A newbie in TBEX, this is probably me...First time ever that I went to a travel blogger conference or mingle with other travel bloggers. So everything was pretty new to me.
First impressions: I was very nervous, you can imagine, I thought I would be alone in a corner, as most of the attendees knew each other from before. So there I was. But it was not as I thought at all, I knew some bloggers from a tour in Barcelona and then the opening night at Sant Gregori castle was a great ice breaker so I meet wonderful people in there while eating amazing food. I was very surprised being in the castle of how many people I actually knew from somewhere: facebook groups, twitter, blogs I follow etc...In every corner I found someone who I knew, and it was very nice to meet these people in person.
Organization and activities: I loved how they organised the activities, the food was incredible, the dinner at the castle was gorgeous by Celler de Can Roca's food, very interesting the dinner at hostal empúries (they have their own vegetable garden and use their own products) . Also I loved the feeling of the Catalan culture everywhere, showing our traditions, culture and food. As a Catalan I felt that our culture was represented very well with els castellers, havaneres, food in the conference days and also in the night parties. I am very proud of it and I think it deserves a 10 for the organization.
Conferences and speeches: I learnt a lot in the conference and in the speeches, I went to the keynotes general sessions were Amy Portfield and Peter Shankman. It was great to have those strong speakers talking about how to engage audience, facebook tricks, how to write to be heard etc...Totally worth it to listen to them as well as the others conferences on specific matters: how to write content that rocks, how to be a vip on wordpress etc...I have a notebook full of notes to review and organize after TBEX, so I better do my homework soon...
Bloggers and mingle: I was amazed about how friendly people were. I met loads of folks, eveyone eager to help and collaborate together, and very funny to meet those people from eveywhere. See different points of view, and get a closer look of the American way of life and how they are ahead of us in blogging.
Companies and Sponsors: I had a great time too meeting the sponsors and companies that were represented there. Toronto with the competition to win a full travel to next TBEX showed me on the way information about the city, also Vienna with their winvienna competition too, I had to take a picture of me with a mask...Productive meetings business wise and very effective to contact with tourism boards and future partners or collaborations with them.
Actvities pre and post tbex: I was a last call attendee so by the time I registered most of the activities were full but I was lucky to get in some of them. I could go on a chocolate tour in Barcelona that I really enjoyed, also in a town city tour in Girona, I learnt a lot in there check out the legends in Girona and recently this last weekend I have been in Platja D'aro in Aparthotel Ciutat de Palolapartments, I had a great time. Variety of activities and opportunities to discover Costa Brava and the area, through activities, blog trips, stays etc...
In three words: funny, enriching and an amazing approach to Catalan culture. Being catalan I loved how Costa Brava Tourism board show all attendees what Catalonia is about. Thanks to TBEX and Costa Brava, I really enjoyed my time there! I will certainly be back very soon!