TBEX 2012: The 4th Annual Travel Blog Exchange [North America]

Yes, the US edition of TBEX 2012 (the Travel Blog Exchange) is kicking off…well, technically the pre-events have already begun. But Friday’s evening soiree (yes, tomorrow) will be the real kick-off to the all-weekend event. I just bought my ticket less than two weeks ago…and just yesterday finally logged into the TBEX site and discovered the profiles, likes, messages, and meeting options.. WOW. Can anyone say unprepared?

It was only thanks to the inspiration of Lindsay Carreiro (@TravelingLinds) that I even noticed ticket sales were still up for sale. Originally I was not even planning on being in the States this spring/summer (long story, not now). Only the last 24 hours has it become evident just how many bloggers have been preparing for TBEX 2012 several weeks in advance, if not months! Compared to that, my level of preparation just went from laughable to utterly pathetic LOL.

It seems that besides the obvious networking aspect, many bloggers attending TBEX are primarily in search of advertisers or sponsors. Lots have been doing research on fellow attendees, preparing material, revamping pitches, bringing extra business cards, or any one of many things. What have I been doing? Absolutely nothing — but that will either be my downfall or my success.. 😉

Hey now, in all fairness, to be honest I just don’t see myself as a “travel blogger” per se…more of a travel addict who is trying to carve out his own niche. For example, take the core HoliDaze site. Funding and/or sponsorship is not high on my list, at least not for now. I’ve already paid the bills for years to come, so thankfully even if I die on my next wild adventure, well the HoliDaze will continue…or hopefully, as long as others have embraced the travel community idea.

When it comes down to it, I am more looking forward to meeting new friends and fellow travel enthusiasts than finding a new sponsor. But then again, I’ve never been to any sort of official travel expo / conference before…so who knows, maybe all thoughts are all wrong. I guess time will tell…

What are your thoughts…can I survive my first TBEX totally unprepared?

Any words of advice? Will you be there?

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

7 thoughts on “TBEX 2012: The 4th Annual Travel Blog Exchange [North America]”

  1. at this point, you know what I think 😉 =P like I said in response to your comment on my TBEX blog post, I have different goals that go beyond sponsoring my travel blog. Sure, sponsorships and press trips are great (and I’m meeting with some tourism boards at TBEX, in fact). However, the the bulk of my pitches involve my translation services, as I’m currently on a journey to become a full-time nomadic translator (with travel focus), in addition to being a travel blogger.

    That being said, TBEX preparation would depend on your goals. Since you are just starting to carve out your own niche and in the process of defining your blog, the fact that you are going with no expectations is almost desirable 😉 so no fret! Just make sure that if great ideas pop into your head during the conference, write them down and approach the right people (if applicable) — and go ALL IN! 😉

    Looking forward to meeting you!

    ~ Maria Alexandra

    • I can’t believe we didn’t cross paths at TBEX…well, actually I suppose I can. I was pretty damn unprepared. But now I know what to expect next year — maybe we’ll finally meet then lol. Either way, best wishes along your journeys!

  2. It sounds like you’re approaching things just right, Derek. Just go have fun, meet people, and get some ideas about what it takes to take your blog to the next step, and whether you want to do that. And maybe ride a metal bull at some point.

  3. Hear you on not seeing yourself as a blogger. For me, it’s all about story and community. More of a creative and holistic few point on what it is I do.

    I hope this year’s conference is better than last years.

    • Really, last years was no fun? Figures you made it to the Vancouver one 😉

      Well I enjoyed myself, although I did skip sunday’s events because of a newfound female friend and our plans for a camping trip…oops. Next year I guess…

  4. Pingback: TBEX 2012 Wrap-Up

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