It’s a Wrap: TBEX Europe in Girona, Spain

houses along the river in Girona, Costa Brava

It seems like we were just getting excited about going to Spain and now TBEX Europe is a thing of the past.  It came and went, and in between there was plenty of great food, opportunities for learning and to do business, and plenty of fun.  But don’t take our word for it, read what others are saying.  (And while you’re at it, why not register for TBEX 13 in Toronto.)

Here’s what you’re saying about TBEX:

  1. I’m on Spanish TV
  2. 5 Ways TBEX Could Have Been Better
  3. Catalunya Castell Human Towers
  4. Postcard from Girona, Spain
  5. Success as a Travel Blogger
  6. Word Press at TBEX Europe
  7. What Can 350 Bloggers at TBEX Teach?
  8. The TBEX Girona Sessions
  9. Live at TBEX Europe
  10. TBEX Girona, the Pyrenees and Beaches of Costa Brava
  11. Destination TBEX
  12. TBEX Europe:  Blogging, Medieval Castles, and Endless Ham
  13. Von Reisebloggern, mongolischen Knochen und dem spanischen Willy Wonka – die TBEX in Girona
  14. My Thoughts on TBEX Girona
  15. Things to Think about after TBEX
  16. TBEX Conference – Girona, Costa Brava Spain
  17. Marketing, manipulation and authenticity: lessons learned at TBEX
  18. TBEX Girona 2012 Slideshow set to Spanish Pop
  19. Girona, Spain: Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
  20. TBEX: Reisebloggen wird professioneller
  21. About TBEX Europe…
  22. Travel Blogger Conference TBEX 2012: SWAG
  23. #TBEX in Gerona – A Wrap Up
  24. I got my 1st tattoo ever at the annual TBEX circus in Girona this year.
  25. Making friends around the world
  26. I came, I saw, I kissed ass…
  27. TBEX From a Newbie’s Perspective
  28. Costa Brava in an Instagram
  29. A newbie in TBEX: a catalan impression
  30. TBU or TBEX? Travel Blogging Conferences
  31. Review: TBEX in Costa Brava (this post also appeared on the Lonely Planet blog here)
  32. Girona – Das geheime Herz von Katalonien
  33. TBEX EU Keynote – This Week in Travel #124
  34. Palate Perfeccion
  35. TBEX Europe Offers A Taste of Spain
  36. Costa Brava in Photos via Instagram
  37. In BIG pictures: Girona and Barcelona
  38. TBEX Does Europe
  39. Sopar Inaugural TBEX Europe Costa Brava 2012
  40. Photo Essay from around Costa Brava
  41. Girona – For Ever In My And Other Travel Bloggers Hearts
  42. Post TBEX Reflections
  43. TBEX – Girona, Spain
  44. Facing my Fears – Hot Air Ballooning in Costa Brava, Spain
  45. TBEX Speed Blogging Competition Results
  46. Remember how I told you I was invited to a party in a Castle in Spain?
  47. El celler de Can Roca 2nd best restaurant in the world
  48. Case study #inCostaBrava campaign – Podcast interview with Jaume Marin
  49. Costa Brava, Spain’s Northeast Coast: Getting There
  50. So, you want to go to Spain’s Brave Coast? Seaside L’Estartit
  51. Medieval villages along the Costa Brava of Spain: Begur
  52. TBEX Europe – Been there, done that (Travel bloggers exchange)
  53. Through the lens: Girona, Spain
  54. Flavors of Catalonia
  55. Bacon Wrapped Bananas & Other Discoveries in Girona
  56. Dalí! Amazing Museum: Adventure-a-Day #20
  57. What I REALLY Learned at TBEX Europe
  58. TBEX12 in Girona, Spain
  59. All-in-One Month: A TBU, TBEX, & Danish Experience
  60. Travel Blogging: Viable career or self-congratulatory flautence?
  61. TBEX Europe 2012 in Review
  62. A week in Costa Brava: initial photos
  63. Gaudi in “Context”
  64. Five Things I Never Knew Until TBEX Europe 2012 In Costa Brava
  65. Europe vs USA: Does it Really Matter? A Few Post-TBEX Thoughts
  66. Some place to deserve a second chance
  67. Old Town Girona in Catalonia, Spain for Historic Travel
  68. Hotel Balneari Prats TBEX 2012 Blogtrip
  69. #TBE12 vs #TBEX Girona: Italy beats Spain 4-1
  70. Girona. More than a six-letter word near Barcelona while booking a Ryanair flight.
  71. Solo Female Travel Tips from Adventurous Kate
  72. Getting to Know Girona
  73. Why Attend a Travel Blogging Conference: TBEX Castle Party
  74. Girona a medieval revelation
  75. Rocambolesc: could it be Spain’s finest ice cream parlour?
  76. Takeaways from TBEX
  77. Girona. Barcelona. David. Goliath?
  78. An Alien Universe

