The New York Times Travel Show: 200+ Potential Partners All Under One Roof

NY Times Travel Show 2015 - Welcome To Travel Show

NYC Subway MTA 1,2 and 3January in New York is tough, its always cold and depending on your timing, you may have a winter storm which just makes things more exciting. Of course this January came through with flying colors.

But its the time of year when the New York Times Travel Show occurs at the Jacob Javitts Center. That does not dampen spirits at all as there are over 200 potential partners under one roof for you to sample. Plus there are travel sessions abound that will increase your knowledge of our industry.

Heavy hitters in the industry attend this show including, JohnnyJet, Paula Froelich from Yahoo Travel, Arthur Frommer and his daughter Pauline Frommer, Lee Abbamonte, Peter Greenberg and a host of other travel bloggers. So its a treasure trove. I hope its on your list for next year.

New York Times Travel Show 2015 - Arthur Frommer and Pauline Frommer Giving Future Trends
New York Times Travel Show 2015 – Arthur Frommer and Pauline Frommer Giving Future Trends

My best part of this show is the Caribbean Round Table, where the partners from different countries come to your table and educate you on their countries. It’s like visiting the Caribbean in 45 minutes. Nothing I’ve done beats this experience. I had representatives from St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands to name a few.

NY Times Travel Show 2015 - Pure Grenada Food
NY Times Travel Show 2015 – Pure Grenada Food

Africa, Asia, The Caribbean, Europe, North America, South America, I think the entire world had a representation. It’s not as big as say World Travel Market in London or even ITB Berlin, but it packs its own punch.

NY Times Travel Show 2015 - Atlantic Canada
NY Times Travel Show 2015 – Atlantic Canada

I came away with quite a bit of knowledge as well and can now act as a resource for you in more areas.

For 2015, river cruising seems to be the biggest item; this was big in 2014, but is getting bigger. I even sat in on a session with LeBoat from Europe who allows you to rent a boat and go boating down some local rivers. A very neat and pretty inexpensive concept based on what you are getting; really good value for your money.

Normal cruises are not to be left out as well. Cruise lines such as Carnival, Celebrity, MSC and Windstar were all represented.

Most of the Caribbean islands were represented with their usual fare of surf, sand and sunshine. Which based on the northeast weather is very much needed.

NY Times Travel Show 2015 Antigua and Barbuda with the Jamaica Bobsled Team
NY Times Travel Show 2015 Antigua and Barbuda with the Jamaica Bobsled Team

Of course Cuba was talked about a lot. But if you’re from the U.S., you can’t go just yet. Hang in there. I actually made a good contact so I’ll give you more information as I know more.

It was good to see Atlantic City there again with their DO AC campaign. They’ve taken quite a beating since Katrina, but they keep on going. I even got a chance to meet Miss America 2015, Kira Kazantsev, who is actually Miss New York, so she was happy to be back in her home state.

They really want people to know that despite the bad news, Atlantic City is still open and things are well. They have a number of acts performing as well as casino renovations continuing and some commercial and residential improvements coming online. Even Gordon Ramsay is opening a new restaurant at Caesars this year. So things are looking up.

NY Times Travel Show 2015 - Miss America 2015 (Kira Kazantsev) AtlanticCity
NY Times Travel Show 2015 – Miss America 2015 (Kira Kazantsev) AtlanticCity

Perhaps the best find was a number of airlines that serve the New York area making a showing; such as Air Berlin, Air Malta, China Airlines, China Southern, Etihad (got to walk The Residence again) and Turkish Airlines. It was great to talk with them and get to understand their goals. Did a few Instagrams and tweets as well.

NY Times Travel Show 2015 - China Southern (CZ) Boeing 787
NY Times Travel Show 2015 – China Southern (CZ) Boeing 787


Web Hosting

There were a few bloggers giving presentations as well:

  • Michael Hodson on working with bloggers. He later asked Veronica from Gypsy Nesters (who is getting ready to publish their first book) and Stephen from Walks of New York/Italy/Turkey to join and answer questions.
  • Adrien Glover, deputy digital editor, Travel+Leisure; Johnny Jet, from and Paula Froelich, editor in chief, Yahoo Travel did a panel on the power of influence.
  • Karen Christensen, Regina Fraser, Pat Johnson, Kate McCulley and Ed Salvato talking on travel safety
  • Christine Maxfield, Kelly Lewis, Sherry Ott, Matt Stabile and Caroline Trefler talking about solo travel
  • Lee Abbamonte on using social media when traveling,
  • Nomadic Matt on budget travel and
  • Lauren Matison, Paul Brady, David Farley, Megan McDonough and Brendan Spiegel on the topic of NY Weekend Getaways.

The topics were quite varied and the audience loved the information.

