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A Review Of Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) 2010

tbex 2010 logoThe second annual Travel Blog Exchange Conference (TBEX) 2010, held in New York City over June 26th and 27th, was like a slightly unfinished product with a few rough edges around some stellar moments.

Hundreds of travel bloggers and members of the travel industry came to the conference to meet with their peers, many for the first time. It was this excitement and energy that fueled the pre-TBEX events as well as the TBEX conference, helping to downplay the weekend’s shortcomings.

The TBEX Talks

It seemed as though the TBEX talks tried to cover all of the aspects of travel blogging, reaching out to a mixed bag of travel bloggers, making it difficult to be too focused any one group or topic.

  • tbex swagMany of the talks seemed to miss the segment of newer travel bloggers attending the conference.
  • Gart Arndt gave a particularly enlightening talk on “travel porn”.
  • The videos submitted by other travel bloggers and writers shown at various intervals of the conference were excellent. There were some great tips, ideas, and advice on editing and creating good travel videos.
  • You can listen to the entire second day of talks here.

The talks were varied although the need for in-depth breakout sessions was clearly evident. Also, the talks themselves were also hampered by frequent late starts, some scheduling confusion, and a lack of wi-fi. All of that said, there were some very useful nuggets in each of the talks and good leaping off points for further research.

twitter facesNetworking, Networking, Networking

The highlight and strongest point of TBEX 2010 was the massive networking potential. There were parties, cocktail hours, and events in the days leading up to the actual conference. So many familiar faces and Twitter icons all floating around the same venues, it was impossible to try and connect with everyone.

  • Getting together this many travel bloggers, digital nomads, and location independents, is truly a feat and was in itself, worth the price of admission.

In a digital world and industry, personal connections are still more powerful than any other kind. It was surprisingly nice to find out that so many people I had come to know through their travel blogs, Twitter, and Facebook were, in person, similar to their online personalities.

Planning For TBEX 2011?

Next year, TBEX will be held in Vancouver on June 11th and 12th. If you are planning on attending I’d recommend getting your tickets for TBEX 2011 as early as possible (pre-registration is now over) even if you’re not quite sure you’ll be able attending. The cost is $80 and if you find you won’t be able to make it, there will be plenty of buyers come closer to conference time. I suspect TBEX 2011 will sell out quickly so don’t miss out or get stuck having to purchase tickets above cost.

  • I’d also recommend, if possible, arriving a week or at least 3 days in advance. There are a number of events scheduled and a good way to make the most out of your time at TBEX by meeting people in advance of the actual conference.
  • Travel Blog Exchange has a complete round up of TBEX reviews and posts.

I plan on attending TBEX 2011 and arriving in advance to take part in some of the activities I missed out on at TBEX 2010. I’ve read that some of the shortcomings are to be addressed and the crowds to be even bigger, which can only mean an improvement across the board.

Are you planning on attending TBEX 2011, or were you at TBEX 2010? What were your thoughts and impressions? Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments below.

[photos by: galavantinggals (TBEX 2010 logo), z_everson (TBEX swag), Sue Waters (Twitter faces)]

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Eurotrip Tips July 18, 2010, 13:09

    Thanks for sharing this. Given that my blog is too new and lacking content, I feel I would not belong to TBEX ’11, although I would love to go and get to talk to experienced bloggers and professionals of the industry.

    But considering what you wrote, I think I’ll pass for this year and wait ’til I have a little more to say.

    Cheers!

    • Anil P. July 18, 2010, 19:19

      I wouldn’t say it’s a complete bust for new bloggers and I’m sure you’ll meet plenty of people by 2011! If you do end up going, shoot me an email close to then and we can meet up plus I’ll introduce you to the bloggers I know :)

  • Eurotrip Tips July 18, 2010, 19:26

    Thanks so much for the offer! I will take you up on that! ;)

  • Nick Laborde July 18, 2010, 19:29

    Considering I wasn’t there and I don’t know how the event was structured, I’m speaking a bit out of place.

    What worked really well at the Atlanta Wordcamp, was the several break out sessions that catered to different aspects of blogging as well as experience levels. They had different sessions on design, technical, promotion, monetization and writing. there were several sessions geared towards different experience levels within those categories.

    This made for a beneficial event regardless of their level of experience.

    • Anil P. July 18, 2010, 19:32

      I think and have heard they’ll adopt a format similar to that for TBEX 2011. With such a big topic it’s almost a inevitable they’d have to.

  • Shannon OD July 19, 2010, 22:00

    I am really hoping that they do different tracks next year as well as the in-depth breakouts – I think that there were so many varying levels at the conference that it didn’t always provide new information for people who may be very familiar with a certain side of industry and want more than a beginner look at it. :-) That being said, I did love meeting and networking with all of the other bloggers we interact with so often online!

    • Anil P. July 20, 2010, 09:10

      It was great – and glad to meet you in person Shannon!

  • JoAnna July 21, 2010, 11:40

    I was so excited to finally meet you in person Anil. If our paths don’t cross again before then, see you at TBEX 11!

    • Anil P. July 22, 2010, 11:08

      Same here JoAnna, very glad too meet you too finally :) Hopefully before, but if not, see you in Vancouver!

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