TBEX Europe 2015 Opening Night Party Update

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We’re having a party and you’re invited!

Join us tonight, April 30th, 2015, for a party in the sand at Santa Cristina Beach in front of the Hotel Santa Marta.  Here is some updated information about how you can join us. Please note that there have been some changes and it is important that you read all the information below.

First of all, this is an official TBEX event and a registration badge is required to participate. Stop by the TBEX registration desk at the Evenia to check in and receive your badge and program. Registration will be open util 4:30 pm and will reopen at the Town Hall at 5:30 pm. Wear you badge to our beach party tonight. For those of you who can’t make it to the Evenia today, or are arriving later and going directly to the party, we will have a registration desk at the Town Hall departure location (more info on that below). Please arrive early to process your check in and pick up your registration badge. You will need it to get on the boat or bus.

The party is on a sandy beach. Beach attire and appropriate shoes are recommended. We strongly recommend that you bring a jacket or sweater as it get chilly in the evening, especially when near the water. Back up plans have been made in case of inclement weather.

Departure Location

We’ll meet at, and depart from, the Lloret de Mar Town Hall (map here). If you’re staying at one of the Evenia properties, you may want to catch a shuttle down to the Town Hall. We have two scheduled, one at 5:45 pm and the second at 6:15 pm. These shuttle will transport you to the Town Hall, but you are, of course, welcome to head there on your own.

From the Town Hall there will be Two choices on how to get to the party. They are listed below so you can choose the option that best meets your personal schedule and needs.  These are departure times, so plan to arrive early to board and get ready to go.

By Boat

  • 6:30 pm departure –  Travel by boat to Santa Cristina beach via a scenic sailing along the coastline. This longer itinerary allows for more time on the water for coastal sightseeing.
  • 7:00 pm departure – Direct sailing to Santa Cristina beach (sailing time approximately 15 minutes).
  • 7:30 pm departure – Same itinerary as at 7:15 pm.

There will be a number of boats making the trip, and can accommodate anyone wanting the scenic sailing or the direct transport. Please be on time.

By Bus

If you don’t want to travel to the party by boat, or if you’re arriving into Lloret de Mar a little bit later, there will also be a bus to take you to the party.

We will have one bus departure at 7:45 pm from the Lloret de Mar Town Hall.

The Party Ends

All good things must end, and so must our opening night party. The party will end at 11:30 pm, with bus transportation back to the center of Lloret de Mar for the first drop off, then continuing on to a drop off at Evenia.

Get a good night’s sleep and we’ll see you in the morning for our Opening Session kick off featuring a keynote with Jose Borralho, Nelson Carvalheiro, and Gary Bembridge.


City Tourism: Is the Beaten Path a Thing of the Past?

120519_panorama_pb_0326As we get close to TBEX Europe 2015 and the coastal scenery of Lloret de Mar in Catalonia, Spain, it seems like a perfect time to think about what makes an authentic experience in the case of city tourism. How does technology affect the way travelers visit places and how do cities respond to this technological revolution? What does the transition from the Internet of Things to the Internet of Everything really mean and in what way sharing economy redefines the traditional tourism distribution model?

The more contemporary travelers tend to enjoy the wealth of options provided by urban centers, the more the discovery of unknown parts of a city does not entail that travelers risk missing places that are genuinely great. Under the influence of the powerful interplay between the physical and the digital world, travelers tend to think more of the things they want to do (and feel) than the places they want to go.

In each city, a balance is necessary between the overwhelming variety of available options and the digital solutions which the tourism sector and competent authorities can afford to implement. Crucially, real-time experiences will determine to what extent a city destination has become SMARTer than its competitors without sacrificing the unique values and attractions to which it owes its fame. In a world where travelers have so much information at their fingertips, destinations may need to make their product more personal and easy to use, so that visitors take to it naturally wherever they ‘re from.

However, in times of uncertainty, the physical-digital integration can provide fertile ground for tourism businesses and the public sector to pursue innovation and develop new skills and services.

Want to gain some more insight into destination experiences? Save the date! Friday, 1st of May, don’t miss Manolis Psarros presentation on city tourism.

