More Speakers Announced for TBEX Europe


Girona Conference Center, Spain

We’ve got a few more speakers to announce and this group all represents the Travel and Tourism industry perspective.  We’re very excited to have them joining ed sessions in the Industry Track and look forward to hearing what they have to say about the travel industry, how bloggers fit into the industry, and to get their perspective on what the future holds.

Please join me in welcoming:

  • Jessica Parker – Jessica is joining us from the New York office Weber Shandwick, the world’s largest public relations firm.  She’ll be co-presenting with blogger Amy Moore on what makes a good pitch.
  • Joantxo Llantada – Joantxo was born Bilbao, works in Valencia, and rests in the Canary Islands.  He’ll be joining a session on how to organize blogger trips.  (P.S., Industry attendees, if you’re interested in learning how to get your boss to buy off on a blogger trip, you won’t want to miss this panel.)
  • Nicholas Montemaggi – Joining us from the Emilia Romagna Region Tourist Board, Nicholas will be co-presenting on the topic of How to Form Creative Tourism-Blogger Partnerships.  He’s had a rather cutting edge blogger program and will be sharing what it takes to be ahead of the curve when working with bloggers.

We continue to update the speakers and our program, so check back often to get the most up-to-date information.

[stextbox id=”alert” caption=”Sound Off” bcolor=”c53a4a”]Which speaker are you most looking forward to meeting?[/stextbox]

Photo credit:

Join TBEX on Instagram

A picture, as we all have heard, is worth a thousand words. In today’s web world, it often seems like a picture is worth even more – which is why we’re excited to announce that TBEX is now on Instagram.

We just started the account, and so far we’re posting photos from the last TBEX conference at Keystone, but we look forward to using Instagram to share photos of upcoming events with you – in Costa Brava, Toronto, and beyond. We will also be keeping track of the #TBEX hashtag on Instagram so we can re-share photos conference attendees take, either at TBEX or elsewhere, so tag your Instagram shots with #TBEX if you’d like to share them with us.

You’ll find us on Instagram as TBEXevents, and you can also check out our profile (including all our photos) on the TBEX Statigram page – handy for those of you who don’t use Instagram. Please connect with us on Instagram – we look forward to seeing TBEX through your eyes (and, naturally, those funky Instagram filters).

Welcome TBEX Community Manager, Jessica Spiegel


Who has the best travel community around?  TBEX!  I’d even hazard a guess to say that it’s the best darned community around period, regardless of niche.

Jessica Spiegel TBEX Community ManagerSo when it came time to find a community manager, we went looking for the best darned community manager around.  She was easy to find, because we already knew her, she was already well known and respected in the travel space, and she was ready for a new challenge.  So – we’re very happy to officially announce (yeah, we’ve been teasing it a bit in social media) that we’ve added Jessica Spiegel to the TBEX team as our new Community Manager.

We were impressed with Jessica’s community ethos:  “I believe awesome people should be connected with other awesome people, which, in practical terms, means I am an excellent cocktail party host as well as eager community builder.”  See what I mean?  Jessica is perfect for the TBEX community – we’ve got tons of awesome people that we need to connect, and we’ve been known to bring them together at a cocktail party!

Okay, enough of the fun stuff, Jessica has serious community cred, too.

While her passion with community goes back to the late 1990s – before there was even much talk about blogging or community – Jessica is probably best known for creating the content and community on the WhyGo Italy site, a position that established her as an expert and the go-to person for information and discussions about travel in Italy.    She formerly worked at BootsnAll as a travel writer and community manager, managing the community message boards and the company’s social media, and has recently has been freelancing.

Jessica has officially taken the reins of the TBEX social media accounts, and you may already have had a chance to chat with her on Twitter (@TBEXEvents) or on the TBEX Facebook page.  She’ll also be helping out with the TBEX blog.

Jessica lives in Portland, Oregon, and when she’s not immersed in the TBEX community, she blogs at Jessica Travels, maintains a freelance business, and dreams of Italy.

Welcome Jessica!  We’re so excited to have you on the TBEX team!

Photo credit:  Jessica Spiegel

Travel Bloggers to Converge in Toronto, Canada for TBEX Conference in 2013

Allstream Centre Toronto

We’re all very excited about today’s announcement that Toronto will be be the site for TBEX 2013.  It’s a wonderful addition to our TBEX Events which currently include our European event in Girona, Spain (registration is still available).

