Today we are opening our call for speakers for TBEX North America 2017 in Huntsville Alabama.
We are always looking for new speakers from around the world for our events. So if you have never applied to speak at TBEX before, we encourage you to do that now.
If you are serious about speaking at TBEX, please read this information thoroughly before submitting a speaking proposal. We want speakers who are committed to sharing valuable, actionable information with the TBEX community and being a full participant at the event.
Speaking at TBEX is a lot of fun and is a way to grow your influence and continue to establish your expertise. It does, however, require a commitment from you. To help you decide if you can make the commitment that speaking at TBEX involves, we offer some preliminary information:
- Speakers should plan to arrive in Huntsville no later than May 3rd, 2017.
- We recommend that speakers who are also bloggers allow a few days before and after the conference dates to enjoy the pre- and post- tours and activities, along with Blogger FAM trips. Information about these opportunities will be announced soon.
SELECTING A TOPIC
Your submission is your chance to make a great first impression, and understanding our programming format and our professional development needs will help you do that. Here are some more in depth tips to help you WOW us with your idea:
- TBEX break out sessions are 50 minutes in length and should allow time for questions and answers.
- We have the most need for intermediate to advance topics. The majority of our attendees are already familiar with the basics of travel blogging and social media strategies in the travel industry. They are sophisticated at creating content and running a business. They are looking for how to improve what they are doing, rather than looking for a primer or basic how-to. We are looking for narrow topics, with a deeper focus on specific best practices and new breakthroughs.
- We have four categories of break out sessions that we are looking to fill and your submission must fit into one of these categories. For bloggers: Content (this is about working on our craft), Commerce (this is about building strong businesses), and Community (this is about building robust communities around our craft and business). We also offer content for Travel Industry Professionals in our TBEX Business tracks. We are looking for best practices and case studies in social media strategies and process, working with content creators, creating in house content, and integrating social media into overall brand marketing.
- 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 – attendees may already know the information, you’re just helping them find a new way of looking at it or using it. Demonstrating that you understand what an advanced session is will be a key factor when we review submissions.
- A great way to get our attention is to submit a topic that you haven’t seen covered before or that you would like to tackle from a new angle. It is much harder to have a submission accepted when there are dozens of potential speakers submitting the same idea. For reference, working with brands is the topic we get the most submissions on.
- If you’d like some assistance in fine tuning your topic idea, we are happy to help. You can email us, firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss via email, phone call, or Skype chat. This is not a guarantee that your session idea will be selected, however we can help point you in the right direction.
- TBEX is a media conference, not a consumer event. We do not schedule consumer travel content.
SUBMITTING YOUR PROPOSAL
- All speaker submissions must be submitted via the submission form.
- To fill out the form, you will need basic biographical information, links to your social media accounts, a headshot, along with other information to help us understand your expertise in the subject area.
- Prepare a short and catchy description of your session idea. This should be developed enough so that an attendee will understand what the session is about.
- List a minimum of 2-3 takeaways that someone would be able to implement shortly after returning home. We are looking for specific and actionable items that you will share with your audience, rather than secret tips that you aren’t willing to reveal.
- 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.
- We expect speakers to submit a guest blog post for the TBEX blog, and to promote their participation at TBEX.
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR
There are a variety of things that we look for when we review speaker submissions. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- We are always looking for new speakers for our events and are excited to bring fresh new ideas to our community. While it varies at each event, we usually have 40-50% first time speakers on our program every single event. When you attend TBEX you will see some familiar faces on the stage – and you’ll also see a lot of faces new to the TBEX stage.
- It helps to be an expert on your topic, but that alone isn’t enough. You also need to be great speaker. We recognize 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 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.
- 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.
- 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. Attendees complain – and loudly – about sessions that are self-promoting.
OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION
- Our speaker agreement restricts speakers from promoting or attending any events that conflict with official TBEX programming. This includes pre- and post- events and blogger FAM trips. If you have a special situation, please let us know well in advance and we’ll see if we can make it work.
- 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 (round trip economy class transportation and four nights of accommodations) will be discussed upon confirmation of a speaking slot, and will be based on information provided in your submission. Transportation is provided to and from TBEX, and is not covered for personal or other onward travel. Should you not need travel expenses covered, please let us know in your submission.
- We want the experience to be just as enjoyable for you as a speaker as it is for all of our attendees. If you have a situation that requires special handling, please let us know on your speaker form or at the time of confirmation. We want great speakers at TBEX and we want you to be successful. If you have questions or need assistance in this process, please ask.
Now, it’s time to hone your great idea down to a manageable 50-minute bite and submit your idea for a great TBEX session.