We asked some TBEX Experts to Share Some Handy Tips about their experiences at TBEX Manila. For many this was not their first TBEX. We have divided the responses into the various sections of the conference. If you are new to TBEX or considering whether you should attend or not, the experts will share their thoughts, and we will explain what you need to know and to do to be a part of this epic experience.
It was the 1st TBEX Conference for Gordon and me, and suffice to say it will not be our last. We have already booked in for TBEX in Killarney, Ireland in October 2017. You can read about our amazing experiences at TBEX Manila right here.
I am going to share with you exactly how TBEX is organized, and how to get yourself TBEX ready, and the experts will provide, well ..expect insights.
What is TBEX?
- 0.1 What is TBEX?
- 0.2 What is involved at a TBEX conference?
- 0.3 These are the scheduled TBEX conferences in 2017
- 0.4 So what’s the point of TBEX?
- 1 Pre-Bex Tours
- 2 The TBEX Conference
- 3 The Post Tbex Fam Trips
- 3.1 What is the aim of the Post Tbex Fam Trip?
- 3.2 Cordillera, Philippines
- 3.3 Negros y Cebu
- 3.4 Gastronomic Heritage Tour at the Culinary Capital of Pampanga.
- 3.5 GK community in Quezon City
- 3.6 Discover Palawan
- 3.7 And the final word goes to ….
- 3.8 What Happens At TBEX Does NOT Stay At TBEX
TBEX is the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, travel industry professional and social media influencers. There are 3 conferences held annually in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region, each attracting 600-1000 attendees from all over the world, and from all walks of life.
What is involved at a TBEX conference?
You register and pay a nominal amount. You are responsible for your airfares and accommodation. Many hotels will offer sponsored rates, so keep an eye out on the TBEX website for these. Watch the TBEX website and your emails like a hawk for any information.
PRE-BEX FAM TRIPS
There are PRE-BEX FAM TRIPS offered on a first come basis. These will show you some of the surrounding sites, things to see and to do. They are amazing. This is included in your registration fee, BUT be fast to book. It is an amazing opportunity to share these new experiences with your audiences on you blog, and your social media platforms.
POST-BEX FAM TRIPS
There are POST-BEX FAM TRIPS, and again these are on a first come, first, serve basis. You will read about some of these trips further in this article by our TBEX experts. It is an amazing opportunity to share these new experiences with your audiences on you blog, and your social media platforms.
There is, of course, the TBEX CONFERENCE. You will be given an agenda and can select which workshops, called breakout sessions, you attend. These are worth their weight in gold. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea are all included in the registration fee.
TBEX OPENING PARTY
There is an OPENING PARTY included in your registration fee, and if the Opening Party at Manila, Philippines is anything to go by, DO NOT miss this.
TBEX CLOSING PARTY
There is a CLOSING PARTY, and again, DO NOT miss this.
SPEED NETWORKING SESSIONS
There are SPEED NETWORKING SESSIONS, where you can book to talk to various companies about work opportunities. To make and have appointments made for you, you need to be a member of BloggerBridge, which will make it easier to schedule these. Blogger Bridge is a tool that connects bloggers with professionals, companies or agencies. Mar Pages gives some hints on how to make the most of your time in these speed networking dates.
TRAVEL MASSIVE PARTY
There will be a TRAVEL MASSIVE Party too. There is more information about Travel Massive from the expert later in this article.
These are the scheduled TBEX conferences in 2017
TBEX in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – MONDAY, MARCH 20 – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 2017
HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA – THURSDAY, MAY 4 – SATURDAY, MAY 6, 2017
Come and Meet Gordon and me at TBEX in KILLARNEY, IRELAND – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3 – THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2017
So what’s the point of TBEX?
The former U.S.-Filipino military base on Corregidor Island looks much like it did 75 years ago when the island fell to the Japanese during the Battle of Corregidor in World War II. Today the bombed-out and bullet-riddled buildings make for good photo ops, and our group thoroughly documented the various barracks and guns during our hop-on, hop-off trolley tour. We also paid our respects at the Asia-Pacific War Memorial and Japanese Memorial Garden before heading underground into the very dark Malinta Tunnel, a vast tunnel system that housed troops, and also served as a hospital and command center, during the war. 2,000 Japanese soldiers committed mass suicide in the tunnels in 1945, so their spirits are now “everywhere,” according to our guide. However, they were too shy to make an appearance during our visit.
by Life Explorateurs
Even though I usually like to wander the streets of a new city without a guide, riding around the historic city centre of Manila in a jeepney was a big highlight of our trip ! Antoine and I discovered Intramuros Manila and its Spanish history and architecture. I loved walking around the gardens of the Baluarte de San Diego, discovering San Augustin Church, the only UNESCO site in Manila, and visiting Casa Manila, a museum & reconstruction of a 17-18th c. typical house. Plus, killing the time lost in Manila traffic by singing along in our karaoke jeepney was wonderfully unexpected!
