Next Stop: TBEX Europe in Athens

I’ve dreamed of going to Greece. I imagine lying out on the beach of a sun-kissed Greek island with every vista draped in vivid blues of the sky and sea contrasted only by white washed hillside villages and all the feta cheese my heart could desire. This idyllic scene from my mind has only been positively reinforced by hours wanderlusting over Pinterest, magazines, and other bloggers’ photos. Well, the time has finally arrived and in just about two weeks I’ll be flying across Europe to one of the most influential cities of Western civilization, Athens.

Although I’m beyond excited to be heading to Greece, it’s not really for a vacation but to attend my very first travel blogger conference called TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange). Its’ going to be a blogger take over of this ancient city and the TBEX Europe 2014 festivities will officially begin on the evening of Thursday, October 23rd and last through Saturday, October 25th. Of course, there’s also a lot of exciting stuff going on before and after these official dates.

In case you didn’t know, the conference website states that, “TBEX is the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, new media content creators, and social media savvy travel industry professionals.” I expect it to be completely overwhelming, inspiring, and wonderfully exhausting (the good kind of tired from late night networking and socializing). Here are a few things I’m looking forward to the most at TBEX Europe in Athens.

  • Learning from the experiences of keynote speakers (such as the Editor in Chief of Yahoo Travel and the like)
  • Meeting travel bloggers and other industry pros (all the incredibly talented people behind their virtual personas)
  • Exploring the city of Athens and its incredible landmarks (I hear there’s this little place called the Acropolis)
  • Workshops for all levels and skill type (ready to kick things up another notch!)
  • Savor all the delectable Greek food I can stomach in 72 hours (mmmm….moussaka)

I had initially hoped to do some more pre and post conference trekking, but in the end it just didn’t work out. It’s bitter sweet, I know, that I’m only able to spend three full days in the country of my dreams. However, I feel very fortunate to have an incredible job in Spain and that my company is so supportive of my travel blogging aspirations. My colleagues and supervisors are honestly the best, so I can’t complain!

To be brutally honest, being a newbie blogger I’m about as much in the dark as you are. I’m not sure what to expect, but from what I know about meeting travel bloggers during my experience at BlogHouse Chicago, I’m bound to meet some really cool people at the very least. I’ve learned that whether you are a veteran blogger or just pressed ‘publish’ for the first time, the travel blogger community is incredibly friendly and supportive. In addition to making new friends, I’m really looking forward to better understanding the scope of this industry and where my future may lie.

CC Visit Greece
CC Visit Greece

As I make last minute preparations and dust off the old elevator pitch, I’m sure that there’s so much I’m missing and forgetting to do. I’m relying on a few local experts here in Madrid to learn how I can best use my valuable and extremely limited time roaming around Athens. Keep your eyes peeled for a full post TBEX Europe rundown after I return early next month.

Have you ever attended a TBEX conference or other similar event?

What advice would you give to a first-timer?

Anything you wish you would’ve known? Thanks =)



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19 Responses to Next Stop: TBEX Europe in Athens

  1. Jenny | A Thing For Wor(l)ds October 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    Greece is one of my favorite places I’ve ever been. I would LOVE to be able to attend TBEX in Athens, but unfortunately, I just don’t see how I’ll be able to swing it with work (maybe fake another case of pink eye?). I’m sure you’ll learn a ton. Enjoy 3000 chicken gyros on my behalf!

    • Ryan October 9, 2014 at 6:06 am #

      It was a compromise to get some time off from work, but I’m so glad I can attend. Yes, I’ll have to eat for two lol. Where have you been in Greece? I’ll need to plan another trip to fulfill my dream of Greek island hopping!

  2. Beth October 7, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    So jealous!! Greece looks stunning and I really wanted to go to TBEX, but I can’t make it now. I’ll just live vicariously through all your amazing photos 🙂

    • Ryan October 9, 2014 at 6:10 am #

      Awe, I’m gonna miss you! I’m very excited though to have my won photos of Greece (Many thanks to the CC photographers). You’ll have to follow all the live tweets, Instagram pix, and other social media during the conference. Aren’t you traveling in the US this month?

  3. Adrian of Adrian's Travel Tales October 8, 2014 at 2:41 am #

    I’m a newbie blogger as well, it’s my first conference and I’m 100% clueless about what to expect. But bring cards, pens and a smile. I think the rest will just happen! 😀 Can’t wait… so super excited!

    • Ryan October 9, 2014 at 6:12 am #

      Adrian, I love your philosophy! I guess we can be clueless together lol. I agree that in the end things always seems to come together. Hopefully we can meet up there. =)

  4. Heather Widmer October 8, 2014 at 3:17 am #

    Hi Ryan. Enjoyed reading your post. We’re attending TBEX Athens for the first time as well, will be on the lookout for another fellow newbie 🙂 This will also be our first time visiting Greece, looking forward to all the fantastic food and activities!

    • Ryan October 9, 2014 at 6:14 am #

      Me too! I’m so excited to eat and eat and eat… Yes, we should definitely meet up once we get there. I have no doubt that it’ll be anythings short of a fantastic experience.

  5. Susan October 8, 2014 at 4:06 am #

    Can’t wait to see you there!!

    • Ryan October 9, 2014 at 6:15 am #

      Same here! It’s gonna be amazing.

  6. Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) October 9, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    I attended my first-ever TBEX just last year in Toronto. I came away with loads of valuable information and met fellow bloggers that are now dear friends. It’s definitely worthwhile. I’m looking forward to reading about your experience in Athens – looks like I’ll be headed there next year!

    • Ryan October 27, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

      I met so many people and had some great ‘wing-woman’ with me to make introductions. I feel so much more confident now and really excited to grow my blog and hopefully reach out to some DMO’s in the next year. I’ll be writing the follow up post soon 😉

  7. Chanel | Cultural Xplorer October 9, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    Have a great time and when you go to Greece, you must escape Athens and head to the island as well 😀

    • Ryan October 27, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

      Unfortunately no time for island hopping 🙁 I’ll just have to return in the summer!

  8. Kristin October 9, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    You’ll love TBEX! And Greece will be amazing I’m sure. Looking forward to reading your “first time at tbex” post when you get back (it’s a tradition, I wrote one for Dublin!)

    • Ryan October 27, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

      I’m going to read your Dublin post because I’m curious to know what your thought. TBEX and Athens were pretty awesome and i’ll be writing up the post this weekend. Good tradition!

  9. Susan October 14, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    Can’t wait to see you there!

    • Ryan October 27, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

      Thanks for all the intros. It was great getting to know you better this weekend.

  10. Marissa Tejada November 4, 2014 at 3:39 am #

    Didn’t get a chance to meet you! Hope you had a great time in Athens — my city these days. 🙂 Looking forward to following your blog. It’s great! I absolutely love Spain. Esp. Madrid.

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