Earlier this year, I asked you what your most pressing travel blogging questions were. The first was brought up by David Robert Hogg – is attending the Travel Blog Exchange Conference worth it?
So, Is TBEX Worth It?
That’s a question that depends on how you evaluate the worth of such conferences. To be honest, you’re unlikely to feel like the (roughly) $50-80 is worth the expense – plus the added travel costs – if you’re expecting to be enlightened by conference talks on social media and SEO. As conferences tend to go, some talks are better or simply more relevant than others; along with an higher-than-normal level of disorganization. Talks running late and a lack of wi-fi certainly left a bad taste in many participants’ mouth, but where hardly anyone held much complaint was where the real benefit of TBEX lies.
Networking, Networking, (Drinking), Networking
The days leading up to TBEX and before, after, and in between the talks of the conference is where you’re going to make more personal connections in the travel blogosphere than you could by being online for months. Not to mention that TBEX is one of the most lighthearted and fun conferences you’ll come across – travel or otherwise.
You can read more about TBEX on my review of the conference from last year. I hope this helps answer your question David – those of you who attended TBEX last year, what were your thoughts? Did you feel the conference was worth it? Sound off in the comments below.
[photo by: Digitalnative (balancing act)]
I’m attending TBEX 2011 and I have a ladder of expectations:
1) Meeting the travel bloggers I’ve been interacting with for a year and a half. I’m arriving a few days early to make this manageable.
2) Networking with industry reps that may be interested in my site – although I hope this doesn’t become a crazy ass kissing fest. I’m not into that.
3) Learning something from the show. My concern is that like many other travel conferences it will be too beginner focused. I hope they learn from the previous shows and have some intermediate information.
If I accomplish #1 I will be satisfied, #2 elated and #3 blown away.
I will arrive early too for the same reason in #1. It was such a hectic weekend that I missed or didn’t get to spend time with many people I wanted to meet and get to know better last year. As for #2, there will almost certainly be more reps than last year (and there were quite a few back in 2010). And #3, we’ll both have to see 😉
…I look forward to meeting up in Vancouver 🙂
I really wish I could make it simply to meet everyone that I’ve befriended online! Alas, I can’t this year. I will have to read everyone’s blogs and live vicariously through the posts.
The problem with TBEX is that they seem to consistently book in spaces that are too small to accommodate the number of people who want to attend. I was planning on going, but the tickets were completely sold out long ago. So TBEX is essentially turning away money and members. It’s rare that an organization would purposely keep its space so small that it turns away money, members and attendees! The logistical services of a professional meeting planner might help them to book bigger spaces, so we could all benefit!
mark- there are a ton of tickets for sale from travelers who wanted to go but for one reason or another can’t… look on TBEX forum for people who are selling theirs. (I bought one during the regular ticket sales and then another member of our group wanted to go, and we bought one from someone online… for cheaper than I bought my first one!)
I’m really excited about attending… I met so many great bloggers at LA Times Travel show and I felt so much more connected to everyone. I can only hope it will be a similar experience!
Mark, yes there are many tickets available online and through other travel bloggers on Twitter as well. I’m guessing the small venues aren’t booked intentionally to turn away business, but perhaps being early in its existence, simply difficult to estimate numbers.
That’s exactly the reason we want to go too – to meet all the bloggers we’ve connected with online. We’ll be arriving a few days early and staying a week, but I’m sure it’s still going to be difficult to catch up with everyone. Looking forward to meeting you!
Awesome to hear you’ll be there! I’ll get in town a week before and can’t wait to meet you in person 🙂