What We’re Reading this Week

gardens in Lloret de Mar Spain

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 Content

About Community

About Commerce

About the Travel & Tourism Industry

About Travel

  • 15 reasons to visit Spain in 2015 - And we’d add on attending TBEX Europe 2105! The week after TBEX, Girona hosts the Temps de Flors, with elaborate carpets and sculptures made out of flowers. Read more here 15 reasons to visit Spain in 2015
  • My Camino de Santiago - The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage may call to you to stay on in Spain after TBEX Europe 2015. These tips and recommendations can help you prepare for the journey and the experience. Read more here My Camino de Santiago

How to Get to Lloret de Mar

Barcelona Airport

Barcelona Airport (BCN)

TBEX Europe 2015 will be held at the Evenia Olympic Resort, located in a quiet residential area of Lloret de Mar. The closest major airport to Lloret de Mar is in Barcelona (airport code BCN), about 90km (56 miles) away. A regional airport is located in Girona-Costa Brava (airport code GRO), and is about 30km (19 miles) away.

Here are the best ways to get from Barcelona to the Evenia Olympic Resort:

  • By Car:  Travel north from Barcelona via the coastal C-32 motorway as far as Palafolls, then drive the last 10km along the Gi-600 to Blanes, then on to Lloret de Mar. Approximate travel time 1:10.
  • By Car:  Traveling south from France, take the AP-7 to Exit 9 (Lloret de Mar), then drive the last 14km along the C-63 road.
  • By Bus:  Take the bus (Sarbus line) Sarfa from the Airport directly to Lloret de Mar. There are two bus stops in the airport, one in front of Terminal 1, and another in front of Terminal 2 between gates B and C. Buses run every one-two hours, depending on the time of the day. The bus stop in Lloret is about an 8 minute walk or a 3 minute taxi ride. The bus cost is 12.90 Euro. Look for discount ticket information coming soon.
  • By Train:  There is no train directly to Lloret de Mar. From Terminal 2 of Barcelona Airport take the train to Sants Estació, then change to R1 to Blanes. In Blanes there is a bus every 30 minutes from Blanes to Lloret de Mar, departing every 30 minutes betwen 7:00 to 23:40. The bus takes 20 minutes. A one-way ticket costs 6,15€ for the train, and 1,85€ for the bus (total 8€).

Here is the best way to get from Girona to the Evenia Olympic Resort:

  • By Bus:  Take the bus Sarfa at the Airport to Lloret de Mar (Sarbus). This service is offered together with Sagales, and the departures are at 8:50, 10:00, 11:50, 14:30, 15:30, 18:00, 20:20 and 23:20. From the bus stop in Lloret to Evenia is about an 8 minute walk or a 3 minute taxi ride. The bus is approximately 35 minutes and costs 10 Euros. Purchase the tickets on the bus.

This transporation information can also be found on the TBEX 2015 page located here.

What We’re Reading This Week

Figueres

The Dali Museum in Figueres, 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 Content

  • How to Improve your Photography with Filters - In the middle of recovering from a serious accident, Dave Bouskill shares some photography tips about using filters. Read original article here: How to Improve your Photography with Filters
  • The NFL wants you to think these things are illegal - If you’re spending time discussing and writing about the Patriot’s win in the weekend’s SuperBowl, it’s all okay – depsite what the NFL might want you to think. This discussion about trademarks and copyright may be about football, but it has application for all writers and content creators. Read original article here: The NFL wants you to think these things are illegal

About Commerce

About Community

About the Travel & Tourism Industry

  • Conde Nast Unveils Branded Content Shop Powered By Editors - Conde Nast launches 23 Stories, a branded content initiative designed to allow advertisers to buy quality content across all of its magazines, saying that quality writing will win out. Read original article here: Conde Nast Unveils Branded Content Shop Powered By Editors
  • Hotel Marketers’ Wish List For 2015: 10 Things That May Surprise You - A look into the thinking of hotel marketers as they share their wish list for the coming year. Who can argue with global prosperity?! Read original article here: Hotel Marketers’ Wish List For 2015: 10 Things That May Surprise You

About Travel

How to Land a Partnership at TBEX: Insights from a Company’s Perspective

Athens registration sign

Finding a business partnership at the conference is most likely on all of your “making the most of TBEX” lists. TBEX is a fantastic event to meet like-minded professionals, exchange ideas and get inspired. However, getting a job, and therefore a return of the investment you made when buying the tickets, is probably your top goal. Right?

