21 Catalunya Blogger Trips Now Available

Girona, Costa Brava, Spain

Today opens the application process for post-TBEX Blogger Trips around Costa Brava.

Our host destination and their partners have worked hard to put together these 21 trip, with diverse focus and opportunities, giving bloggers plenty to choose from. From cycling the Pyrenees to discovering the culture of Barcelona, from digging into fashion to enjoy the easy pace of the fishing village of Baix Empordà, from visiting the Monastery of Montserrat to outdoor camping experiences — you’re certain to find something that will tempt you to linger in Catalunya.

You can find a full listing of all 21 blog trips, including destinations, specific activities, fitness levels, and dates here.

A few important reminders about the blogger trips.

  • You must be registered for TBEX Europe 2015 to be considered for a trip. Head over here to register (prices go up February 6th).
  • These trips are open to bloggers and other content creators only. Sorry, no industry representatives, guests, or children permitted.
  • EVERY blogger must submit an individual application, there are no group or couple applications.
  • You may specify your top 3 trip choices. Please review all the trip opportunities and make your selections carefully.
  • The link to the application form can be found on the trip description page.

The deadline to apply for these blogger trips is Monday, February 16th, at midnight, Pacific Time. We will try to notify all bloggers of their selection for the trips the following week. Remember, you must be registered to be eligible to participate in a blogger trip.

Another Round of Speakers Announced for TBEX Europe 2015

Speaker collage 3

We have another group of speakers to announce today, welcoming both new and returning speakers to the TBEX stage. Please join me in welcoming:


Dave Bouskill & Deb Corbeil – Dave and Deb founded ThePlanetD in 2008 after cycling the continent of Africa. Now well-known travel personalities, both online and in mainstream media, they’ve been featured in major Canadian and international media outlets such as The Today Show, The Social, Canada Am, Yahoo Travel, and BBC Travel. ThePlanetD recently won the 2014 Gold Medal for Best Travel Blog at the Society of American Travel Writers.

Dave and Deb will be leading an advanced session about developing brand partnerships.

Eloi Morte Castello – Eloi has been working within the aviation and tourism industry for 8 years, and has lived in many places in Spain and other countries. He has now launched a new busines specializing in the LGBT community, and has created the first gay tours and activities company in Barcelona, capitalizing on marketing strategies to meet the gay community.

Eloi will be speaking about marketing to the LGBT community.

Gary Arndt –  Gary Arndt is an awarding winning blogger and travel photographer who has been traveling around the world non-stop since 2007. His blog Everything Everywhere is widely considered one of the most popular travel blogs in the world. He was named the 2014 SATW Photographer of the Year as well as the 2013 NATJA Travel Photographer of the Year. He is a associate producer to OnTravel on American Forces Radio and has appeared in the New York Times, CNN, BCC, The Atlantic, Outside Magazine and many other newspapers around the world.

Gary will be speaking on the evolution of long term blogging.

Mary Gabbett – Mary Gabbett has over 15 years of experience working with creative entrepreneurs and managing industrial psychology consulting businesses. As co-founder of popular ecotourism website Green Global Travel and creative services agency Green Travel Media, Mary manages business operations, handles photography and videography, and oversees an extensive Social Media and PR internship program.

Mary will be speaking about branding.

Michael Collins – Michael Collins loves to travel. That’s why he works in the travel industry. It’s as simple as that. Michael started out in the travel industry as a travel publisher with Backpacker, Abroad and Irish Business Traveller magazines. In 2006 he started TravelMedia.ie, a specialist travel PR and trade representation company, working with airlines, tour operators, travel agents, hoteliers and tourist boards, assisting them with all their travel media needs, from media buying, social media, PR, SEO and strategy.

Michael will be speaking about the tourism industry.

Ralph Velasco – Travel photography instructor, author and international guide, Ralph Velasco has led over 40 cultural photo tours around the world and taught thousands of people how to be better travel photographers. Additionally Ralph is creator of the free My Shot Lists for Travel app for iOS devices which helps travelers of all photography skill levels to bring back a more interesting and well-rounded set of images of any destination.

