One of the most fascinating things with interviewing travel bloggers as part of our show is that you discover a world that you never knew existed before – the further you go in the more people you find and you start to discover a whole community existing below the level of normal everyday life.
At the heart of that community is Tbex – the travel blogger exchange. Tbex is not an organization but a series of three events held each year across North America, Europe and Asia where travel bloggers and advertisers can meet, learn and network with each other to further build their blogs and their business relationships.
From a beginning of 200-300 attendees just a few short years ago Tbex now has around 800-1000 attendees at their events. We caught up with Mary Jo Manzanares Conference Director for Tbex (and an avid travel blogger herself at http://www.travelingwithmj.com ) to find out more about how it operates and what travel bloggers and those starting out need to know if they wish to attend.
You can find out more about Tbex and their event schedule at http://tbexcon.com
What I learned from talking with Mary Jo:
- Tbex is surprisingly easy and affordable to join. They place no restrictions on who can go and at around $US127 for a multi-day event it represents excellent value for those wanting to get established in the travel blogging hemisphere.
- The conferences offer three great opportunities – firstly it’s a chance to learn with breakout sessions being run by guest speakers and professionals on all areas of enhancing your travel blog. Secondly it offers networking opportunities with unofficial down time and organized speed networking events where bloggers can learn from each other…and thirdly it presents opportunities to establish advertising relationships with industry affiliates eager for fresh ways to promote their products to a captive market.
- If you’re looking to establish yourself in the travel blogging space it’s important to be different. It’s becoming an increasingly competitive market and not everyone is able to pick up good sponsorship opportunities. You don’t need to be a fulltime nomad in order to establish a travel blog though with many writers coming from vastly different fulltime and part-time backgrounds.