Connecting at #TBEX Toronto

TBEX Conference in Toronto

What happens when you have a conference full of travel bloggers, PR people, and travel companies? You get a whole lot of people talking, meeting, and connecting, and that’s probably what I love most about #TBEX.

The #TBEX conference, which is in Toronto until Sunday, invites travel bloggers into a new city each year, bringing them together with people from across the industry, and while the conference sessions and parties are interesting and fun, the connections you can make at the event are what really make it interesting.

So far I’ve jumped between sessions on pitching stories to the travel PR and destinations (by Ryan Levitt and Amy Moore), hooking readers through great storytelling (by Mike Sowden), and I caught a bit of a talk on travel photography (by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom), and I picked up some good information.

However, my favorite moments so far have been with people at the conference.

I met up with my friend Ryan Whaley from Green Door Mediawork, who showed off Sandusky, Ohio to me last year. He’s easily one of the nicest PR guys I’ve ever met, and he is also the life of the party, to put it mildly.

While I was tweeting, I also asked anyone who was at TBEX to come say hello if they were near the lounge, and that’s how I met with Deirdre Rowland, who represents Hastings House Country House Hotel, a beautiful property in Salt Spring Island, BC.

I’m even expecting possibly one other person to drop by to talk about St. Kitts.

Networking is always important and any conference or event like this, but I have to admit that TBEX has made it feel a lot less like networking, and more like making authentic connections. Maybe that’s because TBEX is a conference for bloggers, or maybe it’s just the people here, but it’s very refreshing. That kind of attitude also makes me excited to start making plans for wherever they host the next TBEX conference in North America.

Leave comments if you would like to share your experience at TBEX, or tell us a bit about who you are and why you came to Toronto for the conference.

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W. Andrew Powell lives, sleeps, eats, and breaths movies and entertainment. Since launching The GATE in 1999 Andrew has enjoyed being a pest to any publicist who would return his calls. In his "spare time," Andrew is also an avid photographer, and writes about leisure travel and hotels around the world.