Call for Speakers Opens for TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar

SA CALETA 2 Lloret de Mar (Costa Brava)

 

Today we are opening the Call for Speakers for TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar. To help you understand what we are looking for, we have some information on how you can submit a proposal that is relevant to our attendees, showcases your expertise, and fits into our overall program.

But first, let’s take a look at some speaker information from TBEX Europe 2014 in Athens:

  • There were 42 speakers.
  • 60% of the speakers were from North America, 40% were from Europe (including 12% from Greece).
  • There were an equal number of men and women speakers.
  • 57% of the speakers were on the TBEX stage for the first time, with 43% of the speakers making a return appearance.

Now, let’s get excited about Lloret de Mar!

TBEX Europe 2015 will be held April 30-May 2, 2015 at the Evenia Olympic Resort in the beautiful seaside town of Lloret de Mar. The town is in the beautiful Costa Brava region of Catalyuna, about 47 miles from Barcelona. For planning purposes, and to maximize your TBEX experience, we recommend that that you allot 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.

We receive hundreds of session ideas, far more than can be allocated to our programming. To help you focus your ideas and pitch them in a way that gets your ideas across, we offer the following tips:

  • 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 in which to explain 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 an attendee will help attendees create better content, build stronger communities, and/or develop better businesses.
  • 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.
  • Specify a knowledge level that your session designed for. Basic should be thought of as an entry level session, with no understanding or background on the topic. 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 are intermediate 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 have become highly requested and we want to feature more of them this year.
  • Let us know how you can help promote TBEX Europe 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, a 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 December 20, 2014, midnight Pacific Time.

 

TBEX Athens Created Opportunities & Fond Memories

Hadrians Library in Athens

It seems like it was only yesterday that we were all gathering for the start of TBEX Athens. Since then, we’ve learned a lot about how to perfect our craft and grow our businesses. We’ve made new friends, connected with those we don’t see often enough, shared some food, drinks, and laughs. We wandered the ancient ruins of Athens, strolled its streets, and sat in its cafes. We fell in love with this ancient city’s past and present, and hope that, in some small way, we can play a part of its future.

Perhaps Demosthenes, an orator from the 4th century BC said it best:  “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” We hope your time at TBEX provided just that.

If you wrote about your time at TBEX, your time in Athens, one of the many pre and post events around the city, FAM trips, or personal exploration around the rest of Greece, we’d like to include your story in our TBEX Athens round up. Please email your link to Mary Jo or leave a link in the comments of this post (which will be deleted after it is added). Please be patient as it will take awhile to get all the stories read and listed here.

