My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

By Kach Umandap - Howe November 3rd, 2016 Posted in North America Travel Blog, Travel Blog 8 Comments

If you have been following our posts, you would probably know by now that I joined a fitness boot camp in the UK for one month before flying to Atlanta to attend the SITSum event. I could have stayed longer in the boot camp, but of course, I have obligations for our website, and so I did what I had to do. I flew from the UK to Atlanta. Don’t worry because I am still dedicated to getting my pre – travel body.

Going back, what is the SITSum event?

SITSum is the Social Influencers Travel Summit. It is an exclusive, invitation – only event for individuals with strong social media or blog presence. During the event, the invitees had the chance to learn the best industry practices from one another. Aside from meeting fellow influencers, you get to tour around Atlanta. The event was organized by the Atlanta Tourism Board, and I have to congratulate them for a job well done. It was very flawless, and our journey was ‘smooth – sailing.’ Now, how can you resist such an invitation?My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

I have to thank Delta Airlines for sponsoring my flight for SITSum. I took Virgin Atlantic going to Atlanta given that it is a partner airline, then flew via Delta going back to the UK. You can have a feel of how it’s like to travel in economy class in Virgin Atlantic by watching my video below.

After hours of flying and a welcome dinner, all I wanted was to lie down on my hotel bed and rest. Good thing that I stayed in W Atlanta Buckhead Hotel because it was such a beautiful property. It’s along Rodeo Drive of the South, and I have to say, the location is perfect if you want to go shopping or experience great entertainment in Atlanta. The rooms are pretty amazing, and you get to enjoy the hotel facilities such as spa, pool, gym and even a bar. Indeed, it made my stay even more worth writing! I will personally recommend this hotel if you plan to go to Atlanta, USA. Check the hotel rates here.

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

Monkey Dividers

My 5 – day itinerary in Atlanta USA

In just less than a week, I fell in love with Atlanta USA after seeing the best that it can offer to any traveler. If you have no idea which places to go to and which activities to try, then might as well check my itinerary and follow some of it!

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)
My welcome ride!

Day 1 (October 12)

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)After reaching Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport, we went straight to W Atlanta Buckhead Hotel. Seeing the property made me want to go around and shop, but that will have to wait because we immediately went to Atlanta History Center to have our dinner. If you are a history – buff or would like to know Atlanta’s roots, I recommend that you include this in your itinerary. You can even see the ‘Swan House’ as seen in Hunger Games.

Day 2 (October 13)

Morning

Our call time was at 7:30 AM and boy was I glad to have a great sleep at the hotel! I knew that our 2nd day would be tiring so I needed that energy to stay alive for hours. We went to Flourish, which is an outstanding event space in Atlanta. You will be mesmerized with the great artwork and stunning chandeliers which scream elegance all over! I listened to different speakers and learned so much about our industry as Social Influencers. Here are some of the topics that we discussed in the event.

  • Virtual Reality – the New Reality of Marketing with Martin Stoll (CEO, Sparkloft Media) – See how one can develop effective strategies and social media campaigns into the marketing and communications mix.
  • 360 and Virtual Reality – The Evolution with Fabio Musio (Owner, 100 Digital Creativity) – I got inspired about the use of 360 and VR in social media platforms. I was itching to get a new camera after this session – and so I did!
  • Pitching to Travel Brands with Christa Thompson (thefairytaletraveler.com) – This was a great venue to learn how to get more travel gigs and FAM invites.

I have to admit that my experience is still ‘small’ compared to that of the speakers. Hence, I embraced every word from the sessions. And after such great talks, off we went for an afternoon tour.

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)Afternoon

Scavenger hunt and tour of Buford Highway Farmers Market.

Buford Highway is popular for having a lot of ethnic restaurants. Glad I took lessons from the Boot Camp in the UK because it would be a challenge to burn the calories after this adventure.

We then proceeded to Buford Highway Farmers Market which has authentic produce from different countries. We even learned few shopping strategies!

With this tour, you get to experience different cultures all over the world with the dishes and their local ingredients. Choose from Korea, Mexico, Central and South America, Caribbean, West Africa, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines to name a few. And yes, there was a scavenger hunt to test if we were listening!

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)
My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

Evening

We had a lovely progressive dinner from Atlas, South City Kitchen Buckhead and Del Frisco’s Grille. ‘Satisfying’ would be an understatement.

