Blog World Buys Travel Blog Exchange

The Vacation Gals is a travel blog. Sounds simple, and certainly most of you understand that, but you’d be surprised to see how much our inbox in filled with requests to book travel, reserve hotel rooms, and the like. This confusion (am I reading a travel agency site?) is understandable, considering the fast-paced evolution of writing for the web in general. Some internet users have a hard time keeping up — heck, some bloggers have a hard time keeping up, and we’re the ones who supposedly know what we’re doing.  This is why blog conferences have become a major industry. From Type A Parent (nee Mom), to the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) conference, to the hugely respected BlogWorld & New Media Expo, conferences help fill gaps in knowledge for bloggers and other media specialists in face-to-face interactions that just can’t be replicated on the web. In short, blog conferences are important.

BlogWorld NY keynote hall 2011(blogworld.com)

BlogWorld NY Keynote Hall

The fact that Blog World & New Media Expo has bought Travel Blog Exchange and will now run the associated annual conference is welcome news. Blog World is the world’s largest blog and social media conference of its type, and the people running it have years of experience fine-tuning the organization. I’ve been to the Blog World & New Media Expo conference in Los Angeles (full disclosure: I spoke there about both travel blogging and also about search engine optimization in general) and was absolutely blown away by how organized the conference was. It ran like a well-oiled machine; any glitches or issues that likely occurred were behind the scenes and didn’t hinder any attendee’s time there. The staff I met — Deb Ng, Patti Hosking — were completely professional and on task, yet friendly and warm. Balancing the two is harder than it sounds! I learned a lot at the Blog World conference in Los Angeles, and hope to, again, next year.

Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) Conference Registration - ©KirstenAlanaPhotography-Galavanting

Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) Conference in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the Travel Blog Exchange conferences I’ve attended, in New York City and Vancouver, were filled to the brim with excited, eager travel bloggers: lots of great socializing with friends, lots of meeting people “in real life” that I’d only interacted with on Twitter. Fun. But did I learn a lot? Honestly — not so much. The lack of organization at the NYC TBEX was embarrassing, if not downright appalling, and I thought it was vastly improved, from an organizational standpoint, the next year in Vancouver…but first-time attendees thought that TBEX Vancouver was a mess. Yet I bought my ticket to this June’s TBEX conference in Keystone, Colorado right away.  The joy and almost tangible relief that comes with a weekend of socializing with “me people” cannot be understated. Or undervalued. TBEX is, and will continue to be, high on my list of conferences simply because travel blogging is my niche, and I am so fond of so many of the other attendees.

hike in Keystone Colorado (Kara Williams)

Hike in Keystone, CO - beginning of a beautiful relationship

Blog World & New Media Expo owning the Travel Blog Exchange and its conference is more than a net positive; it’s completely a good thing. I am very excited to see the impact that Blog World’s higher-order  leadership and organizational skill can bring to the almost lackadaisical, fun approach to running a blog conference that marks TBEX. The joining of Blog World and TBEX makes sense. It’s a natural fit, bloggers across niches can learn from each other, and mark my words: the TBEX conference is going to get better and better.

33 Responses to “Blog World Buys Travel Blog Exchange”

  1. 1
    ColoradoGal says:

    I think you said it perfectly. The experienced event planners at Blog World (cheers to Rick, Deb & Patti!) coupled with a ton of enthusiastic travel bloggers and the stellar location of the Colorado Rockies… TBEX 2012 is going to rock!

  2. 2
    Rick Calvert says:

    Thank you for the very kind words Jennifer. We are going to work our butts off to meet and exceed your high expectations.

    • 2.1

      Man oh man. Such news. I attended TBEX in NYC and hated it – though seeing my friends in NYC was a blast. I felt compelled to purchase the tickets to Keystone more because I love the Keystone folks than anything else – but sold my early bird just two days ago because I wondered if it would be worth it. But now, considering purchasing the full price ticket to go just to experience it under Blog World’s leadership…and because I so love Deb. This is exciting news for the travel blogging community!!

    • 2.2
      Deb Ng says:

      Thanks, Carol. The feeling is mutual!

  3. 3

    i think this is fantastic news – moving forward toward more professional activities and learning. :)

  4. 4

    Just so you know, reading this convinced Mary and I that we need to look into attending TBEX this year. We’d hesitated because of the mixed reviews we heard from last year’s conference, but your post may have sealed the deal (assuming we can afford the flights/hotels). Gonna email you privately with a question about it…

  5. 5
    Deb Ng says:

    Thank, Jen. To say the response has been overwhelmingly positive is an understatement. We’re so pleased the travel community is so pleased.

    We also want you all to know we’re here for you. We’re sure you have questions, concerns, comments and feedback and we want to hear it all. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us on the TBEX or BlogWorld facebook page, Twitter or any of the social networking channels, and you’re always welcome to contact me directly at deb(at)blogworldexpo(dot)com.

    I can’t wait until June!

  6. 6

    I’m so happy to hear the news as well. BWE has been on my blog conference to attend for years but have yet to find the time or the fund to attend. This year in NYC it is conflict with our summer plan. But I’m so glad for the travel community to have a great team running TBEX. I have met both Rick and Deb at Type A Mom and totally agreed with you that they are both professional and approachable. I’m excited for great things to come with this purchase.

