TBEX 2012 Keystone, Colorado
JUNE 15 - 17, 2012
I was invited by a travel writer friend Erin De Santiago-Domue to this conference held in Keystone, Colorado. TBEX is the name of the organization which brings together the network of travel bloggers, travel writers, PR industry folks, and a few of the tourism boards. This conference was a great opportunity for a newbie like me to meet new people and to network. It was also a great opportunity for me to sit and learn at the seminars. There was two days of seminars held at the Keystone Conference Center. This was mainly a business trip to promote myself and my website but surely there was time to party with the bloggers and industry folks.
My experience at this conference was definitely a great experience. From the people I've met, to what I have learned, to the food and the seminars. This is a great organization to be involved in. I was definitely overwhelmed by Saturday night which led me to feel a bit lazy the following day.
Day 1 JUNE 15th FRIDAY: ARRIVAL TO KEYSTONE, COLORADO FROM DENVER AIRPORT (DIA)-
Checked into my hotel, picked up my badge then time for the Taste of Veil Resorts party up in the mountains 11,444 feet. A short gondola ride to the top while sipping on champagne and a cookie. We landed in the dessert tent first hahaha. We were intrigued by the tables of non-stop chocolate. Also served a variety of wines for the wine addicts. Erin, Brett, and I got to meet the chef who was the master mind behind all this chocolate....Executive Pastry Chef Ned Archibald. We probably spent an hour and a half there. Moving on the the inside for the main course...Keystone Executive Chef David Scott. All gourmet food was is a treat for a budget traveler like myself. Delicious boar, steak, etc. All too delicious and the fine skills of culinary art. I've stumbled upon many people I met in and out the rooms. I was all over the place hahaha.
Next up the after party which was not hosted by TBEX but rather other travel social groups. This one was hosted by Matador Network at the Kickapoo Tavern by the condo I stayed in. Convenient! I hung out with my buddy Erin mostly. Erin and I met I think two years ago through another travel community I'm involved in calledTravbuddy. Scotty from Gogo bought us a shot of tequila (my favorite!). After a shot, one whole large cup of margarita on the rocks, and 1/4 of another margarita on the rocks I was definitely done for the night. So I headed to the room first to sleep.
Day 2 JUNE 16 SATURDAY: TBEX PART 1-
Contential Breakfast was being served first thing in the morning to energize the bloggers. Shortly after breakfast is the opening keystone. The opening keynotes was an introduction where CC Chapman took the stage on Day 1 to talk about how to create, content rules, what makes you stand out, finding your unique voice, to move forward with a goal, and etc.
After the opening keynote we are broken up to attend a variety of seminars. I chose the SEO for beginners seminar hosted by the blogger from vacationgals.com Being a newbie it was a great start to know what SEO is and to get an idea of how to incorporate that to my website/blogs. I won't go into details on this but it was helpful knowing that I need to learn SEO in order to drive more traffic. I also found myself a bit confused as well hahaha.
Now it is lunchtime. $9 meal being served outside the conference sitting areas. A very long lines that caused a bit of confusion for many people. Hopefully next time they can figure out how to lessen the confusion. The food was mediocre. Your average American food nothing too fancy for lunch therefore I wished they had charge lesser than $9! I'm mostly a budget traveler so I watch what I spend.
After lunch the second seminars took place and I attended the "Social Media Strategy" seminar. Social media is a huge part of my life and personally I am addicted to it! They've covered everything related to social media and mentioned of a few "new to me" websites that can help with bringing in more traffic. "Be true to yourself & your readers", personal branding, keep social media interesting, and etc. They had 4 speakers for this seminar....sadly I can't quite remember the names of them except for Matthew Long (@landlopers) simply because he knows my friend Erin (@poohstraveler) and was hanging around.
Time for networking and then the Expedia Shindig at the stables. YEEHAWWW! P.S. I dislike country music, country dancing, etc.
Day 3 JUNE 16th SUNDAY: TBEX PART 2 but flew home-
Hungover as I was I couldn't get up in the morning and not to mention pretty much the entire day so I stayed in and relaxed in the River Run condo area. Might have been the overwhelming information from Saturday hahaha. My flight was at night but I was to be picked up by the Colorado Mountain Express in the afternoon therefore I had to leave Keystone early. Thank you TBEX for hosting an amazing event for not only professional travel bloggers who have been doing this for years but also for newbies like me who are new to this! Hopefully I'll make to the next TBEX event! And thank you to everyone I've met while my time in Keystone and for being friendly to a newbie like me. Also of course thank you ERIN for inviting me to this wonderful event!