TBEX 12 Speaker Announcement: For the Tourism Professional

The list of TBEX exhibitors and attendees include a variety of industry representatives from destinations, brands, PR agencies, and other travel businesses.  Our programming includes a track just for them, with a line up of speakers that include industry professionals and bloggers.

Here’s the line up the track For the Tourism Professional:

How to Find the Best Bloggers for Your Brand – Learn how to identify the type of blogger that’s the best fit for your brand, and how to analyze the metrics the help you make that decision.  You’ll learn about identifying key demographics, influence, style, and niche, to choose bloggers that you can work with and will be proud to have represent your brand.  Speakers:  Andy Hayes.

How to Work with Bloggers:  A Brand Perspective – This is the chance to get a perspective from a major brand who is doing a lot of blogger outreach.  Hear they’re story of why they’ve made this decision, how they’re identify bloggers they want to work with, and the type of projects they determine how to find the best blogger-brand fit.  Speaker:  TBA.

Tourism Marketing:  How to Build Loyalty, Fans, and Influencers – With so many tools at their disposal, how do you decide which ones are the most effective and efficient to use?  In this session you’ll hear from several brands on how they’ve made the decision and how it’s working for them.  Speakers:  To be announced.

And one more session that we’re not quite ready to announce.

Photo credit:  via morguefile

TBEX 12 Speaker Announcement: Beyond the Blog: The Business of Travel

When you ask successful travel bloggers what has helped to make them successful, one of the things often mentioned is becoming aware of the industry – learning about the business side of travel.  Doing so has helped them create their business plan and approach in a way that makes sense to the industry, and that makes it easy to get favorable answers.

Here are the sessions and speakers for this track:  Beyond the Blog:  The Business of Travel

The Branding of YouAs bloggers begin to understand the travel industry, they’re finding increasing ways to use not only their blog, but their other skills and talents, to create a brand that other brands want to work with.  In this session you’ll learn about how to create the brand of You, and how to market it to prospective clients and partners.  Speakers:  Chris Gray Faust, Janice Waugh.

How to Work with BrandsThere are many ways that bloggers can work with brands, from the obvious to the more creatively obscure.  This session will share real life examples of how to research, plan, create, and pitch a blogger-brand partnership.  Speakers:  Gary Arndt, Dave Bouskill and Deb Corbeil.

Creating a Business with Your Blog:  In this session you’ll ways to leverage your travel blog into other opportunities, learn the importance of having a business plan, and how to be aware of trends and concepts that you can turn into success.  Speakers:  Matt Kepnes, Tracey Friley, Audrey Scott & Dan Noll.

And one more session that we’re not quite ready to announce yet.

TBEX12 Speaker Announcement: The Business of Travel Blogging

Whether you’re an old hand a travel blogging or just starting out, monetization is one of the words that on almost everyone’s lips.  For some people, monetization is the whole point of travel blogging.  For others, it’s sufficient to just make the odd dollar or two.  We don’t think there’s any one-size-fits-all approach to monetization, and we thing there’s a whole lot more to running a successful travel blogging business.

The speakers in this track will show you a variety of options to get you thinking about what’s right for you.

Here’s the Business of Travel Blogging:

Monetize Like You Mean It – These speakers make a full time living from a diversification of income streams, and they’ll talk about the tough issues facing you if you want to live full time on travel blogging and related activities.  Speakers:  Time Leffel, Beth Whitman, Max Harshorne.

Running a Successful Giveaway – Running a contest on your blog can be a great source of traffic, products, and revenue, but it’s not without it’s set of responsibilities and issues.  Learn about how to recognize the products that are right for you and your readers, find brands to partner with, and about how to stay out of trouble by doing it all right.  Speakers:  To be announced.

From Hobby to Small Business to Funding – While most of us start out as hobbyist, progressing to a small business, some of us have out sites set higher.  Learn what steps you need to take to create your media empire, implement good business practices, as you move from a small business to the possibility of venture capital funding.  Speaker:  To be announced.