  7. 7
    Jody says:

    Definitely welcome news! I attended NYC TBEX and was so disappointed in the organization and panels. I didn’t make Vancouver and though I had a ticket to TBEX 12, I sold it due to travel plans for Ireland. I’ll definitely plan for TBEX 13 and look forward to the BWE experience!

  8. 8
    Mara says:

    I’m very pleased. I’ve been to every single TBEX (starting with the very small one in Chicago) and while the experiences have been mixed, I have always found it a valuable opportunity to network and hang with “my people” as you put it Jen. And I know that BWE has a crack team of people who know both the worlds of blogging and travel.

    One thing I *would* like the conference to continue if possible is a reasonable cost of admission. While I realize it may not stay as cheap as it’s been in the past (hey, you get what you pay for, right?) it would be nice if the tickets don’t become astronomically expensive after this year.

    • 8.1
      ColoradoGal says:

      Such a great point, Mara – the inexpensive price of admission has always been a huge selling point. And it’s allowed the conference to appeal to all realms of bloggers — from RTW backpackers to the luxury niche. That’s part of what makes TBEX cool, the mix of all types.

    • 8.2
      Deb Ng says:

      Hi Mara,

      Our goals is to continue to keep TBEX as affordable as possible. In fact, we drastically lowered the price of a three day pass for BlogWorld because we wanted to make it an affordable event for bloggers.

      I asked Co- Founder Dave Cynkin if we had plans to raise the price and here’s what he said:

      “BlogWorld will keep the TBEX event affordable for travel bloggers. For reference, BlogWorld made a lower priced pass–including an extra event day too–for bloggers, podcasters and Web TV content producers at the upcoming BlogWorld event in NY–specifically to bring more value for at an affordable price for new media content creators. That mantra of high value and rich content for an affordable price will be applied to TBEX, so travel bloggers can expect a great experience that won’t break the bank.”

  9. 9

    The TBEX conference has been a great venue for meeting so many of our social media travel friends — including the wonderful Vacation Gals — in real life. With the amazing people from BlogWorld taking leadership, this conference will only get better in the years to come. Thanks for sharing the news. Doug at the Authentic Seacoast

  10. 10
    Sharlene says:

    I agree with Mara. I am very excited to hear Blog World has taken over but concerned about the rise in cost. I would have loved to attend this year’s Blog World in LA but I was completely priced out. I am encouraged by Debbie’s response.

    • 10.1
      Deb Ng says:


      If you’d like to go to B.logWorld in NY (and future events) we significantly lowered the cost of our three day pass. With current early bird, a three day pass is now less than $200. We realized we made a big mistake by making BlogWorld unaffordable for content creators – our core community – and are correcting that for future BlogWorld events, including TBEX.

  11. 11

    So, are they still going to hold separate conferences? Blog World’s events are so huge that I’ve never felt compelled to attend. I’d hate to think of them combining everything, only to have the travel bloggers get swallowed up.

  12. 12
    ColoradoGal says:

    According to a @debng Tweet this morning, the tbex conference will remain separate.

    • 12.1
      Deb Ng says:

      Indeed! We’re not going to merge TBEX into another BlogWorld track. Instead, it’s going to be a separate event for travel bloggers but under the BlogWorld umbrella.

  13. 13
    SoCalGal says:

    Kara’s right, Amber — TBEX will be essentially run by the smart folks at Blog World, but as a separate (and apparently more affordable) entity. I really beieve this is win-win all around. :)

  14. 14

    Thanks Jen for the great overview. We have never been to TBEX but had heard mixed reviews in the past. As 2x attendees to BlogWorld, we (MidLife Road Trip) look forward to now giving TBEX a go!

  15. 15

    Great news and these comments have also helped to clarify questions as well. Can’t wait to see you all in June! I guess I’d better book my accommodation soon!! =)

  16. 16

    Went to Blogworld last year and learned so much that my head exploded. If you don’t mind your brains on info-crack this conference is mandatory.

  17. 17

    I have a ticket to Keystone I would like to sell – plans have changed and I cannot make it so if anyone knows of someone who wants ticket – send them my way Eileen

  18. 18
    natalie says:

    I definitely need to look into this conference it looks great

  19. 19

    As a first time attendee in Vancouver and newbie to the blogging world it was exciting to meet so many people in person, but like most have said, the conference as a whole was pretty disappointing. I really learned very little, but I still bought a ticket for 2012. I am thrilled that BWE is coming on board to really shape this conference into a better venue to learn, share ideas and get together in a niche we all live in day to day. I can’t wait to see how the conference evolves over the next few years.

  20. 20

    Sounds like some pretty exciting news! I can’t wait to hear what is next. 😉

  21. 21
    Vanessa says:

    one day i’ll get to go to blogworld

  22. 22
    Caryn B says:

    I think the tie in with travel will compel me to attend once again. It’s a conference I’ve attended in previous years and I agree, it’s meaty and definitely worth the investment. Excited to see how the partnership evolves..

  23. 23

    I have never heard of this conference…. I will have to look into it. Hopefully I will become a ticket buyer! :)

  24. 24
    jack bliss says:

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  25. 25
    Tiffiny says:

    I’m not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still

  26. 26
    stieve@green lotus trekking says:

    Looks great conference.

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