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!


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.


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!


You’re Invited to Visit City Link


City Link invitation

TBEX Athens attendees are invited to visit City Link for a taste of the ultimate shopping, living, and culture in Athens. Stop by for a drink and an exclusive TBEX gift bag.

DATE:  Tuesday, October 21st, 6-8 pm

WHERE:  City Bar cafe-restaurant, located within Spyromiliou Arcade at City Link (just a few minutes away from Syntagma Square)



Expedia Appy Hour at TBEX Athens

Expedia Appy Hour

You are invited to attend a special Appy Hour at TBEX Athens, sponsored by our global partner, Expedia. The evening will include drinks and appetizers, and mark Expedia’s mobile milestones and some big reveals of their Viewfinder blogger program.

Date:  Friday, October 24th

Time:  7-1o pm

Location:  Skyfall Bar (Markou Mousourou1, Athens 116 36)

Special Notes:  You must be a registered TBEX Athens attendee to attend; please wear your badge. The Expedia App will be your ticket to get it. Please download it in advance and show it on your smartphone or tablet at the door. No RSVP required. Hashtags for Appy Hour are #TBEX and #ExpediaTBEX.


Travel Video: Equipment Recommendations for Travel Bloggers

The vast world of travel video is a rapidly growing industry. It used to be that if you wanted to record video you’d need a heavy VHS camcorder and a great deal of upper body strength. Today, you have more recording options than countries to explore and each branch has become specific to varying skill sets and needs. Here’s a quick rundown on what to consider if you want to get into travel video and are wondering where to start.

Captain and ClarkOne of the biggest things we’ve learned about travel video is that good audio is key. The average viewer will gladly suffer through ten minutes of blurry nonsense if it has solid audio, whereas they will click away in under a couple of seconds if they can’t hear what’s going on. The first big purchase for our travel video kit was the Rode II shotgun mic. This super versatile mic sits right on top of our camera and is powered by a single 9 volt battery. It cuts down the rumble of wind, picks up subjects from over 30 yards away, and gives a strong clear sound to our videos. Many video bloggers swear by wireless lavalier “lav” (lapel microphone) mics as well. The trade off is that occasionally the lav signal can interfere with any other sound equipment (only important if you’re filming something like a set of a big shows like in Vegas) and they require you to attach the microphone to your subject. The shotgun mic is simply point and shoot.

When it comes to cameras, the first thing to consider is what your travel style is like. Are you active with emphasis on extreme sports or water activities? Are you always on the move and need a quick way to capture the organic moments? Perhaps you like to plan ahead and have a set itinerary. Maybe you want more control over your videos? In our experience, the most common families of video device can be separated into four categories: sport, DSLR, camcorder, and phone.

For the Active Traveler:

Our recommendation – GoPro HERO Black or Nikon COOLPIX AW110

The most common and obvious choice for sport recording is the GoPro. A GoPro kit will retail between $400 to $600, depending on setup and add ons. This versatile camera has more gizmos and customization options than any other comparable camera in its class. We know some video bloggers who only use a GoPro to fuel their YouTube channels. These devices are compact, waterproof, rugged, and can attach to aerial drones. The trade off is quality and versatility in image. No matter how HD a camera claims to be, image quality will always boil down to sensor size and controls. A GoPro can take you really far in life for a modest sum. However, it’s true proving ground is in sunny, outdoor, and fast paced moments.

For the Renaissance Traveler:

Our recommendation – Canon EOS Rebel T4i or Canon 5D Mark III

If you want a camera that allows you control of every aspect, a DSLR might be for you. The beauty of the DSLR is in its large sensor size and myriad of controls. From manual focus to adjustable FPS (frames per second) and aperture, the sky is the limit with a DSLR.

DSLRs have the added charm of being more low profile. It’s significantly harder to tell if someone if filming with a DSLR than when they pull out a large camcorder. This has the nice touch of putting subjects as ease for interviews or even drawing attention away from zealous border guards and sensitive security areas.

A DSLR doubles as a great camera and can allow for a lot of customization. For any blogger whose travel style is constantly changing, this is a great option. The trade off is that is a big investment. A solid DSLR camera runs upwards of $2000 for a good body and lens. The great news is that you can later play with different lenses, adding great breadth to your video quality. The learning curve is also pretty steep. Unless you’re already familiar with ISO and FPS settings it can take some time to really get to know your DSLR and how to film with it. The pay off is well worth it though.

For the Solo Traveler:

Our recommendation – Canon Vixia HF G20 or Canon Vixia HF R50

One of the best parts of a point-and-shoot camcorder is that it is so simple to use. Our first camera was a Canon Vixia HV30. It retailed for $400 and all we had to do was turn it on. For any solo travelers, a camcorder is a sweet option as it offers to bear the brunt of the work load. DSLRs are amazing, but they require someone to man the helm in order to keep focusing and changing the lighting. If you prefer to film yourself with arm outstretched or by setting the camera on a ledge and jumping in the frame, it can be hard to argue with such an easy camera. The trade off comes in control. If you really want to add that artistic edge in your storytelling or to master the illusive bokeh effect (subject in focus with the background all blurry) then you’re fairly limited. Most high-end camcorders run between $500 to $1500 depending on what you want and offer a range of high quality footage.