Ralph will be speaking about photography.

Sherry Ott – Sherry Ott is a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer with one goal in mind – to make you wish you were somewhere else. She seeks out unique travel experiences and adventures while writing about her nomadic life on Ottsworld.com since 2006. In addition, Sherry is the co-founder of Meet, Plan, Go!, a website and travel event teaching people how they can take a traveling career break or sabbatical that benefits their career.

Sherry will be speaking about business tools that make life on the road easier.

Stephanie Yoder – Stephanie Yoder is a girl who can’t sit still! She has been blogging about her adventures for over five years on her website Twenty-Something Travel. Since quitting her desk job in 2010 Stephanie makes a full-time living online. She has traveled to dozens of countries and lived in China, Argentina, the UK and Mexico. She now lives in Seattle with her husband, but continues to write and travel the world.

Stephanie will be speaking on the evolution of long term travel blogging.

If you submitted a speaker proposal and have not yet heard from us, it means that it is still under consideration. We build the program in layers, and we’ll be putting together another round of announcements for next week. We appreciate your patience as the announcements are made, and hope you are enthusiastic as we are to see the program evolve.



What We’re Reading This Week

SA CALETA 2 Lloret de Mar (Costa Brava)


Do you have something you think we’d be interested in knowing about? Add #TBEX to your tweets or Facebook posts and we’ll take a look. We’ll share the best of what we find each week here on the blog.

Here’s what we’re reading this week:

About PR, Sales & Marketing

About Social Media

About Technology

  • How to Use Slack and Why Your Business Needs It – Slack recently debuted as a simplified project management and communication tool for teams. Are you using it? We’d love to know what you think. Here’s one example of how a small team is using it. Read original article here: How to Use Slack and Why Your Business Needs It
  • The 12 Best New Travel Products From CES 2015 – For the gadget lovers in our community, here’s a review of travel product from CES. Is there anything you are looking at longingly? Read original article here: The 12 Best New Travel Products From CES 2015

About Travel

  • Traveling to Europe is about to get a whole lot cheaper – Travel to Europe is looking a whole lot cheaper than it was last year. This is great news (for Americans) about the US dollar to Euro valuation. Read original article here: Traveling to Europe is about to get a whole lot cheaper
  • NatGeoTravel Staff Bucket List: 2015 – If you’re looking for travel inspiration, you can find some here. Read original article here: @NatGeoTravel Staff Bucket List: 2015
  • How to Score the Best Airfare – Turns out those recommendations about the best time to buy airline tickets are an urban myth. So when is the best time to buy? Read original article here: How to Score the Best Airfare
  • The Town of Castellfollit de la Roca in Girona, Catalonia – Gary gives us a peek at one of the many small towns in the Costa Brava area of Catalunya, Spain. Read original article here: The Town of Castellfollit de la Roca in Girona, Catalonia
  • 20 Reasons to Never Leave Home Without Duct Tape – Duct tape can make a Macgyver of out any traveler? Do you travel with it? What other uses have you found? Read original article here: 20 Reasons to Never Leave Home Without Duct Tape
  • Life’s a Trip, then you have a Double Mastectomy – Our thoughts and good wishes go our to our community member Leah, as she follows through on a tough medical decision. Read original article here: Life’s a Trip, then you have a Double Mastectomy


Stay Longer in Catalunya with FREE Hotel Room Nights After TBEX Europe

Barcelona Airport

Barcelona Airport

We’ve very excited to share some information about how you can stay longer in Catalunya after TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar.

Our host sponsors have arranged for approximately 2,476 FREE room nights at 155 different accommodations throughout Catalunya. Accommodations will run the gamut, from hostels to hotels, from apartments to campsites, and more. Some of the accommodations will offer full or half board, others bed and breakfast, and still others, just the accommodations.