And we have one more session is this track that is awaiting confirmation; we’ll be announce it and adding it to the program soon.

Photo credit:  via morguefile

TBEX 12 Speaker Announcement: The Art of Travel Blogging

Travel blogging is a wonderful marriage of skill, craft, and art, and we want our attendees to have a chance to sample a little of all of the components that contribute to travel blogging success.  Audio, video, photography and writing are just a few of the topics you can sample in this track:  The Art of Travel Blogging.

How to Use Mobile Photography for Travel Blogging – With all the smart phones at the ready, anyone can be a photographer.  But what’s the best way to take great mobile photos that can be incorporated into your blog.  This intermediate level session will help you learn about technique and some of the best apps to help make it easy.  Speaker:  Kirsten Alana Larrson.

Podcasting for Travelers – Podcasting is an excellent way to help build your brand, but it’s a lot easier to turn out dynamic podcast when you’re in a studio.  This beginner level session will help you learn how to podcast while on the road, and will include recommendations about tools that can make the job easier.  Speaker:  Chris Christensen.

Video – Our video session is still underdevelopment, but I’ve been eavesdropping on the ideas and it sounds very exciting.  Speakers:  Julia Dimon and a cohort soon to be announced.

Writing – The discussion of blogger vs. writer has been debated to death, and I think we all agree that good writing is important.  This session will help you identify and implement ways to improve your writing, whether your goal is to be travel blogger or the next Michener.  Speakers:  To be announced.

Photo credit:  via morguefile

TBEX12 Session Announcement: The Tools of Travel Blogging

Are you a new travel blogger trying to figure out the best blogging practices?  Are you trying to figure out all the features of Word Press?  Or maybe you have the basics, but are ready to start tackling some Word Press customization?  Or maybe you’re trying to figure out all the social media options in order to not only decide how to use them, but to also decide which are the best use of your time?

These are just a few of the topics that will be covered in the TBEX track:  The Tools of Travel Blogging.

SEO for Beginners – A beginner level session designed for travel bloggers who are new to the concept of SEO and writing for SEO.  Speaker:  Jennifer Miner.

Word Press for Beginners – From simple to set up, to plug in, to configurations, this beginner level session is great for travel bloggers trying to set up their Word Press site as well as for those who need a little refresher in some of the basics.  Speaker:  Chris Christensen.

Advanced Word Press – If you’ve mastered the basic and are now trying to create your own dynamic theme, special features, or are thinking even bigger still, this advance level session should get you thinking about all you can do.  Speaker:  Our speaker is traveling right now, but as soon as he stays put for a bit, we’ll get his bio up on the site.

How to Create a Social Media Strategy – From the management of social media, to the fine art of promotion without being slimy, to the hot trend of content curation, this intermediate level session share ideas for integrating social media tools into your marketing and brand strategy.  Speakers:  Matt Long, and a couple more great bloggers and social media pros who are currently traveling.

Photo credit:  via morguefile

TBEX12 Travel Blogger & Tourism Programming Tracks

I’ve only been the Conference Director for TBEX a short time, but I’ve already learned some big lessons that can be easily summed up as:  Pulling all the details of a conference together is a lot of very HARD work!


From the myriad onsite details, to sponsorships, to registrations, to speakers and programming, it’s one big ball of interrelated things that need to get done and everyone on the BWE team has a part in pulling it together.  As everything falls into place and is confirmed, we’ll be announcing news here on the TBEX blog, as well as getting it out via our social media accounts.  If you’re not already connected with us, you can find us here:

We have the first round of emails out to travel bloggers inviting them to speak, and industry representative speakers will come next.  And then we’ll be doing some tweaking and modifying, and sending out another round of invitations.  It’s a bit of a domino effect as we put everyone and everything into place.

The program is set up with four travel blogging tracks and one tourism track.  Of course, attendees are free to pick and choose from among the various tracks, creating a program that gives them the best opportunities to learn, network, and have fun.

