The skill sets involved in travel blogging and running a success travel business are akin to those required to run many small businesses. In the beginning, you are everything to everyone, and it’s a precarious balance of being a travel writer, researcher, website designer, site manager and tech support, salesperson, public relations manager, accountant, research and development manager, and janitor. Managing these demands is a daunting proposition. Managing these demands, while growing a business and taking on new projects, is where the Value Luxury Network bloggers really show their professional chops.

Earlier this year I took on a new project. I accepted the position of Conference Director for TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange), the world’s largest conference for travel bloggers and new media creators. It’s a chance for me to put some of my skills to work on a project that I’m passionate about – continuing education and connecting people. It’s also a chance to learn new skills related to event planning and marketing as well as a chance to develop deeper relationships within the travel industry. For other Value Luxury bloggers, it’s a chance to take to the podium as featured speakers and to continue to develop our influence and expertise as professionals.

TBEX is now owned by NMX (formerly BlogWorld) and holds conferences in locations around the world. The conference provides destinations with an opportunity to strut their stuff for hundreds of travel bloggers,providing an opportunity for extensive digital and traditional coverage far beyond what could be accomplished in a press trip or visit. The bloggers are provided with educational and networking activities and a chance to visit and learn about a destination that otherwise might not be on their to-visit list. And speed dating events connect all the sides of the travel industry with one another. It’s a big win-win for the entire travel industry and the travel blogging community.

The 2012 North America event, held in Keystone, Colorado, on June 16-17th, was hailed as a turning point for TBEX. Registration for the event was well over 700, a combination of travel bloggers and writers, destinations, brands, and PR representatives. The event was a huge success. I may be a little biased, it was my first event after all, so take don’t my word for it; you can read what other people had to say about TBEX 2012.

As I write this, I am in Girona, Spain, for TBEX Europe. This is the first European event since NMX acquired TBEX, and while it hasn’t begun yet, it’s looking like there will be around 350 registrants, including a good number coming from the U.S. It’s that time of pre-event nervousness, a combination of excitement and stress, as the TBEX team takes care of the many details that go into creating a successful event. It must be little like show business – lots of preparation, planning, and work behind the scenes, then the lights go up and the show must go on.

Upcoming TBEX events include:

  • ITB Berlin, March 6-10, 2012. TBEX will be organizing and presenting a speed dating event at ITB Berlin 2013. ITB Berlin is the world’s largest travel trade show and this presents a challenging opportunity to connect travel bloggers with thousands of representatives in the travel industry. If you were wondering if travel blogging is legitimate travel coverage, this should remove any lingering doubt. Travel bloggers are a vital part of planning for destination coverage and publicity.
  • TBEX 2013. Our flagship North America event will be held June 1-2, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m looking forward to developing successful relationships with our Toronto and Canadian tourism partners for what is predicted to be 1,000 travel bloggers and digital content creators.
  • TBEX Europe 2013. Not yet announced.

Destinations and brands that partner with the Value Luxury Network get the advantage of smart working, respected travel bloggers who have the ability to connect and influence worldwide.

Is that what you need for your next campaign? We can help. Check out our media kit, get in touch, and let us get to work for you.


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