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.

TBEX Photo Walk: What Kind Of Camera Does Your Fellow Travel Bloggers Use?

Canon S100

Building with Autumn/Fall FoliageWhen it comes to photography, I just put the camera on auto, frame, aim and let the electronics do the rest of the work. Some travel bloggers though are expert photographers who fiddle with every button on their camera in order to get the exact shot they desire. So due to my limited knowledge of photography, although I’ve taken thousands of photos at TBEX 2013 in Dublin, Ireland and other places, I decided to take the Photo Walk Workshop with Laurence from and Daniel from These guys are proper photographers, so why not learn from two of the better photographers around.

This was one of two or three workshops offered as a part of the price of admission to the conference. These workshops are designed to give you hands on experience in the chosen topic, plus you get to meet other attendees as well; bonus! These occurred on the day before the two-day conference sessions started.

Travel Bloggers on the Photo Walk at TBEX Dublin 2013It was a wet and rainy afternoon when we set out, armed with umbrellas and parkas or not for some. But as good neighbors we shared our umbrellas; hey. its a great way to meet someone new and its the right thing to do. Despite the weather, we were all excited to see what we would learn as we set out.

We wandered through the neighborhood taking photos and networking as curious onlookers watched. Every now and then Daniel and/or Laurence would inject some of their photography knowledge into our heads. The bloggers were eager to make adjustments so they would get good photos.

We wandered through the streets of Dublin among its famous Georgian buildings as well as its wide and sometimes narrower streets, its Parks and finally a Pub; afterall we are in Dublin and no walk is completely without a pint of that Black gold.

Canon EOS 7DBloggers are usually curious about the cameras other bloggers use, so during the walk I thought it worthwhile to do a mini survey of what everyone was using. This was also a great way to meet everyone. For me, I do not travel with my DSLR (Nikon D70s) as its way too bulky and I don’t really have the room for it at all. So I only had my Samsung Galaxy S II and my iPad with me (I think I initially annoyed Daniel in a fun way when I revealed the iPad :-)). But I used it to take a few photos and movies, despite the inclement weather. As a matter of fact, the first photo on this page was taken using the iPad.

Here’s what I found out from my survey:

So only two Nikons in the group, but who’s counting. Check out the bloggers’ sites and photos and fell free to keep in touch with them and ask questions about the photography equipment or  other questions that come to mind. This was a fun walk; I’m sure the others enjoyed it as much as I did. Thanks Laurence and Daniel.

What kind of camera do you use for your blog? Any tips for other blogger photographers? Please leave a comment below.

Plus, if you were on the walk, please share a link to your photos in the comments so we can see the walk through your eyes.

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

Daniel Taking A Shot on the TBEX Photo Walk
Daniel shows techniques as travel blogger look on
Canon S100
You don’t always need a DSLR
Stephen's Green Park Grass on the TBEX Photo Walk
The grass in the Park is ridiculously green
Daniel Shooting Spider Web on TBEX 2013 Dublin Photo Walk
Daniel shoots a spider and its web as Laurence looks on
Travel Bloggers Listening To Daniel during TBEX Photo Walk
The class listens


Florida Travel Bloggers on The TBEX 2013 Dublin Photo Walk
The state of Florida is well represented by Helen, Christa and Lisa.


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