TBEX 2014 North America Update

We know you’re eagerly waiting for us to announce the TBEX 2014 North America destination. And we’re eager to announce it, too. Unfortunately, there are just a few too many moving parts right now for us to be able to make an announcement yet. And we’re sorry for that.

A little back story.

Last fall, the TBEX team was ready to jump on a plane and head off to our 2014 destination, sign contracts, and have a big announcement. The day before that was to happen, we had a call from them advising that their internet infrastructure was not going to be updated in time to host the event. This great destination was smart enough to know that you don’t send a thousand-plus influential travel bloggers to visit and have an internet problem. It was the right thing to do.

For us, that meant going back to the drawing board. In the event business, that process begins with sending out a RFP (request for proposal) to interested destinations, reviewing them, and negotiating the very best opportunities for our attendees. We know you’ve come to expect high standards from a TBEX destination – from an efficient, well run venue facility to diverse options to explore editorial stories. That means the RFP process takes a while.

While we were at NMX in January, Mary Jo and I did an interview with the This Week in Travel crew (Jen Leo, Gary Arndt, and Chris Christensen) [link] and I said that we had narrowed things down to four cities and that we would be making the destination announcement in mid-February, if not sooner. I meant it at the time. Ever since then we’ve been saying the announcement would be soon, or perhaps next week, or any day now. And the team has meant it every time we’ve said it.

Where we are today.

The reality is that there are still some details that haven’t been worked out and we’re not prepared to make an announcement. We get closer every day, but we’re not quite there yet. We are working hard to balance what’s needed to put on a quality event with the need to get this announcement made and registration open. We have nothing to gain by deliberately delaying the announcement, so I hope you’ll understand that it really is a matter of logistics.

We’re going to stop saying “next week” or “soon” or “any day now” and just say that the very minute we can make this announcement, we will. We hope you’ll understand and try to be patient with us just a little bit longer.

As of this minute we are down to three cities. Each has strengths and weaknesses on a variety of factors, timing, logistics, etc. Depending on the city we select our dates will be the week of June 16 (not overlapping Fathers day). The week of July 21 or the first two weeks of August.

Again, we apologize for not being able to announce our 2014 destination with you yet. There will be a TBEX North America 2014, and you can read about it here the very minute we can make the announcement.

Travel Bloggers: You’re Invited to Chat with Harvey Levin


You’re invited to get a little up close and personal with Harvey Levin, American television producer, lawyer, legal analyst and celebrity reporter, and the founder of celebrity gossip website TMZ.com. The company also runs two successful on location tours in Hollywood and New York City, capitalizing on the interest visitors have to see notorious locations for themselves.

TMZ Invitation

With the one year anniversary of TMZ Tour NYC approaching, Harvey will be hosting a video Question & Answer session giving you a chance to ask questions about the latest happenings with the TMZ Tour. Have a question about where the current NYC hot spots are? Ask Harvey. Want to know know the inside scoop on your favorite celeb? Harvey will dish. Maybe someone can find out where his favorite place to travel is.

Part travel, part casual conversation, the session should be a lot of fun. Travel bloggers are welcome to register to participate (details below). RSVP right away, availability is limited.

Date:  Wednesday, March 26th

Time:  7 pm (Eastern time), 4 pm (Pacific time)

To participateRSVP to Lauren by Monday, March 24th. You will receive access credentials by return email. Limited space available.

Call for Speakers: TBEX Athens, October 23-25, 2014


Today we are opening the call for speakers for TBEX Europe 2014 in Athens, Greece.

We want you to be successful in submitting a session proposal for TBEX Athens, so here are a few helpful hints to get you pointed in the right direction.

acropolis parthenon athens greece

Our ed sessions fall with four categories. For the bloggers:  Content, Community, and Commerce. For the industry:  TBEX Business, two tracks of education designed for DMOs, PR representatives, and other industry attendees. Your session must fit into one of these categories.

Sessions are approximately one hour in length, allowing time within that for questions and answers.  Please do not suggest something longer.

Attendees don’t care about you or how much you know. They care about how you and what you share with them can help their business. If your proposal is all about you, we’ll have to turn it down. Make it all about your audience and we have something to work with.

We are always looking for high level, advanced ed sessions. We invite submissions at this level; please show that you have a full understanding of what is (and isn’t) an advanced session when you submit it.

Here’s a little information from Dublin:

  • We had 36 speakers for our breakout sessions. 18 were from Europe (5 of which were from Ireland), 17 from North America, and 1 from Asia.
  • 31% of our speakers were women.
  • Approximately 61% of our speakers were new to the TBEX speaking platform

I hope your mind is full of great ideas for your submissions, but there’s one more thing we need you to do. Please read this information on how to become a speaker at TBEX. It contains a lot more information about the type of sessions we’re looking for, will answer most questions that you have, and outlines more about the expectations we have of our speakers.

