Monday, June 13, 2011


(taken with my Android phone with no flash: see below)

 Travel writing has come to me lately! TBEX 11 was my first conference on the subject and surprised me. Here's why:
  • Most attendees were under 40 years old. I estimate less than 5% were over 60, despite the boomers travelling so much these days. 
  • If you didn't have a smartphone or didn't know how to use yours, you were out of the loop from the get-go. Everything was done electronically.
  • I've never seen so many iPads in one place!
  • Everyone was friendly and helpful -- both presenters and participants. 
  • Presenters included the top writers for Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveller, Boots 'n All, Gadling, and the top newspaper travel eds too. Most were under 40 and work obsessively. 
  • If you don't offer good images, you won't get a look in as an emerging travel writer. 
  • The session on iPhonography was worth the conference fee to me. Images from these devices are plenty good enough for online articles and blog posts. I also learned many tricks for smartphone photography that I had no idea about, and the best apps to make my smartphone images stand out from the crowd.
  • Videos are encouraged as added value for articles and, indeed, there was a breakout on just this topic. 
I came away with assignments for articles, invitations to query some of the top travel sites, and contacts in PR firms as well as discovering that AmEx wants travel bloggers and writers. Magic!

Soon I will write up the details that I learned ...

QUESTION:  What were your take-aways?
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