 NOTE:  We will be updating this list regularly. Have you written a post-Girona review, wrap-up, photo essay, or anything else related to the conference? Leave a comment below with the link, send us a tweet @TBEXevents, or let us know on the Facebook page – we want to hear your feedback, and we want to share your posts with other TBEX blog readers!

The Human Tower Featured at TBEX Opening Night Party


This human tower was built amidst much cheering from the crowd:

Video courtesy of Susan McKee

Girona Castle Party in Pictures


We looked forward to the opening night party at Castell de Sant Gregori for weeks, and it did not disappoint. The setting was beautiful, the food was excellent (not to mention full of surprises), and the entertainment was spectacular. Enjoy these few images from the party, with more to come in the TBEX Flickr pool and Facebook page as more people download images from their phones!

What was your favorite moment from the party at Castell de Sant Gregori?

Blogger Opportunity with Eric Vökel


Eric Vokel apartments Barcelona & Madrid


Having a well located, upscale apartment as a home base is a great way to explore a city.  TBEX sponsor Eric Vökel has launched an ongoing promotion with bloggers who are planning a visit to Barcelona or Madrid to provide them with just such a home base.

Eric Vökel boutique apartments provide a welcoming and comfortable place to stay, offering fully furnished and appointed residences in Barcelona (three locations) and Madrid. All of the building have been recently built or completely renovated and are used solely for guests. The apartments are eco-friendly in design and use efficient solar panels to provide energy. Each apartment is equipped with all household apartments, a full equipped kitchen, washer and dryer, large screen television, wi-fi, and other upscale features.

Bloggers interested in a complimentary stay at one of the Eric Vökel apartments may request a stay subject to the following requirements:

  • Write a blog post or social media reference prior to the stay
  • Write a blog post after the stay providing a review of the apartment or an explanation of the stay. Your honest opinion in requested.
  • Your blog must be related to travel, lifestyle, family activities, or interior design.
  • You should have at least 1,000 followers on Twitter
  • You should have at least 500 fans on Facebook

If you meet all of the above requirements, you can request your stay by contacting their PR agency via email, using the subject line “Bloggers and Eric” and include the following information:

  • Blogger name
  • One sentence describing yourself
  • URL of your blog, and links to your Twitter account and Facebook page
  • Indicate the city you are interested in (Barcelona or Madrid)
  • Date you would like to stay
  • Number of guests

The selection process includes a review of the provided information and then a check on availability. Bloggers will be contacted personally to discuss options, potential for coverage, and to answer any other questions. And hey – do we need to say it? Following these instructions helps to increase the likelihood of your request being granted.

A big thanks to Eric Vökel for sponsoring TBEX and providing this opportunity to bloggers planning a future visit to Spain. If you’re at TBEX in Girona stop by the Eric Vökel table located in the lobby and let them know how much you appreciate their commitment to travel bloggers.

Three Ways for Bloggers to Get More Out of Social Media


For most of us, being on social media goes hand in hand with blogging. Even if it’s not a conscious marketing effort, chatting with friends on Twitter and Facebook or posting photos of food in jars to Pinterest is fun. That fun can easily translate from “Oh, I’m going to check Facebook for ten minutes” to “Holy wow, where did the last three hours go?!?” if you’re not careful. And I’m guessing you’ve got more important things to do on your blog (or, y’know, your laundry) with those three hours, right?

Now, assuming you’re using social media to help promote your blog, you can’t just quit using it altogether. What you can do is get disciplined about the time spent on social media, utilize some of the great tools available now that make social media work more effectively for you, and – overall – approach social media with the right attitude.