If you still have questions after reviewing all that information, please get in touch. I’m happy to answer additional questions or discuss session ideas.

Now you’re ready. So head on over to our TBEX Athens speaker submission form and sent us your best stuff!

The call for speakers will remain open until midnight, April 19th, 2014. Speakers selected will be notified as quickly as possible.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day


Top o’ the morning to you this fine St. Patrick’s Day!

Do your remember your time in Dublin for TBEX? Who wants to go back again?

To celebrate the wearing of the green today, as well as our fondness for the fine people of Ireland, we wanted to share this video with you. We agree, Ireland does inspire.

Travel Media Interviews Patti Hosking at ITB Berlin

Patti Hosking represented TBEX at ITB Berlin last week, participating in the official announcement of Athens as our host destination for TBEX Europe 2014. She talks about it in this interview with Michael Collins of TravelMedia.ie:

TBEX March Blogging Challenge: Green


For March, our travel blogging challenge theme is: Green.

Be creative about what Green means to you, whether it’s the environmentally conscious green of eco-travel, the vibrant green in your photography, or even the green of St. Patrick’s Day, we want to see how creative you can get with this theme.

Walking through forest

You may choose to write a post specifically for this blogging challenge or use one from your archives. Please showcase only your best work.

To participate, just click on the “add your link” button at the bottom of the post – that’s all the way at the bottom of all the photos of linked up posts. Then, follow the easy steps as it walks you through the process of adding your link and a photo. In the spot where it asked for Name, please put the Name of your Blog Post (not your personal name or the name of your blog, as this will delay the moderation process). Also, the only way to have your post included in the round up is to click on the link tool, we will delete links included in the comments.

Because we have to be responsible in sharing content, there are a just few guidelines to keep things on the up and up:

  • Show us your best stuff. Sure, you might be learning and just starting to work on your craft; there’s no need to worry about that. Make sure your contribution represents the best you can do today and it’s all good. This is also a chance to learn and grow, no one is going to make fun of your progress.
  • Only one link per blog and/or blogger.
  • Links are moderated to keep off-topic and spam posts out. Please be patient, we’ll get yours approved as quickly as possible. And, of course, check back here to see links from new participants and click through to discover new content.
  • Remember the good old days when blogging was about sharing and being a good community member? This is a chance to bring back some of those values by sharing the TBEX community love with everyone participating in the TBEX travel blogging challenge. We hope you’ll click through and read these posts, comment, and share with your own communities via social media. It’s just a nice thing to do; it’s what blogging used to be about.

The theme for March 2014 is simple – sharing a blog post around the theme of Green.

Coming up:  Our April travel blogging challenge will be published on April 6th (theme:  People ).

TBEX Athens Press Release




This is the text of the joint press release announcing that Athens has been chosen as the destination for TBEX Europe 2014.


City of Athens: TBEX 2014, the biggest gathering of travel bloggers and writers worldwide, will take place in Athens

Following coordinated and methodical efforts over the last three months by the City of Athens and the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) of the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (ADDMA), Athens was chosen as the host destination for TBEX Europe 2014, the annual international meeting of travel bloggers, writers, and new media content creators.

TBEX is one of the most sought-after and in demand events of the global tourism community, which gathers more than 1.000 bloggers, travel writers, content creators / contributors, agents and professionals of the tourism industry with intense activity in social media, from around the world.

The choice of Athens for the TBEX annual event in October 2014, is an extremely important development for the city’s placement and image in the international travel and tourism industry, as destinations that host TBEX, receive enormous and immediate visibility through all online platforms for social and professional networking (blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Google +, etc.), which aggregate hundreds of millions of views, reports and posts, before, during and after the meeting.

The official announcement of Athens as the host destination for TBEX 2014 will take place at the International Tourism Exhibition ITB Berlin.

TBEX lasts three days, during which a series of meetings, educational seminars and presentations with the participation of internationally renowned experts, social media influencers and celebrities take place. The whole event is accompanied by a rich program of social events and activities which showcase the host destination.

The Mayor of Athens, Mr. Yorgos Kaminis stated: “Through serious planning, targeted actions and dedication, we reposition Athens on the international tourism map. The successful organization of events of international importance and high-level professional requirements, such as TBEX, prove that our city can host the most demanding of events. Additionally, its competency to do so has been acknowledged by top organizations and key players of the world market. Athens will do everything in its power for the absolute success of TBEX 2014”.

