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

Denver International Airport Update Project – South Terminal

If you are traveling through the Denver International Airport for TBEX, please read the information below to see how you may be effected by construction.

When people travel to Denver International Airport this summer, they will see many signs of progress as DIA builds for the future. Starting in June, reconstruction of the elevated roadway bridges at Terminal West will result in some temporary (up to 2 years) detours to DIA’s passenger pick-up and drop-off levels. The work is related to the construction of the new airport light rail terminal and Westin Hotel under construction at the south end of Jeppeson Terminal.

Here are the highlights of what will be different this summer.

Starting mid May 2012, if traveling by commercial carrier – taxi, limo or shuttle: During construction, commercial vehicles will not drop off passengers curbside at airlines on Level 5.

All taxi or shuttle drop-offs and pick-ups will be in designated locations.

Starting mid May 2012, if traveling by bus: Passenger drop-off and pick-up will move to Level 6 East.

Starting June 2012, if picking-up passengers Terminal West: Arrival (passenger pick-up) traffic will be detoured through the parking garage to pick-up passengers curbside on Level 4.

Vehicles will not be required to pull a parking ticket.

Starting June 2012, if dropping off passengers on Level 6 West: Departure (passenger drop-off) traffic will be detoured off of Peña Boulevard to the left, along the west side of the West Economy Parking Lot and up the exit ramp, to Level 6 West. You will be entering Level 6 from the north instead of the south.

If parking in economy lots or a garage: No changes to the normal routine.

Orange directional signs will help guide the way during the reconstruction.

For more information, visit www.flydenver.com or call the construction information hotline at (303) 342-6400.

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

One Denver Activity You Don’t Want To Miss

In 1936, a Frenchman was born who would have one of the biggest impacts on fashion and design in modern day history.  His name was Yves Saint Laurent and whether or not you are into fashion, his story and the impact he had on clothing design can still be seen and felt to this day.  The Denver Art Museum is the only museum in the United States to feature 40 years of his original work in an exhibit called Yves Saint Laurent:  The Retrospective.

Yves died in 2008 but the legacy he created was one that has captured the attention of woman (and men) all around the world for decades.  He introduced some of the most provocative designs in the 60’s, the tuxedo suit for women, and was the first designer to use ethnic models in his runway shows.

I had the opportunity of seeing this exhibit first hand and it was nothing short of amazing, if not moving.  Not being a fashionista or having much background knowledge in clothing design, I was skeptical at first of how interested I would be in seeing this; but that skepticism changed dramatically as I walked through the exhibit.

The walkthrough experience includes over 200 garments, photographs, personal items, drawings, and films that illustrate his impact on fashion which melds both design and art in extremely unique ways.  The museum has done such an amazing job using lighting, themes, and displays out in wide open that you feel as if you are entering into Yves’ own private world.  You begin to escape back to the 1930’s, 40’s, and beyond and you imagine these provocative, daring designs that are so carefully thought out, being worn by the wealthy elite who could afford them.

As you walk through, the rest of the world seems to fade away and you are amazed at the tuxedo for women collection showing over forty different ways he created the tuxedo.  Then you enter a huge hallway with glass walls on each side that display Yves’ own collection of fabric swatches; he had one of every favorite color but he had two of the color blue.  When I learned this, I began to wonder if he loved blue because of his depression.

Finally, as you near the end, you enter into a room that has this massive red carpet carefully placed on a stairway with mannequins all wearing his evening gown collection.  It’s probably one of the most impacting sights of the entire exhibit.  As you leave the room, there sits a glass case with a pendant displayed. This is the very pendant that Yves would place on one gown which he deemed his favorite during his fashion shows.  It was simply amazing to be that close to the designer and a perfect way to end the exhibit.

You don’t need to be a fan of fashion or design to enjoy this show because visitors experience it in various ways.  And within the hallways of this show there are some surprises you really must see.  Even if you have no interest or have never experienced a fashion event, this is an exhibit that will remain a memory in your mind for a very long time.

Thank you to the Denver Art Museum for giving the BWE team a complimentary tour and letting us experience this spectacular exhibit.  We heartily recommend making it a stop during your pre or post-TBEX time.

Yves Saint Laurent:  The Retrospective will be on display at the Denver Art Museum March 25th – July 8th, 2012.

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.

Visit Denver, June 14th

Denver extends a warm welcome to TBEX delegates who might be passing through the Mile High City on their way to or from the TBEX Keystone 2012 convention.