NY Times Travel Show 2015 Sherry Ott and Matt Stabile
NY Times Travel Show 2015 Christine Maxfield, Kelly Lewis, Sherry Ott, Matt Stabile and Caroline Trefler talking about solo travel
NY Times Travel Show 2015 - Lee Abbamonte talking about using twitter and DMing your travel partners when traveling
NY Times Travel Show 2015 – Lee Abbamonte talking about using twitter and DMing your travel partners when traveling
NY Times Travel Show 2015 - Nomadic Matt talks about Budget Travel
NY Times Travel Show 2015 – Nomadic Matt talks about Budget Travel
NY Times Travel Show 2015 - NY Weekend Getaways with Lauren Matison , Paul Brady , David Farley , Megan McDonough , Brendan Spiegel
NY Times Travel Show 2015 – NY Weekend Getaways with Lauren Matison , Paul Brady , David Farley , Megan McDonough , Brendan Spiegel

It was also good to see fellow travel bloggers and catch up as well. This is always a good thing. Had a chance to catch up with Harvey, Annita, Matt, Johnny JetMatt, Turner and vlogger Brian to name a few.

So if you’re in the neighborhood next year, plan on attending. The networking was fantastic and the learning was indeed worth braving the elements for the three days.

TBEX Athens 2014 Presentation – How To Network Without Becoming Annoying

TBEX Athens Presentation - How To NetWork Without Being AnnoyingThank you for attending my talk at TBEX Athens. I certainly  hope you enjoyed it and have now met a few more people than you imagined you would when you first decided to attend.

Cherish these relationships and nurture them so they will grow. Do not under any circumstances abuse them. The new people you’ve met have entrusted you and you should honor that trust.

In case you missed the presentation or wanted to listen to it again, it will be available soon from this page. So please check back from time to time.

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of the session and also if you have any tips of your own or any funny networking stores.

Again, thank you.

Networking Does Not Stop At The Parties; It Continues On The Pre/Post Trips

Networking Beyond The Conference

My mother gave me the gift of gab, my dad gave me the gift of listening; thank you Mom and Dad. We don’t all have the gift of gab and are good listeners though, but we all have a gift. Look inwards and find that gift and use it to help others. What does that have to do with networking you are perhaps asking?

Well, I’ve met a ton of people at conferences and at the cocktail parties as I talk a lot, but I also listen. This helps to break the ice and build relationships. But I’ll tell you, one place that relationships are built even more is at the pre- and post-conference tours/trips.

Travel Bloggers in Ireland
Travel Bloggers in Ireland

I remember one trip in Dublin when we toured the Wild Atlantic Way Southwest. We all started not knowing each other much, but at the end, we knew each other better and now had a new perspective and respect on what makes each other tick and most importantly, we learned a tremendous amount from each other.

Travel Bloggers on The Wild Atlantic Way
Travel Bloggers on The Wild Atlantic Way

I danced with a broom; long story :-). Just ask Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi. I even think she has a video :-). On that trip, I also learned how to take better Instagram photos by listening to and watching how the masters Katja, KymLaurence and Zach works. Note: I’m still learning so be nice when you view my Instagram account :-). I connected a little better with Cacinda from Points and and really got to know here better on another trip to Athens earlier this year. She makes luxury travel easy and not so costly by using loyalty points.

Travel Blogger Laurence on Inch Beach, Ireland
Travel Blogger Laurence on Inch Beach, Ireland

I’ve followed, (not creepily, you know on social media :-)) the people who were on that trip and I have since been on other trips with at least two of them. I’ve also supported and followed them on social media and they’ve done the same.

I think in Toronto on the bike trip, I rode with my laptop in hand so I could keep my battery charged, so I was dubbed the computer geek, but it was all fun.

Travel Bloggers on Toronto Island, Toronto, ON Canada
Travel Bloggers on Toronto Island, Toronto, ON Canada

I’ve been on a few trips (Ireland and Athens) with Laurence N from Finding The Universe and also did his and Daniel’s from Canvas of Light photo session in Dublin. Here’s a video on how to photograph a fountain from the pair. I now follow them both and continue to learn from their photographic works. I still have fun with Daniel as he’s not a fan of using the iPad for photos, which I was doing in Dublin (so I ran out of batteries, what’s a blogger to do? :)). But you learn this from casual interactions and that is what the pre- and post- sessions offer.

Travel Bloggers in Dublin Photography Seminar
Travel Bloggers in Dublin Photography Seminar

So enough examples, you should get the point by now.

Let me be clear though, you are not going to get along with everyone as that is just how it is. Life would be so dull if this was the case; don’t you think? But you can still be civil and professional :-). The idea is that you get to understand how others think and whether or not you can make a friend and/or partnership with that person. Be sincere, genuine, helpful and respectful.

Now in the future when you come across an opportunity and you’ve met someone with that skill set, you know exactly whom to refer. For me, this is a very good feeling. How about you?

I can thank my grandmother for making me a giver without expectations. So always think about how you can help your fellow blogger, the rest will work itself out.

One thing too is to talk to the person(s) who are holding the tours and the owners of the establishment you meet along the tours. Listen first as you will hear what issues they are having, then think how you can help them solve it. Ensure you get their contact details so if nothing else, you can send them a thank you note after the trip. I remember a vendor in Ireland, he just wanted to fix something on Facebook. I helped him out and he was a happy camper. Sometimes that is all it takes. So Look, Listen Help.