Rooms will be available from Monday, May 4th until Monday, May 11th. That means you can plan to stay in Catalunya for a whole week following TBEX.

Participants must be registered to attend TBEX to be eligible to take advantage of this offer. It is expected that you will share your appreciation with mentions in social media and/or blog posts, as appropriate.

Managing the reservations system for this wonderful opportunity will take a little bit of technology and testing, so we’re not ready to open up the process today. But – we do want you to have the information so you can start booking your flights, planning your schedule, and organizing any story pitches you may want to make. We hope to have more reservation information for you in the next week.

Take advantage of this great opportunity, register today.



More Speakers Announced for TBEX Europe 2015

TBEX speaker collage Jan 22


We’re very excited to announce a few more speakers for TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar, Catalyuna, Spain. We hope you’ll be as excited to see these speakers on the stage as we are.

Auston Matta – Auston lived in Chicago for 4 years before he sold everything and went on a round-the-world trip in 2012. He started the blog Two Bad Tourists with his husband David during the adventure, and after traveling for a year, he moved to Spain, which he now calls home. When he’s not traveling or writing about events, festivals or LGBT destinations, he enjoys the warm and sunny days and vibrant nightlife in Madrid.

Auston will be speaking about marketing to the LGBT demographic.

Bret Love – Bret Love is a 21-year veteran journalist/editor whose clients have ranged from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and American Way to Rolling Stone and Yahoo Travel. He’s passionate about promoting the economic and environmental benefits of ecotourism, and is the co-founder of popular ecotourism website Green Global Travel and creative services agency Green Travel Media.

Bret will be speaking about branding.

Brett Domue – By day, Brett is a Financial Business Controller for a large Dutch corporation, but he spends the majority of his free time scouting out craft beer around the globe. In the past 10 years, he’s primarily lived in the Netherlands, with a few years in Taiwan in between. Brett is the co-founder of Our Tasty Travels, a travel blog specializing in culinary travel, including craft beer and wine. Despite maintaining a full-time job outside the travel blogging industry, he’s managed to travel to over 60 countries and is preparing to pursue his Cicerone certification in 2015.

Brett will be speaking about how to add beer and wine content to your site.

Caleb Wojcik – Caleb Wojcik has been making videos off and on for nearly a decade. In that time he has filmed the NHL, MLB, NCAA basketball & football, weddings, commercials, book trailers, and plenty of training videos for the web. He is also the author of DIY Video Guide, teaches web video production at DIYVideoGuy.com, and runs a video production studio called Caleb Wojcik Films. He also formerly co-founded Fizzle.

Caleb will be speaking about how to make great videos by yourself.

David Farley – David Farley is a New York-based food and travel writer. He is the author of An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church’s Strangest Relic in Italy’s Oddest Town (Penguin, 2010), which was recently made into a documentary by the National Geographic Channel. He is a Contributing Editor at AFAR magazine and also contributes regularly to the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Bon Appetit, and BBC Travel, where he writes a monthly column on food from around the world. He teaches writing at New York University and Columbia University.

David will be speaking about writing.

Diana Edelman – Diana Edelman is a travel writer. the voice behind d travels ’round and a responsible animal tourism expert. For more than two years she studied with renowned elephant conservationist Sangduen “Lek” Chailert at Elephant Nature Park/Save Elephant Foundation in Thailand. While there, she traveled SE Asia learning and observing elephants in captivity. She has been an outspoken advocate for elephants and has served as an expert on the topic for numerous print, radio, television and documentaries. Diana is also co-founder of the Responsible Travel & Tourism Collective.

Diana will be speaking about responsible tourism.

Erin De Santiago – Erin is a freelance writer and blogger who splits time between the Netherlands and Belize. She holds a Certified Specialist in Wine (CSW) designation and, prior to moving abroad, she also worked part-time in a Northern California winery to learn more about the winemaking process. Erin co-founded Our Tasty Travels, a culinary travel blog, and has traveled to over 60 countries seeking out the best in food and wine. Erin plans to pursue additional wine education and is preparing to start the WSET certification in 2015.

