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.
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 =)