Last week, I attended my first blogging conference, TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida! TBEX is THE conference for travel bloggers, travel writers, and travel industry professionals to connect and promote all things travel. It was the perfect conference for this self-proclaimed travel addict! Attending my first blogging conference was an important and nerve-wracking milestone for me and my little blog! But as I networked and chatted with other bloggers, I found that we were all at TBEX for the same reason, our passion for travel!
TBEX has several annual events in Asia, Europe, and North America. This year Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was the welcoming host of TBEX North America. Showcasing great locations throughout the Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood areas, such as, the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS), the Greater Fort Lauderdale-Broward County Convention Center, Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa, and of course the beautiful beaches of the Florida coast.
Experiencing all that Fort Lauderdale has to offer was great, but the conference provided valuable blogging information to help improve my little blog! Breakout sessions taught skills to improve blogging (with lectures on content, commerce, community, and business), amazing keynote speakers (Carol Cain from Gone Girl Travel and Don George, an outstanding travel writer) presented travel stories that empowered us to see more of this beautiful world, speed networking (similar to speed dating!) gave bloggers a chance to meet with travel companies and tourism boards to discuss future collaborations, and evening parties were the perfect way for travel bloggers and travel companies to mingle in a casual atmosphere.
Prior to the conference, I was so nervous about attending my first TBEX! Self-doubting thoughts lingered in my mind like, how is my small blog going to be able to compete with the larger travel blogs, or what if I regret spending the money to attend the conference when I could have put that money toward another trip (I’m sure my fellow travel-addicts can relate to this!)? But as I mingled with travel lovers and met with travel companies and tourism boards, I quickly put those self-doubts behind me. Everyone I met, was approachable, and we all had one thing in common: our love of travel!
For me, the best part of attending TBEX, was sharing my passion for travel with like-minded individuals and making new friends with fellow travel bloggers! From the lessons learnt and friendships formed at TBEX, I feel encouraged to become a better traveler and writer. Leaving TBEX, I felt empowered and inspired, wanting to utilize the lessons I learned to improve my blog for my wonderful readers, and to continue to share my love of this beautiful world!
I met so many wonderful travel bloggers at TBEX! Looking for inspiring travel blogs? Then visit a few of my new favorite travel blogs: A World Uncharted by Tami, Love Create Wander by Heather, She Dreams of Travel by Jessica, The Weekend Jetsetter by Anna and The World Incorporated by Amanda. These adorable blogger babes will have you wanting to plan your next getaway!
Have you ever been to Fort Lauderdale, Florida? If so, what are your favorite spots? Let me know in the comments below!
Are you are blogger? Have you attended a blog conference before? I would love to hear about your experience, please share in the comments below!