  1. TBEX Athens:  What I Learnt – Soothed in the City
  2. TBEX Athens:  All About the Conference – Passion for Hospitality
  3. Highlights of TBEX Athens (A Photo Report) – GTP
  4. Travel Blogger Conference Concludes in Athens – Greek Reporter
  5. TBEX Athens Opening Night Party at Technoplis (A Photo Report) – GTP
  6. TBEX Travel Bloggers Enjoy Athenian Hospitality at Pandrossou Street (A Photo Report) – GTP
  7. Changing of the Guard at Presidential Mansion in Athens – Traveling with MJ
  8. TBEX Athens Recap 1/2 – The Travel Tester
  9. Revisiting Athens:  TBEX 2014 – World Wide Writer
  10. TBEX:  Our First Blogging Conference - 30 Day Locals
  11. What is TBEX – Carmen’s Travel Tips
  12. TBEX:  Is Attending Travel Blog Exchange Conference Really Worth it? – Our Awesome Planet
  13. TBEX Athens 2014:  6 Essential Tips for First Time TBEXers and a Big Thank You – Travelling Buzz
  14. What I Learned at TBEX Athens and My Writing Class with David Farley - The World in Between
  15. Highlights from TBEX Athens – Travel Blog Success
  16. TBEX 2014: A Time of Firsts – Travelogues of an African Girl
  17. TBEX Athens Play List (video) – Travel Media Ireland
  18. Greece’s Meteora Goes Global Thanks to TBEX Bloggers – GTP
  19. Dave and Deb and Paul at TBEX Athens - On Travel
  20. Learning and Connecting at TBEX Europe 2014 in Athens, Greece - Travel Sandwich
  21. Paul and Gary Arndt Hang Out Over Lunch at TBEX Athens – On Travel
  22. Tourism Economics:  As Exlained by a Greek Cab Driver – Traveling with MJ
  23. TBEX 2014:  Athens Dutchified (video) – Dutchified
  24. Back from TBEX:  Athens Photodiary – A Blonde Around the World
  25. Athens is back on the menu for 2015 – a taste of Greece with TBEX (video) – Heather on Her Travels
  26. If Homer Were a Travel Blogger – Huffington Post
  27. Tourism Economics:  As Explained by a Greek Cab Driver – Traveling with MJ
  28. Food of Athens – Big Travel Nut
  29. Sailing to Aegina Island – Big Travel Nut
  30. Discovering Athens:  My tour with a local – Capture the Wonders
  31. One Week in Athens:  Sightseeing, fun, and TBEX – It’s a Hoomygumb
  32. Excursion to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon – It’s a Hoomygumb
  33. Pandrossou Street Market, TBEX 2014, Athens – My Video Media
  34. The Great Greek Gyro Challenge – Finding the Freedom
  35. My TBEX Highlights – Tea and Post
  36. 12 Reasons Why Travel is Fun, Especially in Athens – Sidewalk Safari
  37. Greece:  A Trip Back in Time to Corinth and the Peloponnese – Sidewalk Safari
  38. Discovering the Early Byzantine Churches of Athens – World Wide Writer
  39. Athens TBEX:  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Dave’s Travel Pages
  40. TBEX Athens – The Mad Woman in the Attic
  41. Where to Go to Be Trendy in Athens – The Mad Woman in the Attic
  42. Athens:  Art of Graffiti – The Mad Woman in the Attic
  43. Staying Fit When Visiting Greece – Fit Living Lifestyle
  44. Greece:  Ancestors and Expectations at the Acropolis of Athens - Green Global Travel
  45. TBEX 2014 Athens – My Video Media
  46. TBEX Athens Travel Bloggers Tour Aegean Courtesy of Louis Cruises – GTP
  47. Untouristy Greece? Try the Pelion – Big Travel Nut
  48. Eating Your Way Through the Pelion – Big Travel Nut
  49. Things to do in Athens for Foodies – Traveling German
  50. Ancient Peloponnese The Land of Legends – Live Dream Discover
  51. TBEX Europe 2014 – City of Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau
  52. Athen’s Impressions – Rachel’s Ruminations
  53. Bike:  The Best Way to See Athens – Null & Full
  54. First Marathon Completed – Null & Full
  55. Paradise Found on Dreamy Santorini – The Province
  56. TBEX Athens Recap 2/2 – The Travel Tester
  57. Beyond the Acropolis – Big Travel Nut
  58. A Tour Around Literary Athens – World Wide Writer
  59. Athens, Greece, in 7 Photos – What Boundaries
  60. Things to Do in Athens in a Week – Intrepid Escape
  61. Tops and flop mijn week op TBEX bloggersconferentie (Dutch) – Gezin op Reis
  62. Een maandagmiddag in Thessaloniki (Dutch) – Gezin op Reis
  63. Ga wandelen: Hiking tour Meteora (Dutch) – Gezin op Reis
  64. My Top Lessons and Takeaways from TBEX Athens 2014 – Traveling German
  65. Why You Should “Never” Visit Greece – The Spunky Traveler
  66. SEO for Bloggers at TBEX Athens – Kooky Traveler
  67. 7 Things I Love About Athens – Kooky Traveler
  68. Time Stands Still:  Parga, Greece – Global Gaz
  69. In the Heavens Above:  Meteora, Greece – Global Gaz
  70. My Experience from TBEX Athens – MaryHop
  71. Beste Zonsondergang Spot in Athene (Dutch) - Travel Around with Me
  72. Akropolis Athene (Dutch) – Travel Around with Me
  73. Op Naar Athene, TBEX Travel Bloggers Event (Dutch) – Travel Around with Me
  74. Confessions of a travel blogger: 6 things I learned in Athens – We 12 Travel
  75. How to travel by bus to the Temple of Poseidon from Athens? - Bunch of Backpackers
  76. What’s the deal with all those stray dogs in Athens? - Bunch of Backpackers
  77. Great hospitality at the Hera Hotel in Athens, Greece – Bunch of Backpackers
  78. Discovering Greek Cuisine on a Food Tour of Athens - World Wide Writer
  79. Going to TBEX Athens, Greece (video) – Grrrl Traveler
  80. Vorres Museum Captures Old And New Greece (radio) – On Travel
  81. Paul and Gary Arndt Hang Out Over Lunch At TBEX Athens (radio) – On Travel
  82. George Kakavas On Stamps And Statues In Athens’ Museums (radio) – On Travel
  83. Dave And Deb And Paul At TBEX Athens (radio) – On Travel
  84. Rick Calvert Talks With Paul About New Media At TBEX Athens (radio) - On Travel
  85. Graffiti and Street Art in Athens (video) – My Video Media
  86. How to Eat Well in Athens – World Wide Writer
  87. From One Newbie to Another:  TBEX for newbies – Wanderlust & Lipstick
  88. I’m an Athenian – Taste for Travel
  89. Greek Food Porn:  7 Irresistible Dishes and 1 Fetish Plate – Five Dollar Traveller
  90. Unexplored Greece:  Discover Greece beyond the islands – Five Dollar Traveller
  91. Your post here!