1. Dig Into the Numbers

One of the keys to effectively using social media is knowing what your audience responds to most. But when your audience gets beyond Mom and Uncle Frank, it’s a bit harder to talk to each of them. The good news is that with tools like Facebook Insights, SocialBro, Pinerly, and Google Analytics (among many, many others) your community is talking to you whether they know it or not. Learning to interpret what the numbers are telling you isn’t always easy (I’m so averse to numbers in general that I still contend Google Analytics looks like binary code to me most of the time), but with such a rich source of information on your community at your disposal, you’d be crazy not to at least try to read those tea leaves.

2. Scheduling (Not Automation)

Some of the most useful new social media tools I’ve seen in the last year or so are the ones that allow you to schedule updates in advance so you don’t feel compelled to check Twitter every 19 seconds. I’m an enormous fan of Buffer; I hear HootSuite now has an “auto-scheduler” function that may be similar, and most Twitter clients allow for manual advance scheduling. Scheduling gives you the ability to plan out the next few days of your social media posts in one go. You’ll still check back in regularly to get into the conversation, but you no longer need to babysit your social media accounts. While I’m a big fan of scheduling, however, I happen to think automation is absolutely the wrong way to go. If you read something you genuinely like and think your audience will also like, by all means add that to your schedule. But to sign up for a service that auto-tweets stuff to your accounts without you even knowing it? That’s not cool, man. Turning your community over to auto-pilot is, to my mind, the beginning of a slippery slope toward treating your community like numbers instead of people. And that’s never a good thing.

3. Be a Resource

Being on social media requires being social – otherwise, I’d contend, you might as well not bother. That means striking a balance between the “megaphone” end of the spectrum and the “wallflower” end. CNN is a news resource, right? They’re allowed to be more of a megaphone because, well, they’re CNN. You are not CNN. Don’t be the guy at the party who dominates every conversation without really adding anything to it. In addition to making time on a regular basis to actually reply to people, being a resource also means posting things that are relevant to your community no matter where it comes from. That generates goodwill among other bloggers whose links you’re promoting, and it also makes you a resource to whom your community will turn when they’re looking for information – which is the real value.

Also? Patience, Grasshopper

I’m not quite at the age when I’m repeating myself out of sheer forgetfulness, but I find myself repeating one particular phrase over and over lately – “there is no magic pill.” I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that everyone who gets onto social media in order to build up their blog audience wants the numbers to increase exponentially from now until the end of time. This is not going to happen. Building community (and therefore traffic numbers) on social media is a slow process, like building community is anywhere else. There are things you can do to get from zero to 60 more quickly and efficiently, but I die a little inside every time I hear about people wanting to buy Twitter or Facebook followers. (Please, just … no.) You can’t expect instant miracles from your social media efforts, but you can expect a return on your genuine investment.

Oh, and hey, you’re following us on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, right? Good.

What do you think?
How do you make the most of the time you spend on social media? What tools or methods work best for you? Share in the comments below!

Creative Commons photo by dougww on Flickr

TBEX Girona Photo Walk with Gary Arndt & Kirsten Alana


There will be plenty of cameras clicking at TBEX – Girona is, after all, a beautiful city.  You could snap away and come up with plenty of great shots and there are a couple of educational sessions focusing on the photographic part of your content.  Gary Arndt and Kirsten, two of our photography speakers, will be leading a photo walk of the old city of Girona and you’re invited to come along.

camera lensOn Thursday, September 20th, before the opening night party at St. Gregory’s Castle, the city of Girona is leading city tours.  The photo walk will meet up at the same location that the city tours start at – Punt de Benvinguda – at 5 pm.  The city tours depart at 4 pm and 5 pm and the photo walk will complement them.

The photo walk is suitable for all skill levels and will be appropriate no matter what type of camera you use.   Tips along the way will include how to capture better shots, composition, lighting, and how to make the most of the equipment you have.

Point-and-shoot users as well as DSLR users will find plenty of ideas as they look at the Old Town through a lens.  Not really a photographer you say?  Come along with your iPhone or other smart phone equipped with a built in camera as you learn about how to get creative with iphonography.

Click.  See you there!

Photo credit  SXC

Barcelona’s Mosaic of Neighborhoods


Erica Gutiérrez is from L.A., but she’s been living in Barcelona for long enough that her suggestion for a guest post for the TBEX blog was an overview of three of the city’s neighborhoods. On this virtual walk, you’ll begin to get a picture of historic Barcelona – so when you wander the city streets either before or after TBEX this year, keep Erica’s words in mind!

