I’ve been a member of the Society of American Travel Writers since 2008, when I became travel editor at USA TODAY. It’s been a valuable professional affiliation for me, allowing me to connect and build relationships with other travel publishers and editors, freelance writers and those involved in travel public relations.

This year’s annual SATW conference took place in Wellington, New Zealand. Reid Bramblett, editor of ReidsGuides, asked me to speak on a panel called “There’s an App for That.” Besides Reid, my colleagues on the panel included Stuart McDonald of TravelFish and David Carnoy of CNET.

I released my iPhone/iPad app, the Philadelphia Essential Guide, in April 2009. During my presentation, I told people what I would have done differently and steps they could take to make their app stand out in the crowded Apple app store. I also talked about the pros and cons of working with a third party developer such as Sutro Media.

I’m not the only member of the Val Luxe team with an app out. Andy has written the Edinburgh Secrets app, also through Sutro Media. If you’re a destination who needs some advice about apps, or has content needs for one you already have planned, get in touch! We’re happy to help.

PS: After the conference, my husband Don and I drove a campervan around New Zealand’s South Island. Talk about your Value Luxury! I’ll be writing more about that experience on my blog, Chris Around The World.

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