Last Thursday was held TBEX in Dublin, a conference gathering travel bloggers and representatives of tourism boards and other tourism-related companies. Conferences were organised over two days where bloggers could learn tips and tricks to better their craft: photography, writing, marketing, community management, etc… It was time to learn, but also make contacts with other writers and potential sponsors.
Having just started my blog, as you know, I didn’t do too much of the latter, but I avidly took notes during the classes. A varied range of topics were tackled by an excellent selection of speakers. I especially enjoyed listening to Don George, author of the Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing (among many other things) and his great tips on how to bring a travel story to life. Your five senses are your friend.
Another highlight was witnessing photographer John Minihan reminiscing on stage. The list of people he shot would make anyone’s head spin: Andy Warhol, Samuel Beckett, Yves Saint Laurent, Hitchcock, … He also has the difficult title to bear of being the first to have portrayed Lady Diana. She was only 19 at the time and the news just broke that Prince Charles had taken an interest in her. A tangible emotion filled the room when Minihan shared his memory surrounding his now historical picture, revealing the care he feels towards those who face his lense.
“Research your subject. If it’s a writer, read their books. It will tell you who they are.”
The only black spot on the whole event for me was that travel videography wasn’t highlighted enough. It was a conjoint subject with photography at one of the conferences, but it was hardly touched upon and I felt that there was a lack of grasp on what kind of phenomenon Youtube has become nowadays.
But as the genre grows, I have no doubt that it will take more of the spotlight at the next TBEX.
All in all, TBEX was a rewarding experience and I’d recommend it to any travel blogger, beginner or pro, I feel there is something for everyone. The price of the ticket might look expensive, but the quality of the conferences justifies it. Plus, we were treated like kings and queens at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel! For cookies and candy bars, I’d sign up anytime!