My fellow travel blogger, now that TBEX’12 (Keystone, CO from June 15-17, 2012) is over its no time to sit on your laurels. Its time to act on what you’ve learnt. Its the hardest thing to step back and reflect then take action. I’ll have future content here that will help you get over the hurdles. Just ask.
As the conference is fresh in your mind, here are 16 things to do almost immediately if not sooner:
- Reward yourself. You’ve done more than most travel bloggers will ever do, and that is, attend a conference. Most people are very scared to do that, so congrats.
- Relax for a few hours after you get home. Take a little time to reflect on the conference, the people you’ve met, the event and to get used to lower altitudes unless you are from the Colorado area :-). Don’t take too long as you have a lot of fun stuff ahead of you to do. Read on.
- Sign up for the next TBEX. If you’ve not already done so, you should now. The learning and networking process always continues and TBEX is one of the places to meet your peers and industry professionals and learn about the travel industry. Did you see that amazing video after Christopher Baker‘s speech? By the way, if you missed Chris’ speech, you missed out listening to/meeting a premier traveler. This was my first time hearing about Chris, but I was inspired by what he has accomplished and will use some of his takeaways as I continue my travels. But I digress. The next TBEX will be in Costa Brava, Girona Spain. Think Mediterranean sea, green hills and valleys and amazing food. Sign up here.
- Send a Thank You note to the Sponsors. TBEX had some awesome sponsors who helped to make the event successful. Have you looked in your goody bag? There are some awesome stuff in there. Drop them a quick e-mail. You can see all the sponsors here.
- Send a Thank you note to the folks at TBEX. The team worked very hard to bring you this conference and its a thankless job. If you’ve not had a chance as yet, do so now with a simple e-mail. You can find their contact details here.
- Followup with the contacts you made. This is uber important and oftentimes omitted. Too often, we attend conferences and do not even acknowledge the people’s cards we’ve collected during the conference. This is a very time consuming process, but worth every minute of it. Follow them on twitter, Friend them on facebook, “Like” their fan page on facebook, call them, text them, drop an e-mail, mention something you spoke about when you met, etc. Offer your talents to them if needed. Networking is a very big part of TBEX and this is the part that most people neglect. Don’t be that person. Thanks to some last minute networking at the Kickapootavern on Sunday night, I met some really cool guys from The Savvy Stews who are current users of my site for airline employees. Followup now!
- Followup with the folks you met at the Speed Dating sessions. So, funny story, I had three pre-set sessions; the first one I went to the wrong vendor sat down after waiting 8 minutes into the session, then was told I don’t have an appointment (they were right :-(). The second one went well and the third one I showed up 20 minutes early only to be booted after that person showed up and then told that I was early, so come back in a few minutes. No harm done, it went fine. I hope your sessions went better than mine did :-). Thank them for their time regardless of the outcomes of your talks. Each vendor took their time to connect with you, the least you can say is thank you in a follow up e-mail. Nurture that relationship. If you do nothing else from this list, do this one. The vendors will appreciate it. In a few month’s time drop them another note to see how things are. Don’t be a pest though.
- Say Thank You to the host city’s CVB. Keystone, CO, the city of Denver and the state of Colorado, pulled out all the stops to make our event a success. So reach out to them and say thank you. During the conference, I took time out to stop and chat with some of them, to say thank you and just chat. You can find a list of things about the Keystone area here, plus on the right hand side are links to Kesytone Resorts, Vail Resorts, Visit Denver. I was lucky to take the gondola up to the 11,444′ event with folks from Visit Denver; they were fresh off the Rallies and was very excited to meet everyone. Here’s a crazy blurred pic (gondola was rocking) we took on the way up.
- Thank the speakers of the sessions you attended. I sat trough a number of sessions and learned a tremendous amount. I know you did too, so send a note of thanks to those speakers. Your note should mention the session topic, if you found it interesting or not and if you will take any steps due to what was said. Don’t be afraid to rebut something they said if you don’t believe in it. But have some kind of suggestion rather than just a “I did not like…”. Trust me, they will appreciate it. You can find a list of the speakers and their contact details here. It is also good to follow them on twitter and if you made contact at the event and made good rapport, ask for a friend request on facebook. Continue to read their online postings and blogs as I’m sure you can certainly learn from them.
- Write a blog post about some aspect of your experience at TBEX. Where should I start? There’s so much that happened. I met my wonderful roommates, partied at 11,444′, met some great people, listened to great speakers, I could go on and on. Share this knowledge with other travel bloggers and travelers via a blog post. Here’s a post that Lille (new contact met face to face at TBEX12) did and one from Maria whom I did not get a chance to meet at the Conference; but if you attended you would realize that try as you may, you won’t meet everyone.
- Look over your notes and create a plan of action. Some people are conference goers. THey just love to attend conferences, but then after the conference is over, the bag they received and the notes they wrote are out away never to be seen again. This is waste of your time and money. So look over your notes and create an action plan based on the notes you took.
- Execute that plan of action. So you’ve done the step above and you now have a plan. The next thing to do is to make that plan a reality. Don’t overwhelm yourself, get some easy wins. Maybe its that you get your own domain name instead of being hosted on Blogspot/Blogger. Or purchase your the domain name for your name. Or even just go visit the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau in your town. Take the next step and execute the plan.
- Start a Mastermind with the people you’ve met that complements you. It is always great to have like-minded people get together and discuss their goals. No matter how good you are, you cannot do it all by yourself. A Mastermind is a group of people who get together at a pre-set time to discuss how each other is doing and how they can help each other to get to the next level. You don’t have to get together in person, you can use e-mail, Skype, a conference call, a webinar, etc. Remember, the goal is to help each other get to the next level.
- Read and contribute by commenting as appropriate on the blogs of your fellow travel bloggers. This simple task is a wonderful way to help get the word/message of your fellow bloggers. Don’t forget to refer your friends and families to their articles as you see appropriate.
- Look in your local community and see how you can implement some of what you’ve learnt. Maybe its writing an article for a local paper, or volunteering for an organization where your skills can be utilized, or holding a session at a public library. Some bloggers says that they can’t get their name out there, start in your own local community. This goes a far way.
- Last, but by no means the least, follow the #TBEX hash tag on twitter. This will help you to see what people are saying, follow them if they interest you and retweet or reply as appropriate.
I hope this list have helped you to get the most out of TBEX ’12. What else will you do now that TBEX US ’12 is over? Please leave a comment below, “Like” this post and share with your friends if you found the information useful.
Also, check out this link to sign up to be advised when the site officially launches.