Erin will be speaking about how to add beer and wine content to your site.

Jennifer Dombrowski – Jennifer Dombrowski is a location independent globe trotter who is based in Prata di Pordenone, Italy. She works as a social media and communications strategist and is an award-winning travel writer. She is also a travel correspondent on Traveling on the American Forces Radio Network. Luxe Adventure Traveler was named one of the top travel blogs to watch by the Huffington Post and has been featured by top publications such as CNN, Buzzfeed , and The Telegraph. 

Jennifer will be speaking about the social media expectation on blogs trips and on social media campaigns.

Tawanna Browne Smith – Based in the Baltimore-Washington area, Tawanna Browne Smith is a former intelligence analyst and now traveling mother of two boys. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Mom’s Guide To Travel, a site that provides multimedia content aimed at encouraging parents to continue exploring the world with and without kids. Tawanna has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and holds a Masters degree in International Security and Economic Policy. Tawanna enjoys working with new destinations and continuously creating.

Tawanna will be speaking about how to incorporate webinars into your business plan.

We’ll have additional speaker announcements coming next week and we continue to shape and build our educational programming.





What We’re Reading

Hadrians Library in Athens

Do you have something you think we’d be interested in knowing about? Add #TBEX to your tweets or Facebook posts and we’ll take a look. We’ll share the best of what we find each week here on the blog.

Here’s what we’re reading this week:

About PR, Sales, and Marketing

  • Creating Your Ideal Client Avatar! Day 12 – 30 Days to Awesomize Your Blog – This may be helpful in thinking about your ideal reader as well, and is a great exercise to help you think about who your audience (client) is. Read original article here: Creating Your Ideal Client Avatar! Day 12 – 30 Days to Awesomize Your Blog
  • World’s First Virgin Hotel Opens In Chicago – The Virgin brand moves into the hotel business, opening their first property in Chicago. Read original article here: World’s First Virgin Hotel Opens In Chicago
  • 10 PR measurement predictions for 2015 – Do you have any predictions to add to this list? Read original article here: 10 PR measurement predictions for 2015
  • Three Things That Changed Travel Marketing in 2014 – Do you think travel marketing changed last year? This blog post suggests things than they believe have changed the landscape entirely. Read original article here: Three Things That Changed Travel Marketing in 2014
  • Adios, Facebook Social – This media company is saying goodbye to Facebook because it doesn’t drive their important conversions. What do you think? Is Facebook driving your important conversions? Read original article here: Adios, Facebook Social
  • Historic mobile ad surge threatens print – A veteran journalist, editor, now media consultant opines on the shift of dollars from print to mobile advertising. Read original article here: Historic mobile ad surge threatens print

