TBEX at NMX 2013: Light Bulb Moments


Have you ever had the pleasure of watching a light bulb go off over someone’s head?

When we’re in the bubble of a TBEX conference, everyone buzzing about the new people they’ve met or the food at the parties or how much they’ve learned, it’s hard to imagine that there are travel bloggers out there who are entirely unaware of TBEX’s existence. But y’know what? We’re still a very small fish, and when Mary Jo and I recently worked at the New Media Expo (NMX) conference in Las Vegas, a phrase we heard repeatedly was, “I had no idea there was a whole conference just for travel blogging!”

As we would fill them in on TBEX, it was great fun to watch that proverbial light bulb go off again and again.

Champagne in a Caesars suite - photo by Jessica Spiegel

Champagne in a Caesars suite – photo by Jessica Spiegel

We had some help reinforcing that light bulb, too. When the fine folks at Caesars Entertainment wanted to organize a small group of luxury travel bloggers for a tour of the new Octavius Tower at Caesars Palace, followed by a delicious dinner at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, we were able to find just the right people for their needs (and we had a great time on the tour, which was conducted by a white-gloved butler named – appropriately – Cesar). The following day, the Caesars folks offered some fantastic prizes to bloggers who attended our TBEX meet up at the Rio and answered our Twitter questions – including dinner at another Gordon Ramsay restaurant and a stay at Caesars Palace.

Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it. Here’s a round-up of some of the posts from those events:

Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill - photo by Jessica Spiegel

Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill – photos by Jessica Spiegel

All in all, we made some great new travel bloggy friends at NMX, got to spend more quality time with some TBEXers we never seem to see often enough, and – it must be said – got a little bit excited looking around at the big NMX crowds, thinking of how big TBEX could be. We’re dreaming of grandeur, you guys, and we’d love for you to join us.

We’re full steam ahead planning for this year’s TBEX conferences in Toronto and Dublin, and we hope to see some of our new travel bloggy friends in attendance!

Have you ever had a light bulb moment telling another travel blogger about TBEX?

TBEX Event at NMX


We’ve been putting the finishing touches on a couple of announcements – and an invitation – about TBEX at NMX, and we’re finally ready to show you what’s behind the curtain.

But before we do, in case you’re confused about that second acronym in the first sentence, a quick note about NMX. New Media Expo, or NMX (formerly known as BlogWorld Expo), is the preeminent conference and trade show for bloggers, podcasters, web TV and video series creators. It spans multiple genres and attracts attendees from over 50 countries. This year’s event will be held January 6-8th at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and registration is still available. NMX is also the parent organization of TBEX, so TBEX will be represented at the NMX conference, too.

Now for the invitation.

We’ll be having a TBEX meet up, tweet up, casual gathering, party – whatever you want to call it – and we would love to see you there.

We don’t have the bar to ourselves, so space is limited. We’ll be sending out invitations to those travel bloggers and travel industry representatives who are registered to attend NMX. However, if you’re going to be in the Las Vegas area (not attending NMX) and are interested in joining us on Monday night, just leave a comment on this blog post telling us and we’ll get your name added to our list. There will be complimentary beverages available to those who RSVP* and get to the party early, some contests and prizes, and an overall fun evening. If you’re a travel blogger, food blogger, lifestyle blogger, work in the travel industry, or want to spend a fun evening with people who love travel, get this date on your calendar and we’ll see you there.

Please note that like the space at the bar, the budget is limited, too – this isn’t an open bar event. When the complimentary beverages are gone, they’re gone – but you’re more than welcome to purchase additional drinks directly from the bar. And, naturally, to tip your bartenders generously.

* NOTE:  Use this link to RSVP.

So – will we see you there?

And hey, those of you who are already familiar with NMX and want to learn more about TBEX, you’re in luck. TBEX will have a table at NMX, and Jessica (our Community Manager) and I will be available for scheduled appointments during the speed dating event. Come find us at table 67, or make a speed dating appointment. We’d love to tell you what we’ve got lined up for our upcoming conference in Toronto this June (as well as TBEX Europe in Dublin this October), and how you or your company can get involved in the world’s largest travel blogging conference.

See you next week at NMX!


Familiar TBEX Faces on the NMX Stage


As most of you know, TBEX was acquired by BlogWorld & New Media Expo earlier in 2012. What you may not realize is that there was already a bit of overlap between the two conferences in terms of the people who grace the stage. Many TBEX speakers have been presenters at past BlogWorld events – including yours truly – and there’s a host of TBEX speakers in the line-up for the 2013 New Media Expo event next month in Las Vegas.