 

New Expedia Viewfinder Image Library: Uses for Your Blog

Acropolis, Athens
Image courtesy of Tourism Media

As travel bloggers, you share photos from your latest trip in a way that allows you to connect with your readers.  Images are often a large part of the story-telling process because they help share your experiences with your readers as if they were right there with you. However, sometimes, it’s nice to simply enjoy the moment without having to worry about capturing the perfect photograph to publish later. Or, sometimes, you may not have the best equipment, opportunity, or time for photographing your travels, yet you want to give your location justice.

Announced at the Expedia TBEX party in Athens, the new Expedia® Viewfinder Image Library could provide you with the images you need to go along with the content you’d like to share with your readers. Launched as the next evolution of its Expedia Viewfinder blog, the Viewfinder Image Library is easy to navigate and provides the travel community with access to free high-quality travel visuals. The images are sorted by destinations starting with the world, then narrowing to country, specific cities, and then landmarks within those cities.  You can also search by the type of experiences, for example, history, nature, and food.

There are more than 40,000 high-resolution travel images offering, each one tagged digitally with a caption along with links to additional information about its location. It’s a great way to search for travel images for your next blog post or travel project, or to get inspiration for your next travel adventure!

TBEX Announces Dates for TBEX Asia and TBEX Europe 2015

TBEX is excited to announce part of its 2015 programming line up, including the first TBEX ever to be held in Asia. Start planning now to attend one of these TBEX events.

TBEX Europe 2015

TBEX Europe 2015 will be held in Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava, Spain, on April 30-May 2, 2015. Jaume Marin, Marketing Director at the Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board, has enticed us back to the beautiful Costa Brava. Attendees who enjoyed TBEX Girona will be anxious to further explore this beautiful region of Catalonia. Registration is now open.

TBEX Asia 2015

TBEX is going to Asia – Bangkok, Thailand – on October 15-17, 2015. Our hosts in Thailand are rolling out the red carpet for our first trip to Asia, and we hope many of our travel blogging community members in Southeast Asia will attend. Registration is now open for TBEX Asia.

TBEX North America 2015

No, we haven’t forgotten our roots here in North America. And yes, there will be a TBEX North America. We’re just not quite ready to share all the details. Look for an announcement coming soon.

Please note: Registration is not refundable. NEW FOR 2015, registrations will not be transferable.

Welcome to Athens: Experience a Changing City

03 Rethink Athens Panepistimiou Street

Welcome to TBEX Athens!

We’re very happy to have you joining us here in Athens, and hope that your stay is full of wonderful moments that become lasting memories.

Athens is changing, and during recent years there have been a number of new and exciting developments that are changing the city’s cultural map and urban landscape. Below are some recent cultural and urban developments in Greece’s capital city. We hope you have the opportunity to experience a few of them during your time here and that they will, perhaps, entice you back for a return visit.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is one of the biggest developments currently underway in Athens. This is a major project that involves the construction of the new facilities for the National Library of Greece, the Greek National Opera (GNO), as well as the creation of the Stavros Niarchos Park that will hold educational and cultural activities.

The project site is located approximately 5 km south of the center of Athens, on the edge of Faliron Bay.  Construction started in 2011 and will finish up over the next few years. The SNFCC is one of the largest construction projects in Greek history and the Center will have a great influence on the local economy and for employment creation.

For more information, please visit the SNFCC’s website.

Onassis Cultural Centre

The Onassis Cultural Centre was inaugurated in 2010, after a 10-year construction period, with funding by the Onassis Foundation.

The Centre was built on a privately-owned 3,000 square meter plot on Syngrou Avenue and its interior space consists of sevel floor and nine underground. The centre has two performing stages with the ability to host theatrical, opera, symphony orchestra and dance performances, as well as cinema, lectures and conferences. In addition, there is an exhibition hall, open-air theatre, restaurant with an open-air section and a bar. The Centre strives to promote modern cultural expression and is a powerhouse for arts, sciences, innovation, education and lifelong learning.

For more information, please visit the Onassis Cultural Centre’s website.

Rethink Athens

The Re-think Athens project (in photo above) is an ambitious project, funded by the Onassis Foundation, which will transform the center of Athens over the next few years.

Panepistimiou Street will become a pedestrian zone and link the archaeological sites with the most significant archaeological museums of the city, and Omonoia Square will be converted into an actual square. The backbone of the project will be a new tramline connecting Amalias Avenue with Panepistimiou Street and Patission Street. This project’s goal is to improve both the quality of everyday life for citizens by restoring the urban environment and to improve the microclimate by planting trees, constructing shelters, and prescribing the use of eco-friendly public means of transport, all of which will reduce emissions and will create a welcoming environment for both pedestrians and cyclists.

