Call for Speakers: TBEX North America 2015 in Ft. Lauderdale

convention center

EDITED 3/18/15:  The deadline for speaker submissions has been extended to March 31, 2015, midnight, Pacific Time. I will be traveling through the end of the month, so much schedule means you have extra time to send in your speaker submission.


Today we are opening the Call for Speakers for TBEX North America 2015 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We’re enticed by the area’s sun and sand, history and culture, luxury and adventure, and we know that you will want to be a part of it.

TBEX North America 2015 will be held October 28-30 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, at the  Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, located at 1950 Eisenhower Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale.

If you are interested in speaking at TBEX North America 2015, we ask that you read this information about what we are looking for before submitting your application. Our goal with this information is to help you understand what we are looking to feature on the program, which will, in turn, help you determine the best topic for your proposal

For planning purposes, and to maximize your TBEX experience, we recommend speakers and attendees allow 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 before submitting your speaker application.

If you are interested in speaking at TBEX North America 2015, please read this information in its entirety. Even if you’ve submitted or spoken at past TBEX events, please read it – there are some changes about what we are looking for. This information will help you understand our programming needs and help you submit a successful proposal. Your submission is your chance to make a great first impression, and here are some tips to help you. 

  • 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 that explains what you can teach and share in a 50-minute session (leaving time for questions and answers). You will also need to list specific takeaways that will help attendees create better content, build stronger communities, and/or develop better businesses. We are looking for narrow topics, rather than general.
  • If you’ve not attended a TBEX, or haven’t attended for some time, please talk with someone who has been recently. The level of experience and knowledge of our attendees has grown substantially, and topics that may have been a good fit a couple of years ago may be too basic today.
  • Specify a knowledge level that your session is designed for. We will not be accepting any basic or beginner level sessions. We are looking for intermediate and advanced sessions only. The knowledge base of travel bloggers has grown, and we’ve found that most attendees at TBEX are at an intermediate level.  Intermediate sessions are designed for attendees who have some knowledge of the topic and who are looking to develop further competency in that area. While most sessions will likely be at this level, please make sure that it truly is intermediate, not a basic session with a different label. 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 are designed for bloggers who are looking to fine tune their businesses, a chance to discover one little thing that can tweak and improve what they are already successful at. Think of an advanced session as a training camp for Olympic athletes. A priority will be given to submissions for advanced sessions.
  • Please remember that we are a media conference, not a consumer one. We do not schedule consumer travel content.
  • 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.
  • 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. What will they take home from your session that will help them with their craft and/or business?
  • Let us know how you can help promote TBEX North America 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.
  • 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. If you’re an experienced speaker, but new to TBEX, consider partnering with a speaker who might have a better understanding of what we’re looking for.

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, 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.  This is not a deal breaker, but we need to know in advance.
  • 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 build our program. I used to think selecting speakers was easy, until I had to do it. Creating a program with diversity of speakers and topics take time, with each layer of speaker announcements building on previous ones, takes time. We continue to reduce the time speaker selection takes with each event as we know that you’re anxious to hear from us. We appreciate your patience.

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 March 31st, 2015, midnight Pacific Time.

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3 Responses
  1. Great tips, Mary Jo! I’m excited to be attending TBEX North America 2015 in Ft. Lauderdale, as well as TBEX at Sea. All I need to pack is sunblock and a sun hat. Looking forward to learning and networking with old and new friends!

    1. Mary Jo Manzanares

      Yes, you can still attend. We’ve had many attendees who’ve come to TBEX before launching their site(s), learning everything that could from the group up. We hope you’ll join us.

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