Pre & Post TBEX Tours
Remember that these are apart of your attendance fee so why wouldn’t you go along, learn something new and meet someone else just like you.
At both the Bangkok and Manila pre-bex tours I’ve been able to participate in amazing walking tours. Not only have I seen a completely different side to the city with local guides it’s also given me a chance to network with other attendees and learn new skills. And not always from the official dedicated person leading the pre-bex tour. Read all about whether TBEX is worthwhile attending here.
TBEX Manila Opening Party
The TBEX Conference
Learning AND Networking
The conference part itself is half the reason that people go to TBEX. It’s a chance to catch up with old friends, make some new ones and potentially grab a new sponsor or two. The other half of the reason to attend is to learn some new skills, hone in some old skills and see what’s happening out there in this travel blogging world that we live in. I’ve always found that I’ve learnt something new and useful from attending the sessions at TBEX.
The key to optimising your learning time at TBEX is to keep an eye out on the workshops and sessions that you are most interested in noting that the schedule is likely to change on the days prior to the conference. Remember that there is more to this travel blogging thing than just monetizing your blog, actioning affiliate links and pimping out your pride. Hone your skills, know you audience and bring them back something to wow the pants off of them.
Mark Conrad of Plan Your Trip Now
This was my 2nd time to attend a TBEX Conference. The first one was in Bangkok last year. Of all the conferences I attended, TBEX is the most fun. They have successfully merged learning and fun in one big event. As an added bonus, you’ll come out with more Facebook friends from all over the world.
For TBEX in Manila, I already know what to expect and was able to better choose which session that I will attend that will be good for my brand. I was also able to plan carefully which travel companies I would talk to for a possible collaboration.
What you Learn at TBEX
by Life Explorateurs
It was our 2nd TBEX this year and in total. Still, we hesitated before going. Is it going to be worth our money ? Will we really learn anything ? Both answers are YES. And I think it’s THE place to get started if you’re new to travel blogging.
Here is why :
You will learn a lot about travel blogging from more experienced bloggers and industry professionals
You will meet like-minded people and make true friends
It will give you the kick that you need to bring your blog to the next level
Oh, and the food. So much food.
How to do Speed Networking at TBEX
Join Travel Massive – It’s Free to Join
Travel Massive holds a party also during TBEX. It is generally the night between the opening and the closing parties. You MUST be a member to attend, and can register here.
Travel Massive connects thousands of travel insiders to meet, learn and collaborate at free events all around the world. We are a global community of travel industry insiders, leaders, and innovators.
Travel Massive Party by an Expert
By Jeanette of Traveling Honeybird
Oh the glorious events of TBEX where poor decisions are made, too many drinks maybe had and sore heads are almost a guarantee. TBEX works closely with sponsors to host official events outside of the main conference. In Manila this year we saw a non-TBEX party just about every night leading up to, during and after the conference. These events are a great place for digital nomads to go and dance the night away with friends both new and old. Other events such as Travel Massive hosted events are the perfect place to practice networking your ass off and creating your own travel tribe. You also never know who’s going to turn up at these events. It’s not uncommon to see sponsors and attendees chatting the night away and neither party knowing who’s who until the next day during the speed dating sessions.
The Post Tbex Fam Trips
What is the aim of the Post Tbex Fam Trip?
The good thing about participating in a TBEX fam trip is that it allows you to go places you might not have gone to on your own. We went to Northern Mindanao, an island in the South that many countries discourage their residents to visit. Mindanao has the reputation of being dangerous because of some very confined conflicts. The truth is, if you’re looking for an off the beaten path destination in the Philippines, this is where you’ll find it. Especially Camiguin Island. Talk about white sand beaches, clear blue water and healthy corals. A true uncharted paradise.