Some of the opportunities include:

Denver Media Passports

All TBEX delegates can use their printed conference tickets as a Denver Media Passport for discounted or free admission to major City attractions, including the Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the brand new History Colorado Center, Denver Zoo, Buffalo Bill’s Grave, and many others.

Simply show your printed TBEX conference ticket at participating attractions.

Views of Denver

Denver Tours, Thursday June 14

TBEX delegates are invited on three curator-led tours of major new attractions in Denver, offered the day before the convention starts in Keystone. (The three attractions are within a block of each other. Pre-registration is required for the Yves Saint Laurent show. To register, click here).


History Colorado CenterThe new $110 million History Colorado Center is an experiential museum that makes history fun. Soar off the world’s first ski jump in Steamboat Springs; don a headlamp and descend into a mine; bump across the plains in a Model T Ford; or push a “Jules Verne-like Time Machine” over the Rockies. Whether you spend time with Chief Yellow Wolf, Kit Carson or Barney Ford, expect history like you’ve never seen, heard or experienced it before.


Clyfford Still Museum

Clyfford Still is the most famous American artist that few people have ever heard of – until now. The Clyfford Still Museum, which opened Nov. 2011, celebrates the works of this revolutionary abstract expressionist in a stunning museum devoted exclusively to his art. Some 22 cities competed for the honor of owning this collection – come see why Denver won.


Direct from shows in Paris and Madrid, Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective, on display through July 8, is an exhibition featuring 200 of his vintage outfits, photographs, drawings, and films that illustrate the development of Saint Laurent’s style. The Denver Art Museum is the only U.S. venue for this panorama of 40 years of haute couture creativity.
TBEX delegates are invited on three curator-led tours of major new attractions in Denver, offered the day before the convention starts in Keystone. (The three attractions are within a block of each other. Pre-registration is required for the Yves Saint Laurent show. To register, click here).

Denver After Hours, Thursday June 14

8-10 p.m.: Enjoy a microbrew tasting and appetizers as you gather with fellow TBEX delegates and conference speakers at the Wynkoop Brewing Company. Wynkoop is Denver’s largest and oldest brewpub, originally opened by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Denver brews more beer per capita than any other city in the world, and is ranked as the top microbrew city in the nation by Travel + Leisure.

Individual Denver Story Help

The PR team from VISIT DENVER is anxious to help TBEX delegates with any individual Denver story requests. For assistance, please email our PR team.

TBEX in Denver Activities Site

Can’t make it during these schedule times? There are still a ton of great activities you can take advantage of outside of this schedule. Check them out by clicking below.

Visit Denver

Important Note: These offers are subject to change.  Check back often to see the most current activities being offered.

Images courtesy of the Denver CVB, YSL Denver/Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum

TBEX: Questions & Answers About the Acquisition by BlogWorld

We were pleased that the recent announcement about being acquired by BlogWorld was met with a ton of support and positive feedback.  There were also a lot of questions.  Our goal is to keep everyone as informed as possible, so we put together this Q&A of the most common questions that we were asked.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments and we will make sure to address them.

How many TBEX events will there be each year, and will TBEX be held outside the US too?

One event for 2012 in the US is confirmed at this time (Keystone, CO). International TBEX events have been held in the past (Canada and Denmark), and planning for new international events is taking place currently. Expect announcements in the future with dates and details for upcoming TBEX events. Frequency of TBEX events in the US and internationally will be detailed in announcements over the next few weeks.

Will the TBEX event stay in Colorado beyond this year, or are there plans to move it to different venues?

TBEX events typically visit different destination venues each year. With the diverse selection of travel destinations, a repeat visit to Colorado in the future is possible.

Will TBEX be folded into BlogWorld?

TBEX will remain a separate event, in separate destination venues, on different dates from BlogWorld.

Will TBEX clash with the Travel Track at BlogWorld?

There is no travel track at BlogWorld 2012 in NY, so no clash.

How will speakers and sessions be planned for TBEX events?

Conference session planning for the upcoming TBEX event will be taken over by BlogWorld and overseen by a small planning committee from BlogWorld and TBEX, more details to be announced early next week.

Will TBEX continue to be affordably priced for travel bloggers?

