As a travel blogger it is necessary for you to get your name out there. One of the best ways to do this is to visit conferences. These conferences do not always have to be travel-related ones. I’ve been visiting BlogWorld and CES (formerly Comdex) for a few years. So when I had the opportunity to visit NMX, the New Media Exchange formerly BlogWorld (January 6-8, 2013) CES and the Consumer Electronics Show (formerly COMDEX) in Las Vegas this past week (January 8-11, 2013) I jumped at it.
At both conferences, I had the opportunity to expand my horizon about other areas of blogging, meet new bloggers, meet face-to-face with the PR folks from different companies that are related to my niche and also enjoyed Vegas with new and old friends. It was also a great opportunity to see/meet people whom you follow online. There was even a travel blogger meetup put on by the TBEX arm of NMX during the NMX Conference. I even saw Danny DeVito who was at the CNET booth being interviewed. last year LL Cool J was at that booth another year Anthony Edwards from the TV series “ER.”
For admission to CES, I entered as a member of the Press by filling out the Press application; for NMX, I went as a Content Supplier and did the early registration at the discounted price. You can also attend as Media/Press as well. For NMX go here and for CES, take a look at this link for the CES Media/Press requirements. This is the piece that’s most important to you as a travel blogger:
Online publications must also provide a monthly traffic report from an external demographic tool, like Google Analytics, verifying the site or blog gets 1,000 or more unique monthly visitors (UMVs). The Web publication must be a previously established, independent site that is regularly updated with original and current news-related content. YouTube sites, Twitter pages, personal blogs, forums, user groups and communities will not be considered for media registration.
So after walking the floors, visiting the booths, attending the sessions, networking, attending parties; the wine tasting party sponsored by readz.com, a tablet publishing platform, was one of my favorites, here’s the cool stuff that I physically took away (a basketball will arrive in the mail as I could not carry it with me). These items will serve as giveaways to my readers on my different blogs as appropriate. Some of the items I do have to evaluate as a part of the deal for receiving them:
- From CES – A backpack; you can’t buy these so its priceless, I’ll perhaps give it away as being a nomad, I have nowhere to store it. It served its purpose to bring the goodies to where I’m currently staying though. Oh and as Press, I got lunch each day, free WiFi in the Press Room as well as computers, if I needed them and I was able to interact with other journalist from around the world. Another item you cannot buy.
- From the Ford Booth – Sony MDR-V55 DJ Style Stereo Swivel Headphones with Reversible Earcups and Easy Portable Flexibility – White ($77.83). I went to the Ford booth as I wanted to talk to someone about a partnership and one of the marketing folks there told me about a contest; take a photo of yourself with any of the cards and add the hash tag #FordCES to it, tweet it and then show it to the folks there and if you are the first three you get a headset. So I did et voila, the Sony MDR-V55. Here’s my tweet.
- From MTX Audio – The iX2, a HiFi Quad Speaker Noise Isolation Headphones ($69.99). These are not yet available to the public. I wanted to get the headsets, the iX1 ($179.00), but they had no more available, so I settled for the earbuds. A review is eminent, but from what I heard from the headsets at the show, I’m already satisfied. This is how they promoted it at CES; it worked, I talked to their Marketing guy and got onboard with the product.
- From Endgadget – A t-shirt obtained by participating in a tweet a code giveaway which unlocked a vending machine with the t-shirt ($15.00).
- From Wiley & Sons – Cocoon GRID-IT! Organizer Case (CPG7BK) ($14.99). Wiley & Sons was giving these away at their booth at NMX, just for showing up, so I snagged two of them. It’s an organizer for your bag so your stuff don’t go all over the place.
- From Wiley & Sons – Two copies of two chapters (2 & 19) of their Video Marketing For Dummies book ($16.49 for the complete book). While there I had a chance to meet Marsha Collier who writes for Wiley & Sons; I had Tech edited one of her books a few years back so it was extra special to finally meet her. I also got a chance to talk with Wiley & Sons about how they select topics and authors for their books. They have a acquisitions department that combs the web for experts for the topics they develop; then they contact them to see if they are interested in writing the book. So keep blogging about your passion. I got to talk to one of their representatives first hand about my talents.
- From Dry Case – The DryCASE Water-Proof Case for iPhone, iPod, Smartphones, and More (DC-13) ($39.99); a vacuum sealed case for your portable electronic device that’s not as large as an iPhone Mini. I came across these young guys while walking the floor. They were keen on demoing their product. I asked if I could get an evaluation copy; the sales guy was kind of hemming and hawing, but the Marketing guy stepped up gave me an evaluation copy. I tried it at the booth and it works as advertised; I was still able to use my phone, even took a picture and tweeted it. I think I messed up the twitter handle though; darn spell checker.
- From GoPro – A t-shirt (caught it as they were throwing it out) and face-to-face time with a member of their PR Team; also will receive a $100 off coupon for the latest GoPro HD HERO3: Black Edition product. I currently have the original Hero, which I will keep to do multi-camera shoots. GoPro is pretty open to travel bloggers, so drop me a note and I’ll give you the details of the PR contact. When you contact them, give them a little time to respond as they are a bit overwhelmed with the public’s response. GoPro gave away three of their cameras as well as a bag of all their products; the crowd was wild and for good reason; the irony, my GoPro batteries were dead so I could not record it.
- From Lexus – A mobile phone support; this is a little device so you can place your phone on it at an angle so you can watch a video or maybe film your next video
- From Lexus – a Lexus branded DOT for your phone. Works best on Apple devices; so a cool item for Apple device owners.
- From Lexus – a Lexus monogrammed cigarette lighter to USB converter; I’ve wanted one of these for a while as most cars I rent (I don’t own a car), do not have one of these. I was actually going to purchase one myself. I had to say to the Lexus agent, “How did you know I wanted one of these?” He laughed.
- The PR contact for Toyota and Lexus – this will help me to find sponsors for the road part of my journey.
- From SurDoc – Four $100 gift cards ($400) – SurDoc is offering a 1 year unlimited cloud storage offer which expires at the end of February 2013. Then its like $20/year after that for three years. What a deal.
- From WordPress – An Incipio ultra thin iPhone 4/4S case case with the WordPress logo on the back. I don’t even have an iPhone, but they were giving these out at their booth at NMX and it will serve as a great gift for my readership. It’s always good to stop by the WordPress booths at these conferences, as the geniuses at the Happiness Bar are there with one purpose in mind; to help you with your WordPress issues. Guess what, its totally FREE.
Now all this merchandise although FREE, as you know and I’ve said above it is necessary to review them on my different properties (www.cruisinaltitude.com, www.passrider.com, www.upgradeyourtrips.com, www.cookingwithkerwin.com and of course this site) as appropriate.
So once reviewed, I will give them away to my readership as prizes or use them for my own; more than likely the headset :-).
The message here is to get out there, look for other conferences other than travel conferences and find things that will appeal to your readers as you visit the conferences. What are you waiting for go do it!
Are there any other non-travel conferences you would recommend? Please share by leaving a comment below. Also, please share this post with your fellow travel bloggers.