For more information, please visit Rethink Athens’ website.

National Museum of Contemporary Art

The new National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) is almost complete and will be located at the former Fix brewery in Athens.

The National Museum of Contemporary Art will be Athens’ only public museum of contemporary Greek and international art in the capital. The new building will be able to accommodate all the collections, have expanded exhibition spaces and be able to organize even more educational programs and other related cultural activities than before. It will become one of Athens’ major museums and is expect to attract a large number of visitors.

For more information, please visit the museum’s website.

 

How to Rock TBEX and Walk Away with New Friends & Business Partners

Speed Dating floor at TBEX in Toronto

Speed Networking floor at TBEX in Toronto

Whenever I’m on the road and meeting a travel blogger who is just starting out or wondering how to take their blog to the next level, I always recommend they come to TBEX – and not just for the sessions.

For TBEX, like many other successful conferences out there, one of the things that keeps people coming back year after year after year is the opportunity to mingle with people in the same profession, trade ideas, and form relationships (a.k.a networking).

At a conference for solopreneurs I attended earlier this year (past TBEX keynoter Chris Guillebeau’s Pioneer Nation), one of the most highly tweeted and repeated main stage talks focused on how the hottest new online business training website came from a relationship struck up at a conference over a mutual love of the esoteric Italian amaro Fernet Branca.

While the speaker, Chase Reeves, happened to be in the right random place at the right random time, the truth is that you can make your TBEX experience jam packed with these business-changing, core relationship-building moments with some advance preparation.

Every successful business, whether a blogging couple team or a multi-national corporation, has someone in charge of “business development,” which, at its core, is building relationships your business needs to grow and thrive through networking. But the difference between the multi-nationals and most bloggers is the amount of advance thought and research that goes into those relationship-building moments.

So whether you’re still at home packing or you’re already building relationships with fellow bloggers with sunset drinks on Santorini or bumpy car rides in Crete, here are 5 ways to walk away from TBEX not just with some new friends and contacts, but the ones you want and need to grow your blog or business.

BloggerBridge Part 1: Let Your Profile Reflect You

Have you set up your BloggerBridge profile already? If not, now is the time. If you have, it’s time to take another look.

Your profile is a static image of both you and your work, but that doesn’t mean it should just be a third person description! It’s the first opportunity people have to understand your personality, and, in the case of bloggers looking for work, your writing style.

Above all, one of the most important things it should do is tell others why you are at TBEX and what you’re looking for. This tweak alone can bring in tons of business opportunities.

After you explain what you’re all about, include:

  • whether you are looking for new destinations to travel to or information on travels you have coming up. BloggerBridge has a way for you to include these as well.
  • if you are available for contract social media, photography, or blogging work, and if so, what type you are looking for.
  • if you are a company, what you are looking to get out of TBEX and speed dating in particular, so bloggers know if they should approach you and about what.

BloggerBridge Part 2: Find the People You Need to Meet

While many have long used BloggerBridge just to set up speed networking appointments, it’s capable of so much more. I won’t recap the excellent recent sessions on how to go about performing searches, but it’s something that you should set aside 10 minutes or an hour (or honestly as much time as you can spare!) to do before TBEX so you know who is going to be there that you want to get to know.

For experienced bloggers:

  • Search by country to find company representatives from or bloggers who specialize in places you plan to visit soon and send them a message. Ask bloggers who have visited both what they recommend and if there is anyone on the ground you should definitely be in touch with.

For new bloggers:

  • Search for other bloggers with a similar focus as you (whether a country or a type of travel like ecotravel or family travel) and use the number of years blogging feature to find someone just a couple years ahead of you. Check out their site, and if they seem like a good match, ask if you can interview them about their experience for your website or just grab a coffee or drink and chat about how they got to where they are today.

For companies:

  • Don’t wait for good bloggers to come to you. Many bloggers who would make great guests or regularly contributors to your site are extremely busy and not able to take the time to seek you out. Search for bloggers who specialize in your area and reach out and ask if they are available for a trip or some blogging work.

You can also look up people you see tweeting on the #TBEX hashtags through BloggerBridge and send them a direct email.

