Blogging conference Propel hailed as game-changer

Graz mayor, Siegfried Nagl; Sarah and Terry Lee, Propel Conference / Credit: Graz Tourismus Werner Krug

The city of Graz, Austria, has hosted the first ever Propel Conference, aimed at helping travel bloggers take their business to the next level. The conference, for intermediate-level bloggers, saw expert speakers sharing their years of experience and success, with the aim of providing attendees with the tools to create quality content, and strategies to realise the value of their work.

Propel Conference, sponsored by Graz Tourism and held at the Grand Hotel Wiesler on 25–27 May, saw 20 hand-selected bloggers receive in-depth guidance in how to succeed and flourish in the blogging world.

The event, organised by Sarah and Terry Lee of digital agency Captivate and Su Höller of Graz Tourism, was opened by the mayor of Graz, Siegfried Nagl, and has been described by one attendee, Kathryn Burrington, as “an absolute game-changer.”

“There is a need to professionalise the blogging industry”

Captivate and Propel Conference founder, Terry Lee said: “We are thrilled with the success of the conference. We have known for some time that there is a need to professionalise the blogging industry and now, with Propel, that platform exists.

“This can only benefit the travel industry, as bloggers’ levels of quality rise, their professionalism increases and, as a result, tourist boards and travel brands see greater returns when working with these reliable bloggers.

“It was also a pleasure to hold sessions for members of Graz’s local travel industry, helping to educate them on how to work with, and maximise the benefits from bloggers and digital platforms.”

“The forefront of digital / influencer marketing within Austria”

Susanne Höller, head of marketing at Graz Tourism, added: “It was amazing to host the first Propel Conference together with the talented Captivate team here in Graz. The conference days were packed with professional information and tips and the evenings were happy gatherings of 30 bloggers and speakers in various locations around Graz.

“I am sure it will make an impact on Graz with so many stories being shared on social networks already. And for us as a destination marketing organisation (DMO), we are proud to be at the forefront of digital / influencer marketing within Austria.”

Following the conference, the bloggers departed for trips around Graz and the wider Styria region.

The event was hailed a success by a host of delegates: Suzanne Jones, of the Travel Bunny said: “Congratulations on a fabulous conference, my head is full of information and inspiration but more importantly, answers. I now have a plan for moving my blog forward.”

“The things I’ve learnt… will take my blog to another level”

Cary Hulls of blog, Austrian Adaptation, added: “So grateful for the incredible #PropelGraz experience, congratulations for holding a mind-blowing event,” and Kathryn Burrington, of Travel with Kat, concluded: “I’ve been blogging for eight years, and have been pretty successful, but the things I’ve learnt over the last few days will take my blog to another level.”

Currently the team at Captivate is working on the next Propel Conference and will announce where and when it will be held in the coming months.

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