For the Quick Draw Traveler:

Our recommendation – The iPhone 5s

If you are wanting to dip your toe into travel video and aren’t ready to drop the cash on a huge equipment run, you’re in luck. The cameras on most smart phones now record at a better quality than most of the cameras I first started using eight years ago. The ease and versatility of an iPhone is really incredible. While you won’t get the crisp image of a camera with a larger sensor, it doesn’t really matter for most videos. The majority of travel videos are watched on a cropped YouTube screen anyhow so quality doesn’t start to betray you until your videos get blown up to full screen. You can get away with a lot by using some cool visual tricks too. The iPhone now records at 120 frames per second, lending itself to some super smooth slow motion video. Not to mention the slick autofocus and slim size allow you to get some amazing panning shots and impromptu videos.

Over all, the most important parts of video are really in finding your own personal style of storytelling. Are your videos going to focus more on capturing large sensor, high HD images? Or will you highlight your personal narrative and storytelling? Once you can identify what works for you it is much easier to determine the right equipment for your style.

Author Bio:  Chris Staudinger and Tawny Clark, better known in the travel blogging community as Captain and Clark. Tawny Clark and Chris Staudinger met on the summit of Kilimanjaro, courted in South Korea, got engaged at the Taj Mahal, and most recently were married at a Bavarian theme town in their home state of Washington. Their passions are travel, adventure, and storytelling. It’s their goal to inspire, excited, and encourage others to get out and explore this beautiful world. Video will be one of the things they talk about in the TBEX Athens Saturday morning keynote with Paula Froelich.

Painlessly Prospecting for New Travelers to Grow Your Travel Brand

A lot can happen in 60 seconds. Every minute of the day, Facebook users share 2.46 million pieces of content. Twitter users tweet 277 thousand times, Google receives over 4 million search queries, and YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video. That’s a whole lot of new content in just one minute.

tommartinThe competition for travelers’ attention, especially repeat attention, is incredibly high and growing literally by the minute. That’s why it is so imperative to establish a digital footprint that extends far beyond your own corporate website or blog. The key to winning the Invisible Sale is to create propinquity — or the opportunity for repeated interactions— between you and an unqualified traveler. In the buzz of all that content being created, you have to make sure your a prospective is seeing your brand.

The art of generating helpful, relevant content that is strategically dispersed throughout the websites and social networks favored by your today’s digital planning travelers is creating what I call your Painless Prospecting platform. As your unqualified prospects move through your platform and run into you and your content repeatedly, they begin to qualify themselves through their actions and interactions with you and your content.

As you set about establishing Painless Prospecting platform, there are three legs you’ll need to focus on:

1) Home Base

Everything you do online and offline is designed to drive prospects to your Home Base. Your Home Base needs to be a website, a blog, or both. If your company has multiple brands, you might have multiple Home Bases. Regardless, your goal is to always drive prospects back to your Home Base, where you can use your content and tracking technology to qualify prospects and drive them down the appropriate sales funnel.

The single most important thing to think about when crafting your home base is how well it functions. In your website, you want to create a funnel-optimized, mobile friendly, qualified lead-generation machine that is committed to achieving only one goal: the constant creation and qualification of convertible leads for your brand.

2) Outposts

In the simplest terms, an outpost is a place where you and your content show up from time to time and where your prospects congregate. A good example is submitting a guest post on a popular travel blog, authoring an article for a magazine or some kind of review penned by an influential travel blogger. You create and post the content there, but you’re not investing a lot of time in doing so because your goal is to generate awareness. You’re trying to leverage the platform owner’s audience to create awareness of you and your product or service, and give prospects a simple way to follow you back to your Home Base.

3) Embassies

Similar to outposts, embassies are places where you find and interact with prospective guests, but in a much deeper and engaged manner—embassies are where you’ll plant a flag and plan to spend a good amount of time interacting with the people you find there. Embassies are the place you’re going to meet people, introduce people to one another, and get introduced to people.

Unlike outposts, effective embassy management requires plenty of work and a hefty time investment on your part. But that effort should translate into significant value in the form of new leads, reputation enhancement, or opportunities to connect with resources that enhance your ability to grow visitor usage of your brand or destination. You’ll have only a few embassies in your platform, so you need to select them strategically to maximize the effectiveness of your prospecting platform.

Your Ever-Changing Prospecting Platform

Keep in mind that your prospecting platform is not a static digital footprint. It ebbs and flows as you, or your company, emphasize different products or services. As you move in new directions or target new audiences, any propinquity point can vacillate between serving as an outpost or acting as an embassy. This might be due to a change in your strategy, a changing business climate, or just a realization that a particular propinquity point is under- or over-delivering based on your current effort level.

As you embark on this journey to build your own Painless Prospecting platform, know that you will make mistakes along the way. Failures will occur. Platforms or outposts will end up not making sense or not generating a big enough return on your time and investment to justify continued involvement. That’s okay. Failure is the price of learning. The key is to fail small while simultaneously setting yourself up to win big.

For more information on creating a painless prospecting platform for your own company, join me at TBEX Europe in Athens when I’ll present Propinquity: Leveraging the Secret Science of Relationship Formation to Grow Your Sales on Friday, October 24th at 10:45am or pick up a copy of The Invisible Sale.

Author Bio:  Tom Martin is a no nonsense, straight-talking 20-year veteran of the advertising and marketing business who favors stiff drinks, good debates and helping travel brands grow their businesses. As an internationally recognized digital marketing keynote speaker, blogger, founder of Converse Digital, and Author of The Invisible Sale, Tom marries his two passions, marketing & technology, to teach companies how to leverage digital marketing channels to achieve and sustain sales growth, enhance brand perception and painlessly prospect for new customers. Follow him on Twitter at @TomMartin.