Here’s a rundown of NMX 2013 speakers who have also been TBEX speakers, plus what they’ll be talking about at NMX in January.

    • Amy Porterfield – Amy delivered a keynote about Facebook marketing at TBEX in Girona, and her presentation on “companies that hit the bullseye with their social campaigns” is part of BusinessNext.


    • Andy Hayes – Andy has been involved with the travel blogging community for years; his NMX presentation is called “Live Website Critiques: When You’re Too Close, You Can’t See It.” He’ll be doing a live walk-through of a few websites as a demonstration of what to look for in terms of usability.


    • CC Chapman – CC’s an incredibly passionate and energetic speaker (as anyone who saw his sessions in Girona will attest), so I’d bet that his NMX presentation on “How To Add Photography Into Your Marketing Mix” will be a fun one.


    • Gary Arndt – Gary’s been a speaker at several TBEX conferences. His NMX presentation is called “How To Compete Against Billion Dollar Media Empires and Win.”


    • Monica McCarthy – Monica led a session on video at Keystone, and her NMX presentation is called “Got Video? How to Get On-Camera Ready.” If you’d like to be more confident on camera, this session should help.


    • Rand Fishkin – The super-smart Rand delivered a great keynote at TBEX Keystone. His NMX session is called “The Future of SEO – Social Meets Content.”


  • Spud Hilton – Spud’s focus at past TBEX events has always been on the storytelling, so it’s no surprise that his NMX talk is called “Road map to storytelling: Writing that turns visitors into loyal readers.”

There are a couple other travel-y folks on the 2013 New Media Expo speaker roster – including Ellen Gerstein, formerly with the publisher of Frommer’s guidebooks, talking about where a book might fit into a blogger’s existing platform, and Lou Mongello, of the popular WDW Radio program, talking about finding sponsors for your brand.

There's a huge array of NMX speakers from whom TBEXers can learn enormous amounts.
Are you going to be at NMX in January 2013? What sessions are you most looking forward to? Who from the NMX speaker list would you like to see on a TBEX stage?


New Media Expo Launches #NMXU Scholarship


There may be relatively low barriers to entry when it comes to starting a blog, but in order to get to the next level of blogging success sometimes there are investments to make. For many bloggers, that includes attending a blogging conference in order to meet and learn from the people who have blazed the trail. The price tag on big conferences can be cost-prohibitive for some bloggers just starting out, which is why we’re excited to announce today the launch of the New Media Expo University Scholarship.

New Media Expo, TBEX’s parent company, is the first and only industry-wide tradeshow, conference and media event dedicated to promoting blogging and new media. It’s an awesome opportunity to learn from and be inspired by some of the leaders in our still-growing world. With today’s announcement of a New Media Expo University Scholarship, attending the conference is about to become easier for one person.

What You Can Win

Offered as part of the new New Media Expo University (#NMXU) educational project, this scholarship will provide a complete educational experience at New Media Expo in Las Vegas from January 6-8, 2013, to one lucky recipient. The #NMXU scholarship winner will receive:

  • A three-day Blogger/Podcaster/Web TV & Video pass
  • Travel from anywhere in the Continental United States
  • Four days hotel stay at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas (while New Media Expo ’13 is in session)

Who Can Apply

The scholarship is only open to content creators – that means bloggers, podcasters, or webTV/video producers – who are in the early stages of their new media careers or promising up-and-comers but who may not have the financial means to attend NMX otherwise. The #NMXU scholarship is open to applicants from anywhere in the world, but please note that the scholarship only includes transportation to/from Las Vegas once you’re in the continental U.S. Two runners up will each receive a three day Blogger/Podcaster/WebTV and Video pass.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted through October 31, and you’ll need to answer an essay question in your chosen medium – a 250-word written paragraph, a 30-second audio recording, or a 30-second video. The #NMXU Deans (AKA judges) will review all entries and choose the eventual scholarship recipient.

You’ll find all the details about how to enter, what’s expected of the #NMXU scholarship recipient while at the conference, who the Deans are, and a link to the application form on the #NMXU page.

What are you waiting for?

We love all sorts of bloggers, and of course we’d be over the moon if a TBEXer was chosen to receive the #NMXU scholarship. We know there are plenty of you who are just getting started with travel blogging and want to kick-start your learning curve – and this is a fine way to do it. So get your thinking caps on, put together a great application, and GOOD LUCK!

(Oh, and hey – when you’re telling your friends about it on the Twitterz, be sure to use the #NMXU hashtag, wouldja?)

photo by Ken Yeung @thekenyeung