Research Your Speed Networking Partners

After years of speed networking at both TBEX and ITB Berlin, where TBEX also organized a blogger speed networking event, the biggest factor that I’ve seen affecting how useful the event is for both companies and bloggers is how much homework they do beforehand. Here are my recommendations: 

  1. Look up each of the people you’re going to meet on BloggerBridge, and from their profile, decide what you want to discuss with them and what your goal for the meeting is.
  2. Take the time to make a small one-page sheet or PDF you can show on your phone about what you can offer as a blogger (including relevant stats) or company to the people you’re going to meet. Give it to the other party to look at when they first sit down.
  3. When you arrive, first ask the other party what they are looking for, so you can fit that into your goal for the meeting and make the most of your short minutes.
  4. Leave the meeting with a specific agreement, whether it’s to send more information about something or work out appropriate dates for a trip.

Maximize Your One-on-One Time During

It’s always a pleasure to use TBEX as one-stop shopping to catch up with travel friends that you don’t often see, but there are several parts of TBEX that are particularly great for cultivating new connections:

  • short pre-BEX tours
  • lunches at TBEX
  • evening events and parties
  • long post-BEX trips

Looking at the TBEX schedule is dizzying, and if you’re not spending time in Greece before or after the event, it can be hard to figure out times to meet all these people you’ve identified on BloggerBridge to connect with. Use seated times like tour bus rides and meals for one-on-one chats during.

When you’re looking for people to connect with on BloggerBridge, ask if you can chat over lunch, or chat up people who attended the same pre-lunch session as you who asked interesting questions or who are on your “to meet” list after the Q&A so you naturally walk to lunch together. This works just as well for the walks to a bus on a pre- or post-BEX trip.

If you’re in town after TBEX and not on a post-BEX event, organize a dinner out or at your apartment if you have one with some great people you met. Tell them to bring friends. You can have more face time with them and other people you didn’t get a chance to meet during the event.

The Devil is in the Follow Up

There are several great posts here on the TBEX blog about follow up, but the most important thing is this: do it quickly.

In the short days of TBEX, we all meet so many people that no matter how great the conversation, it’s easy to fall off someone’s radar. To keep that from happening:

  1. In the time between speed dating and the evening event, write quick emails to all of your speed dating partners for the day, thanking them again for their time, reiterating what you discussed and rearticulating the next steps.
  2. When you get home, tweet at people you spent time with during the day, or email if you had a really great connection.
  3. In the week after TBEX (since the post-BEX trips make it hard for many to do it right away), go through all your business cards and add people on Twitter and LinkedIn, with a note with your LI invitation on how nice it was to meet them and any follow up about a future meeting or work opportunity.

Author Bio: Gabi Logan is a travel journalist and blogger who specializes in blogging/ghostblogging, content management and social media management for travel companies and destinations. She also coaches travel writers and freelancers of all stripes.

 

Travel Blog Exchange: The Ultimate Guide to TBEX 2014 in Athens

Are you joining us in Athens for TBEX? If you are, then this is the post you need most! Here, you’ll find all the information about TBEX 2014 in Athens, either listed or linked below, so you can make sure you didn’t miss a single pre-conference announcement.

The Conference:

  • TBEX 2014 in Athens runs from October 23rd-25th at the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre Leoforos Vasilissis Sofias and Kokkali 1, Athens 115 21, Greece (Tel: +30 21 0728 2156)
  • If you didn’t get a ticket to Athens, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter (form on the right side) so you don’t miss out on future TBEX conferences.
  • The complete conference schedule is available here.
  • Our newbie guide to TBEX is available here.
  • None of this would be possible without our sponsors. Check out the full list of TBEX Athens sponsors and be sure to thank them when you see them in Athens!
  • Who will be speaking? See the complete list of Athens speakers here.
  • Connect with TBEX on Twitter @TBEXevents
  • We use the hashtag #TBEX and also support Athens with their hashtag #ThisisAthens.
  • We have a TBEX app on iTunes. You can use this link, or just search the app stores using TBEX.

DAY ONE – Tuesday, October 21, 2014: Multi Day Workshops, PreBEX Tours, City Link Event

Multi Day Workshops:

  • The Travel Writing Workshop, Photo Workshop & Walk, and the Hands on Blog Design and Technology Workshop will be located at the St. George Lycabettus Hotel: 2, Kleomenous st., 106 75, Athens, Greece in the Phaedra Hall.  There will be a sign in front of the rooms for the workshop. (Note: Workshops are not being held at the Megaron).
  • The workshops will run from 10 am -4 pm, unless the times are adjusted by the instructor. You will be contacted by your workshop leader to confirm itinerary and details.
  • More information about the PreBEX Workshops is here.
  • Plan to arrive in Athens no later than October 20th if you’ll be attending a workshop
  • Currently the Travel Writing workshop is sold out.  You can still sign up for the other pre-event workshops here.

PreBEX Tours and Activities:

  • More information about Athens PreBEX Tours on October 21st-27th is available here (including the departure times and locations).
  • Information on today’s PreBEX tours and activities can be found here.
  • Tour departure times and locations vary depending on the tour.
  • Sign ups for these tours occurred prior to the event, and they are now sold out.