The Maltese Falcon in Athens Port
The Maltese Falcon in Athens Port

I hope you are signed up for a few trips at TBEX Athens and other upcoming conferences. I’m speaking about Networking in Athens on Friday, October 24 at high noon, so please come visit and say hello if you see me in the hallways or on a trip :-). I’m excited to be able to see some of you on a trip and get to know you more.

What have you found in your experiences? Please leave a comment below.

Networking Not Your Cup of Tea? Come To TBEX Athens And I’ll Help You

Lady of the Parthenon at the Parthenon Museum in Athens, GreeceSo its all set in stone now. I’m due to speak at TBEX Athens on networking. My friends have always said I could talk to a flea, so I guess that’s a compliment. I was also that kid in school who could not stop talking in class; I’m better now, honest :-).

Over the years, I’ve met many people; some have blossomed into great friendships, others not so much. But that’s networking, you don’t always relate to everyone you meet.

On Friday, October 24, 2014 at noon, I will focus on you. My talk will provide techniques and tips geared to help you learn how to network without becoming annoying and becoming frustrated.

The session will draw from personal experiences as well as observations from life and attending previous conferences. Come prepared to interact with and meet new people.

  • If you’re scared to introduce yourself, you must attend.
  • If you’ve introduced yourself, but can’t hold the conversation, you must attend.
  • If you’re just curious, you definitely must attend.

In case you want to practice what you’ve learnt, check out this post about continuing the networking in the pre- and post- TBEX events.

See you there. Learn More about TBEX Athens and Register.

Will you be there? Leave a comment below and let me know.

10+ Things I Learned At TBEX Cancun From 12+ Interactions/Observations

TBEX Cancun PresentationI just got back from Cancun, Mexico where I spoke on “Getting Started With Facebook Ads And Getting Results.” It was a great experience and I was also able to attend some of the sessions, met new bloggers/potential partners, caught up with old friends, visited some of the local sites and enjoyed the facilities of the Moon Palace Resort.

The presentation is available on now Slideshare. I also did some videos on how to get your facebook Ads setup. Check it out (registration required, but there’s no charge).

It was great to meet “old” friends and certainly good to meet new ones. I’m always amazed that I see social media messages after conferences from people I know saying they were at the conference and I never saw them.

Now that I’ve left the Cancun area, I wanted to share my reflections on what I’ve learnt from this conference as I prepare to head to TBEX Athens where I’ll speak about “How To Network Without Becoming Annoying.” I hope to see you in Athens.

So here are the 10+ things I learnt at TBEX Cancun from 12+ interactions/observations:

  1. Lee AbbamonteGet A Publicist – I finally met Lee Abbamonte; I thought he was the most laid back guy I’ve ever met until later that week I met Louis Cole; see number 2 below. He and I have the visit every country mantra in common; except he’s already done it by the time he was 21. I’m still getting there. Lee did the keynote with Sherry Ott on Saturday morning. They were both interviewed by Paula Froelich from Yahoo Travel. The interview was really well done, funny and educational. One thing that Lee said that struck a chord with me (there were many from that talk) was that he said “the best thing he ever done was to hire a Publicist.” I can’t stop thinking about that since I heard it. So I’m going to investigate this. I mean, I meet a lot of people, but I find that its getting difficult to really investigate opportunities properly. I believe in hiring the right people for the right tasks and hiring a Publicist seems to be the right thing to do. I can’t believe that I’ve not thought about this before. This is why I go to conferences and you should too. The learning aspect is simply incredible.
  2. Alex, Mark, Nadine and LouisFunForLouis – I’m not sure how many of you are into video blogging. I do know a few bloggers who use video in their blogging though. However, Louis Cole from FunForLouis is a bit different. By the time you read this he should be at 1,000,000+ YouTube subscribers. I was able to hang out with him and three other video bloggers (Alex & Mark [VagaBrothers] and Nadine from heyNadine) for three days and watch him work which included him having a local meetup. He’s charismatic, charming, friendly, genuine and fun. What you see in his daily vlog about his travel adventures is what you see in person and he works hard to make it work. He taught me to keep working hard at my craft and collaborate more with my peers so we can help each other to get our message out. I’ve also learned from watching his videos that I can share more than I currently share except in videos. I currently have a YouTube channel, but my videos are not as good as they should be.You can look at his YouTube channel to see some footage from the TBEX conference as a matter of fact. Let me know if you see what I see. If you are not doing videos, I highly recommend starting as we are in travel and people love to live vicariously through us. Photos just scratch the surface. Thanks Louis.
  3. Moon Palace Resort RoomAll You Can Eat Resorts – So, Cancun is full of these places. Years ago I stayed at the Fiesta American Condesa and it was fantastic. This time I stayed at the Moon Palace Resort. This place is just simply incredible. There’s one price and you eat all, just like it says. No hassles, no holding back. It’s truly the place where you can just go and hide. Except that they have property-wide Internet access that actually works. The mini-bar is really a bar as it has top shelf liquor in the normal size bottles and each day the attendant comes by to refill it. I had to tell him no thank you as I’d not touched anything when he showed up the second day I was there. And to top it off, there’s a jacuzzi in your room. Yes, seriously! My only drawback was checking out as it was a bit slow. They sent me a survey and I included the comments there so they can improve that aspect of the stay. So what did I learn here? Ensure that you deliver quality content to your customers at all time. Always give them their money’s worth and more. This breeds repeat customers that are always happy.
  4. I’m Not A Big Fan of Whale Sharks, But My Friends Are – The Cancun Visitors Board gave a group of seven of us an opportunity to swim with the whale sharks. I’m not a fan of water sports, so I opted not to go. No I’m not scared, but its just not my thing. I’ll swim, the occasional snorkel and hang out on the beach, but I’m not an ocean lover. The others went and had a blast though. You can see several videos in the #CanYouCancun twitter  and instagram hashtag feeds. When you travel, you should know your limitations and don’t push it.
  5. Cancun Control Tower (CUN)It’s Cool To Advertise A Beer On Your Control Tower – I’m an airline geek so I like to see the different Control Towers at the airports worldwide. They are truly works of art. The Cancun airport (CUN) has a large Corona beer bottle painted on it. You can see this thing from pretty far away. Sometimes you just have to do something really big and bold. So watch out for it coming soon. Think of what you can do on a much larger scale than you are doing it right now to propel your blog forward.
  6. Social Blade – This is a an App and also a Web site that gives you follower statistics about your Youtube, twitch and Instagram accounts. You can actually do anyone’s account so you can keep an eye on your competition as well. The App is free and can be found here. Louis told me about this app; thanks. The learning here is to be curious and talk to your fellow bloggers if you see them using a cool tool, just ask about it.
  7. Cooperatize – I was sitting at lunch with another blogger, Robin Ewers (met him in Rotterdam at TBU) and Al from Cooperatize came over, introduced himself (that’s how it’s done at TBEX) and talked to us about this monetization concept. I’d read about it before and was thinking of signing up. Also other bloggers had talked about it on the Facebook Groups and said they liked it as it worked and they got paid. You basically sign up, enter your data and wait to be matched up with a partner that wants to work with you. Then you evaluate the opportunity to see if its what you want and voila. They even have a referral program so you get paid when you refer others. Check it out and evaluate it to see if its for you. Lesson here is to be receptive and respectful when approached. It’s just the polite thing to do.
  8. beenA New App Called Been – While driving to Coba, Alex, one half of the brotherly duo VagaBrothers (Mark is the other half) showed me this App on his mobile phone. It allows you to enter the countries you’ve visited and it then displays the percentage of the world you’ve visited. Since one of my goals is to visit every country in the world; 109 so far, I’m intrigued. If this is your thing or you are just curious, Check it out! I downloaded it and its simple and way cool. I’ll recommend it to my geeky airline audience whom I know will love it.
  9. You Can Get Certified As A Cooking Blogger – So who knew this was the case? I also run a cooking blog, where I talk about cooking Jamaican food. Eventually there will be cooking videos, etc. In my travels, I’ve noticed that there are also tons of food bloggers out there. I’ve never heard talk about a CCTP until I sat in on Diana Laskaris’ talk. The World Food Travel Organization came up with a certification called “Certified Culinary Travel Professional.” To get your certification, its necessary to take a paid online course, then you get certified and now have street creds. Check out the course details.
  10. How To Get More Traffic To My BlogIan Cleary from RazorSocial is one smart dude when it comes to social media tools. At the last TBEX (Dublin) his talk was up against mine so I could not attend. This time that was not the case so I wandered over to his full house talk and I learned more than I need to about traffic building. Watch the TBEX emails for links to Ian’s 15 tips to build traffic to your blog. In the meantime, check his latest blog post with even more tips. Ensure you sign up for his newsletter as well so you don’t miss out. It was in his newsletter that I learned about With, you can quickly create an image without much expertise. This helps me whenever I need something done quicker than I can outsource it.
  11. Instagram Screenshot nicholasandrianiLong form Instagram Posts – At one of the events, I said hello to a young man from Kansas City called Nicholas Andriani. I love to say hello to just random people at conferences, as this is what you do. We had a great conversation and I found out that he’s an author with excellent knowledge of Israel and the Middle East. So we connected socially and I started following his Instagram stream. This is where it gets good. Nicholas gets on average 10% engagement from his Instagram posts! one even had 16%. But his audience is 1,166 followers. That’s insane! I’ve not seen that much engagement even for others who have a ton of followers. So the next day I saw him and we talked about it. He thinks its due to the length of his posts. He tells a mini story in the posts and of course adds the appropriate hashtags. Genius. His fans are also raving and clearly loves his content. Check out his stream on Instagram and follow him so you can learn the craft. I’m going to look into being more informative in my posts and see what gives.
  12. Instagram Lou MongelloGet Your Podcast Going – I had the fortune of sitting next to Lou Mongello on the bus back from one of the TBEX parties. He’s the Disney expert and does a podcast on the subject. He’s huge! I’d seen Lou speak in Vegas at NMX this year or was it last year? It all blends together; but had not had a chance to connect with him. Thanks to the long bus rides at TBEX, we chatted about podcasting, how he got started with Disney and he gave me some pointers to get started with my podcasting. I actually used to podcast ages ago when it was first launched with a software called Odeo, which was founded by twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. I’ve already setup the podcast template compliments of tips from Pat Flynn’s “How To Podcast Guide” and I do something similar currently as I answer questions from my audience using YouTube videos. The podcast will be called Ask Kerwin where I answer travel-related questions for my audience. After my talk with Lou, I told my audience via my weekly newsletter to expect a podcast, so now I’m committed. Thanks for the convo and words of encouragement Lou. So always talk to people you meet, sit next to or pass in the hallway. At the end of the day, TBEX is really about networking.
  13. Find A Newbie – At every conference there’s a newbie; well several. I never seek them out, but I usually find them. In Dublin, it was Eugene from Traverse in Converse. In Cancun, it was Jessica Medina. She was writing a book about how we travel differently and wanted to talk to a few bloggers to see if they were interested in being interviewed. We spoke and I introduced her to as many people as I could whom I know would also introduce her to others. Conferences are scary especially when you are there for the first time and meet or want to meet your online idol. So if you see a newbie, stretch your handout, say hello and guide them.
  14. Best Kids Apps Jen LeoI Have A Lot More To Offer – I ran into Jen Leo at the registration desk. I’d previously met her at the LA Times Travel Show, said hello, but had not really interacted much. An interaction online here and there over time was about it. I follow her on twitter and enjoy her App reviews with the LA Times as I’m an App geek. She does a lot of travel-related stuff, a podcast with Gary Arndt and Chris Christensen, in addition to a new enough site, Just Google her and you will see what I mean. After meeting her at the registration desk in the Moon Palace Arena, we headed over to the main lobby, sat down and really had a conversation. It was very inspirational to get to know her and what she is all about a little more. We shared stories, had a drink, just relaxed and enjoyed the moment. Yes, its not always chaos at conferences. Thanks Jen. So what did I learn here? Well, you don’t always make a connection the first time you meet someone. Take your time, it comes eventually and naturally.