UNESCO World Heritage site
Negros y Cebu
Mark Conrad of Staycation Philippines
I was pretty excited to attend the FAM Trip during the TBEX in the Philippines. It was my first FAM Trip and it has set my standard high for my future FAM Trips. I was part of the Negros y Cebu group which went to the provinces of Negros Oriental, Siquijor, and Cebu. We were treated like real VIPs everywhere we go. The tours, food, and accommodations are all excellent. The tourism department, TBEX, and our guides have made great efforts to make our trip a truly memorable experience. The FAM trip alone more than makes up for the registration fee so I highly suggest that you register on the next TBEX.
Gastronomic Heritage Tour at the Culinary Capital of Pampanga.
By Authentic Food Quest
This was our first TBEX and also our first time in the Philippines. Before the conference started, we had the chance to choose from several Pre-Bex Tours. We chose the Gastronomic Heritage Tour at the Culinary Capital of Pampanga. We visited four local producers, who “keep alive” the recipes and traditional cooking techniques. The highlight was a 10-course lunch with Claude Tayag, the most famous chef in the Philippines.
Not only did we enjoy incredible Filipino foods, we also learned about the history and cultural influences that have shaped the cuisine. If you are considering TBEX, don’t miss out on the pre-tours. You will enjoy reading more about following in the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain, right here.
GK community in Quezon City
Gawad Kaliga means “to give care” in Tagalog, and for three days, our group got to see first-hand what the organization is doing to meet its ambitious goal of lifting 5 million Filipinos out of poverty by 2024. We spent the first morning of our FAM trip volunteering with a GK community in Quezon City that is home to people with visual disabilities and their families. Then for two nights we stayed at the idyllic GK Enchanted Farm in Angat – only 35 km outside of Manila – which is a training ground for social entrepreneurs. We learned about the various enterprises that are based at the farm – from worms to ice pops to stuffed animals – and even got to put I.D. tags on baby goats (a highlight of the trip for sure!).
By The Island Drum
My post TBEX FAM trip was titled ‘Discover Palawan’. I applied to this media trip based solely on internet photos of white sand beaches and pretty water. Imagine my surprise when shortly after arrival to the Puerto Princesa Airport that I had tears running down my face. In fact, as I write this my eyes are also welling with tears. Don’t ask me why because I have no idea beyond an extreme sense of peace that Puerto Princesa wrapped me in. And that was just the parking lot, mind you. Of course it only got better from there.
In 48-hours I saw gorgeous beaches and scenic mountain vistas, met amazingly warm, friendly locals and fell in love with a new culture. I was also impressed by Puerto Princesa’s efforts in successfully embracing sustainable and ecological tourism. Puerto Princesa went far beyond my expectations and certainly no tourism brochure could ever capture the true essence of this Palawan paradise. At least not for me. The spirit of the Philippines is alive and well in Puerto Princesa and when it touches your own spirit, you know it.
And the final word goes to ….
Vicki Winters of The Vicki Winters Show
What Happens At TBEX Does NOT Stay At TBEX
What does happen is a lot of this.
At this year’s TBEX ASIA, we attended panels, parties, meals and more. WE tweeted about it.
We went on Speed Dates, and met some of the most amazing bloggers and brands from all over the world. We tweeted about that too.
Then we ate with our hands while listening to a band, and tweeted about that too.
It seemed every time we turned around there was another meal, or Instagram worthy buffet to write home about.
And then we ate some more. So, in 140 characters or less….
Yes, we learned a lot from amazing speakers too. #itsmorefuninthephilippines #tbexph
If you have question of me or the TBEX Experts please let us know.
I totally recommend attending a TBEX conference. We are very tempted by both Jerusalem and Alabama ourselves.
A truly exhaustive compendium of all that TBEX is! To-the-point, yet a complete TBEX-related info-package! Thanks for sharing this!
Thanks Ajay, and nice to meet you in Manila.
I am very tempted to attend the TBEX in Ireland, Paula. This would be my third one, in case I don’t go to Israel in March. I think these are very useful meetings for travel bloggers and are usually very well organized.
Yes come to Ireland. You and I will meet at last.
Lovely compilation Paula. It brought so many nice memories of the event and post event. TBEX is a good platform to network and learn. Made many new friends as well.
Thanks Nisha, and I agree. Great place to learn new things, and to meet more people.