I have attended last year’s TBEX Europe in Athens as a company representative for DISCAVO and am also a travel blogger myself. I want to combine my experience from last year´s TBEX with what I know about being a travel blogger to provide you with the ultimate list of how to make the most out of TBEX.

Before the conference

Know yourself – Get ready to pitch your blog and yourself in one minute: Who are you and what is your background ? What is your blog about and how do you differentiate from other travel blogs?

From a company’s perspective, key performance indicators (KPI´s) are very important. Know your numbers by heart:  your page views/visitors per month and your Social Media numbers. A printed Media Kit is a must-have to hand out to the company’s representative, including your contact details of course.

Know the company – Do research about the companies that will attend the conference and in- depth research about the companies you have scheduled a meeting with. You should know what they do and ideally have some ideas about how you could work with them. Your 8 minute speed networking appointment can be short, made even shorter if the company’s representative has to explain what the company is about from scratch.

Last year, I met some bloggers who had done their research very well. We managed to end the appointment with a handshake confirming a partnership that we discussed in only eight minutes. That´s what I call a successful meeting!

At the conference

How to excel at meetings – Good preparation and research is the basis of a successful meeting, then it´s all about how you sell yourself! When you arrive at the conference, check out where the various sponsor tables are located. The speed network schedule is tight, and you don’t want to lose time by getting lost and being late to a meeting. Also, stop by and say hi before your meeting! Why not introduce yourself beforehand and tell the company you are looking forward to the meeting? That will leave a good impression, for sure. During the meeting, listen to what the company’s representative says and try to find out what you can do for them and pitch some preliminary ideas. Closing the meeting by quickly figuring out how to proceed  - maybe a Skype call the following week?

How to excel at networking with companies – You didn’t get the appointment you wanted very badly? You can still make use of the at networking events happening around TBEX. Address the company’s employee by telling them what you like about the company (you have your research done) and briefly telling them why you would love to get to knowmore about them (showing you are interested in a partnership, but also that you don’t sell yourself under value). Addressing someone at a networking event compared to at a meeting is different. It is not so much about numbers and facts, more about finding out if you have the same vision.

After the conference

Get in touch - Follow up with the company´s representative you met with a personal email. Point out something you talked about/ something you laughed about so that the s/he remembers you. Last year a blogger forgot her notebook after our meeting. I ran after her to give it back. She emailed me “thank you so much for returning my notebook! It was great meeting you”. I immediately remembered her.

Quickly summarize what you talked about and how you decided to proceed. An example:  “we discussed the opportunity of me writing an article about travelling with kids in Spain for your corporate blog. To discuss further, we decided to set a Skype call. How does Tuesday next week sound to you?” Take actions!

I am looking forward to meeting lots of you at TBEX and having great and productive meetings. Hopefully this small guideline will help you to make your way around TBEX successfully. I am excited to talk to you about how this article helped you and especially what you would recommend to us company representatives in exchange. Let´s all make the most of TBEX, network, exchange ideas and have fun!

Author Bio:  Felicitas is the Content Manager of DISCAVO, a Berlin-based hotel price comparison. The company´s content strategy is the City Guide; presenting cities around the world “through the eyes of locals”. Every month one City Guide is added. DISCAVO works closely together with travel bloggers. Follow them on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and YouTube. DISCAVO is a sponsor of TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar.

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 EdelmanDiana 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 SantiagoErin 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 DombrowskiJennifer 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