About Improving our Craft

About Travel

  • The Cost Of Living In Every Part Of The World In One Incredible Infographic – Thinking about ditching your home and heading to cheaper environs to live? This map may have some surprises for you. Read original article here: The Cost Of Living In Every Part Of The World In One Incredible Infographic
  • Five ways you can help Raif Badawi – Blogging can have painful consequences, as Raif Badawi has found out. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. The first lashes were administered earlier this month and are set to continue weekly until the sentence is completed. Here’s how you can offer help. Read original article here: Five ways you can help Raif Badawi
  • Cuba — open for US travelers – With Cuba opening up for U.S. travelers, we’re asking – who wants to go? Read original article here: Cuba — open for US travelers
  • My Travel Tattoos & What They Mean To Me [Mini Photo Essay] – Do you have a tattoo that proclaims your love of travel? Read original article here: My Travel Tattoos & What They Mean To Me [Mini Photo Essay]
  • The Hypocrisy Of The “I’m Cultured And You’re Not” Crowd – A good lesson about not judging others – whether that’s how they travel or where they travel. Read original article here: The Hypocrisy Of The “I’m Cultured And You’re Not” Crowd
  • Get Free National Executive Status (Skip the Line & Rental Car Upgrades!) – Sign up to get a free upgrade to National Emerald Club Executive Status, details here. Read original article here: Get Free National Executive Status (Skip the Line & Rental Car Upgrades!)
  • Planes versus high speed trains in the US – Unlike many parts of the world, we only have one high speed train here in the US (the Acela in the Northeast part of the country). Will we ever see the US become more common here? Read original article here: Planes versus high speed trains in the US
  • 6 Dos and Don’ts to Prolong Laptop Battery Life – For travel bloggers and road warriors, getting every ounce of use out of a laptop battery is important. Do you have any tips of your own to add to this list? Read original article here: 6 Dos and Don’ts to Prolong Laptop Battery Life
  • The Weird and Wonderful World of Korean Pizza – Pizza with figs and snails; sweet potato crusts; sausage, calamari, and cream cheese? Interesting flavor combinations go into Korean pizza. Read original article here: The Weird and Wonderful World of Korean Pizza


TBEX Asia 2015 Call for Speakers

bangkok thailand from mary jo

Today we are opening the Call for Speakers for TBEX Asia 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. We are very excited to be heading to Asi for the very first time, and know that you’ll want to be a part of this inaugural program.

TBEX Asia 2015 will be held October 15-17 in Bangkok, Thailand, at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand.

For planning purposes, and to maximize your TBEX experience, we recommend speakers and attendees allow a few days before and after the conference dates to enjoy the pre- and post- tours and activities, along with FAM/press trips. More information about this additional TBEX programming will be announced as it becomes available; this general timeframe is provided to help you decide if you can commit to the dates and schedule.

If you are interested in speaking at TBEX Asia 2015, please read this information in its entirety. It will help you understand our programming needs and help you submit a successful proposal. Your submission is your chance to make a great first impression, and here are some tips to help you. If you’ve submitted for past TBEX events, please read as there have been some changes.

  • Think about your topic with a laser-like focus, narrowing it down to a manageable amount of information.  On the submission form you will need to provide a brief description of your topic that explains what you can teach and share in a one-hour session (leaving time for questions and answers). You will also need to list specific takeaways that will help attendees create better content, build stronger communities, and/or develop better businesses. We are looking for narrow topics, rather than general.
  • Consider the best format and presentation style for your session. We can accommodate solo presentations, co-presentations, and panels. For presentations with multiple speakers, we prefer to have speakers from different blogs, businesses, etc., as it provides differing opinions and viewpoints on a topic. Keep in mind that we may suggest a co-presenter who we think can help round out the information.
  • There are a variety of things that we look for in selecting speakers. It’s helps to be an expert on your topic, but that alone isn’t enough. You also need to be great speaker. We recognize that there are a number of different speaking styles, just as there a number of different learning styles, and we don’t want carbon copies on the stage. If you know that you’re a subject matter expert with little speaking experience, partner up with someone who has that speaking experience, even if they might not be as knowledgeable as you on the topic. If you’re an experienced speaker, but new to TBEX, consider partnering with a speaker who might have a better understanding of what we’re looking for.
  • Specify a knowledge level that your session designed for. We are not looking for basic or beginner level sessions. The knowledge base of travel bloggers has grown, and we’ve found that most attendees at TBEX are at an intermediate level. We are looking for intermediate and advanced sessions only. Intermediate sessions are designed for attendees who have some knowledge of the topic and who are looking to develop further competency in that area. Most sessions will likely be at this level. Advanced sessions are for attendees who have mastered core competencies in a subject matter, who have likely been blogging for some time, and who have created a business that incorporates their blogging activities in some way. Advanced sessions are designed for bloggers who are looking to fine tune their businesses, a chance to discover one little thing that can tweak and improve what they are already successful at. Think of an advanced session as a training camp for Olympic athletes. If you can present at this level, please consider submitting an advanced proposal.
  • Please remember that we are a media conference, not a consumer one. We do not schedule consumer travel content.
  • Let us know how you can help promote TBEX Asia and your session. We expect speakers to submit a guest blog post for the TBEX blog, and hope you are interested in helping us expand our community of travel bloggers, industry representatives, and attendees.
  • The ultimate decision maker of what is a great session is our attendees. When preparing your speaker submission, we encourage you to think like an attendee, asking yourself what an attendee would want to learn about your topic idea.