Together, el Barri Gòtic, L’Eixample and Gràcia, give you a sense of Barcelona’s historical evolution and cultural fabric, representing the face of modern Barcelona today.

The Gothic quarter is made up of a Roman core dating back over 2,000 years, as well as medieval suburbs such as el Borne and el Raval. Only there can you still see most of Barcelona’s well-preserved Roman ruins and gothic architecture.

In the mid-19th century, the Eixample, literally meaning “extension” in Catalan, brings together the old medieval city and other small settlements forming outside Barcelona, such as the village of Gràcia. With so many layers to unravel, it’s no wonder Barcelona has often been called the great enchantress.


El Barri Gòtic

The city’s character and growth is easy to trace starting from here. Near Drassanes, Barcelona’s old shipyards and port, stands a statue of Christopher Columbus built just in time for the city’s first World Fair in 1888. Oddly, Columbus points out towards the Mediterranean, only hinting at Spain’s later exploration to the Americas. His body towers over La Rambla, a seemingly unending and sinuous street that was once a seasonal river just outside of Barcelona’s second set of medieval walls. Throughout the Middle Ages, market stalls and monasteries began to appear all along this street, converting it into Barcelona’s most important thoroughfare for hundreds of years. Today, the generously tree-lined street is home to Barcelona’s most eccentric artists in costumes, waiting for tourists to stroll by, gawk and – hopefully – tip them for their outlandish and entertaining performances. It is also here where you can visit Barcelona’s famous open market, La Boqueria, and its first opera house, El Liceu.



The district of L’Eixample truly manifests the quintessential Catalan expression, la rauxa i el seny, referring to the point where good sense and reckless spontaneity meet. Here, the city’s modern and rational grid is rejected only decades later by the whimsical vibrant designs of the Catalan modernist architects. Just a few blocks north of Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona’s classiest street today, you reach the Illa de la Discòrdia, or island of disaccord, which makes reference to the apple of discontent in Greek mythology. On this city block, you can see three modernist gems standing side by side, united in clear competition. L’Eixample Esquerre (or left) and L’Eixample Dret (or right), also embody a tangible historical divide. The left has always exhibited a more liberal or progressive tendency, and the right, a more conservative one. It’s no wonder that today, Barcelona’s gay district is on the left, and that the Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi’s still unfinished magnum opus, is firmly rooted on the right side of L’Eixample.



The neighborhood of Gràcia gives you a sense of how other villages outside of Barcelona sprouted up over time since the Middle Ages, taking on a distinctive character. Gràcia has a unique community feel, and can be a welcome respite from the crowds in the Gothic quarter, and the traffic and buildings of the Eixample. Today, students, hippy-types and families alike, call this area home. There are several charming public plazas, inviting visitors and residents to enjoy a drink while people-watching. Carrer Verdi has an interesting selection of restaurants, many offering international fare, as well as several small theatres, where films are screened in their original language. If you are lucky enough to visit at the end of August, the annual Festa Mayor de Gràcia portrays the resilience and spirit of the local community, as neighbors come together to decorate their streets with thematic paper-mâché designs, in friendly competition.

About the author:
Erica Gutiérrez is a city planner, social media lover and adventurer originally from Los Angeles. She currently lives in Barcelona, where she works as a freelance docent and blogger. You can visit her website and blog at:

Creative Commons photos from Flickr by Wolfgang Staudt, henribergius, Wiros, Jaume Meneses

Best Budget-Friendly Restaurants in Girona


When I put out the call recently for guest bloggers on the TBEX blog, Isabel Leyva contacted me almost immediately offering to send in a post with tips for conference attendees that were heading to Girona. What makes her the right person for the job? She’s from Girona! Here are Isabel’s picks for budget eats in her city.

Eating great dishes for a small amount of money is really easy in Spain. Girona is an expensive city if you compare it with other Spanish cities, but on the other hand food and creativity is extraordinary, because we have great cooks.

All restaurants do a special menu during lunch, with the same quality for less euros – this is a great way to go to a good restaurant. For example, you can go to a seafood restaurant with two dishes, dessert, and a drink for around 16€. But these lunch prices are only available from Monday to Friday.