Author Bio:  Manolis is a tourism destination management and marketing consultant whose experience mainly focuses on tourism boards and DMOs strategic planning & operations support, place marketing strategies & campaign management, product development, digital tourism strategies and EU-funded tourism-related programs. He has been directly involved in shaping the first DMO (City of Athens CVB) in Greece, which he served as a Tourism Development Director. He is the founder and Managing Director of TOPOSOPHY, an international destination management & marketing consultancy. His international experience includes programs and consultancies in Greece, Italy, Portugal, France, Finland, Denmark, Slovenia, Russia, Mexico, Armenia and Kenya among others.

MSC Welcomes Travel Bloggers Onboard


MSC Cruises is pleased to welcome aboard travel bloggers for a one-day experience on the MSC Fantasia or the MSC Divina. If your readers are itnerested in cruising, this is an opportunity to learn about the ships and about the cruise experience.

The ships will be in port in Barcelona, so if you live in the area, or traveling there, here are the opportunities for your consideration. European based bloggers, this is an opportunity for you!

May 8th – MSC Fantasia Itinerary

  • 17.30 – Embarkation – Muelle adosado Terminal A o B
  • 18.00 -19.00 – MSC Aurea Spa: 10 minutes of massage for each blogguer
  • 19.00 – 21.00 – Dinner at restaurant
  • 21.00 – Show on board at Teatro L’Avanguardia
  • 22.00 – Disembarkation

May 13th – MSC Divina Itinerary

  • 12:30 Embarkation – Muelle adosado Terminal A o B
  • 13:00 – Lunch on board – cod 101
  • 14:30 – Visit and Coffe at MSC Yacht Club
  • 15:00 – MSC Aurea Spa 10 minutes of massage
  • 16:00 – Session of Cinema 4D and formula 1 at Virtual World follow by disembarkation

To sign up for these ship visits go here.

Deadlines are specified for each ship visit and will be strictly enforced. You will need to provide information and pass a security check with the Port Police and the Security Staff onboard the ship. No extension of sign up times can be permitted.



TBEX Europe 2015 Closing Party

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Please join us on Saturday night, May 2nd, at Atics La Carpa, as we say goodbye to friends and celebrate the closing of another TBEX event. . . and get excited for TBEX Europe 2016 in. . . well, you’ll have to attend the closing session to hear that announcement.

The closing party will start at 9 pm, giving you time to relax for awhile after sessions end. There will be a complimentary drink for attendees along with snacks. Please wear your badge for entry.

Atics La Carpa is located at Av. Josep Tarradellas, 1 and it is on the right side of the beach, facing the sea. They have a great rooftop deck as well as indoor space. The TBEX party starts at 9 pm and we know many of you will be continuing to party on into wee hours.

See you there!



TBEX Europe 2015 Infographic

There is so much happening at TBEX Europe 2015 and we know that it can be hard to keep track. Yesterday we published out Ultimate Guide to TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar. Today we have this simplified infographic overview.

Are you excited for everything that’s about to happen?

TBEX infography-page-0

The Ultimate Guide to TBEX Europe 2015 in Costa Brava

lloret de mar

If you’re joining us for TBEX Europe in Costa Brava next week, you’ll want to pack comfortable shoes and a plan for a full week of activities. There’s plenty to do, and plenty to see, and stilettos aren’t always appropriate. Read on for The Ultimate Guide to TBEX Europe 2015 in Costa Brava.

Pre-Bex Activities

Pre-event activities for April 26th – 30th are filling up fast!

  • Find details for all Pre-Bex activities here.
  • In addition to dates and times, be sure to check pickup locations.
  • Reservations are first come/first served and all tours have a limited number of spaces available.

Pre- Conference Workshops

Workshops provide a hands-on, in depth learning experience than traditional sessions. Come prepared to spend several hours and get your hands dirty.

The Conference

Tours and workshops are fun, but let’s not forget the main reason we’re coming together in Costa Brava. Professional development at TBEX!

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Day 1: Thursday, April 30, 2015

In addition to Pre-Bex tours and in depth workshops, you will enjoy the TBEX Europe 2015 opening night party – A Beach Party! Attendees can meet up at Lloret de Mar town hall to depart for the Hotel Santa Marta on Santa Cristina beach where the party is being held. Please see this post on the TBEX blog for details on location,  departure times, and travel options for getting to the party.

