Attending my first blogging conference was intimidating. I had so many questions. Was I jumping the gun? My blog was (is) just a baby and I still feel like I don’t know the blogging world at all. Will it be worth flying all the way to Europe? Would I learn anything?
As I am about to go to TBEX THAILAND I figured it was the perfect time to talk about my first conference and give some of my opinions on what it is like to attend one.
So many questions! But the experience ended up being amazing! I could not have asked for anything better. The first one I attended was Travel Bloggers Unite which is a small conference especially in comparison to the likes of TBEX.
I feel like it is the type of thing any blogger should go to. It doesn’t matter if you have been doing it for years, you’re a pro and already making money or if you are new, know nothing and have a small following. It is beneficial for anyone.
Here are a few tips on going to the conference and making the most of your time.
1) GO! I doubted whether or not I should go. I was afraid I will feel really out of place and that everyone would be so much more experienced. Not the case. A lot of people I met were up and coming.
2) Get a roommate. Prior to going I joined the Facebook group of all the people attending. I ended up reaching out to someone looking for a roommate. We ended up staying together and we totally hit it off. It was nice to have someone to attend classes with and hang out with at night. It made the whole experience less intimidating. Fast forward a little over a year later and we have attended WTM together and are rooming together again in Thailand. She has become a very important person to me.
3) Fellow Bloggers. It is really great meeting other people who love what you love. Everyone attending are like minded wanderers. I almost never meet people at home who love to travel as much as me. It was nice to hang out with people who understand the insatiable wanderlust I feel. Plus I made some great connections for future travel partners.
4) Inspiration! I really learned so much at the conference. Mostly what I learned was how much work I have in store for me but it was inspiring. Everything I wanted seemed with in reach. Not just the classes but being around other people who helped make the industry what it is now and all the people who are working to make the community better.
5) A reason to travel. I would never have found the city of Nantes on my own. Joining the TBU conference was a great excuse to head back to France and discover this wonderful region. We got to participate in some unique experiences such as the International Jazz Festival. The 6 days I was in Nantes were all about discovery and I love that.
6) Come prepared to Learn. Don’t miss the talks. Go to as many as possible. I promise you will walk away with great ideas and it will help you have a better blog.
7) Be ready to talk about your blog. You need to make people want to partner with you or work with you. Make business cards, a media kit and think about what you want your blog to say about you. Even if its a rough idea and it changes. This will help you when talking to companies.
Next week I head off to Bangkok. Sometimes I feel like I have not come very far in a year other times I feel like I have grown in leaps and bounds. My itinerary is stacked and I even managed to get on a post FAM trip, a big deal for a little blog like mine.
With everything I had learned while at my first conference has really prepared me for what comes next. TBEX is a big step in what comes next or at least I hope so.
Do you have any tips for attending TBEX? What should I prepare myself for?