If you want to go to dinner and not spend too much, we have good options that are very popular among young people. All options cost around 10-15€, but of course, it depends on what you ask for. Here are four budget-friendly restaurants in Girona you should try.


Konig has the best patatas bravas in Girona, great salads, tasty American sandwiches, and great fast service. It has different locations along the city, but the best one is near Sant Fèlix Cathedral. It has a great open terrace and the views are really nice. Usually is very crowded, so is better go outside of the rush hours.

Tip: I always ask for patatas bravas, and a Chicago sandwich or Elisabetta salad – a dilemma to decide!

Konig – Calderers 6

Le Bistrot

One of the oldest restaurants in Girona, Le Bistrot has an exceptional location – the Sant Domenec Stairs. It is one of the most popular Girona spots that appears in a lot of films and advertisements – as well as almost all the travelers guides. The restaurant has a different way of presenting dishes. Dishes that usually restaurants serve on a plate, they offer it on a pagès bread, a tipical bread from Catalonia.

Tip: Escalivada is my favourite one.

Le Bistrot – Pujada Sant Domènec, 4


Basque tapas are very famous in the north of Spain. Very close to Le Bistrot we can find Zampanzar, that offers some of the best tapas in Girona. Located at Plaça del Vi, you can eat them standing up or seated while you drink txakolí. Also ask for pulpo a la gallega or chocos, tapas from the south of Spain that they cook very well.

Tip: The salt cod basque tapa is to die for!

Zampanzar – Carrer Cort Reial, 10-12

El Cau del Llop

If we talk about the most popular Catalan foods, pà amb tomaquet (bread with tomato) is the main one. In one of the last Girona historical neighborhoods to be renovated, inside an old house we find El Cau del Llop, which offers typical Catalan cold meat (such as jamón, fuet, botifarra) on pà amb tomaquet. Also, during winter, the restaurant has a wood oven where they cook great meat, and the whole atmosphere makes you feel really comfortable.

Tip: Ask for toasted bread with garlic and tomato, it’s really delicious. Be sure that you don’t have to kiss anyone after that!

El Cau del Llop – Carrer de Sacsimort, 5

Isabel Leyva is an accountant and adventurer who is passionate about social media. Her blog, La 5th con Bleecker St., is where she shares her love for New York with her Spanish readers. Her blog won the Mujer It award in 2011, given by the Spanish magazine Mujer Hoy, for the best Leisure time and Actuality blog.

photo by leoglenn_g

9 Tips for Travel Bloggers with a Day Job


Today’s guest post is from Chris Christensen, speaker, blogger and podcaster.  He’ll be speaking on podcasting at TBEX Europe, but in his guest post today he talks about being a busy guy who also has a full time day job.  How does he balance it all and still keep his content fresh and engaging?  Even when he’s not traveling?  Here’s his story.

wall clockThe recent post on TBEX “4 Tips to Keeping A Travel Blog Going While Traveling” is not my problem. I have had a popular travel blog and podcast (Amateur Traveler) for over 7 years, but except for one 8 month break, I have had a full time job that entire time. What traveling I do, as well as what blogging and podcasting, has had to fit into nights, weekends and 3-4 weeks of vacation. For many bloggers, the end of their year long career break is the death of their travel blog, but that does not have to be the case. But, neither can your blog be unchanged.

Think like a Travel Editor

Make friends with a travel editor like Spud Hilton if you can and you will find that most of the time they are doing a normal commute to an office. I am not talking about the travel journalist who hasn’t been to his hometown since the Carter administration, but the guy who gets out the travel section every week or the travel magazine every month. How do they do it?

1) It’s not about your trip

One of the things that Spud will remind you about traditional travel writing is that the story is not about your trip but about the trip that the reader might take. So while the fun part about being a travel blogger or writer is the actual travel, any time you can provide a valuable service for the future traveler you can build a readership (or in my case a listening audience).  After starting the Amateur Traveler podcast I quickly learned that I was going to run out of travel stories since I was traveling about 4 weeks a year and publishing an episode about 48 weeks a year. The solution for me was interviews. Sometimes travel writers get on the phone and talk to someone about a destination. Of course the quality of your content can only be as good as the quality of your sources.