Click here for the official schedule for TBEX Europe 2015.

Day 2: Friday, May 1, 2015

It’s a full day at TBEX!

  • The opening keynote and official welcome begins at 9:15 a.m.
  • Attend a variety of breakouts from 10:50 until 1:00 p.m.
  • Enjoy lunch from 1:00 to 2:30
  • Return to breakouts 2:30 to 3:20
  • Speed networking begins at 3:40

Day 3: Saturday, May 2, 2015

Another great day at TBEX!

  • Opening keynote begins at 9:15
  • Attend breakouts from 10: 50 until 1:00
  • Enjoy a lunch break from 1:00 until 2:15
  • Breakouts resume at 2:30
  • Speed networking begins at 3:40
  • Attend the closing keynote at 6:00 p.m.
  • Closing evening party at 9:00 p.m at the Atics La Carpa nightclub.

Post Conference: Sunday May 3 2015

Enjoy a variety of Post TBEX activities keeping in mind that they are filling up quickly!

Some good things to know:

Questions? Not sure of how to get around? Looking for things to do or more details regarding parties and extracurricular activities? There will be a Costa Brava help desk at your service at TBEX.

TBEX Europe 2015: Professional Development for the Tourism Professional

While we’re very pleased with our program for bloggers, and our professional development tracks about Content, Community, and Commerce, TBEX also offers two tracks of professional development for our industry attendees – those destinations, brands, public relations and marketing professionals, who work in travel and tourism. Please note, while bloggers are welcome to attend these sessions (unless otherwise noted), the focus of the content of designed for tourism professionals, not bloggers.

Here’s what we have on tap:

Working with Travel Bloggers From a Company Perspective:  Pros, Cons, Expectations and ROI

Speakers:  Stephen Oddo, Roisin O’Sullivan

Description:  Walks of Italy has a long history of working with bloggers as destination marketers to promote travel products. Since 2010, we’ve worked with hundreds of bloggers, creating campaigns independently, driving real sales through our e-commerce platform. We’ll discuss what has worked and hasn’t, how our strategy has changed over the years, our direct and indirect booking numbers, and the pivotal role TBEX has played in contributing to the our blogger initiative’s success. We’re in a unique position to discuss how attending/sponsoring TBEXs has grown our business. We’ll also talk data, ecommerce, analytics, tracking ROI, share some horror stories and success stories.

Takeaways:  How to create a blogger “contract,” why it’s important. Why some bloggers may be a better fit for your company than others. Why not to only give bloggers free products, when to pay for the valuable work they do, use it properly, why they’re worth it. What is Long tail search value? How can evergreen content create evergreen revenue? Why should I work with in-destination bloggers instead of “roaming” bloggers? Companies will understand how to measure success.

Skill level:  Intermediate. Some knowledge of editorial or strategic brand-blogger partnerships will be helpful.

SPONSORS ONLY:  BloggerBridge Workshop

Speaker:  Chris Christensen

Description:  This session is for sponsors only and is designed as a brief tutorial on how to use BloggerBridge for researchign bloggers and scheduling speed networking appointments.

Takeaways:  Get meaninful appointments scheduled for two days of speed networing.

Skill Level:  Basic. This is for sponsors who have little familiarity with BloggerBridge or who are looking to become more comfortable with the speed networking process.

City Tourism:  Is the Beaten Path a Thing of the Past

Speaker:  Manolis Psarros

Description:  The way we visit cities is changing. In a world where tourists have so much information at their fingertips, will we see more and more individualism in city tourism? This session will focus on the technological revolution that is changing how we visit cities, and discussing how destinations may need to make their product more personal. We’ll also examine the larger question of whether this ultimately will change travel habits to the degree that some people predict.

Takeaways:  How visitors research destinations and navigate around cities. What cities are doing to respond to technological developments. How group operators are tailoring their product. To what extent tourists will continue to visit the same places. What are the potential pitfalls for destinations.

Skill Level:  Intermediate. This is designed for attendees currently working for or with a DMO or related business

How to Market to the LGBT Traveler

Speakers:  Auston MattaEloi Morte CastelloChristina Guggenberg

Description:  Gay Travel is one of the fastest growing demographics within the travel industry, but tactfully reaching out to LGBT travelers can be challenging for DMO’s and industry professionals. LGBT travel bloggers, tour operators and DMOs successfully working within this segment can help bridge the gap by providing access to their audience and sharing their successful practices. This session will be a co-presentation with representation from a travel blogger,  tour operator and a DMO all successfully working within the LGBT travel segment.