The ONE thing to  avoid when you’re putting together your speaker submission:

  • Your session should not be a product pitch, nor promotional for your blog, company, or services. Promotion and buzz about your company will naturally flow from delivering a high quality session. Rick always says, and it bears repeating here,  “The stage is for education, not selling.”

Other helpful information about speaking at TBEX:

  • All speaker submissions must be submitted via the submission form.
  • If you have an idea for a educational session and want some help in narrowing it down, crafting a better angle, etc., I am happy to discuss ideas with you before you fill out the form. You can email me here, and we can discuss via email, phone call, or Skype chat.
  • Preference is given to speakers who will attend and participate in the entire TBEX event. If for some reason you are not able to do so, please make a note of this in your submission form.  We also expect that speakers will not promote or attend any event that conflicts with official TBEX programming.
  • We do not pay a speaker fee.
  • All speakers receive complimentary registration. We do not cover expenses beyond registration for industry attendees.
  • Coverage of blogger expenses (economy class transportation and accommodations) will be discussed upon confirmation of a speaking slot. Should you not need travel expenses covered, please let us know in your submission.

Please be patient as we work through all the speaker submission forms and create our program. I used to think selecting speakers was easy, until I had to do it. Now I realize that creating a great program is like one giant game of Tetris, with each decision having to fit together as part of a balanced whole. It takes time, but we continue to streamline the process and are able to respond more quickly than in previous years.

And the most important thing to know about speaking at TBEX:

It’s fun!

Talk to anyone who has been a speaker and they’ll tell you they had a great time. Speaking at TBEX is a wonderful way to increase your influence, highlight your expertise, and to learn. We want the experience to be just as enjoyable for you as a speaker as it is for all of our attendees.

What are you waiting for? Get all your thoughts together and then head over to the submission page.

Submit your TBEX Speaker Submission Form here. Submission deadline is February 5, 2015, midnight Pacific Time.

What We’re Reading This Week

Sunset in Kona, Hawaii

Sunset in Kona, Hawaii

Here’s what we’re reading this week:

About PR & Marketing

  • Delaware Tourism Changes the State’s Slogan – Delaware has changed its state slogan to “Endless Disoveries” (it used to be “Small Wonder”). Does the new slogan make you want to visit? Do you even pay attention to state or country slogans? Read original article here: Delaware Tourism Changes the State’s Slogan
  • 15 buzzwords to avoid this year – Are their any other words or phrases that you’d like to see banished in 2015? Read original article here: 15 buzzwords to avoid this year
  • PR’s obsession with media coverage – What is the goal of public relations? Historically it turns out to be more than just getting media coverage. What do you think? Read original article here: PR’s obsession with media coverage

About Improving our Craft

  • Quick Tip: Sunrise and Sunset Locations – If you’re trying to take shots at sunrise or sunset, here’s some information to help you plan the right time at the right place. Read original article here: Quick Tip: Sunrise and Sunset Locations
  • A photography guide to Santorini – Getting that Postcard shot – We’re not the only ones who fell in love with Greece. This guide to photographing Santorini will help you get that postcard shot. Read original article here: A photography guide to Santorini – Getting that Postcard shot

