TBEX Toronto 2013 Speaker badgeTo find travel bloggers (or any niche group) you need to go where they are, both on- and offline hangout spots.

Of course, don’t be that annoying, sales-y, pushy person once you get there, but I digress….

Since I started travel blogging in February 2006 and helped launch the Perceptive Travel Blog in March 2007, I’ve seen a few changes in community hangout preferences, but this recent post is still pretty accurate …. 4 ways to connect with travel bloggers besides pitching them with email.

One of the options mentioned in that post is the TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) travel blogging conference; one is held each year in North America and another is held in Europe.

I have fingers crossed that they’ll add Asia some day!

Tourism Currents (my social media training business with Becky McCray and Leslie McLellan) is a TBEX media partner, and I’m excited to announce that I was just confirmed as one of the TBEX conference speakers for the North America 2013 event in Toronto, May 31-June 2.

My presentation topic is Twitter chats, but I’ll be taking it to an advanced level to discuss how people are growing communities and making money by running Twitter chats, and how companies are sponsoring those chats as a way to get in front of people who might be a good fit for their product or service.

I highly recommend TBEX not only to my fellow bloggers, but to CVBs and DMOs who can learn a lot there about creating content that appeals to travelers – the same ones who read travel blogs – plus have a golden opportunity to network with online travel media folks.

There are other travel blogging conferences and events, including TBU (Travel Bloggers Unite) …. TBU Rotterdam in the Netherlands is May 16-19, 2013 …. and meetups like Travel Massive and Darren Cronian (normally held during World Travel Market in London.)

Finding Travel Bloggers Online

Following a Twitter hashtag is a great way to keep up with online connections and discussions before, during and after conferences.

If you can’t make TBEX in person, for example, keep up with activities on the TBEX blog and follow #TBEX on Twitter. This particular hashtag is not just for the conference; it is lively year-round with people sharing travel-related news and blog posts.

The TBU Rotterdam hashtag is #TBURTM and the hashtag for all Travel Massive events is #TravelMassive.

New Blogger Databases and Professional Organizations

I need to do a separate blog post on this but some research is required first. Suffice it to say that I’m seeing more opt-in databases and professional communities coming to life in the travel blogging world.

Here are a few I’ve heard about:

**  PTBA (Professional Travel Bloggers Association) – It aims to “legitimize travel blogging as a business and facilitate business relationships within the industry.”

**  iAmbassador – The iAmbassador team “leverages the value travel bloggers offer by creating innovative marketing campaigns and events.”

**  Navigate Media Group – The Navigate Media Group team says it’s about “moving past the conventional press trip to meet your marketing objectives.”

**  Reiseblogger-Kollektiv – An interesting initiative in Europe, the Reiseblogger-Kollektiv is “seven leading travel bloggers from German-speaking countries, committed to standards of cooperation between tourism businesses and bloggers.” [Auto-translated by Google from the German.] I think I found out about them by following the ITB Berlin conference hashtag; here’s their ITB Guide for Bloggers (in English.)

**  TBEX Connect – A quasi-database project of original TBEX conference/community founder Kim Mance, this has been in the works for awhile but hasn’t fully launched yet. See more at the TBEX Connect website. (update – now defunct.)

**  (Update 13 April) – Agencies are building their own talent lists; here’s the Think! Social Media Blogger Pool sign-up. (update Nov 2016 – no longer available.)

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