Here’s a copy of the press release that was sent out today:

SAN DIEGO, July 30, 2012 – Today, TBEX—the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers—announced the host city for its 2013 North American conference. “We are thrilled to have chosen Toronto, Canada for our event, June 1-2, 2013,” says Rick Calvert, CEO of TBEX. “We’ll be bringing about a thousand travel bloggers to the Allstream Centre for two days of great educational programming for digital content creators. Of course many of our attendees arrive days early for the famous PreBEX events. They will be exploring the city of Toronto and the surrounding areas before and after the conference, capturing and sharing unique stories and perspectives with their communities and social networks.”

“It is a privilege to welcome TBEX and the hundreds of travel bloggers and tourism industry peers next June,” says Andrew Weir, Vice President, Communications of Tourism Toronto. “Toronto is an inspiring backdrop for a meeting at any time, and particularly so when the participants are active storytellers who will have a chance to discover and share some of the thousands of individual stories that make this one of North America’s most cosmopolitan cities.”

“After our initial trip to Toronto, we knew immediately it was a city which our attendees would enjoy visiting,” says Dave Cynkin, CMO for TBEX. “The travel bloggers and traditional travel writers who attend TBEX are experienced travelers who expect a host city to feature great dining, entertainment, an interesting historical background, and a unique experience. We have no doubt that they’re going to love their time in Toronto.”

The cornerstone of TBEX is a quality educational program that provides a learning laboratory in which travel writers, photographers, and video creators can share experiences and hone their craft. In addition to bringing together some of the industry’s top experts to lead educational sessions, the conference offers networking opportunities for bloggers to meet with peers and leading-edge, travel industry representatives. “TBEX attendees are motivated to attend because of the educational, editorial, and networking opportunities the conference provides” says Mary Jo Manzanares, Conference Director for TBEX. “We provide an environment where bloggers can advance their careers by learning from the best and brightest in the industry, make valuable business connections, and enjoy experiences that will turn into editorial content they can share with readers and their respective communities.”

To learn more about TBEX, visit

About TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) Events:

TBEX’s goal is to mobilize and assist bloggers with promoting, monetizing, improving their work and influence, as well as helping PR and industry professionals to connect with the right content creators to benefit their brands and destinations.

The TBEX conference has grown into the world’s largest gathering of bloggers, writers and new media content creators in the travel and lifestyle industry. TBEX also attracts some of the world’s best-known brands, as well as various tourism bureaus as sponsors who are eager to connect with the travel journalists of the future. American Express, Expedia, Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor, Vail Resorts, Hyatt and HomeAway support the conferences alongside tourism offices such as those of Costa Brava, Canada, Australia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Denver, Virginia, British Columbia, and worldwide resorts and hospitality companies.

Additional information about TBEX 13 in Toronto, as well as registration information, will be on the TBEX website.

Amy Porterfield to Speak at TBEX Europe

Amy Porterfield joins an impressive line up of speakers now confirmed for TBEX 12 in Girona, Costa Brava, Spain.

Amy Porterfield to speak at TBEX EuropeAmy is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies and a Social Media Strategist for entrepreneurs and small businesses and currently creates online programs to teach entrepreneurs and small businesses how to leverage social media to gain greater exposure, attract quality leads and turn their fans and followers into loyal customers.

One of the top experts in the area of Facebook marketing, Amy will help you sort through and understand the nuances of all the Facebook changes and help you learn how to put them to work for you.  If  you’re confused about how to build your Facebook page and are looking for better ways to share conversation with your readers and fans, you won’t want to miss what Amy has to say.

Peter Shankman to Speak at TBEX Europe


We’re pleased to announced that Peter Shankman, author, entrepreneur, speaker, and worldwide connector will be a speaker at TBEX Europe in Girona, Spain.

Peter ShankmanPeter is known for radically new ways of thinking about Social Media, PR, marketing, advertising, and customer service, and travel bloggers may know him best as the founder of Help A Reporter Out, (HARO) which in under a year became the de-facto standard for thousands of journalists looking for sources. HARO is currently the largest free source repository in the world, sending out over 1,500 queries from worldwide media each week with the tagline, “Everyone is an Expert at Something.”  HARO was acquired by Vocus, and Peter is now serves as its Vice President and Small Business Evangelist.

A proud Boston University graduate, Peter started his career at America Online as a Senior News Editor, helping found the AOL Newsroom and spearheading coverage of the Democratic and Republican 1996 conventions, which marked the first time an online news service covered any major political event.

Peter is the Founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a boutique Social Media, Marketing and PR Strategy firm located in New York City, and also serves on numerous advisory boards.