So, get your act together, attend a conference that is related to your niche and also attend one that is not in your niche (its how you learn other things). Get out there and meet other bloggers, share your craft, study them, its the only way you will move forward. Give, give and then give some more.

If you were at TBEX Cancun, what are your thoughts? If you were not, I want to hear your thoughts too. Please leave a comment below.

8 Reasons Why I Attended The LA Times Travel Show

Los Angles Times Globe At The Los Angeles Times Show

Show Floor of the Los Angeles Times Travel Show

I constantly see travel bloggers in the online forums and in person asking “how is so and so convention or show, should I go and is it worth it?” So that has inspired me to write this post after my visit to The Los Angeles Times Travel Show. Here are seven reasons why I attended The LA Times Travel Show.

  1. Alyssa Milano at The Los Angeles Times Travel ShowCurious – I never know whom I may meet or what new technology I will learn about at this show. As it turns out, Alyssa Milano of “Who’s The Boss” fame was giving a talk on her involvement in UNICEF. I’ve wanted to do some stuff with them, so it was great to listen to her experiences.
  2. Standing Room Only At The Saving Money Talk at The Los Angeles Times Travel ShowMarket Research – Yup, this is our play ground. If you are a travel blogger, travel conferences is a great place to do research. You get to meet real travelers, people who are clueless about travel and those who are experts. I love research so this is my playground. I watch what people do, which booths are crowded. I also watched people as they took notes as this tells you what they are interested in. I gotta tell you; they all want to save money so are looking for ways to do so.
  3. Jen Leo in Audience at The LA Times Travel ShowNetworking – I met old acquaintances and a few new ones at this year’s event. I got a chance to press the flesh with Jen Leo from the LA Times Apps for the Year and This Week in Travel, Johnny Jet, Eric Rosen from The Points Guy. Plus representatives from The Parking Spot, Fiji Airways, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Guam Tourist Board just to name a few. I also talked with travel experts on Africa, Nepal, and Turkey. As you can see the networking opportunity was tremendous. And local fellow travel blogger Arnette from RTW Girl stopped by to say hello and enjoyed a bit of the conference as well. I could not do all this sitting at home, wherever that is :-). And neither can you.
  4. Education – I learned so much about new destination, new technology and new travel services. Arnette and I spoke to Ari guy who books award travel for his customers at and does a fine job that he makes a living from it. So you can see that the show is like going to school except on the weekend.
  5. Trends – It’s always good to listen to the speakers as they talk about the hottest destinations and where is trending for travelers. Looks like Asia is the winner this year as its cheap and has fare sales often. And just like at CES, looks like Wellness Travel is the next crazy thing out there. You get to hear people like Arthur Frommer speak, which is always a thrill. He’s still going strong after all these years. Now they also have a Trade Day; Friday, but I did not make it out there for that. Michael Hodson of Go, See, Write, spoke on PTBA’s behalf about how to work with bloggers.
  6. Innovations – Sometimes you see how something is done and it triggers ideas for product creation and product differentiation.
  7. Guam Dancers at The Los Angeles Times Travel ShowContent – You get so much content for your blogs as you learn about new destinations. At this show Jennifer Leo did her annual Travel App Review so I learned about some new apps I can try out. Plus I learned a bit more about Turkey and was able to record the presentation. In addition, I recorded some dance moves from the folks from Guam. More unique content, further differentiating my brand from the crowd.
  8. Travel – Duh! :-). It’s an excuse to visit Los Angeles. I did not do much in that area as I’ve been to LA many times as I have family living out here. But I did take the public transportation extensively, particularly the train. So now I have a better knowledge of how it works.