Athens City Council Member and President of ADDMA Mr. George Broulias stated: “The awarding of the TBEX event in Athens, after the crucial and persistent efforts of the City of Athens and the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau, is a very important success for our city. For three days, Athens will be at the focus of hundreds of top opinion leaders through the largest networks of social media and travel blogs, while the positive impact of the event for our destination will be reproduced internationally for a long time. It is a great honor, but also an opportunity for our city.”

Rick Calvert, the CEO of TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) stated: “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Athens as our host destination for TBEX Europe 2014. During our site visit it was immediately apparent that everyone in the city was excited about hosting TBEX. From the Mayor, to the City Council, to the entire staff at the ACVB, all of the hotels, restaurants, tour operators and other private industry partners. There are so many amazing stories to tell about the city and the surrounding area. Our attendees are absolutely going to love city and the people of Athens. People are sure to be talking about TBEX Athens for years to come. “

The Megaron Athens International Conference Centre has been chosen as the main venue for TBEX 2014, and the ACVB already has proceeded to the detailed planning of the event along with the preparation of the hospitality program and parallel events.

TBEX is supported by the Greek National Tourism Organization—GNTO.

Sign up Registration link


Announcing TBEX Europe 2014 in Athens, Greece


We are thrilled to announce Athens, Greece as our host destination for TBEX Europe 2014. TBEX Athens will be held at the Megaron Conference Center October 23-25, 2014.


Athens, Greece.

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind?

acropolis parthenon athens greece

Are you envisioning the great philosophers, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle? Or perhaps Pericles, supervising the construction of the Parthenon? Are you reminded of scenes from the popular movies 300 and Troy? Are you thinking about history, and the battle of Thermopylae, the hero Achilles, and the Trojan horse?

Or do you picture modern day Athens, surrounded by mountains and stunning coastlines (38 miles of Athenian Riviera) with its luxury hotels and spas, restaurants, cinemas, sport centers, and ultra-modern shopping centers with high fashion boutiques?

Located at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, Athens has been continuously inhabited for nearly 7,000 years and is one of the oldest cities in the World. Among other things, Athens has been called the “cradle of civilization”, and is known as the birthplace of democracy, western philosophy, the Olympic Games, political science, Western literature, and theater.

In today’s Athens, you will find ancient and modern life exist side-by-side.  From Constitution Square and the world-class boutiques around Monastiraki Square to the historic Plaka district, and the old traditional flea market, full of butchers, fishmongers, herb and spice stores, cheese shops, and random ouzo joints.

Athenians dine late and offer an incredible nightlife. You can choose from folk dancing performances, trendy bars, and fashionable nightclubs, to bouzouki (think Oktoberfest) and rembetika music (Grecian blues).

You can easily and safely walk the city center. The metro system is easy to use and inexpensive. Athens International Airport (ATH) has direct service to more than 65 destinations, with connections to the rest of the world. The airport connects to the city via an express bus service that runs 24/7.

In just a few hours, or less, you can enjoy one of the many ancient and historical sites like Poseidon Temple in Cape Sounion, Delphi and Mycenae, as well as the breathtakingly romantic Greek isles. The islands off the coast of the Argosaronic Gulf, Aigina, Hydra, Poros, Spetses, and Mykonos, are popular destinations among the Athenians, and are ideal for one-day getaways.

If it’s food you’re interested in, you’re sure to appreciate Athens’ booming gastronomic scene where Mediterranean fusions open up new gourmet flavors. And, there is incredible Greek wine, beer, and spirits to sample as well.

For all of the above reasons and thousands more Athens promises to offer an epic TBEX experience.

Our Hosts

Our host for TBEX Athens is the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau. They’ll be joining together with additional partners around the city and Greece to create another memorable destination experience for TBEX Athens attendees.

We will announce pre and post-TBEX day trips, FAMS, and other special events, as soon as we have details for you – so plan to come early and stay late in order to get the most out of your TBEX Athens trip.

Our Conference Venue

The TBEX Athens workshops and educational sessions will be held at The Megaron:  Athens International Conference Centre.

The Megaron is situated in the heart of Athens, and is within walking distance to many major hotels. Major museums, shops and fine dining are all just minutes away. The Megaron is easily accessible by bus, trolley or Metro for those staying farther away.


Accommodations to fit most every budget are available around the city. We’ll be putting up a hotel page as soon as that information is available.

The Program

We’ll have a full schedule of TBEX events, including workshops on October 23rd, education programming on October 24-25th, two sessions of speed networking, and plenty of great social events.

The call for speakers will go out in the next couple of days, so read these tips on how to become a speaker at TBEX and start thinking about what you’d like to share with TBEX Athens attendees. Remember, we are a business-to-business event, so consumer travel topics aren’t a good fit for us.


Super early bird registration is NOW OPEN.