Deciding to attend TBEX was the best $60 I ever spent. The Travel Blogger Exchange was held in Toronto last weekend, and I’m still recovering. TBEX is the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, and new media content creators. It was an exhilarating whirlwind of meeting like-minded people that loved to travel!
I attended a writing workshop, a delicious Leslieville food tour and a fantastic pre-tbex trip to Stratford.
If you are a newbie blogger thinking of attending, go. If you are an expert blogger thinking of attending, go. You’ll meet amazing people and learn so much! Here are some things that I learned.
1. Toronto is an amazing city.
Now, I already knew this, (obviously. I live here! ) but it was amazing to see so many bloggers and sponsors complimenting Toronto! It made me really proud. Toronto Tourism threw a fantastic party that featured all the different food areas of the city at Roy Thompson Hall. It literally blew my mind. So many inventive and creative dishes! Do you see the giant gummi bears? Great job guys!
2. Travel bloggers are awesome!
Travel bloggers are generally a friendly, energetic bunch. I met so many new friends, and met old Twitter friends in the flesh.
One thing that surprised me was that there are so many different types of travel bloggers! I expected most people to be in their gap year traveling the world, or perhaps they had quit their job and now travel for fun.
I met those types of bloggers and more. I met flight attendants, retirees, weekend travelers, luxury travelers, slow travelers, 48 hour travelers and more!
3. You’ll learn so many new things
Not only are there many workshops and sessions for you to attend, but you’ll learn from other bloggers! I spent lots of time trading tips and tricks with bloggers outside of the scheduled session.
4. Speed dating is not the only way to connect with brands and companies
I signed up for speed dating, and I was able to connect with lots of destinations and brands. Some of the key places that I really wanted to connect with had filled up. I sent a few of those brands messages through Blogger Bridge and they were happy to meet with me outside of their scheduled time.
Aside from that, many companies were open to informal meetings during the Open Marketplace and at lunch time. Don’t give up, you’ll get to talk to them!
5. It pays to have a media kit
I decided to create a media kit to bring with me and share with brands that I really wanted to work with. The media kit outlined my blog mission, target audience, previous partnerships and mission statement. It was bright and colourful, and branded with my logo. I was surprised to see that this got a lot of positive feedback, and many bloggers and brands were impressed. It was definitely worth the time and effort I put into it!
If you missed out, TBEX will be returning in the fall..in Dublin!! Check it out.