We do have a list of conferences here for your review. If you’ve attended conferences, do you think its worth it? Please leave a comment below.

TBEX Talk: How To Build And Market To Your Email List

How To Build and Market To Your Email List

How To Build and Market To Your Email ListAt TBEX 2013 in Dublin, Corey Taratuta of and I spoke about email marketing and how to build an email list as well as its importance.

We’ve loaded our presentation below for your review. In addition, I did an audio recording and am in the process of reviewing it, here’s hoping it was a good one.

If you have any questions at all leave a comment below and/or drop Corey or myself an email.

Please leave a comment and let us if you are currently building a list in your business. If not, why not? What is holding you back at this time? If you are already building a list, please share some nuggets for your fellow bloggers and travel industry professionals.

Audio (62.6MB): 

Here are the Action Steps for the Slide of the same name. These are the things you should do once you have finished the presentation. Do them this week please:

  1. Set Your Goals
  2. Choosing A Service
  3. Decide which fields to use
  4. Setup the opt-in forms on your blog

Leave a comment below and let us know how you got on.


  • Words not to use in your email subject line
  • Open Rates

TBEX Dublin 2013: My Thoughts

TBEX Welcome SignI just got back from TBEX Dublin 2013 and in a word; WOW! I’m so tired now, but it was worth it. Conferences are fun, but its a lot of work. It’s work that pays off though. Here’s what I thought of the conference.

I arrived early on September 27 as there were a few pre-TBEX tours offered and I was not sure if I was going to get one of them; they were starting on September 28. As it turns out, I did not, but I got a post-TBEX tour so I was psyched. Either way I would have been happy.

I spent the pre-TBEX days seeing Dublin and took a short trip up to Drogheda (pronounced Drawda). I also learned about hurling as the big match was on Saturday. As a result it was difficult to find a place to stay and at the last minute got the Abigail’s Hostel which is a block away from O’Connell street and the Liffey River. A nice hostel, but I wished they had lockers in the rooms rather than having topaz extra for the ones in the lobby.

I also stayed at the Generator Hostel for a few days as well. They are O.K., but they need to get their Wifi act together and breakfast is extra. Other than that, its a cool place to stay.

How To Build and Market Your Email ListThis TBEX was different for me as I was as speaker. Corey Taratuta from and I spoke on How To Build and Market Your Email List. I was and still am very stoked about that. I had never met Corey before TBEX, but we worked very well together getting everything together. I hope we delivered great information to help the attendees in their businesses. If you have an idea for a talk, I strongly encourage you to submit it when its open. Don’t be dismayed if you get turned down; I was turned down a few times, but that is how life works. Don’t give up.

Of course TBEX is not TBEX without parties and there were many. Travel Massive, the official TBEX Opening Party at the Guinness Storehouse, a reception hosted by DoubleTree by Hilton and a Speaker Reception. These availed me the possibilities of meeting tons of people. Although they are parties, I worked hard at networking and had a few drinks as well.

After you’ve been to a few TBEX, you end up with a number of great contacts with whom you eventually become friends with, so it was great to see some of them again in Dublin. It was a good time to catch up with them and see how they are doing in their travels. The fun thing is always remembering where we first met.

The Old Library Trinity College Dublin IrelandTBEX worked with Failte Ireland and offered some local things to do before and after the conference in Dublin. I was able to do a few of them and totally enjoyed it. I had always wanted to photograph the Old Library at Trinity College, so i signed up for that tour and was met by the very knowledgeable Anne Marie who led me on my tour; I was the only TBEX person there so it was way cool. Plus she is the lady that took the Obama’s on their tour when they visited a few years back. Immediately after, I rode a Segway from Glide Tours for the first time. Hugh and his tour guide Alex were more than accommodating; thank you! Following that it was time to do the Viking Splash Tours, which surprisingly was entertaining and took me to parts of the city I perhaps would not have ventured. If you see people eating fish and chips near the Christ Church Cathedral, they got it from a famous chips place nearby called Leo Burdock; apparently, its the best in the world. Check it out on your next visit.