2) It does not always have to be your voice

The most popular style of travel blog is a single author blog. The closest analogy in traditional journalism would be a columnist. You always get the same style and sense of humor. You always know what you are going to get. But clearly, that is not the only model. Magazines and newspapers have for years been using multiple authors, some regular authors, and freelancers. They then use editors to maintain a consistent style or consistent quality standards. Purists will say that this is not a blog. Let them. But remember that there are dangers in this path. Getting other people to offer to give you “free” or affordable content is not so difficult as you might think. At Amateur Traveler I am probably pitched a dozen or two dozen articles a week. Most of these are crap. Some of these are crap that someone would actually pay me to put up on the site. Think like a travel editor. Don’t lose long term readers for short term gain. It is still your site. If you don’t like the article, don’t publish it.

Think Like a Road Warrior

Not all day jobs tie you to a desk. My last job as a Director of Engineering at TripAdvisor had a 2700 mile commute. It was not easy to get hired to manage a group remotely, but once I was, remote in San Jose looks pretty much like remote in Long Beach. My wife had a training class in Southern California and I tagged along. I still had to put in a full day’s work but in the evenings I was enjoying the nightlife and taking pictures for my blog. If your job is on an automobile assembly line they will probably not let you take work home, but if you are knowledge worker you might be able to negotiate some flexibility. My manager is working remotely next week from Maui.

If you travel for work, can you write about business travel? Can you leverage business travel to create content. You may have noticed more content from Boston on the Amateur Traveler over the last 2 years. TripAdvisor was paying for me to travel to Boston one week a month. Sometimes I was able to get out of the office in the evenings or stay an extra weekend. This gave me a great chance to explore a second home base.

Think Like a Hoarder

When you travel constantly you can write about what you saw today. When you travel less often save up and spread out your content. There is a shelf life for your content but most destinations don’t change so much in a year or two that you have to write all your posts now. But, you do have to either keep good notes or write your articles and schedule them. Think about an editorial calendar. When can you get the most leverage for your articles?

Think Like a Collaborator

So you don’t travel every week, but maybe if you created a site with 2 or 3 other reliable partners you could more easily create a steady stream of content. The dangers here are what you do with your spoils when things work well. How will you split up any revenue or opportunities. How will you deal with problems when things go poorly. Will there be a minimum number of posts that each person has to write? If things don’t work out, how will you dissolve your partnership? Who gets the URL? Decide those things in advance as much as possible.

Think Like a Teacher

You don’t have to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower every day to write about how people can take better pictures of the Eiffel Tower. You don’t need to pack your bag every day to teach a novice how to pack better. What skills have you picked up from travel that you could teach? Do you know how to book travel? Do you know how to learn a language? Do you know how to get a visa or renew a passport? All of these skills can be turned into useful articles, videos or podcasts.

Think Like a Local

Do you live someplace where people either do want to travel or should want to travel? Your local tourism board might be looking for someone just like you to help spread the word about your home town or about destinations that you can reach on a weekend excursion. I happen to live near San Francisco. You better bet that you can find pictures, walking tours, shopping advice and other information about the city by the bay on my site.

Think Like a Professional

Make a plan. Go through the categories in this article and come up with 3 blog post ideas for each. Then come up with your own categories. What did I miss?

Author bio: Chris Christensen is the host of the Amateur Traveler, a popular online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations. It includes a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog. By day he works at where they create products to help people without credit or debit cards pay for things. Chris was formerly the Director of Engineering for TripAdvisor’s New Initiatives group, the EVP Engineering at LiveWorld which runs online communities like those for eBay, HBO, and American Express, and a Software Manager at Apple, Momenta (pen computing) and HP. 

Photo credit:  SXC

Girona Checklist for Attendees


I dunno about you, but ’round the virtual TBEX offices we’re counting down the days until Girona. In the giddiness that surrounds an upcoming trip, however, we don’t want you to forget something important. So here’s a pre-Girona checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you need to do before you show up in Spain.

TBEX Girona Checklist

    • Have you booked your accommodation? If you’ve waited until the last minute, don’t freak out (too much). Scour this list of TBEX lodging in Girona, all of which have some pretty excellent conference discount rates, and get a bed booked. Pay attention to the instructions under each hotel/hostel listing on how to get the TBEX discount – each one is slightly different. Just to keep you on your toes.