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

Day 3 (October 14)

Morning

I love breakfasts! And for our 3rd day, we had our continental breakfast at Ponce City Market. Ponce City Market is the hub between Atlanta’s most popular in town neighborhoods. It is located in the largest brick building in the Southeast where you can find a food hall and some great retail stores.

After the lovely breakfast, our brains were filled with new knowledge. These were the topics for the day.

  • Integrating Live Streaming into Your Social Strategy with Chef Dennis Littley – We learned which live streaming services are best for our business and how to add live streaming into our social media strategy.
  • 5 Things to Include in Your Media Kit with Jana Seitzer – This was a great session to understand  how one can build up their Media Kit regardless if you are a new blogger or a seasoned one.
  • Luxury Marketing with Christopher Parr  – Learn luxury marketing from the Editor – in -Chief of the leading travel and luxury website.
  • Take  Your Travels to the Next Level with Eric Martin – This session provided more ideas on how one can monetize their travel experiences.
  • Personal Branding vs.Organizational Branding with Sophie Loghman – Because we all need to have our personal brand to get known in the online word!
  • Tips and Tricks for Food Photography with Julie Deily – I love food and I love to eat (even if I am trying to lose weight). Nevertheless, food photography was necessary for me to learn, now that I am gearing towards lifestyle blogging.

These topics, while I am already aware of,  helped me in sharpening my skills. Loved everything about it! My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

atlanta-sitsum-event-22

Afternoon

Walk, talk and eat your way down the Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail

We were warned! Wear walking shoes.

With the Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail adventure, we explored a 2.3 – mile path stretching from the city’s central greenspace, Piedmont Park to Krog Street Market – a local food destination. The Eastside Trail is the first section of the entire Atlanta Beltline Trail which is a 22 – mile historic railroad corridor that is set to be transformed into pedestrian-friendly rail transit, multi – use trails and greenspace.My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

Evening

Our reward for the day? A sumptuous dinner and a tour of The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. We kicked it off with a champagne toast at Dior’s Private Room and was able to have a glimpse into one of the world’s most notable designer brands. We ended the night by having dinner at Doraku.

Day 4 (October 15)

Half of my time was filled with lessons and talks which made my stay in Atlanta even more memorable. Oh, I started the day with this yummy breakfast at the W Hotel Buckhead! It definitely helped me in absorbing key learnings from the ‘educators’.

 

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

Below are the insightful topics we talked about.

  • Educational Sessions with Derrek Kayongo (CEO, Center for Civil and Human Rights) – Derrek Kayongo has a lot of achievements under his belt. His stories and key learnings were just amazing!
  • Harness your Why and Grow Your Tribe with Sophie Radcliffe (challengesophie.com) – We all want real and active followers. And with this session, we were able to know the tips and tricks for achieving such.
  • Amplifying your Influence : How to Use Social Ads to Increase Your Value with Chris Curley (Creative Director, Sensei Project)

We were then allowed to explore Atlanta on our own. In my language – that meant going around shopping!

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)
With my Journalist friend Dayvee who invited me here!

Day 5 (October 16)

I bade goodbye to Atlanta and went back to the UK after a full day of shopping gadgets and gears!

My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

Apart from bagging new knowledge from the SITSum event, my stay in Atlanta and meeting new folks in the same field inspired me to start my YouTube channel and to step up my new lifestyle blog, Our new blog will show you our lives as a married couple. Expect to see relationship, finance tips and random posts and videos from there.

I hope you guys would show us the same support in our new journey. Thanks to SITsum team for the inspiration!

Monkey Dividers

Note: I was invited as a guest at SITSum Atlanta, and my flight and hotel are both complimentary. However, all opinions are my own.

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8 thoughts on “My Last Minute Trip to Atlanta, USA for the Social Influencers Travel Summit (SITSum 2016)

  1. I am so jealous of your trip, sounds like such a great event for bloggers. All those sessions sound very interesting and scavenger hunt is such a perfect way to break the ice.
    xx, Kusum |

  2. This looked like such an amazing experience and made for such a great post! All of the food looked absolutely delicious!

  3. This would be fun!

    All the food you posted look delicious! That blue dress is so gorgeous! You look fantastic in it.

  4. Thanks for sharing this Kach, we passed through Atlanta during our last trip to the states. I’d love to go back – maybe even for the SITSUM who knows.

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Written by Kach Umandap - Howe

Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 146 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro where she's enjoying her expat life and living on a gorgeous Stonehouse. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.

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