Takeaways:  Greater understanding of the LGBT travel segment for bloggers, DMO’s and travel industry professionals. Actionable steps that will help travel professionals to develop and evaluate their strategy for LGBT travel. Insight into LGBT travel behavior including interests, demographics, spending and destination marketing. Overview of developing tactful marketing campaigsn that attracts LGBT travelers to destinations and service providers. Insight into current and future collaboration opportunities between LGBT travel bloggers, DMO’s and travel brands. Insight into the unique challenges faced by LGBT travelers themselves as well challenges faced by bloggers, DMO’s and travel industry.

Skill Level:  Intermediate. You should have some familiarity with the LGBT demographic and market.

Marketing to Millenials:  Think You Know Your Audience? Thank Again!

Speaker:  Matt Ridings

Description:  With the drastic changes in the value of the Euro it’s critical to understand what motivates an international audience to take action. With exclusive proprietary research, created from analyzing a pool of millions of pieces of content (both print and digital) you’ll come away from this session with specific knowledge of the purchasing process, new insights into what resonates with the Millennial generation, and how to optimize your content for conversion. In this session you’ll find information not available anywhere else, presented in an easy to understand and entertaining way. You may not be able to change your budget for the year, but you can certainly walk away from this session with the insight to immediately make that budget more effective.

Takeaways:  You may not be able to change your budget for the year, but you can certainly walk away from this session with the insight to immediately make that budget more effective.

Skill Level:  Advanced. This session is design to help tourism professionals pivot to take advantage of the Euro valuation.

You Want What?  How to Establish Expetations for Successful Campaigns

Speaker:  Ciara Sugrue

Description:  This session will focus on how to create amazing strategic results with blogger campaigns based on having clearly defined and understood objectives. Topics will include how a destination should define what they want to accomplish,  finding the right blogger for that expectation, how to recognize what the blogger might want to accomplish, how to tap into strengths and special interests to create clear expectations of what each side of the will do.

Takeaways:  Tips on how to listen and negotiate clear expectations on the part of the destination and the blogger to ensure both party’s objectives are met.  Also, tips on how to avoid the most common pitfalls. 

Skill Level:  Advanced. This session is designed for destinations and brands who are currently working with bloggers and want to develop better skills at setting and negotiating expectations that will define success.

The Purple Dinosaur:  Finding PR Friendly Bloggers

Speaker:  Jason Falls

Description:  Join the evolving discussion on the topic of earned media vs. paid media, and when earned media is the right strategic choice.

Takeaways:  How to find bloggers who understand the concept of earned media and are PR friendly, open to editorial pitches.

Skill Level:  Intermediate. This session is designed for PR representatives working with bloggers on earned media projects.

The Long Road:  Planning Long-term Social Media Campaigns

Speaker:  Tim Anderson

Description:  There’s a difference between short and long term social media campaigns, and this session will help you understand the difference. Then,learn to think big by creating 12-36 months long campaigns that help you achieve your tourism marketing goals.

Takeaways:  Steps on how to break down longer term campaigns into three and six month mini campaign, then creating daily action to reach successful goals.

Skill Level:  Advanced.  This session is designed for tourism profesional who are already skilled at planning and implementing social campaigns and who are looking for ways to leverage that knowledge for additional success.

Defining Expectations:  Social Media Campaign vs. Blog Trips

Speakers:  Jennifer DombrowskiKatie Hammel

Description;  In this session, you will identify the differences between social media expectations on a blog trip vs. a social media campaign. You will see a case studies of successful social media campaigns in which brands leveraged influencers to connect with key audiences. You will learn a variety of practical strategies to identify influencers best suited to integrate with your dynamic social marketing program.

Takewaway:  Identify the key differences between social media expectations on a press trip vs. a paid social media campaign. Develop a social media strategy that leverages influencers. Collaborate with partner bloggers to highlight synergies and connect with key audiences.

