Turner PR

A TBEX First-Timer’s Recap

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. This year’s North American TBEX conference happened to be my first. Having had a history of blogging myself (albeit in weddings), I was unaware such an organization, or conference, existed. And, I’ll be more than honest in telling you that it was a thrill to know that such a group does exist.

Why? Let me tell you. This conference not only serves as a “meeting of the minds,” but is an opportunity for the community of travel bloggers to get together, network, mingle, chat, and share ideas. Although I’m no travel blogger, the experience presented a unique opportunity, not just for me, but for Turner PR and our clients.

I bet you’re asking, “So, what did you learn?” Great question. Before I dive into the nitty gritty, I’ll tell you this much: Paula Froelich, editor at Yahoo! Travel is hilarious (Hey, PFro, can we be BFF?). Travel bloggers are a tight-knit community and they’re crazy passionate. And, I should probably brush up on my Spanish.

Now on to the important stuff.

Responsible Travel

It’s a real thing. In fact, it was the opening keynote topic at the conference this year with Dr. Martha Honey and Brett Love. Let it be known that responsible travel is not only about minimizing your carbon footprint. It encompasses sustainability, human rights, animal welfare, gastronomy – the list goes on. As individuals, bloggers, organizations, and companies, we’re all responsible for caring about how our travel impacts not just the planet, but a country, its culture and its environment.

TBEX Responsible Travel Dr. Martha Honey Brett LoveDr. Martha Honey and Brett Love of Green Global Travel talk Responsible Travel.

Blogger Relationships are Not a One Night Stand

Yup, they went there. So often travel brands and destinations look to bloggers for a one-off relationship ­– the kind where you fly them out, they stay a few days, then write a blog post. But, how is that truly valuable? Instead foster a thoughtful and meaningful relationship with travel bloggers and influencers. Whether you work with a handful of the same bloggers year-over-year or you partner with a local influencer to have them help you produce regular content.

Marketing to More Than One Generation

I took a lot of notes during this session, likely because it’s most relevant to the clients on our digital roster. Jeff DeKorte’s presentation was full of so many stats I loved that I couldn’t write them down fast enough. In fact, I couldn’t even write them all down. My biggest takeaway? Your guests and visitors are sharing your story, so how do you capitalize on that? USE THEIR CONTENT (with their permission, of course).

TBEX North American CancunNo rain in sight for day two at TBEX North America.

The conference closed out with a live edition of the “This Week in Travel” podcast. A perfect way to end the week in Mexico (Oh, did I forget to tell you we were in Mexico? Minor details). The week’s topic? Professionalism. And, it works both ways – as brands and bloggers (and people), it’s something we should never lose sight of.

– Brit (@fruitsnutsflake)