City Link Event:

  • City Link invites TBEX Athens attendees to visit their shopping & culture destination in the center of Athens. Special drinks and gift bags for all TBEX attendees.
  • The event will be located at the City Bar cafe-restaurant located within Spyromiliou Arcade on October 21st, 6-8pm.  For more details check here.

DAY TWO – Wednesday, October 22, 2014: Multi Day Workshops, Pre-BEX Tours & Travel Massive Party

Multi Day Workshops:

  • The Travel Writing Workshop, Photo Workshop & Walk, and the Hands on Blog Design and Technology Workshop will all be located at the St. George Lycabettus Hotel: 2, Kleomenous st., 106 75, Athens, Greece in the Phaedra Hall.  There will be a sign in front of the room for the workshop. (Note: Workshops are NOT being held at the Megaron).
  • The workshops will run from 10 am -4 pm, unless the times are adjusted by the instructor. You will be contacted by your workshop leader to confirm itinerary and details.
  • More information about the Workshops is here

PreBEX Tours and Activities:

  • Information on today’s PreBEX tours and activities can be found  here.
  • If you haven’t signed up for an activity and are interested in participating, you can stop by the city center Infopoint booth to see what available. Sign up after 9 am for the day’s activities.

Travel Massive Party:

  • The Travel Massive Party is from 8:30 pm-11:30 pm held at the Impact HUB Athens, 28 Karaiskaki, Athens. Please RSVP here.
  • The Travel Massive Party is currently sold out. Admission is now on a standby basis.

DAY THREE – Thursday, October 23, 2014: Registration, Video Workshop, Pre-BEX Tours& Opening Night Party

  • Make sure to stop by the Megaron and pick up your registration badge. Registration hours are 8 am-5 pm daily.
  • Information on today’s PreBEX tours and activities can be found here.
  • If you haven’t signed up for an activity and are interested in participating, you can stop by the city center Infopoint booth to see what available. Sign up after 9 am for the day’s activities.

Video Workshop:

  • The Video Workshop is from 10 am-2p m at the St. George Lycabettus Hotel: 2, Kleomenous st., 106 75, Athens, Greece in the Phaedra Hall.  There will be a sign in front of the room for the workshop. (Note: Workshops are not held at the Megaron).
  • Additional information for the video workshop can be found here.
  • Sign ups for the PreBEX video workshop occurred prior to the event and it is now full. You are welcome to stand by should any openings occur.

Opening Night Party:

  • Our opening night party is hosted by City of Athens, ACVB.  It will be held at the City of Athens Technopolis, the Athens’ Natural Gazi museum from 7 pm-12 midnight. NOTE:  This is a time change.
  • Use your provided metro pass to get to the opening night part, getting off at the Kerameikos Station, exit: Technopolis.
  • This event is open to registered TBEX attendees only. Badges are required. We will have a registration booth open at Technopolis if you didn’t pick up your badge earlier in the day.

DAY FOUR – Friday, October 24, 2014: TBEX Educational Sessions & Expedia Party

  • TBEX registration is open from 8 am-5 pm at the Megaron.
  • The Opening Session with Rick Calvert and Keynote with Jaume Marin & Chris Christensen starts at 9:15 am.
  • The breakout sessions start at 10:45 am.
  • There will be a break for lunch at 1:00 pm.
  • The breakout sessions continue from 2:30-3:30 pm.
  • Speed Networking is from 3:45-5:45 pm. More information here.

Expedia Party:

  • Our evening event is the Expedia Party, “Appy Hour” sponsored by our global partner, Expedia. Hours:  from 7:00-10:00 pm.
  • The Expedia Party will be at the SkyFall Bar, with cocktails and light appetizers available.
  • Access the SkyFall Bar using your provided Metro pass. Address:  Markou Mousourou 1, Athens 116 36, Greece.
  • The Expedia App will be your ticket to get in.  Please download it to your smart phone or mobile in advance to show at the door. This event is open to registered TBEX attendees only. Badges are required. (NOTE:  Accommodations will be made for those attendees who do not have access to a smart phone.)
  • Don’t forget to use the official hashtags: #ExpediaTBEX and #TBEX for this party.

DAY FIVE – Saturday, October 25, 2014: TBEX Educational Sessions & Farewell Street Event

  • TBEX registration is open from 8 am-5 pm at the Megaron.
  • The Opening Session with Mary Jo Manzanares and keynote with Paula Froelich and Captain & Clark start at 9:15 am.
  • The breakout sessions start at 10:45 am.
  • There will be a break for lunch at 1:00 pm.
  • The breakout sessions continue from 2:30-3:30 pm.
  • Speed Networking begins at 3:15. More information here.
  • The Closing Session with Rick Calvert and keynote Robert Reid begins at 5:30pm.
  • Information on today’s PreBEX Tour can be found here.