Skill Level:  Advanced. This session is designed for those brands and destination who successfully run blog trips for editorial content and are looking for ways to develop larger blogger campaigns.

Hungry for Food Tourism:  How to Feed the Trend Using Social Media

Speakers:  Camille Rumani, Lauren Aloise

Description:  Today’s social media feeds revolve around #foodporn. Culinary tourism is a quickly growing trend, and destinations must be strategic with their culinary travel promotion via social media in order to present their story the best way possible. Learn strategies for social media as it relates to food tourism and discover why having a story is the key to success.

Takeaways:  Learn about the buzzwords appropriate for this niche, and the type of platforms most relevant for culinary travelers. Case studies present will also show how food creates story telling on social media and how important visual tours are to the story. Finally, learn how to create FOMO (fear of missing out) on social media.

Skill Level:  Advanced. This is a niche topic appropriate only for those with an interest in culinary tourism.

SEO for Travel Brands

Speaker:  Rick Kruize

Description:  This session will be a discussion of the current trends and SEO strategies relevant to the travel industry.

Takeaways:  Tips for better SEO implementations.

Skill Level:  Intermediate. You should have some working knowledge and experience with SEO.

To Pay or Not to Pay:  Creating Sustainable Blogger Relationships & Innovative Campaigns

Speakers:  Dave Bouskill, Deb Corbeil, Emma Mead

Description:  This session will share case studies covering innovative campaigns between bloggers and brand, focusing on the long term benefit for brands to continue working with the same bloggers for multiple campaigns.

Takeaways:  Creative ideas for future campaigns. How to tweak your current campaigns for greater sustainability and success. Why long term relationships are key to successful brand-blogger partnerships.

Skill Level:  Advanced. This session is designed for destinations and brands who are already working with bloggers and now want to tweak what they are doing to create more sustainable relationships and campaigns


TBEX Europe 2015: Commerce Track Sessions

Today we’re pleased to share the details of the Commerce Track at TBEX Europe 2015. We think you’ll be as excited with the line up as we are. And, just in case you missed it, you’ll find information about the Content Track and the Community Track as well. Details on the full schedule is here.

Here are some great choices in the Commerce Track:

Moving From Press Trip to Paid Campaign

Speakers:  Gary Bembridge, Heather Cowper

Description: The session is aimed at bloggers who want to leverage an established blog to win more paid work as part of individual or group campaigns, taking bloggers beyond the unpaid press trip to think in terms of campaigns generating results that DMOs and travel businesses are prepared to pay for. The presentation will include case studies of successful paid travel blog campaigns and projects.

Takeaways:  The foundations that need to be laid so that you can offer something clients are willing to pay for. The mind-shift you need to make when considering what a potential client is prepared to pay for. The elements that are common to most successful paid blog campaigns. Ideas and inspiration from other bloggers who are already involved in paid blog campaigns and projects. Some first steps you can take as a blogger in order to start working on paid campaigns.

Skill level:  Intermediate. You should have solid experience blogging and have a good track record of press trip participation. You should have also have experience pitching for editorial trips.

Creating a Tour Business from Your Blog

Speakers:  Amanda Mouttaki, Ian Ord

Description: One often overlooked form of revenue is to launch a traditional business from a successful website (instead of the other way around). For those travelers who have a home base and are looking to capitalize on the audience and experience they have built, opening a tour business in their niche can prove to be highly successful.

Takeaways:  Understanding the process of identifying and pinpointing tour opportunities within your market. The reality of creating a tour business, without losing the number one asset to your new business – your blog! Tangible next steps to launch your own tour business from your blog.

Skill Level:  Advanced. This is a niche session for experienced bloggers interested in starting a tour business that complements their blog.

From the Pitch to the Relationship: How to Work with Brands 

Speakers:  Sara Robles, Katie Hammel

Description:  You’ve built your blog, honed your writing, photography and video skills; you have a large number of highly engaged readers; and you’ve built a strong social following in your niche. You’ve worked with brands on sponsored content and other campaigns with some success. Now you’re ready to take your brand collaboration strategy to the next level. Where do you go from here? How do you make sure you’re the blogger top brands want to work with?

