Yesterday was the first day of TBEX 2012 and it was well run to say the least. Rumor has it that the past TBEX events weren’t so well organized but this year, that is simply not the case. Besides some informative sessions, there were two great keynotes that are highly relevant to the industry and last night Expedia threw a really solid shindig known as “How the West was Fun” that went on at the Keystone Stables…
I’m not going to go into detail about the sessions as they were alright but I will speak further about the two keynotes as I found them not only entertaining but highly informative. CC Chapman gave a talk on how your blog will change when you start producing content that actually rules. It’s a topic that isn’t new to the blogging game but highly relevant and about how you need to make prolific content if you want to get somewhere. Many people seem to think that just having / writing a travel blog is enough. This industry is exploding and it seems like every Tom, Dick and Larry are going on long trips around the world and writing about it… What makes you different!?
Later in the day Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz reported on “SEO Without Selling Your Soul”. If you’re interested in seeing what it was all about, I recommend you check out the slideshow he made available here. It was basically about how to get noticed online without being annoying or “selling your soul” for unique visitors type thing. This talk was solid for yours truly because my core business is in the SEO space and is listed in the SEOMOZ resources page. As a result many of my clients come directly from SEOMoz and it was nice to shake his hand and thank him for including my business in his illustrious list of tried and trusted sites. Another takeaway, you need to get involved with Google Plus even if you’re not a fan. Check out my profile here and let’s connect!?
After the conference came to a close it was time for the Expedia “How the West was Fun” Shindig and let me tell you, it was egregious. Picture these stables with a solid cowboy theme, free cowboy hats for all, a big mechanical bull, line dancing area in front of a live band on bails of hay and a solid BBQ that would be memorable for even Maverick. I love food so let’s say that the ribs were next level and most of those who indulged are sure to agree. The mechanical bull was definitely one of the highlights and spent a good while just watching the carnage unfold. Naturally, I participated and let me tell you, it’s harder than you think.
When the sun went down, it got cold in a hurry and many of us that hung around until the end were huddled near this large open fire under a star filled sky. A wise gent from Tourism Denver said “This is the Woodstock of TBEX, I bet you’ll never be hanging out 8000 feet above sea level, beneath the stars with hundreds of travel writers and tourism professionals.” You know what, he just might be right but I sincerely hope not.
Considering the first night I had made the egregious error of going to Kicakpoo too early, I hung back and closed down the Shindig this time. I assure you that hanging back at these conferences is the way to play it. If you’re at these tables under the sky with gregarious gentlemen, lovely ladies and an open bar, why would you be in a rush to leave? I mean that, think about it, seriously… Suffice to say the entire day was memorable and I’m sure that most in attendance would agree.
I’d continue but day 2 is about to begin and I most certainly plan on being in attendance…
Big thanks to Expedia for stepping up and throwing down by sponsoring this stellar shindig.