Newbie Guide to TBEX

Who goes to TBEX?

Do I have to be a blogger to attend? What if I’m a podcaster?

TBEX is about “the future of travel media” – and that’s media of all kinds. We welcome bloggers, podcasters, videographers, photographers – as well as people who want to learn more about any of those things. TBEX attendees also include travel industry representatives such as destinations, PR agencies, tour companies, travel products, and more.

What level of experience do I need to have for TBEX to be worthwhile?

TBEX welcomes attendees at all levels of experience. With sessions and topics focused on different skill levels, you’re sure to find something that’s just right for you – wherever your skill level or interest area might be.

How can I find out who else is going to the conference and connect with them?

When attendees fill out Twitter names during registration, giving us permission to use it, we create Twitter lists of attendees for each conference, which you can follow and scan for people who interest you. Not everyone fills out a Twitter name during registration, so although these lists don’t represent 100% of the attendees, they’re a great place to start. You can use and search through the #TBEX hashtag on Twitter to find other people talking about the conference, and check our other social media channels for discussions among fellow attendees.

What happens at TBEX?

I’ve never been to any sort of conference before. What should I expect?

TBEX has become a multi-day event that combines workshops, inspirational keynotes, and educational breakout sessions, with business networking opportunities. Our blogger sessions are built upon three core components: Content, Community, and Commerce. We also offer TBEX Business, a series of educational tracks for the travel industry.

Besides the keynotes and classroom sessions, what else happens during a TBEX conference?

We give attendees and sponsors as many opportunities to network as possible, during Speed Networking as well as coffee breaks, lunches, and evening events. Our host destination works with their partners to create tours, activities, and press trips before and after the conference. That list of events changes with each conference. There’s all the learning and networking going on during the conference, the special events in the evenings, and tours in the days before and after the conference. In short, TBEX is both serious – and seriously fun.

What is “Speed Networking” at TBEX? How does it work?

Speed Networking is a structured networking activity that’s become fairly common in the travel industry. Bloggers and sponsors create a custom schedule of meetings in timed eight-minute segments, each of which provides a chance to meet, start a relationship, and consider future business opportunities. Speed Networking is open to all bloggers, but only industry attendees who are sponsors and/or who have purchased a Speed Networking table may participate. There is no charge to bloggers to participate in Speed Networking.

Detailed and specific information about speed networking is sent out to attendees approximately one month before the TBEX conference.

Are there opportunities for press tours while I’m in town for TBEX?

The availability of press tours before and after TBEX varies by conference destination, as these tours are put together by each host destination. In order to make sure you don’t miss an announcement about applying for a press trip, be sure to sign up for the TBEX email newsletter and stay tuned to the TBEX blog and our social channels.

How do I choose which sessions to attend? I don’t want to miss anything.

With multiple sessions going on concurrently, you’re going to have to make some tough choices. This is where a buddy system can come in really handy. Divide the sessions you and your friend(s) really want to attend (so you’re not all going to the same ones), take copious notes, and then swap notes afterward.

How should I prepare for TBEX?

What should I do BEFORE I get to TBEX to make sure I’m properly prepared?

What should I bring to a TBEX conference?

Other things that can be really handy to bring along:

What should I make sure to do AFTER I get home from TBEX to get the most out of my time at the conference?

Logistical Questions

How important is getting lodging close to the conference location?

It’s entirely up to you where you stay when attending a TBEX conference (lodging is not included in the conference pass). Many people find it easier to stay relatively close to the conference venue itself, especially when coming in from out of town and not renting a car. Wherever you stay, be sure to take transit time into account so you don’t miss morning sessions. We offer accommodation partners that will be listed on our website, many of whom have special discounts for TBEXers.

Are all the TBEX events within walking distance or should I rent a car?

The locations for various parties, tours, and meet-ups vary with every conference – but they are not always within walking distance of one another or the conference venue. We work with our hosts to make getting from point to point during TBEX as straight-forward and easy as possible.

Is there some kind of TBEX dress code?

Nope! We encourage you to be comfortable (you’ll be sitting in sessions for two days) and weather-appropriate, and if you’re signed up for extra activities you’ll need to dress appropriately for those (it’s probably not a good idea to wear high heels on a walking tour, after all). We also think it’s smart to dress in a way that tells industry representatives you’re professional. What that means, exactly, is up to you.

How can I make sure I get all TBEX-relevant news?

The best thing to do is sign up for the TBEX newsletter (you’ll find the sign-up form on the right-hand margin of the TBEX website). It comes out weekly via email, and includes the latest from the TBEX blog, reminders about upcoming deadlines for things like press trip applications and ticket price increases, and other information we think is useful to the TBEX community. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow TBEX on our social channels, too.

What do attendees say about TBEX?

Okay, obviously we think TBEX is worthwhile. But what do our attendees think?

Here are some round-ups of what attendees had to say about past conferences.