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, CookingWithKerwin.com 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 Canva.com. With Canva.com, 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, BestKidsApps.com. 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.

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 FindingTheUniverse.com and Daniel from Canvas-of-Light.com. 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 Irishfireside.com 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

16 Things To Do As A Travel Blogger Now That TBEX ’12 Is Over

Welcome to TBEX12

Sunset at 11, 444' in Keystone, COMy 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:

  1. A beer at the Kickapoo Tavern in Keystone, COReward 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. TBEX business cardsFollowup 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!
  7. Morgan from the Canadian Tourism CommissionFollowup 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.
  8. Keystone, CO slopeSay 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.
  9. 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.TBEX Speakers
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Tbex Travel bloggers at Expedia ShindigStart 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.