Tourism Talk: Daniel Horsch and #SoMeT12

If you’re interested in social media and the tourism industry, you’ve probably heard of SoMeT. The conference is happening this week in El Paso.

That’s right. El Paso.

Seems a little random, right? Wrong. Daniel Horsch and the El Paso CVB had a great team working with a solid strategy to bring the social media tourism conference to west Texas.

Here’s what Daniel had to say about SoMeT, social media and living the life of a Tourism Geek.

What was your role with the CVB? How long did you work there and how long have you worked in the tourism industry?

I served as the Social Media Coordinator with the El Paso CVB from August of 2010 through May of 2012. Before I broke into the tourism industry, I was a television reporter in the local news biz.

Besides winning SoMeT, what were some of your previous social media successes?

Before SoMeT, my biggest success was getting the opportunity to build Visit El Paso’s social media presence. I was fortunate enough to have a great support staff and a community that understood the importance of social media. In less than two years, we had become THE source for information about what’s going on in the city of El Paso.

How do you see social media further changing in the tourism industry?

The tourism industry changes as fast as you can switch your Instagram filters. So when it comes to the tourism industry, we can’t be afraid to try new things and experiment a little. I can’t predict the future, but I’m going to make a bold statement here. Visitor information specialists and brand ambassadors will begin to use video chat more often to interact with potential visitors and current guests.

Why did you want to host SoMeT in El Paso?

El Paso is blossoming. It’s in the unique events, the flavors in the food and the warmth of the people you meet. I wanted to prove that it takes just one visit to El Paso to see why it’s such a unique place to visit. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to showcase our city then bringing the brightest people in our industry and let them do the talking for us. That’s a lot of retweets…

What did your SoMeT strategy look like?

Share. Share. Share. While our team spent countless hours on the internet sharing our content and talking with people of influence, we knew our community was our biggest fan. For almost a month, there wasn’t a week when we were not on the local television, the radio and the newspaper. Yes, print is still alive!

What I liked best about your SoMeT strategy was that you took it offline. Can you explain more about this?

We developed street teams that talked to people to make sure that they not only knew who we were, but WHY they were voting. Once we got them hooked, that’s all everyone was talking about. For a few weeks, we were rock stars!

How do you personally use social media for travel?

When it comes to travel, I’m usually checking out various sites and playing the role of a wallflower on Facebook pages. If there is something I’m really interested in, I’ll join a thread or attempt to get in touch with specific pages.

What are some of your favorite places to travel?

I love to travel no matter where I go. As long as I’m doing something that I’ve never done before, I’m happy.

What do you do when you’re not online?

My iPhone makes that almost impossible! Seriously though, when I’m not online I enjoy checking out new movies, playing soccer and being a very amateur photographer.

Are you a…

  • Mac or PC: Mac fo’sho!
  • iPhone or Android: What would I do without my iPhone? The thought alone is scary.
  • Twitpic or Instagram: Instagram #thatsaneasyone

What is the geekiest thing you’ve done?
I’ve spent hours and hours working on time lapse photos that only I would see. It’s such a time-consuming process, but I LOVE IT!

To virtually attend this conference, follow the #SoMeT12 hashtag!

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