    • Have you figured out how you’re getting to Girona? We’re going to assume you’ve booked a flight if you need one, but if you’re flying into Barcelona’s airport you still need to get yourself to Girona. There are several options for ground transportation; the cheapest is the train, which requires one change at either Barcelona Sants or the smaller Passeig de Gracia station, but there’s a bus that goes straight from BCN into Girona if your jetlaggy self will be too disoriented to manage a train change. (Also, this just in – there’s incredibly thorough information on the Barcelona-to-Girona train trip on our Facebook page now, thanks to Gary Arndt & Michael Hodson, who have made the trip recently.)


    • Have you seen the updates on the opening party at the castle? We’ve updated the party page, with new information about transportation to and from the castle.


    • Have you booked everything you need to stay in Costa Brava after the conference? If you’re extending your stay in Costa Brava after the conference, there are still some free rooms available on a first-come first-served basis, so if you didn’t already apply for a free post-conference room, do it today!


    • Have you sent in your RSVP for the guided tours? Be sure to RSVP for the free Girona city tours on September 20. There’s no space limit, but they need to know how many guides to send, so we need to have folks RSVP if they want to go on a free tour. Oh, and although the photo walk with Gary Arndt and Kirsten Alana doesn’t require a reservation, it’s a newer addition to the tour options, so we wanted to remind you of it here, too.


    • Have you made speed dating appointments? All registered attendees for TBEX should have gotten an email giving them access to TBEX Girona’s PresdoMatch site, on which you can schedule speed dating meetings with anyone else at the conference. (Check out these tips for speed dating at TBEX, too.) Didn’t get your PresdoMatch email? Search your email archives using the word “presdo,” and if you still come up empty, let us know ASAP. You’ll want to get in so you can make sure not to miss potential meetups with industry pros and bloggers alike. And hey, if the person you wanted to meet with already has a full schedule, or you want more than the short speed date to chat with someone, you can also set up appointments in the Open Marketplace on Friday from 4:30-6:30pm. (Remember, speed dating is included in your registration if you’re a blogger or a sponsor – all other PR/industry folks can rent a table to be involved!)


    • Have you seen the niche topic icebreakers? Also on the TBEX Girona PresdoMatch site you’ll find informal opportunities to have lunch with other people who share a common interest. There’s nothing formal or required about them, but if you don’t know many people this is an excellent and casual way to meet like-minded folks. There are six niche topics listed, so with two days you can meet two different groups of people.


    • Have you figured out which sessions you’ll go to? You can peruse the TBEX Girona schedule on the TBEX site, and it’s also on the PresdoMatch site – on the latter, you can even mark which sessions you’ll be attending, so you can customize your conference schedule. Of course, you’re not required to RSVP, and you can absolutely change your mind on the spot to attend a different session.


    • Have you figured out a plan for your mobile phone? If you don’t already reside in Spain or have a Spanish SIM card for your mobile phone, be absolutely sure you’ve talked to your mobile provider so you know what your phone bill could look like when you get home if you make calls or send tweets from Girona. Add a global plan if you want, keep your smartphone in “airplane” mode and just use its built-in WiFi, or plan to pick up a local SIM card when you get to Spain. Just don’t forget to take the necessary precautions, or you’ll be blogging about your astronomical phone bill six weeks from now. (Yes, we know plenty of you know this already, but we’ve read blog posts from experienced travelers who looked down the barrel of four-figure phone bills after a trip, so you can never be too careful.)


    • Have you got the necessary electrical converters and adapters? (Do you know this already, too? Probably, but it’s worth repeating just in case.) Again, if you’re coming from outside Spain (or anywhere else that has the same electrical system as Spain), you’ll either need converters (that change the voltage), adaptors (that allow your plugs to fit into Spanish outlets), or both. We don’t want to read tales of any TBEXers frying their gadgets or, y’know, setting fire to anything, okay?


    • Have you packed your tiara for the kick-off party at the castle? Fine, this is completely optional. But you totally get bonus points if you do wear a tiara.


Other various and sundry things to bring and/or remember include:

  • Don’t leave your passport in the safe at home
  • Remember to bring enough business cards (we’re up to more than 300 attendees!)
  • Bring a media kit or one-page handout for your appointments
  • Don’t forget all the necessary chargers for your gizmos
  • Double-check the date and time of your flight
  • Check in for flights 24 hours in advance to pick your seats

Now then – who’s ready for Girona? YOU ARE.

photo by Jo@net