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Jul 8 2013

Highlights from TBEX 2013

Category: Destinations | EventsMegan Leader @ 06:02

This year, I represented travel42 at TBEX, the world's largest gathering of travel bloggers. At this conference, keynote speakers are major players in the travel industry, and breakout sessions cover a variety of topics relevant to travel professionals. I gained an incredible amount of information and met dozens of new friends and potential travel42 collaborators at TBEX in Toronto. If you've ever thought about attending TBEX for yourself, I highly recommend it. Here's why. 

TBEX helps you make valuable connections. Whether it's another person who shares your love of travel or a tourism board that can help you plan the best trips for your clients, a wealth of valuable connections are at your fingertips at a conference like TBEX. The bloggers at this conference represent a variety of niche audiences and hundreds of publications; various aspects of the travel industry are well represented.

TBEX helps you think outside the box. Even if you don't have your own travel blog, TBEX gets your creative juices flowing. There are panels on social media, business, web design, diversifying your income—tons of different areas that can help you become a better travel agent. The sessions at TBEX can help you hone your brand message to attract your ideal audience.

Travel agents and travel bloggers are a match made in heaven. Travel bloggers share their passion for travel with their readers. They motivate readers to take their own trips and create their own memories. Our hope is that those readers will then turn to a travel agent to help them plan the vacation of their dreams. Have you considered swapping guest posts with a travel blogger or perhaps advertising on a travel blog? If not, think about it! Partnering with travel bloggers can help you gain visibility with an audience that already has travel on their minds.

The parties are pretty fantastic. The icing on the cake of a terrific day of travel networking and education? Fabulous food, outstanding local wine and tons of fun. After having business on the brain all day long, TBEX parties are a place for chatting about your travels and making new friends. There were two TBEX parties in Toronto: One had an incredible view of the Toronto skyline, and the other featured a variety of local food and live music. Each was, in itself, an experience of a lifetime.

The Expedia Viewing Party was held at Shopsy's on Centre Island, which boasted a breathtaking view of Toronto's skyline.

At a food demonstration, maple syrup is drizzled on top of a sheet of snow until it hardens slightly. It's then rolled around a cube of local cheese. The presentation was stunning.

TBEX Opening night party sponsored by Toronto Tourism.
At a food demonstration, maple syrup is drizzled on top of a sheet of snow (yes, snow!) until it hardens slightly.
It's then rolled around a cube of local cheese. The presentation was stunning.

Every element of TBEX left me with food for thought. I particularly enjoyed the keynotes and breakout sessions that discussed topics from design to the future of aviation in travel. Next week, I'll share a post outlining the most applicable highlights from these thought-provoking talks.

TBEX Europe takes place in Dublin, Ireland, in October. Are you thinking about attending? Let us know in the comments below!

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