BlogWorld will keep the TBEX event affordable for travel bloggers. For reference, BlogWorld made a lower priced pass–including an extra event day too–for bloggers, podcasters and Web TV content producers at the upcoming BlogWorld event in NY–specifically to bring more value at an affordable price for new media content creators. That mantra of high value and rich content for an affordable price will be applied to TBEX, so travel bloggers can expect a great experience that won’t break the bank.

Will TBEX be more like BlogWorld & New Media Expo than in previous years?

The BlogWorld team will apply their expertise to provide a smooth-running, organized and professional event for new media travel writers to enjoy. The TBEX event is a distinctly different event from BlogWorld & New Media Expo, however, with TBEX maintaining a comprehensive focus on educational, business and networking benefits for travel bloggers. TBEX will continue to have tabletop exhibits featuring travel industry resources, educational conference sessions and networking events focused on furthering travel bloggers’ success, and you can expect the number of attendees and exhibitors will increase. BlogWorld’s longstanding mission for new media content creators will be applied to TBEX: to help new media content creators learn how to create better content, grow their audiences and distribution, and monetize in smart, sustainable ways.

Will celebrity appearances be a focus?

The focus is on quality content, education and networking benefits for the travel blogging community. If there is a celebrity with direct relevance to travel bloggers’ interests who wants to present, they will be considered. But the content quality and needs of travel bloggers will guide all speaker selections.

BlogWorld Acquires TBEX

BlogWorld is pleased to announce the acquisition of the world’s largest conference for travel bloggers, TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange). BlogWorld will take over all production and operations for TBEX events and use our experience to help TBEX and the travel blogging community grow. Travel bloggers can expect to see the same commitment to quality educational sessions and networking at TBEX events that BlogWorld has become known for, and TBEX will continue to be held at unique travel destination venues.

While this may seem like a surprise move for BlogWorld to some, it’s really a no brainer. In fact, the TBEX story shared some similarity to BlogWorld’s at its inception.

Kim Mance, TBEX’s founder explains, “When I first got into travel blogging, I was amazed by the friendliness of this community of people with a similar passion online. After a couple of years, I was dying to meet many of the bloggers I already ‘knew’ virtually, as well as be face-to-face with members of the industry I’d worked with. It turned out others felt the same…and an event was born, which doubled in size each year.”

Putting together a conference each year became a challenge for Kim, however. “As a writer with a love for new media, event planning was just never my strong point, and it became clear we needed to get some pros to come in and save the day with logistics and planning. To my delight, while looking at hiring event planners, I got a call from BlogWorld’s CEO, Rick, and we began to talk about TBEX instead being acquired and run by a group who could really help take the event to the next level. ”

“BlogWorld’s mission has always been to help all bloggers, podcasters and WebTV producers succeed and grow their businesses,” says Rick. “We approached Kim about making TBEX a part of the BlogWorld family because it is the largest and best travel blogging event in the world. We think it’s a perfect fit, and we think we can help TBEX continue on its amazing growth path here in the United States and around the world.”

So far the reaction among travel bloggers has been favorable. Mary Jo Manzanares, a travel blogger, flight attendant and Track Leader at BlogWorld L.A.’s Travel Track in 2011 sees it as a positive beginning, “Entrepreneurial spirit meets travel passion in this acquisition, and the result is a winning combination for travel bloggers. With BlogWorld we can be assured of a professionally run, top-notch event, providing us with unparalleled opportunities to learn, share, and grow. There are exciting times ahead of us.”

Andy Hayes, also known online as “That Travel Guy” concurs, “I’m excited about the TBEX announcement.” he said, “Blogworld has always been a place for online publishers of all kinds to come together to share ideas and innovations; this move will be a huge boon to the travel blogging industry.”

BlogWorld will now take over regular operations of all TBEX accounts including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and we’re already working on a plan for Pinterest. We look forward to spending time getting to know the TBEX community as we move forward to our first event as the new owners of TBEX. We hope all travel bloggers will join us June 15 – 17 in Keystone, CO, at the Keystone Resort & Convention Center.

“I think TBEX + BlogWorld is a win for everyone in the travel blogging community, many of whom are really looking to make this their full-time career if it isn’t already,” says Kim. “Having the preeminent and largest travel blogging conference in the world now run by event professionals passionate about new media is a perfect fit. It not only ups everyone’s visibility and credibility, but things will be run more smoothly, allowing attendees to really maximize all the learning and networking opportunities at the TBEX events. I’m excited.”

We’re excited too.