Farewell Street Event:

  • The Farewell Street Event is at the Pandrossou Street Market located right in the heart of the historic center of Athens and directly beneath the Acropolis. More info here
  • The closing event will be directly following the closing session, and run 7-9 pm.
  • After 9 pm,  you’re invited to visit nearby Aghia Irini Square and have a free drink offered by the neighboring bars and restaurants that surround Saint Irene’s church.
  • You will need to wear your TBEX badge to enjoy all the features of the street party.

Important Announcements:

  • TBEX Welcome Kit: The welcome bag can be picked up at the Athens International Airport at the City of Athens Infopoint at Gate A, open from 8 am-8 pm daily, with extended hours of 8 am-10 pm on October 20-22. The welcome kit can be picked up at the airport Infopoint through October 23rd.  Although the Infopoint will have a list of attendees, if you have a hard or digital copy of your registration, it will help speed the process along. There are two information desks – an Airport information desk and an Athens information desk.  You’ll want to go to the ATHENS information desk, keep an eye out for the signs.
  • If you won’t be arriving via the airport and are in Athens early, or are arriving by rail, bus, driving, walking, etc., you may pick up a welcome kit from the City of Athens Infopoint. That location is: the intersection of Amalias Avenue and Dionysiou Areopagitour Street, near Melina’s Statue (Acropolis Metro Station). This Infopoint will be open 9 am-9 pm, October 20-26.
  • You must have your TBEX badge with you for entry into all events, including parties and conference sessions – no exceptions, and we won’t be reprinting badges if you lose them. So hang onto that badge!
  • If you are bringing your children to Athens, anyone over the age of five must be registered.  The opening night party and the Epedia party are not open to anyone under the age of 18.
  • All TBEX events are for registered attendees only, unless it specifically says otherwise in a party or meetup announcement. This means no “plus one” or guests will be allowed entry. There are no one-day or single session badges.

PreBEX Tours:

  • More information about Athens PreBEX Tours on October 21st-27th is available here (including the departure times and locations).
  • Tour departure times and locations vary depending on the tour.
  • Sign ups for these tours occurred prior to the event, however you can visit the city center Infopoint on October 22-23 to sign up for any available opening.

Post-TBEX Athens FAM Trips:

  • The FAM trips (“familiarization” trips, AKA press trips) run from October 26th through the 29th. NOTE:  Athens “falls back” an hour in the early hours of Sunday, October 26th. Make sure to adjust your time so you’re not late for the FAM departure.
  • If you’re going on one of the FAM trips, information about departure points and times is listed here.
  • The Iconic Aegean 4-Day Cruise is from October 27th-31st.  You can get more information about departure points and times here.
  • These FAM trips were by application only, and are already booked.

Speed Networking:

  • What is Speed Networking?
  • Speed Networking is by appointment only, and between bloggers-sponsors only, not bloggers-bloggers or sponsors-sponsors. Request appointments here.
  • If you’ve got a blogger pass, here’s your Speed Networking Guide.
  • If you’ve got an industry pass, here’s your Speed Networking Guide.
  • We published a guide for perfecting your pitch that is helpful for first-time speed daters.
  • We suggest you print out your Speed Networking schedule prior to arriving at TBEX.

About Athens:

  • Eastern European Time Zone (UTC+02:00). Please note that Athens experiences the daylight savings change on Sunday morning at 4 a.m., and “falls back” one hour.
  • Athens weather information is available here.
  • Greece is a member of the European Union and the monetary unit is the Euro.
  • Greece use 2-prong electrical outlets, often called the Schuko plug. If you’re coming from the U.S., you’ll need an adapter.
  • Find more information about Greece at the Visit Greece site.  Find information on Athens events, dining, activities here.
  • Schedule a tour with This is My Athens.  These are local Athenians who enjoy showing off their city to people from around the world for free! 
  • Read a local’s take on what to experience in Athens here.
  • Here are some urban neighborhoods that will give you a well-rounded perspective of the city including where the locals go.  
  • TBEXer (and world traveler) Cacinda Maloney suggests 5 things to do in Athens when you’re not in TBEX sessions.
  • Your Metro card (in your welcome packet) will get you to most venues around Athens. If you want to take a cab anywhere, you might find the Taxi Beat app helpful, as it allows you to order a car in advance and pay by credit card. Look for the app in your app store.

Athens Attendees on Twitter:

Follow TBEX via Social Media:

Don’t forget to use the #TBEX hashtag when you’re posting about TBEX-related events on social media! That means FAM trips, day tours, conference sessions, parties, meetups, etc. Also, the Athens hashtag is #thisisathens.

