TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) has arrived.
I cannot think of a better statement now I've turned up in Dublin where the European Branch of TBEX decided to hold their annual conference. It's a huge brand that has definitely swept TBU (Travel Bloggers Unite) and Traverse away with their publicity and possibly killed off the Social Travel Market stone dead at the World Travel Market. RIP.
And yet, I have never been to a TBEX Event before in my life. Shock and horror, I know. But travelling on the other side of the world the last couple of years put paid to that and I couldn't afford the Toronto event that took place earlier in the year. It really is a sweeping statement from me as I have viewed Travel Conferences with a degree of cynicism in the past. However, thanks to their publicity machine, TBEX has me holding butterflies in my stomach with excitement! This may prove their downfall as I have huge expectations they will need to meet.
Filled with travel brands, bloggers, tourism boards and the best speakers from across the world, this really is a truly global affair. They are here to help travel travel bloggers realise their potential, opportunities, networking skills and engagement with their readers whilst at the same time keep them informed of current trends, technology and newly discovered skills. It's a huge undertaking I must admit for them. Could it possibly be all too much for them? Speaking to travel bloggers who have been to the Toronto event, they had nothing but praise for the organisers. However, they did touch upon slightly that the event was too BIG. There's so much to take in over two days. Speaking to a TBEX veteran, he admitted that he wouldn't be sleeping throughout the few days. I guess I better stock up my pro-plus.
Can TBEX be truly a well-oiled machine? I think so. I was pretty impressed by the constant updates over the last few months and also by the organisation making sure people were clear on what they were doing. Bedraggled from the plane as I landed in Dublin, I was very pleasantly surprised there was a TBEX stand ready to give you a small welcome pack containing a map of Dublin and a 72 hour bus ticket to be used anywhere across the city. TBEX really does seem to appreciate their delegates.
Arriving a few days early, I'm signed up to a few day events that TBEX has put on with no fuss and as I take in a quiet night to charge up for the week ahead, my thoughts turn to what I expect from TBEX. Big expectations.
I Want Great Contacts from TBEX
Of course, everyone thinks the same. They want press trips, they want recommendations, they want references, they want partnerships. Who doesn't? But what TBEX really has me excited for is that I can finally…yes FINALLY, get networking opportunities for Budget travelling bloggers. I'll never forget attending 'generic' travel blogging events that only had luxury travel brands in attendance to which I found myself turned down because I didn't fit into their marketing plans.
Here in TBEX, I'll be able to sit down with the brands and mutually passionately talk about Budget Travelling without the self doubt on my part and the disdain of other brands' part and positively hope to gain a great working relationship.
It's not to say travel brands and tourism boards are the only ones I want to gain contacts from. It's the Travel Bloggers. I've been happily introduced to a huge group of those in London where I am living now and I've realised that my presence in the 'travel blogosphere' is seriously lacking. Hopefully, I'll be able to make great contacts with travel bloggers across the globe. Of course, over a pint of Guinness!
This is an area I'm sorely lacking in. I do believe I have a lot to offer to boost partnership campaigns. TBEX is in a great position to offer this incentive to travel bloggers that make their way across the globe to this highly anticipated event. How so? A Speed Dating Event at the end of the day on the 1st day allows you to book meetings with various organisations at ten minute spurts to get your name out their among them. Hopefully, at the end of the day, I'll have made a great impression to get partnerships and do them proud. I know I've got a few meetings booked already and well, if I couldn't get a booking in time, at TBEX allows ample opportunities for you to reach out to them through the open market at the en of the second day and of course, the parties at the end of the days where you could bond over several glasses of Jameson Whiskey.
Improve Engagement with my Readers
As much as I love getting engagement with my readers over my social media channels, I'm flummoxed why I'm not getting the engagement on my website itself. I get the odd comment here and there but looking at other blogs, they seem to get reams and reams of comments. Why? Well, TBEX has the training in their 'breakouts' to give you the tips and techniques. Led by Ian Cleary in 21 tools and tips to dramatically improve your following, I'm pretty enthused to get my interaction going strong.
Learn Everything There is to Know About Budget Travelling
There is a focus on budget travelling in TBEX Dublin. Led mainly by Kash of BudgetTraveller, I look forward to the breakouts showing a huge emphasis on how to improve your status as a Budget Traveller. He's got the name, he knows his stuff. What's more, he also leads a session on how to find money in Budget Travelling. I look forward to this and improve my standing in Budget Travelling.
How to Optimise My Time and Money for Everyone's Benefit
Since I've started several jobs to gain more profile in the travel writing world, I find myself trying to find time to write for my travel blog. As a result, I'm constantly playing catch up and this is seriously affecting my work. However, there is a great session in organising your time and really focus on the work that matters. This'll make me a lean, mean blogging machine in the future no doubt.
So TBEX you have a lot of expectations to meet. But I'm confident you will meet them. Bring them on!