About Food

  • Museum Of Gastronomy Showcases Great Greek Cuisine – Paul Lasley was a speaker at TBEX Athens. He ventured out to explore the food of the region, happening upon the new Museum of Gastronomy. You can listen to what he discovered in this podcast of his radio show on Armed Forces Radio Network. Read original article here: Museum Of Gastronomy Showcases Great Greek Cuisine
  • Barcelona Tapas Guide: What, where, and when to eat tapas – Some tapas suggestions in Barcelona. You know you’re going to want to try them. Read original article here: Barcelona Tapas Guide: What, where, and when to eat tapas

About Travel

Do you have something you think we’d be interested in knowing about? Add #TBEX to your tweets or Facebook posts and we’ll take a look. We’ll share the best of what we find each week here on the blog

Katja Presnal, Kash Bhattacharya & Chris Christensen to Keynote at TBEX Europe 2015

Katja Presnal, Kash Bhattacharya and Chris Christensen to keynote at TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar

We’re very excited to make our first keynote announcement for TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar!

Katja Presnal from Skimbaco, Kash Bhattacharya from Budget Traveller, and Chris Christensen from Amateur Traveler, will discuss how they’ve created sustainable businesses by establishing themselves as the go-to expert in their respective niches. They’ll challenge you to raise the bar of professionalism by defining your own niche and setting personal standards of excellence. You’ll want to be in the audience to hear this lively discussion from three bloggers who bring diverse perspectives and backgrounds to the topic.

Katja Presnal owns the Skimbaco lifestyle brand and is the editor-in-chief of Skimbaco Lifestyle online magazine. She leads an international team of writers with a passion to inspire people to live life to the fullest. Katja is an Addy Award-winning social media strategist who has worked with some of the largest consumer brands in the USA. Featured in Vanity Fair, NY Times, Forbes, Glamour among other publications, she is an internationally respected speaker. Her first book “Instagram as your Guide to the World – How, What and Who to Search and Follow on Instagram to Help You Travel the World” was published in May 2013.

Kash Bhattacharya has been traveling on a budget for the last four years, blogging about his adventures. He has been featured in the NY Times, Guardian  and on CNN. Kash is the author and creator of the Luxury Hostels in Europe guide, and has developed a number of award-winning campaigns like #BlogVille for the Emilia Romagna Tourism Board and #Blogmanay for Unique Events. His current project is Must Love Festivals, a collaborative blogging project with 15 other international bloggers, developed in partnership with Expedia and 11 tourism boards & brands. The project aims to raise the profile of lesser known but interesting festivals across Europe.

Chris Christensen is the host of the Amateur Traveler, a popular online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and includes a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog. Amateur Traveler had over a 1.3 million downloads in 2014. Together with Jen Leo and Gary Arndt he also produces the award winning This Week in Travel podcast. By day Chris has worked for years in technology startups in Silicon Valley. He was formerly the Director of Engineering for TripAdvisor’s New Initiatives group, the EVP Engineering at LiveWorld where his team built and ran online communities and events for companies include eBay, HBO, TV Guide, Expedia, Marriott, A&E, History Channel, the NBA, NBC, ABC, Disney, Microsoft, WebTV and American Express. Chris now owns and runs BloggerBridge.com, a new startup connecting bloggers and industry contacts.

Join us at TBEX Europe 2015 — register today. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Lloret de Mar.

First Speaker Announcements for TBEX Europe 2015

We’ve been burning the midnight oil going through all the great speakers submissions for TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar, and we have our first group of speakers to announce. We’ll be welcoming back some returning friends as well as welcoming some speakers new to the TBEX Stage.

speaker collage

Amanda Mouttaki – Amanda is a curious, world traveling mom of two boys, living in Marrakech, Morocco, with her husband and children. She obtained a university degree in project management and her passion is entrepreneurship on a global scale. In 2007 she began blogging as a hobby (Maroc Mama), transitioning it to a career during the economic crisis, and eventually launching a traditional business from her website in 2013 when she moved to Morocco.

Amanda will be speaking about building a traditional business from your blog.

