Toronto & Dublin: A Snapshot of Our 2013 Host Cities


Now that we know our 2013 conference agenda, with Toronto coming up in June and Dublin just announced for October, we thought it would be nice to get a snapshot overview of our two host cities.

When was it founded?

  • Toronto sits on land purchased by the British from the Mississauga tribe in 1787, although the original city on this spot was called York. In 1834, the city was renamed Toronto and incorporated.
  • Dublin’s roots date back to the 9th century when the Vikings first established a settlement here, and it’s been Ireland’s main city since the 12th century. For a little while in the 18th century, Dublin was one of the largest cities in Europe.
Downtown Toronto

What’s the population?

  • The population of the city of Toronto is just over 2.6 million, according to the 2011 Census. The whole urban area is more than 5.1 million.
  • The population of the city of Dublin is a little more than 525,000, according to the 2011 Census. The whole urban area is more than 1.1 million.

What are the local languages?

  • English is the dominant language in Toronto, but you’ll also hear French (Canada’s second official language), as well as Chinese and Italian (owing to their large populations in the city).
  • English is spoken and understood widely in Dublin, but you’ll also hear plenty of the Irish language, too – it’s the first official language in Ireland.
Dublin city center

What’s the best airport to use?

  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is Canada’s biggest and busiest airport, and Air Canada’s main hub. Toronto also has a smaller airport, Billy Bishop City Airport (YTZ), with limited passenger flights. It’s actually located on the Toronto Islands right near the city center.
  • Dublin Airport (DUB) is Ireland’s busiest airport and the main hub for Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Aer Arann, and CityJet.

What’s the best way to get around?

  • In Toronto, there’s a subway and RT (rapid transit), as well as a network of buses and streetcars.
  • In Dublin, there’s a light-rail line called Luas, as well as an intricate network of buses.

What do they look like from space?

Weirdly similar, actually.

Fun facts about Toronto & Dublin

  • The name “Toronto” comes from the name “Taronto,” which was the name of a nearby waterway. This was an adaptation of the Mohawk word “tkaronto,” meaning “where there are trees standing in water.” The name “Dublin” comes from “Dubhlinn” in Irish, which means “black pool.”
  • Both cities are on bodies of water – Toronto on Lake Ontario, and Dublin at the mouth of the River Liffey.
  • Both Toronto and Dublin are financial centers for their respective countries.
  • Toronto has long been a publishing powerhouse of a city in Canada, while more recently new media companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft have established European headquarters or major regional bases in Dublin.
  • One of Toronto’s sister cities is Chicago (site of the first TBEX in 2009), and one of Dublin’s sister cities is Barcelona (in the Catalonia region, host of TBEX Europe in 2012).

Now it’s your turn!

Have you been to Toronto or Dublin? Or both? Tell us what you know – historic trivia, tourist tips, fun facts, or some combination thereof – in the comments below.

Creative Commons photos: Toronto by detsang on Flickr, Dublin by Ian Wilson on Flickr, Toronto satellite photo by NASA, Dublin satellite photo by Cnes – Spot Image

TBEX 13 Toronto: Call for Speakers


audience at tbex 12 keystone

Today we are opening the call for speakers for TBEX 13 in Toronto.

We get tons of emails and phone calls from people who want to be speakers at our events. We get way more proposals than we could ever use. So how can YOU stand out among the hundreds of proposals that we receive? Simple. First off, head over to read the post full of tips on being a speaker. Go ahead, do that now. That post will let you know what we expect of our speakers, and it also gives you information on what we’re looking for in selecting speakers and topics. It’s a long post, but it will ultimately save you time and give your proposal a better chance of being selected. Seriously. Read it. Even if you’ve spoken at one of our events before, we want you to read through it and note the changes.

A few key things to remember:

  • You must fill out the online speaker form to be considered as a speaker. Not only is this your opportunity to tell us what your idea is all about, it’s full of the necessary legal information needed.
  • We are a B2B event. Our attendees are people in the travel business, whether blogging or otherwise. This is not a consumer travel show.
  • Remember that it’s not about you (the speaker), it’s about the takeaways our attendees will leave with. That’s why the photo at the top of this post is of our audience (at TBEX 12 in Keystone).

We anticipate that we will be able to cover travel expenses for those who are chosen as speakers. We work with a budget, that does influence how many speakers we can have and how much travel expense we can assume, and at the time we notify speakers we will be able to advise on travel expenses.

The call for speakers will remain open until February 1st, 2013. We expect to notify speakers by March 1st, 2013.

Now, before you rush over to fill out the form, please do yourself a favor and go read the post on what we need and expect.

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have, explain anything you don’t understand, or try to help you figure out the process — AFTER you’ve read that post.  Feel free to email me if you have questions.

See you in Toronto!

Photo credit:  TBEX 12 flickr pool


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.