Being new in the travel blogging world, I really didn’t know if I should attend the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) in Toronto. I wasn’t sure if I would get anything out of it, but I am happy to say that I attended the event, which officially was in June 1st and 2nd (but had lots of activities the week before and still going on this week) and that I got a lot out of it.
Here are my three reasons for a newbie to attend TBEX:
1) You will meet very nice people
Think about 1300 travel bloggers and industry professionals, all having one thing in common: the love of travel! While I admit it seemed a bit overwhelming for the sheer fact that 1300 people is a lot of people, you do get out of your comfort zone, especially if you are going by yourself – which was my case.
I met some of my favorite travel bloggers, like the awesome people behind Mikix, The World is a Book, LandLopers and Real Man Travels. I also met the awesome people behind Nomadic Dispatcher, RachelGBK, Kate Ming-Sun Online, The Working Mom’s Travels, Solo Friendly, Never Stop Traveling, Hike Bike Travel, Melinda Schnyder and Como Viaja – all very nice and all blog not necessarily about the same thing as me, which is very cool – plus some other bloggers that I met on the way.
2) You don’t need to have a Speed Dating appointment to meet with the sponsors
When I saw that TBEX offered the chance to meet with sponsors/destinations, I thought they would never talk to me because I am just so new to this… but when I got there I saw that they were all very nice and really wanted to talk to you. In between sessions and at the Open Market Place you can go to the sponsors’ booths and talk about your blog and understand a bit more about their destination and how you can work together. I made some good contacts and it was a very good experience.
3) You will learn a lot
I am not going to get into the details of what the sessions were since I did not attend all of them (I wish I could!), but regardless of which session you attend, you will learn a lot. When TBEX published the schedule of the sessions, I read thoroughly and picked the ones I thought made more sense to my “newbie” status – it kind of felt like picking classes in college!
I attended sessions about content, storytelling, social media optimization and marketing. Even if you are a travel blogger as a hobby, TBEX is worth attending for the simple reason that is not everyday that you get more than 1300 people passionate about travel under one roof and willing to share tools they use and travel stories.
The next TBEX will be in Dublin, Ireland in October and I wish I could go, but since I can’t, I better get working, because at the end of the day TBEX gives you a lot of food for thought on how to take your blog to the next level and it is in your hands to make it happen!