Initial Reflections on #TBEX Dublin

Opening keynote. 

(I forgot to post this after #TBEX. I wrote this a few days after, in early October 2013. Note to self, don't forget to periodically go through your drafts!) 

- Overwhelming for first timers, established bloggers and new bloggers alike.

- Take notes, lots of notes.

- Each session has the potential to be good. If you have a must do or a must see, get there early.

- Sessions that you weren’t expecting to attend can turn out to be the best.

- Bloggers can drink, a lot.

- Even though it’s a travel blogging conference I barely talked about travel. A significant portion of the content of the conference is business related. You know everyone there likes to travel but it is almost a secondary tier topic for some reason.

- New, small, local companies can make a big splash at TBEX. A number of companies that started in Dublin had a strong showing.

- There were over 600 bloggers plus all of the other industry type people. Total attendance somewhere between 800-1000.

- There are blogging clicks. The people who are established all know each other, all hang out together and support each other with a fierce loyalty of long term friendships. They can be very intimidating and unapproachable.

- You will find your own group, even if you come alone. For the amount of people that were there, I found that I kept running into the same people and seeing the same people in the same workshops as me. It’s like people with x interest all went to the same things, even though those workshops weren’t necessarily all closely related.

- The days and nights are long and you lose all sense of time.

- It is highly educational. Go with an open mind and notebook.

- A lot of people attend alone, so don’t be afraid to just walk up to people and start chatting.

- For a group of writers there were a surprising amount of extroverts.

- There is something for every level of blogger.

- As a newbie I was concerned about what I had to offer these companies. I almost didn’t sit down at a single table in the networking room. In the end I am glad that I did. I learned what type of partnerships people offer and what companies are looking for and a lot of general practices that I wasn’t aware of before. Plus everyone was really friendly and conversation flowed easily.

- The travel blogging industry is ever evolving and there are a number of hot topics about what the industries best practices should be and what the industry should look like. These are interesting but also highly political and ego driven, not a great surprise. Listen and learn but tread cautiously until you know all of the players and the angles.

- Have water and snacks in your room…Like I said, late nights.

- It is incredibly well run or at least Dublin was. It was the first conference/expo from any field where I didn’t have a suggestion to make some part of run more smoothly. I couldn’t find where improvements needed to be made. Highly unusual. Well done!

- People at TBEX are excited about what they do and their passion spills out not only onto the page but into all manner of conversation. It is infectious when people are passionate.

- I felt like an outsider most of the time but I found the workshops encouraging. By the end I felt I had a much better sense about the travel blogging industry, storytelling and the business side of blogging in general.

- I think even for hobbyist bloggers it might worth a trip sometime.

Name tag and business cards, fake it till you make...why not?!

Guinness Storehouse opening party. 

Guinness Storehouse opening event. 
Expedia asked, what's your next dream destination...
#Expedia party

Fancy drink menu at Odeon. 
#Expedia Party at Odeon. 

#Expedia party at Odeon.