TBEX Ireland 2017 shaped our travel blogging strategy
We came across information about TBEX a little over a year ago when researching about the ins and outs of travel blogging for a wine tourism project we were working on.
According to their own definition, TBEX is the “largest conference and networking event for travel bloggers, online travel journalists, new media content creators, travel brands and industry professionals”.
We immediately realised that if we were to take this new business seriously TBEX was an event we just could not miss. We put it on our resolution list for 2017, booked our tickets in February and off we went to TBEX Ireland 2017, which took place in October in the town of Killarney. It was the best investment we could have made at this initial stage of our travel blogging journey.
TBEX Ireland 2017 – Why you should attend a TBEX event
(from a newbie travel blogger perspective)
As beginner travel bloggers, attending TBEX gave us a practical overview of how this business works. We met renowned travel bloggers and other newbies as ourselves, all willing to share their knowledge and experiences. We had direct access to tourism industry players such as airlines, booking platforms, tourism boards, hospitality organizations and other tourism-related companies.
The Breakout Sessions were very useful and though we wanted to attend all of them, it was virtually impossible because there were five happening simultaneously, so we had to focus on our priorities. As a result, James attended the Visual Media sessions and I attended mostly the Strategy Sessions. The other sessions focused on entrepreneurship, social media and tourism, all of which we chose to tackle at a future event.
TBEX should not be seen as a one-off event as it offers a crescendo of tools, depending on which stage of travel blogging you are in. Not to mention that it is a great opportunity for networking.
Besides the educational angle, attending TBEX allowed us to explore the town where it is held as well as its surroundings, which is just perfect for content creation for our new blog! By the way, this is a fundamental trade-off for the tourism boards supporting such an event, as it generates massive social media echo.
Participating in TBEX introduced us to the professional realm of the travel blogging world, as it set us in the content creation mood and frame of action. We absorbed the vibe, met lots of likeminded people, learned what others in the industry are doing, what works and doesn’t work, received insights but also shared our own experience and had lots of fun while doing it.
You may ask yourself; “Can’t I learn all that online? Do I really need to spend the money?”
You can learn many things online, but you cannot have the personal interaction that participating in a physical event can offer.
After the TBEX First Timers Session, when Jane Petersen launched the challenge of collecting at least ten cards per day on each day of the event, on the first day we took that as a mission. However, looking back, the truth is that once you start living the spirit of the event meeting new people becomes natural, constant and spontaneous and it becomes more important to interact and create a relationship with the people you have met than just collecting cards.
Will we participate again?
Sure will! It was a truly valuable experience.
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