TBEX 2012 Rasied the Professionalism Bar for Travel Bloggers

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Rick Calvert, CEO of TBEX during the TBEX 2012 Closing Keynote

Rick Calvert, CEO of TBEX during the TBEX 2012 Closing Keynote

“Travel bloggers deserve a professional conference,” TBEX CEO Rick Calvert told attendees of TBEX ’12 at the conclusion of the 3-day travel blogger conference in Keystone, Colo., Sunday.

I’ll admit, travel bloggers sometimes get a bad rap as being unprofessional. There are a few bad eggs out there who don’t deliver on commitments, act disrespectful on hosted trips and spout off on blogs without knowing the facts, among other things. Hey, we’re not perfect but many of us strive to run our blogs as businesses, are respectful and gracious when hosted on trips and do our best to post accurate information.

Professionalism Bar Raised

Calvert’s statement was in response to comments he heard throughout the conference and how many correlated the step up in professionalism to BlogWorld’s acquisition of TBEX in March of this year. Kim Mance, founder of TBEX, created a crazy, wonderful community back in 2009 with her idea of bringing a small group of travel bloggers together in Chicago for the first TBEX in 2010. I was there and at every other North American TBEX since and I’ve enjoyed the evolution but honestly, saw room for improvement.

This year, there were no morning emails stating sessions would begin late due to late night partying, there were no invite-only parties listed in the official schedule of events, there were professionally printed signs directing attendees where each session was, and there were value-added opportunities for sponsors.

Having experience as an event planner, I was extremely pleased with the changes yet some bloggers thought TBEX is getting too corporate and losing its grassroots vibe. I disagree. The addition of new sponsors is testament that brands and destinations are listening to what travel bloggers are writing and as a group, we are viewed as influential marketing channels.

Did you attend TBEX? What did you think?

Disclosure: Cottonelle paid for my trip to TBEX in Keystone including registration, airfare, accommodations, meals and transportation.

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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  1. Reflections of TBEX 2012: Keystone Took My Breath Away | Solo Travel Girl - [...] few days to reflect on my Travel Blog Exchange 2012 experience in Keystone, Colo. Not only was the professionalism…

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