells the story of a guide and a group of travelers hiking the seven day trek to Machu Picchu on the Salkantay Inca Trail. Those looking to make long mountain treks such as this will likely want to be equipped with some appropriate gear like that detailed on Outdoor Empire’s post to ensure they have all they need for a smooth trip. Check it out:
Laura Knudson, Director of Marketing for GLP Films, says video is a crucial tool for adventure travel brands (which mirrors the results of our study on visual communication in adventure travel with ATTA). Watch the video to hear Laura’s insights on the ROI of video content in adventure travel.
Rick Saez: Use Content to Build a Sense of Place
Rick Saez is a photographer who has spent over 30 years in the outdoor and adventure travel industry. Not only does he know how to capture a beautiful landscape, but he also knows the ins and outs of the business.
Rick’s tip for adventure travel brands is to invest in content, especially video content, to build a sense of place. Watch the video to get his take!
Mark Edward Harris: The Fine Art of Travel Photography
Photographer Mark Edward Harris is known for his travel photography and his impressive collection of photography books. He has traveled the world creating visual content, from landscapes to environmental portraits to multimedia series.
Mark kicked off ATWS 2016 with a session called, “The Fine Art of Travel Photography.” He shared his practical tips for shooting compelling visual content, from waiting for the extra element in a photo to being a tough editor when you’re delivering content. Check out some of his tips in this video!
Mark added that he was inspired by our webinar series with ATTA. He was impressed to see how adventure travel brands are using visual asset management to avoid duplicating resources, to manage their time and their costs effectively, and to quickly find visual assets when they need them. If webinars sound like something that could help your brand, take a look at this guide to the best webinar software of 2021.
A big thanks to these experts for sharing their insights with us and a round of applause for ATTA for hosting a fantastic summit! Check out our report with ATTA for more insights on visual communications in adventure travel.