Takeaways:  How to evaluate your blog and set goals for your brand sponsorships. The many ways bloggers can work with brands – how to find the brand that best fits you. How to craft a pitch and media kit – and how to create different pitches for different situations. What numbers and info to include – how to present your best self to a brand. How to negotiate for what you’re worth, how to create a custom campaign a brand will love. The art of following up – with examples of what info to include.

Skill Level:  Intermediate. You should have an established blog and audience.

Leveraging Your Brand Beyond the Blog

Speakers:  Jodi Ettenberg, Derek Baron

Description:  Building up a successful blog is important in terms of making travel blogging work as a career choice. But for a long-term, sustainable business, that means getting beyond the blog and looking to leveraging your value in other areas. This session includes two bloggers who have built businesses in a variety of ways, and will discuss the most strategic decisions, branding choices, and negotiating tactics for leveraging your blog and brand to think big.

Takeaways:  Reevaluating brand voice and targeted users against your business goals using a brand questionnaire. Offering value to brands in unique ways that go beyond sponsored posts and text links. Understanding your brand community’s needs in order to create a product or service that appeals to them. Books, tours, and other ancillary materials for a travel blogging brand.

Skill Level:  Advanced. This session is for bloggers with an established blog and audience, with experience at monetization, who are looking for streategy tweaks to improve their exisiting business.

Managing your time and deliverables on blog trips so that you WOW the client

Speaker:  Sherry Ott

Description:  You’ve made the pitch and secured the trip. However the logistics of blogging while on a trip can be tough to manage – photography, note-taking, videos, sharing on social media, expenses, and keeping your other business balls in the air – all while trying to see everything. Trips are packed full of activities so much so that it’s hard to manage your time so that you can actually do the work and see the destination in a short time. This session will provide you tips on how to manage your time and deliverables so that you’ll have a satisfied client.

Takeaways:  Pre-trip steps to prepare for your coverage (communication, social media, expense tracking); Time management on the trip (note taking strategies, tracking deliverables); Post-Trip Communication and Deliverables (creating a post trip report, feedback loop).

Skill Level:  Advanced. This is for the blogger who is already successfully pitching campaigns and is looking for time management skills and tips in the implementation of their campaigns. NOTE:  This will not cover pitching or general working with brands.

WordPress for Travel Bloggers: Understanding The World’s Most Popular Content Management System

Speaker:  Mitch Canter

Description:  WordPress has been around for over a decade. It powers nearly 30% of the web, and chances are more than half that a new site will be built on it (2 out of every 3, actually). Still, WordPress is a software platform; it requires a little bit of know-how that, once understood, will allow you to do amazing things online. This session will go over the nuts and bolts of WordPress. Themes, plugins, easy-to-understand code snippets, and tutorials to help you make your WordPress site unique and amazing.

Takeaways:  Ways to maximize WordPress and how to get the most out of your blog. The most useful – and sometimes underrated – plugins and themes you can use to get the most out of your site. An in-depth Q&A where you can ask Mitch your most daunting WordPress questions.

Skill Level: Basic. You do not need to be a code jockey, or even an experienced WP user to understand the discussion in this session.


More Pre-Bex Activities Added

And the hits keep coming. . . . Or in this case, more activites and tours for TBEX Europe 2015 attendees to enjoy.

We’ve added the following activities to the site and they are ready for sign ups. These are great activities, so decide fast or they’ll be gone.

April 30th – Foodies might enjoy the Spanish Tapas Workshop (still good availability, but that will change quickly).

May 3rd – There are a few spots left on the boating activity. And, a few new activities Adventure lovers might like the Boating activity (a few spots left on this date). Or, take a look at Blanes Botanical Gardens and Birrasana; Discovering the Capital of Costa Brava (Girona); Peralada History, Nature and Gastronomy, and Ripoll and Sant Joan de les Abadesses.

There’s lots to choose from, sign up today.

TBEX Europe 2015: Community Track Sessions

We’re pleased to announce our full Community Track line up of sessions, descriptions, and speakers. We know you’ll find something that interests you here. And check back tomorrow when we’ll have the Commerce line up for you.

How To Use Webinars To Build your List and Content Library

Speaker:  Tawanna Browne Smith

Description:  In today’s new media environment, digital producers must stay on top of how they present their content in order to keep their audience’s attention. As more blogs come online everyday, the challenge of setting yourself apart grows. So how do you set yourself apart from the pack? Diversify your content through the use of webinars. Webinars not only provide diversity to your product mix but they also help to increase your list, build your content library, and further position you as an expert in your subject matter. An additional byproduct of webinars is that they also make you a better public speaker.