Gary Bembridge – Gary Bembridge founded Tips for Travellers in 2005 to provide inspiration, advice, tips and tricks on finding and having luxurious travel experiences on both land and at sea. Draws on first-hand experiences of travelling every month of every year for over 25 years. Now focused full time on Tips For Travellers after a career in Global Marketing. The YouTube Channel has 27 million views (1,2 million/ year), the podcast over 700,000 downloads (180,000/year) and site 170,000 visitors a year. Gary is based in London.

Gary will be speaking about moving from editorial press trips to paid campaigns.

Heather Cowper – Heather Cowper is an editor and blogger at Heather on Her Travels, dedicated to inspirational travel experiences for the curious 40+ traveller who wants to enjoy travels with friends and family, exploring new cultures, tasting delicious food and soaking up the sunshine. Heather is a founding member of Travelator Media, a group of UK bloggers who work with destinations on specific campaigns to reach their target audience of the 40+ UK Quality Traveller.

Heather will be speaking about moving from editorial press trips to paid campaigns.

Ian Ord – Having spent more than half his life on the road, Ian has developed an insatiable thirst for travel. His love for the road less travelled is complimented by his passion the planet, its people, and the place tourism will responsibly fit within that realm. Travel blogger for Where Sidewalks End, host of responsible tourism twitter chats (#RTTC), past advisor & sponsor to the Travel Bloggers for Change charity, and most prominently, Founder of the boutique positive impact travel company: WSE Travel Inc., are just some of the hats Ian wears. He plays a very active role in helping bring global awareness, education and experience to those looking to travel responsibly. He hopes that one day eco, sustainable, responsible & positive impact travel will become the norm in which we all choose to see the world, and will simply be known as ‘travel’.

Ian will be speaking about building a traditional business from your blog.

Jodi Ettenberg – Jodi Ettenberg is a writer, photographer, and food-obsessed traveler exploring the world since she quit her job as a lawyer in April 2008. Jodi founded Legal Nomads to tell the stories of the places she visits, often through food. She is also the author of The Food Traveler’s Handbook, and runs small-group food walks in Saigon, Vietnam during the winter months. She has been featured in the New York Times, National Geographic, BBC Travel, Singapore Airlines, CNN Travel and more. She gets the shakes if she goes too long without sticky rice.

Jodi will be leading an advanced session on leveraging your brand beyond your blog.

Nathaniel Boyle – With a background in film and theater, television production, visual design, content marketing, social media, storytelling and world travel, Nathaniel Boyle has found a natural home producing story-driven content in travel media. He’s an enthusiast of exploration and the founder of the first and only daily podcast about travel, exploring its people at the crossroads of curiosity and creativity. Within the first 6 months, The Daily Travel Podcast released 150 episodes featuring some of the biggest names in travel.

Nathaniel will speaking on how to use podcasting to enhance your content, expand your reach, and grow your authority and revenue.

Sara Robles – Sara is a hands-on solutions provider, who uses Social Media to deliver happiness, and manages blogger relationships for Tourism and Technology companies. She has 10 years experience developing Public Relations & Communication strategies in Central America, Spain and Germany, and has founded her own agency, Sarification.

Sara will be speaking on how to work with Brands, from the pitch to a long-lasting relationship.

Stephen Oddo – In 2009, Stephen co-founded a travel agency selling tickets adjacent Vatican City, then subsequently co-founded Walks of Italy, a travel company for Italy visitors offering unique sightseeing tours. Walks has become one of the largest operators of travel services in Italy, success he attributes largely to social media and content marketing strategies. Walks of New York was launched in 2014 to great success, including coverage in The NY Times and a partnership with Mario Batali. He oversees offices in Rome, Austin, and NYC, and was featured in a NatGeo documentary about traveling smart in Rome. He has traveled the globe to over 50 countries.

Stephen will be speaking in our industry track about working with travel bloggers from a company perspective, including the pros, cons, expectations, and return on investment.

We will have more speaker announcements coming up later this week. And look for the call for speakers for TBEX Asia 2015 to open up later this month.