The Mojito I made At The Gibson Hotel Dublin, IrelandThe Gibson Hotel hosted a few of us at a cocktail making session. Our bartender, Shawn, was very professional and I even made my first cocktail; a mojito! It was a great evening where a few bloggers had a chance to mingle, learn about each other and get some skillfully-made drinks on the house.

I must say thanks to Laurence and Daniel for putting on the Photo Walk. I met almost twenty other persons there and despite the rainy weather, got some good photos; well I think they are good :-). It was somewhat entertaining as I was the only one who showed up with an iPad. I also caught up with my travel blogger friends about what they’ve been up to while on the walk. One of the best things about this walk is meeting with Lina from Jordan Tourism. A few of us talked to her about her expectations from travel bloggers; this was invaluable. Oh and I was able to see what kinds of cameras everyone used and get an insight into their photography. Future post coming.

There were many great sessions at TBEX this year. I really wanted to check out Ian Cleary’s talk on “21 Tools & Technology Tips to Dramatically Grow Your Following Online,” but we spoke at the same time so that’s not possible. Ian’s talk is on his website though, so you can take a look. I did not attend any of the breakouts after my session as I was talking with a few attendees from my session. There were many great content, so I just picked the ones in which I am the weakest and attended those. Some bloggers teamed up with others and swapped notes. If I find out any information for where the speakers have loaded their content I will advise.

In terms of keynotes, there were three and they were all really well done. My favorite though is the closing one done by Dan Noll and Audrey Scott of Uncornered Market. It was great to hear additional insight into their lives having met them about a year or so ago at a conference no less. They even got a standing ovation from some of the attendees which was quite cool. Their talk was inspiring and left us feeling good about what we do and what we should do going forward. Thank you both. Just so you know TBEX has a few power couples, perhaps a story for a future post.

Murphy's Ice Cream in DingleOh, I can’t close without talking about the post-TBEX three-night trip to the Wild Atlantic Way South West. Search for the hashtag #WAWSouthwest on all the social media sites to find comments, stories and pictures. I have to say this was the best part of TBEX Dublin for me. About 18 of us were together and it was a great way to really get to know other travel bloggers. We really bonded and talked about what worked for us, what does not, what areas we needed help, possible partnerships, etc. It was exciting to hear what each of us were working on and what we’ve done in the past. We stayed in some cool hotels as well; The Malton in Killarney, Dingle Skellig Hotel in Dingle and The Clarion in Cork. All three properties were excellent and the staff and managers pulled out the stops. Some had chocolate while others had welcome cookies.

It was also great to find out what tools we use for the areas in which we are strongest. All that and getting to see the Irish towns and countryside. You’ll see future posts about Ireland soon. Thanks to Shauna from Failte Ireland and Fiona our tour guide and Brandon our bus driver. I tried to get to drive the bus, but to no avail. Perhaps best for us all :-). I’ll just say that Ireland has a lot to offer and the green in Ireland is unlike any other green I’ve seen in all my travels.

Two comments I heard/overheard from a few attendees were; good sessions were concurrent and the lack of them being recorded meant you had to miss one and the conference being longer than the advertised two days. In the latter they mean that the conference is advertised as Oct. 3/4, but really, it started on 28 Sept. and ended on Oct. 8, since there were pre-TBEX and post-TBEX trips. Having been to a few TBEXs, I knew that and planned accordingly, but I can understand why someone new to TBEX would not understand that their are pre and post trips so plan accordingly. Food for thought for the organizers.

My goal for TBEX was to learn a lot, help people I meet and interact with and say hello to as many people as possible; I lost count :-). I spoke to people in bars, restaurants, the hallways, in taxi cabs, in buses, at the attractions, at parties and in meeting rooms. This is how TBEX works.

How was your TBEX? What were your favorite talks? How were the events you attended? If you attended my talk what do you think? It will help me to improve in the future, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Will you be at the next TBEX?

Please leave a comment below.

New To Travel Blogging? Then check out my FREE Travel Blogging 101 Course.

Green Irish FieldsAirplane Overhead at FarmBloggers Taking Photos in Dingle

Networking: The Art Of Meeting Other Bloggers

Welcome to the Problogger Event 2013As a travel blogger, one of the best things you can do is to attend conferences and network with your fellow bloggers and conference speakers.

So for my next act, I journeyed to Gold Coast, Australia to attend Darren Rowse’s Problogger Event 2013. I wanted to do the same in Melbourne, Australia last year, but that was not to happen, but instead I enjoyed it virtually and live.

I arrived in Gold Coast two days early, so I could acclimatize myself as well as relax before the event.

Darren had an excellent line up of speakers ready to go by the 8:30a kickoff on Friday morn. I was pleasantly surprised that during his keynote he interviewed select bloggers so we could have an insight into what makes them tick. Kudos! This continued each time he had to deliver a session where he was alone on stage.

What I really like about this event is that the recordings are available soon after the talks were over (You can have them too). There were a few glitches on the first day, but I did not notice as I was too busy attending the sessions as well as networking. And networking is the main reason by I attended conferences. No other place would I meet the people who speak at the conferences and the attendees. Now its so much easier to communicate with the people you met as they know you.