Takeaways:  Attendees will learn how to plan and hold a webinar; learn best practices for presenting and follow-up; learn what tools to use; learn how they can build their list; and learn how to use webinars to build their content library, which they can use to create products such as ebooks, whitepapers, and audios that they can later sell.

Skill level:  This is an advanced session designed for individuals who’ve been blogging for a few years, looking for content diversity, and who want to teach something.

Building Community When English Isn’t Your First Language

SpeakersLanora MuellerAgata Mleczko, Pola Henderson

Description:  There are benefits and drawbacks of blogging in English versus mother tongue, as it’s not a given that all travel blogs should be written in English. This session will discuss the challenges and rewards of building a community when English isn’t your first language.

Takeaways:  Balancing the coice of blogging and building community in English, giving access to alarger audience, vs. blogging in another language where you may be able to stand out among a smaller group of bloggers. Finding ways to navigate building a community with diverse cultural and language differences.

Skill Level:  Intermediate. You should have been blogging for awhile, already having made the decision about whether to blog in English or your native language, and should be actively growing your community of fans and followers.

Building a Community around Responsible Tourism

Speakers:  Diana Edelman, Vicky Smith

Description:  Tightly focused and niched communities are growing in size and influence, and nowhere is that more true than in the responsible tourism community. Misunderstanding abound about what constitutes responsible tourism, even within the industry itself, and this session will provide information about the many face of responsible tourism and how you can become involved with the community.

Takeaways:  Learn what constitutes responsible tourism and how it fits into the broader travel and tourism community.

Skill Level: Basic. No prior understanding of responsible tourism required, just come with an open mind and heart to learn about the topic.

Beyond the Pin: Boost your Pinterest Results in 7 Strategic Steps

Speaker:  Nienke Krook

Description:  This presentation is packed with practical tips on how to tweak your Pinterest account or even blow new life into it and using it effectively to promote your brand, your business, your product and your services by implementing a solid 10-step strategy.

Takeaways: After this session, you will know the importance of being active on Pinterest and have the tools to do this as efficient and effective as possible. This includes:  How to optimize your Pinterest bio, boards and pins; What makes a pin on Pinterest a “quality” pin; How to grow your Pinterest following daily; Pinterest techniques and strategies for traffic generation; How to incorporate Pinterest into your existing social media strategy.

Skill Level: Intermediate. You should have an active Pinterest account with a good working knowledge of the platform. This session will help you fine tune and implement strategies, not teach you how to use Pinterest.

Planning the Long Game: Building for a Sustainable Future

Speakers:  Stephanie Yoder, Gary Arndt

Description:  In an industry that changes quick, it’s important to build a long-term business strategy that will allow you to reach readers and earn money, no matter what curveballs come your way. Whether you decide to travel less, or maybe leave the road for awhile, take a “real” job, or branch off diverse directions, the one constant is your community.  If you take strategically grow and care for your community, you create a sustainable future.

Takeaways:  Attendees will learn how to build and nuture communities that help create a dynamic long-term blogging plan, whatever the future holds. Learn how to sort through details to identify larger trends in the industry and how to build a community monetization-strategy that is adaptable over time.

Skill Level:  Advanced. This session is for bloggers who have a mature blog and are currently monetizing it. This session is a nuanced discussion on how you can tweak already successful strategies to create stronger commuities that will sustain your business plan.  Please note that this discussion will not include what to charge for services, rather it will focus on building an audience.

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Twitter Parties

Speaker:  Amy Lupold Bair

Description:  Whether you call them Twiter chats, parties, or meet ups, the ability to gather, motivate, and influence you community is a trusted relationship. Learn what this social media tool is all about and decide if it’s right for your community.

Takeaways:  Learn the ins and outs of what a Twitter party is, strategies on how to successfuly leverage the influence you have with your community, and tips on how to be successful at it.

Skill Level:  Intermediate. You should have a solid knowledge of Twitter, the various tools and applications that work with it, have a solid Twitter community over which you have some influence. You need not know how to run a Twitter party.