An energetic speaker, Peter has been immensely popular with audiences around the world.  TBEX attendees are in for a real treat!

TBEX Europe will be help in Girona, Spain, on September 21-22, 2012.  Discounted tickets are still available.

C.C. Chapman to Speak at TBEX Europe

We’re very happy to announcement that C.C. Chapman will be making a return appearance at TBEX, this time in Girona, Spain, for TBEX Europe 2012.  He rocked the house with his keynote Amazing Things Will Happen When Your Content Rules (click on that title to watch the keynote) and we’re very excited about introducing him to our European audience.

CC ChapmanC.C. is a writer, speaker and passionate storyteller who creates in all mediums. He is a thought leader in the social and online media spaces and his marketing work with companies such as Coca-Cola, HBO, Warner Brothers, Snapple, Discovery Channel and American Eagle Outfitters have won rave review and awards.

His words, images and thoughts have graced the pages of Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal and he has appeared on Fox and CNN. He is the co-author of the best selling book Content Rules and the Founder of both Digital Dads and Passion Hit TV which recently has been sponsored by Amtrak.

Filled with a case of permanent wanderlust, C.C. loves nothing more than to visit new places with his camera. His most recent journey brought him to Ghana with the ONE Campaign to celebrate the new country wide vaccination program. He also uses his travels to write about today’s digital lifestyle on his own blog as well as

A limited number of discount tickets remain for TBEX Europe.  Prices start at $100 for bloggers and $520 for industry representatives.

Who’s Talking about TBEX 12

Wow!  Who’s talking about TBEX?

You are, that’s who!

  1. TBEX Pushes Travel Blogging Industry to New High
  2. TBEX 12 Official Video:  800 Travel Geeks on a Mountain
  3. Travel Blogger Exchange 2012: Three Questions for Next Year
  4. First Thoughts on TBEX 2012
  5. Travel Blog Exchange Grows Up
  6. TBEX 2012 Welcoming Party aka Soiree at the Summit
  7. Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) 2012 Recap VLOG
  8. TBEX 2012 Day 1 & The Expedia Summer Shindig
  9. Foodie Paradise Found during TBEX 2012 Taste of Vail Resorts Opening Event
  10. At TBEX, I met people who inspired and at the same time exhausted me–there’s so much to do!
  11. This Week in Travel Live TBEX 2012 Episode #117
  12. 9 Education Lessons from TBEX Travel Blog Conference
  13. TBEX 2012 review and my 1st Blogiversary! Hard work paying off
  14. 16 Things To Do As A Travel Blogger Now That TBEX ’12 Is Over
  15. Blame it on the Altitude
  16. Experiencing TBEX 2012 | Part 1: An Overview
  17. The 2012 Travel Blog Exchange Conference Hits a New High in the Colorado Mountains
  18. TBEX 2012 in Keystone, Colorado
  19. The Beautiful Scenery of the Colorado Rockies
  20. TBEX Takeaways
  21. TBEX Wrap-up: Bloggers We Love!
  22. Slideshow:  My First TBEX Experience
  23. Photo Op:  TBEX Collage
  24. A writer is a writer is a writer (or what I learned at TBEX’12)
  25. I Had a Great Time at TBEX
  26. TBEX ’12 – Passion, Parties and Passing the Torch
  27. Hitchhiking, Hot Tubbing and Hobnobbing at TBEX
  28. Can Someone Help Me Find My TBEX V-card? I Seem to Have Lost it
  29. C.C. Chapman Shares His Experience at TBEX
  30. Tales From a TBEX First Timer
  31. The Responsibility Travel Bloggers Have to the Travel Community
  32. Blogging: fad or emerging market?
  33. TBEX 2012: Kelley’s 5 Takeaways from the Travel Blog Exchange
  34. Southwest Takes TBEX by Storm!
  35. Travel Blogging Heroes and Lola’s TBEX Stage Fright
  36. Rocky Mountain High: Avoiding Altitude Sickness in the Colorado Mountains
  37. Rocky Mountain High: The Colorado Fires
  38. 10 favourite TBEX 12 moments
  39. Top 10 travel writing tips
  40. Travel Blog Exchange in Keystone a bonanza for Colorado tourism – The Denver Post
  41. Portland to Denver for TBEX
  42. Welcome to Denver
  43. Pub Crawls Require A Good Snooze!
  44. Penny Parker’s On The Town: Travel bloggers gathered in Keystone to blab about Colorado
  45. 50 Shades Of Awkward: My Tbex Experience
  46. Travel Blogging Goodness: TBEX 2012, Keystone, Colorado
  47. Colorado through new eyes – TBEX in Keystone
  48. Travel writers and editors descend on Denver and Keystone this weekend
  49. Reflections of TBEX 2012: Keystone Took My Breath Away
  50. TBEX 2012 Rasied the Professionalism Bar for Travel Bloggers
  51. TBEX 2012 Adventure Begins with Cottonelle
  53. The Swagalicious TBEX ’12 Keystone Colorado
  54. Keystone Host to TBEX 2012 Did Not Disappoint
  55. Plenty of altitude at TBEX ’12 in Keystone, CO
  56. Photos: Keystone Mountain Colorado Gondola Ride
  57. Colorado Mountain Express DIA to Keystone TBEX ’12
  58. TBEX 12 Keystone Expedia Summer Shindig
  59. TBEX ’12: A Conference for Travel Bloggers
  60. A Newbie’s Ultimate Guide to TBEX
  61. Hotel Riches for Not Much Money
  62. TBEX Conference 2012 Recap
  63. The Whirlwind Experience of TBEX 12 Con
  64. Your Know You Were at TBEX If. . . .
  65. Line Dancing in Keystone (video)
  66. TBEX’12 in Keystone, Colorado
  67.  How TBEX is Just Like Eating at In-N-Out
  68. TBEX ’12: By Far the Best Ever
  69. Improving the relationship between PR and travel bloggers
  70. How to be a Better (Quality) Blogger
  71. The Best of TBEX 2012: My Official Write-Up Including Formal & Saucy Photos
  72. TBEX Review: Dirty Secrets Addition
  73. TBEX, Where heaven is a tent of chocolate
  74. TBEX 2012, In Very Brief
  75. Everything Everywhere Travel Blogger Gary Arndt Talks TBEX And Blogging
  76. Johnny Jet Talks Airline Travel And Tbex
  77. Kicking It Up In Keystone: Conference Rates Make Travel Great
  78. What Successful Brands Know that You Don’t
  79. YOU. . . .