Amy Porterfield at the Problogger 2013 EventAmy Porterfield killed it with her Facebook session. I have two of her courses on Facebook and Facebook Ads and I learned a ton more just from listening to her. Thank you Amy.

Trey Ratcliff was one of the persons Darren talked to in the morning; we have a Math and Computer Science degree in common and we both love Captain Picard, so now we follow each other on twitter. Trey is also a very personable person. I had missed his talk at TBEX Toronto. I enjoyed his keynote the next morning as I loved his presentation style. I’m already thinking of how I can use that in my future talks.

I attended a few other sessions on Speaking, Analytics as well as Video Editing. Plus I met a ton of new bloggers as well as someone from Linkshare (Affiliate Marketing) to answer some questions I’ve had for ages. Oh, did I mention there was an awesome party? This gave us another opportunity to interact with each other and get to know each other just a bit more. I always ensured I said hello to everyone I sat next to; it’s only polite to do so.

Later that Saturday, we celebrated the birthday of Craig from It was great to meet he and his wife as well as other bloggers in a social setting.

Travel Bloggers at the PbEventOn Sunday, post conference, I was able to hang out with five other bloggers compliments of Darren and the Tourism Queensland folks. They treated us to a day in Queensland, where we rode bicycles compliments of the host hotel QT Gold Coast, had lunch at the Seaport Surf Club, took a jetboat, rode two rides at Warner Brothers Movie World, lunch at the Spice of Life in the mountains then went to the Tamborine Mountain and did the SkyWalk and finally beer and cheese at the MT Gallery. Now I have a ton of content for my blogs.

Monday, I slept in and then despite the rain I took the local bus and went back to Sovereign Island as I wanted to get a closer look at the homes we saw on out jetboat trip. Holy wow!

As I write this, a storm has moved in and I have a 6a flights. But I’m super happy about coming to Gold Coast for the PB Event. Thanks Darren and team.

So next time you can make a conference, you should definitely do so as its a treasure trove and is always worth it. How as your problogger event?

New To Travel Blogging? Then check out my FREE Travel Blogging 101 Course.

Hanging with Austin Powers and Marilyn MunroePB Event Darren's pensive look PB Event Virgin australia flight attendant serving ice cream

That’s My Idea, You Can’t Use It Without my Permission – Travel Blogger Intellectual Property

Gigantic Phone on Building in HoustonIt’s only Wednesday and already its been an interesting week in the Travel Blogging sphere. I’m writing this in Houston, TX today while I have a bubble tea at my favorite Teahouse, call the “the Teahouse.” So what’s been going on?

Intellectual Property Fight

I think it was last week that a fellow travel blogger, Turner Barr, reached out to us, the travel blogging community for help as a company ,Adecco, was using his brand without consent. To make a long story short, after much assistance from his fellow bloggers as well as news outlets picking up the story, it looks like both parties have come to an agreement. Based on the terms of the agreement, we may never know, but its good that they had a resolution. The story does bring up a few points that I’d like to note here:

  1. The Travel Blogging Community is very close knit and will rise to an occasion to help another travel blogger in addition to other causes that affects us. However, it was interesting to watch how the conversion intertwined as more was revealed about the story. In the end, the infringements were removed, but the whole experience is a case study for group dynamics.
  2. Protect your brand from the inception. It may mean trademarking it, registering it, etc. Check with your local countries to be certain. In protecting your brand, ensure you do research as well. You can have a great idea, but did you get there first and protect it? That will be important. And if someone is infringing on your brand, don’t be afraid to approach them nicely and let them know. If you have any issues at that point and decide to fight it, contact a professional in that area.
  3. You should hire people who are skilled in the appropriate areas to help you. Many travel bloggers suggested that Turner consult an intellectual property attorney, but he did not for reasons he outlined in the facebook group post. That’s fine, but I know computers, travel, e-commerce and marketing. I don’t know the law, so I would have found someone who does. But that’s my personal decision. The take away is to get the right person to do the right job.

TBEX EU ’13 Speaker

TBEX Europe DublinIt’s time to present your speaking engagements for the next TBEX which will be held in Dublin, Ireland in October 2013. I’ve just sent in my topic for this year, let’s see what happens. You can do the same here. Hurry as it all goes poof on July 5, 2013.

If you’ve never attended a TBEX Conference, you should as its a place for you to meet other travel bloggers as well as industry professionals including Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs). Plus, you get to see a great city, Dublin and interact with locals, not to mention drink some Guinness and I’m sure get a tour of the Guinness Brewery. So if it fits your plans/goals, you may purchase your tickets for the Dublin event here.

Writing a new course or two

On the heal of the 21-Day Travel Blogging Course, I’ve realized that there are two areas that should be broken out in much more details. So, I’m working on that.

Resources Page

I’ve been writing this page for a few months now; its a new page with a list of resources to help you out. It’s a work in progress, so stayed tuned.

Well, that’s it for this post. If you have any comments on any of the items discussed here, please leave a comment below and let me have it :-).