TBEX Athens 2014 was announced just a few days ago, and after having such a good experience at last years event in Dublin, I decided straight away that I would be going. Early bird tickets for the TBEX Athens 2014 conference were priced at $97, and I was probably amongst the first to get mine. These cheaper early bird tickets have a tendency to sell out quickly! If you are thinking of going to the TBEX travel bloggers conference in Athens but haven't quite made up your mind, read on!
What is the TBEX Athens 2014 Conference About?
Basically, TBEX is a bi-annual event aimed at bringing the travel industry and travel bloggers together. Bloggers get the chance to hone their skills at different workshops, pick up tips from the pros, and meet their blogging peers. The travel industry in turn gets to connect with bloggers who may be able to increase the online awareness of their brands or products. Networking is a big thing at TBEX, and there are countless opportunities to develop new contacts throughout the entire conference.
Let's not forget about the host city though, which is in this case Athens. The TBEX organisers work closely with various tourist boards and other local companies in order to help raise a cities profile. Trips and tours are offered to bloggers in the knowledge that they will be written about later online, and this works great for all parties involved. For example, in Dublin, I took the Guinness Connoisseur Experience at the Guinness Storehouse. This resulted in exposure for Guinness through my blog, and for me a high ranking in the search engines for that search term. Perhaps more importantly, I got a few free pints!
What Can I Expect from the TBEX Athens 2014 Conference?
Going on my past experience at Dublin, I expect that TBEX Athens 2014 will be a big event, drawing in hundreds of bloggers and travel companies from around the world. At the conference itself, there are likely to be a number of “break out” sessions on different themes, ranging from how to take better photographs, through to how to improve a blogs SEO. There will also be a few keynote speeches, as well as a hall where sponsors and travel companies have stands. It's normally possible to visit these at any time, but there are also some specific “speed-dating” sessions. This is where bloggers and companies can sit down for five minute slots, and get an instant feel if they can work together. (Last year I met with a couple of companies, and I am currently working on a project with one of them – More to come in the following weeks!)
Outside of the event venue itself, there are normally official parties and tours to attend, as well as any number of unofficial ones. If possible, I would like to link up with cycling companies in Athens, as this would be something that would suit my own bicycle touring blog well. Although the travel blogging conference itself is only three days long, I aim to spend between 7 and 10 days in Athens to really soak everything up.
Will Attending TBEX Athens 2014 Benefit my Long Term Blogging Goals?
Well, I certainly hope so! I took a lot away from the last event in Dublin, such as finally realising that I should swap to a WordPress platform, how to define my niche, use SEO techniques etc. (If you don't know what I am talking about here, its probably a sign you need to attend TBEX Athens!). This year, I am interested in monetising the site, as well as looking for ways to increase the number of visitors to it. I also hope to develop a few long term partnerships with relevant companies, be they cycling specific or travel orientated in general.
The timing of this years TBEX European travel bloggers conference in Athens from October 23-25 2014 is just about perfect for me. It suits both the goals I have set for my own blog development, and travel plans in general. I have been putting a lot of ground work in on this bicycle touring travel blog at the moment, repositioning it, and defining what it should be about. Attending TBEX Athens 2014 should help me to polish what is currently a rough diamond!
My aim is to leave on my around the world cycling trip in the Spring of 2015, with a blog that looks good, and is well visited. It would also be ideal if it could provide some sort of income to help extend my journey for as long as I wish to continue! Additionally, I am toying with the idea of taking a few months off in the winter of 2015/2016 during my bicycle tour. Athens might be a good place to base myself during this time, during which I plan to do some freelance work. All in all then, I am really looking forwards to TBEX Athens 2014 and what it might offer. Hope to see you there!