I know we’re missing a lot of blog posts about TBEX in Keystone, but if I waited to make sure that I had everyone on this list, the post would never get up.  And that means you’d miss out on reading what your fellow travel bloggers have to say.

So, if we’ve missed your blog post, or one that you know about, please leave the link in the comments or send us an email so we can add it.  Let’s see just how high this list will go.

Now, who is ready for Costa Brava?

Photo credit:  TheSeafarer via TBEX flickr photo pool

TBEX Keynote Speaker: Christopher P. Baker

We’re very excited to announce our closing keynote speaker will be one of North America’s most multi-talented and successful travel writers and photographers – Christopher P. Baker.

Christoper P. BakerWinner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 Travel Journalist of the Year, Chris Baker is one of the world’s most multi-talented and successful travel writers and photographers. Born and educated in England, he has authored more than 20 books for Frommer’s, Lonely Planet, Moon, National Geographic, etc., including Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro’s Cuba, winner of two national book awards. His writing and photography have appeared in more than 200 international publications as far-ranging as Caribbean Travel & Life, Elle, Maxim, National Geographic Traveler, National Wildlife, Newsweek, The Robb Report, and CNN Go.

Baker is a Getty Images and National Geographic contributing photographer and has served as a photo instructor for Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. He is considered the world’s foremost authority on travel and tourism to Cuba and Costa Rica and blogs about those countries for Moon.

He has been profiled in USA Today and appears frequently on radio and television talk shows throughout North America. A gifted public speaker, he has been privileged to address such prestigious organizations as the National Press Club, National GeographicLive!, World Affairs Council, and North American Travel Journalist Association Convention. He regularly lectures aboard cruise ships, has been a faculty member of Cunard Cruise Lines and Holland American Cruise Line, and currently escorts tours for National Geographic Expeditions and other organizations.

His many awards include being named ‘Travel Journalist of the Year’ by both the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Jamaica Tourist Board. He has also been honored by the American Catalog Awards, the Direct  Marketing Creative Guild, and Target Marketing for his brochures, catalogs, etc. Baker has been a consultant to such travel industry leaders as Backroads, Mountain Travel-Sobek, and National Geographic Expeditions, as well as for major international corporations such as Intel. He is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors and the Society of American Travel Writers.

Chris will be with us for both days of TBEX, giving attendees plenty of time to meet and get to know him. His inspiring closing message will entertain as well as send you home full of motivation to create a game plan for your career.

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