Here are the tracks:

  • The Tools of Travel Blogging
  • The Art of Travel Blogging
  • The Business of Travel Blogging
  • Beyond the Blog:  The Business of Travel & Tourism
  • For the Industry:  Travel, Tourism, & PR

Session and speaker announcements start coming out tomorrow!

Have you registered yet?  We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Photo credit:  Courtesy of Keystone Resort

Rocky Mountain High: TBEX 12 Altitude Tips

The BWE/TBEX team visited Denver and Keystone last week, and we came away with two opinions:

  • TBEX 12 is going to ROCK.  The city of Denver and Keystone Resorts are pulling out all the stops to create a spectacular event.  From touchdown to departure, we’ve got a weekend of learning, networking, and fun.
  • The change in altitude kicked us all.  While some of us are more out of shape than others, the altitude did make a difference in our activity level.

Top of mountain at Keystone Resort, Colorado, TBEX12

Looking for suggestions on how to minimize the side effects of the altitude for TBEX 12 led us to one of our speakers, Beth Whitman, who has lots of experience in traveling at higher altitude.  Here’s what she has to say about it


Usually twice a year I lead tours to Bhutan. This tiny Kingdom is tucked between Tibet and Northeast India in the Himalayas. Read: high altitude. We land at about 5,000 feet and find ourselves as high as 11,000 feet while driving over some of the mountain passes.

At these altitudes, the air is quite thin, thus making it difficult to do simple things such as walk up a flight of stairs or jog more than 15 feet.

Most of you will be arriving for TBEX via Denver. At more than 5,000 feet, Denver is going to knock many of you for a loop but you’ve got another 4,000 feet to go (yes, higher) by the time you reach Keystone, located at about 9,000 feet.

By the time you arrive for TBEX, you’re gonna feel about 10 years older and like you’ve been smoking your whole life.

During my travels to Bhutan, fortunately, the high mountains haven’t yet affected me beyond being very short of breath. But it affects everyone differently.

Here’s the advice that I give our tour participants:

  1. Consider getting a prescription for altitude sickness medication, before you leave home. You can begin taking it prior to your trip to Colorado or when/if symptoms begin (usually 12 – 24 hours after arriving at altitude). If you do fall ill, this will help offset the symptoms (usually dizziness, insomnia, malaise, headache, nausea and, in more severe cases, vomiting and a rapid pulse). Even if you’ve been at altitude before and haven’t had symptoms, know that these can come on at any time – everyone is susceptible.
  2. Drink lots of water. While we’re touring, we don’t always have access to flush toilets, which inhibits some women from drinking enough fluids. But you’ll have no excuse in Colorado. Drink up, friends! Staying dehydrated (and that means curbing your alcohol consumption, sorry) will help tremendously in dampening the affects of the altitude.
  3. Slow down. Even walking up a couple of flights of stairs can make you winded at altitude – no matter how fit you think you are. Don’t push yourself. Just take it easy, know that you may not be on your same exercise routine and take elevators when possible.
  4. Carry ginger candies. Though most often associated with motion sickness, ginger can help you stave off an upset stomach caused by the altitude.
  5. Consider staying in Denver for a night or 2 prior to TBEX if you have the time. This will help you get acclimated so that you can get as much out of the conference as possible.
  6. Get down from elevation immediately if you do think you’ve got a serious case of altitude sickness. Let someone in charge at TBEX know that you’re ill so that you can get help and then plan to head for a valley.

Beth Whitman is the founder of Wanderlust and Lipstick and WanderTours. She regularly leads tours to Bhutan (and beyond) including treks high into the Himalayas. She gets just as winded as the next person on these tours but finds the mantra “slow and steady wins the race” to be an invaluable reminder to take it easy.

Beth will be speaking at TBEX 12 on “Monetize Like You Mean It.”   The panel brings together bloggers who have shaped their brands with multiple revenue streams for a discussion on using your brand to create a full time career.

Tickets for TBEX are still available.