With the TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) Conference in Dublin, Ireland quickly approaching, I thought I’d share a few tips I picked up by going to my first TBEX.
Sign up for the local day tours offered. There will be several local “experiences” offered on the days book-ending the event. These are free to attendees. I found the tours I chose to be not only fun, but also helpful in becoming familiar with the city. I used tips I learned about Toronto on these local tours throughout my stay. Only problem is, everyone will want these spots and they are limited. I made a point to keep up with announcements and I was sitting at my computer as soon as the tickets were released.
If you are in the middle of a speed date with someone and they decide it’s cool to text throughout your time with them because they are “making dinner plans”, it’s not you, it’s them.
It took everything in my being to sign up for speed dating at TBEX Toronto. I am an introvert, so the idea of the conference was both exciting and nerve–racking to me. The speed dating sessions took me way out of my comfort zone. I know I have a lot to offer a destination as a traveler, artist, and writer, but pitching myself for the first time made my heart race. After the first few appointments, I felt more comfortable with it. I got so comfortable with it, I actually approached many tables during the open marketplace segment of the conference, the following day.
So, it was a good (growing) experience, but that one person, who chose an official networking time with me, secured dinner plans during our meeting. It was disappointing. This may happen to you.
That leads me to my next piece of advice – Sign up for speed dating. I skipped a panel discussion, found myself a quiet place around the corner from where the conference rooms were and worked on an “elevator pitch“. Shout out to my pal Angie for suggesting I do this. The elevator pitch gave me a starting off point when meeting with destinations and companies for the first time. Without it, who knows what I would have rambled on about. It was a great way to focus. Create your own elevator pitch.
You don’t need 400 business cards. As I was preparing for TBEX Toronto, I could not get a solid answer regarding how many business cards to bring. I didn’t keep count of how many I handed out, but I’m guessing somewhere between 75 and 100. You may need more or less, depending on how much of a networker you are, but I doubt you need 400.
It’s a long couple of days. Bring a snack or two. The sandwiches were so tasty on the first day of the Toronto conference that I wish I’d had a Ziploc bag to store one for a couple of hours later. Fortunately, I brought Macrobars and they kept me going all weekend.
Don’t forget to bring an umbrella too!
What tips would you give a newbie? Feel free to share below in the comment section!
May your journey be your muse,