Any changes to this Ultimate Guide to TBEX Athens will be note at the top of the post with the date and time of the update.

The #1 Thing Every Travel Blogger Should Be Doing on Twitter

 

There are a number of things bloggers should be doing to showcase themselves and their blogs on Twitter. Here are three of the most important:

  1. Have a Clear Profile Picture: People want to see what you look like, especially if you’re providing travel advice or if a DMO or brand is potentially interested in working with you. It’s also much easier to relate to a photo than it is to an icon, or the dreaded egg symbol which displays when someone doesn’t upload a profile picture.
  2. Stunning Header and Background Photos: This is an excellent opportunity to highlight your photography skills and these are areas that someone sees every time they click on your profile.
  3. Bio That Reflects Your Writing Style: Whether it be humorous, factual or poetic, your bio makes it easy for people to see whether they want to connect with you and for DMOs and brands to quickly analyze whether you might be a potential fit.

But there’s also another thing that very few people are doing on Twitter. Not only is it a missed opportunity, it can be done in a matter of seconds.

A Pinned Tweet

 

pinned tweet example

A pinned tweet is a tweet that stays at the top of your Twitter feed. It will be the first tweet that everyone who clicks on your tweets will see. It’s a great opportunity to expand upon your bio and brand yourself.

You can take an existing tweet and pin it as shown below:

 

pinned tweet how to

Or even better, you can craft a new tweet that reflects why someone would want to follow you and what type of tweets they can expect from you. It’s worth including a photo as well since tweets with photos receive five times (source) more engagement than text only tweets.

A pinned tweet allows you to show what type of impression you want to make, without leaving it up to chance, where your most recent tweet is shown, which may not even be to your content, but a retweet of someone else’s content.

Unlike pinned posts on Facebook, pinned posts on Twitter stay until you change them, and it’s worth changing them regularly to keep your Twitter feed looking fresh.

This one simple, easy step is one you can’t afford not to take!

Join Laurel at TBEX Athens for more tips when she speaks on Twitter Tips for Advanced Users on Saturday, October 25th at 10:45.

Author bio: Laurel is an award-winning travel blogger at MonkeysandMountains.com, named after two of the things she loves most. She’s also Chief Conversation Starter at Monkeys and Mountains Media, which provides the travel industry with solutions to getting the most from Twitter in the minimal amount of time.

Win a 3-Night Cruise on the MSC Armornia

MSC Armornia

TBEX Athens sponsor MSC Cruises is offer one lucky TBEX Attendee a chance to win a 3-day cruise on the MSC Armornia in their TBEX Instagram contest.

All you have to do is share a photo on Instagram of your best moments at TBEX AThens. Use the hashtags #MSCTBEX and #TBEX and #myspot and tag @msccruiseofficial and you’ll be entered to win. MSC Cruises will select the most creative photo as the winner and award the cruise during TBEX Athens.

More Details:

  • The contest starts October 22nd.
  • The contest ends October 25th at noon.
  • Prize:  3-day cruise onboard the MSC Armornia, departing November 19th from Genoa, Italy, and ending on November 21 in Cartagena, Spain.

Stop by the MSC Cruises table in the sponsor area at TBEX Athens for a full description of what the prize includes along with all the contest eligibility requirements and rules.

 

TBEX Athens Will Close with a Farewell Street Event

Closing Party (1)-page-0

Closing Party (1)-page-1

 

We’ll say goodbye to TBEX Athens with a farewell event that includes an opportunity to discover how Athens magically mixes and matches the new and the old, the hip and the traditional, forming its own unique style in an event that is organized by the Pandrossou Street Market and the Athens Traders Association in collaboration with the Athens Conventions and Visitors Bureau and the City of Athens.

Explore Greek craftsmanship alongside Greek food, music and dance at the Pandrosou Street Market, a market filled with traditional objects, souvenirs and antiques that stretches out for about 300 meters.

The evening will include a performance by the Greek National Opera, a DJ set by En Lefko radio, and the Greek Music Ensemble of the City of Athens, all combining to create a festive atmosphere to say goodbye to friends and to our host city.

The street event will run from 7-9 pm, directly following the closing session and keynote.

And it doesn’t end there. From 9 pm onwards you’re invited to visit nearby Aghia Irini Square, one of last year’s hot spots, and have a free drink offered by the neighboring bars and restaurants that surround Saint Irene’s church. It’s an enticing glimpse of the Athenian nightlife.

Use you Metro pass to access the street event at Monastiraki Station (exit at Monastiraki Square). Your TBEX badge is required to access all events and enjoy all benefits of the street party.

We’ll see you there!