The “EX” in TBEX covers many bases – an exchange of ideas, knowledge, and (when we get together at conferences) business cards. Increasingly that exchange is growing to include exchanges with destinations and travel industry representatives. And that latter exchange is something we want to keep improving upon.
Next month, TBEX’s CEO, Rick Calvert, is headed to London for the World Travel Market trade show where, among other activities, he’ll be speaking on a panel at the WTM Social Travel Market on the topic of ”How to sort the bloggers from the blaggers.” This session is geared toward travel companies and PR representatives who want to work with travel bloggers, but who might not know how to tell whether they’ve got the best bloggers for their particular clients.
As we heard during a session at TBEX in Girona, quantifying the “value” of a blogger is tricky (if not impossible), so what is the travel industry to do? Rick and his co-panelist, Ayngelina Brogan (of Bacon is Magic), will attempt to sort some of this out for WTM attendees, giving suggestions and recommendations for how to find the right blogger for the right project.
Here’s the official session description:
By now, every PR and travel company has its own list of favoured bloggers. But there is no centralised list, no directory of the good – and the poor – bloggers. There was a stab at Tbex in Girona recently to quantify the value of a blogger – and semantic algorithms are on their way. Meanwhile, it’s the Wild West out there, so enter two speakers to help clarify things. Ayngelina is part of a team who have created the Professional Travel Bloggers Association, while Rick runs Blogworld out of North America and, a year ago, bought The Travel Bloggers’ Exchange (TBEX). They’ll tell you what it takes, and what 2013 holds in terms of sorting the blaggers from the bloggers.
This is, of course, a much bigger discussion than just an hour-long chat at WTM.
Some of you may remember discussions about an independent vetting process for bloggers and a sort of blogger code of conduct at previous editions of TBEX, and the subsequent creation of TBEX Connect.
It seems like there’s a desire to have a quick-fix directory where connections can be made based on quantifiable criteria as well as qualitative research. But has that concept reached critical mass yet? Does a directory run the risk of short cutting the due diligence that needs to be done by both sides? Or is it maybe that the perfect system hasn’t yet been put forward?
If you’ll be attending the WTM Social Travel Market, Rick and Ayngelina’s session, “How to sort the bloggers from the blaggers,” is in the South Gallery, Rooms 23-26 from 2:30-3:30 on Wednesday, November 7. The discussion will be moderated by Steve Keenan.