Category Archives: Conferences

Travel blogging and writing has blown up in the past 5 years, and more and more conferences are being held to learn about this growing business. BootsnAll has attended many of these conferences, and the following posts will give you a feel for what to expect at several of them.

Ode to People We Met at TBEX 2011

The 2011 Travel Blog Exchange Conference has come and gone. And no matter what you thought about the conference content and organization, one thing is undeniable – this was the year’s best chance to meet hundreds of other travel bloggers all in one spot.

There were bloggers who write about budget travel, family travel, luxury travel, and culinary travel; bloggers who focus on specific regions or destinations like Italy or South America or Las Vegas; bloggers who write compelling narrative, and those who create service pieces with style; and there were bloggers who were experts in the fields of SEO, branding, and photography. With such a diverse crowd, attendees could seek out like-minded bloggers or just mix and mingle with a widely different group who had one thing in common: a love of travel and a desire to share their stories with the world.

Here are some of the people the BootsnAll team enjoyed meeting at TBEX.

From BootsnAll’s WhyGo Italy Writer, Jessica Spiegel:

In its third year, TBEX is just as much about seeing existing friends as it is about making new ones – but in addition to finally getting to meet the illustrious Andrew Evans, Marilyn Terrell, Kayt Sukel, and Banff Squirrel, I was particularly excited this year by a few chance meetings I wasn’t expecting.

  • Bianca from Italian Fix came up to me after one of my branding and niche marketing sessions to say that she, a Vancouver resident, had only heard about TBEX a few days prior when I mentioned it on Twitter – because of that tweet she had found a ticket and I was able to meet yet another Italy blogger, thereby expanding the Italy community I love and rely upon so much.
  • It wasn’t until Sunday night that I met Amy and Brian of the Roaming Rileys, so although they just came through Portland en route to Vancouver (which means I missed them) I had a delightful time chatting with them (they live in the state I was born in, as it turns out – Connecticut) and hope that the next time they come through Portland we’ll get to hang out a bit more.
  • A few days before TBEX I saw a note on Twitter from Action JoJo that I was among the people she was looking forward to meeting in Vancouver. It must have been fate, then, that led me to sit right next to her in the opening session on Saturday morning. Because we were listening to (and loving) Evelyn Hannon’s speech, we didn’t chat much – but I’m now checking her blog and finding the words “wannabe singer,” which makes me like her even more.

On a more general note, I want to send out an enormous thank-you to everyone to came to and participated in the branding and niche marketing sessions I was a part of. My co-panelists and I were pleased to find how valuable we believed community to be when we were preparing for our workshop, and I can’t begin to tell you how gratifying it was to watch you all networking during the “elevator pitch” exercise we made you do. Since community-building is an ongoing process, I hope you’ll continue to build on the networking you did during TBEX.

And hey, TBEXers, if ever you find yourself in Portland, please be sure to let me know. I love an excuse to show off the food in this city.

From BootsnAll’s Marketing Coordinator, Olivia Raymer:
  • @Journeywoman as a female traveler, it was a privilege to finally meet the Godmother of solo female travel.
  • @theroadforks I’ve followed Akila’s RTW trip, so it was fun meet her and too crazy to find out that she had been following my RTW trip in 2008! Small world.
  • @mobilelawyer Clever, sarcastic troublemakers make conferences more fun.
  • @randfish Nerd alert! Being a long-time SEOmoz reader, I was quite delighted to meet Rand in the hallway at TBEX (and his lovely wife, Geraldine! @everywhereist)
  • @reidontravel Workshops that are both amusing and informative are always memorable to me. Loved his panel on research.

From BootsnAll’s Editor, Katie Hammel:

This year’s TBEX was a tough balancing act for me. Though I was so excited to catch up with friends made in the last year, I was also really looking forward to making new “IRL” connections with both people I knew from the online world and those who were total strangers. Of course I wanted to lock myself in a room with people like @TravelingAnna, @CandiceWalsh, @TravelswithTwo, @sillyamerica, @kgoingglobal, and many more, and just hang with people I already know to be awesome. But with hundreds of new potential friends to be made, there just wasn’t enough time.

Instead I got to meet great people like @kiwiwriter, @vagbondish, @nomadicchick, @ayngelina, @TravelingEditor, @WheresAndrew, @jenniferminer and @everywhereist – though many of those conversations were far too short! After waking up to a fire in my apartment building at 5am, there was no better way to be met in Seattle than by the hilarious @legalnomads and @ShannonRTW (and my lovely colleague, Jessica). And nothing could have made my Saturday night more enjoyable than an inspiring dinner with @JenLeo @Don_George, @JimBenning, @myessis, @Journeywoman, @EuroCheapo, and @CareerBreakHQs.

Of course, for every person I met, there were dozens I didn’t get to meet at all – or that I only got to see in passing. Important lesson learned  – when I see someone I really want to talk to and they are otherwise engaged, I will not think “oh, I’ll say hello later,” because sometimes later doesn’t happen. I’m still kicking myself for many missed opportunities. So if we didn’t meet, know that I would love to chat, and if you’re ever in Chicago please say hello!

Photo courtesy of ©KirstenAlanaPhotography/Galavanting.

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This Week on BootsnAll: Let’s Talk Travel Writing

Travel writing sounds like a dream job (“Get paid to travel!” or “Fund your travels with a blog!” promise the ads for travel writing courses) but the reality is that making a living from your travels isn’t as easy or glamorous as it might seem. Whether you’re just sharing your adventures with family and friends via your blog or aiming to earn a living from writing about your experiences, it’s wise to learn more about what you’re getting yourself into and what you can expect as you get started with travel blogging.

Last week, we explored the benefits and challenges of starting a travel blog, and this week we’re digging deeper into the world of travel writing. In preparation for TBEX 2011 in Vancouver, we’re looking at how you can get the most out of a travel blogging conference, with tips on being professional, networking and staying organized amidst the chaos. Later this week, we’ll get a language lesson with a look at some popular travel sayings and where they come from, and learn more about one cliche than should never appear in your writing. And if you’re not convince blogging is how you want to fund your trip around the world, we’ll also present several alternative careers that not only encourage, but require travel as part of the job.

Also be sure to follow the BootsnAll twitter account this week for the best tips and advice from the TBEX conference, and check in next week for a round up what we learned at the event.

More resources for travel bloggers:

Photo by TBoard

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Rolf Potts Offers Travel Writing Course in Paris This Summer

Vagabonding author and successful travel writer, Rolf Potts is returning for his ninth summer teaching a course on travel writing at the Paris Writing Workshop. Rolf and other fiction and nonfiction writers will offer courses on fiction, poetry, screenplays, memoir and more.

According to the site, the class taught by Rolf  “delves into the essence of nonfiction storytelling. Since the Paris setting is ripe for place-based narrative, travel writing will be a central aspect of this workshop — but students will also be encouraged to explore the art memoir, as well as the ins and outs of literary journalism. Though this class primarily aims to sharpen and evolve writers’ instincts for constructing narratives, it will also touch on the practical matters of working with agents and editors, and submitting stories for publication. Potts will give one-on-one guidance for each student’s work, and final portfolios will include one polished nonfiction story to be submitted for publication.”

The month-long course costs $3,600, not including housing (though arranged housing is available for an extra fee), airfare and expenses in Paris. It’s not cheap, but this an opportunity to learn from a writer called “Jack Kerouac for the Internet Age” by USA Today. Rolf’s work has appeared in,, National Geographic Traveler, the Travel Channel, and anthologies, like the Best American Travel Writing series and the Best Creative Nonfiction series.

All classes are taught in English, and applications are due May 31.

Photo by retro traveler

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