Most of you reading this know that TBEX10 was held this past weekend, in New York City.
Some of you also know that I was there, because we finally got to meet in person (yaay!).
No doubt you’ll be reading many “wrap-up” posts from any of the several hundred bloggers who also attended, as well as view their photos and video, so if you didn’t get a chance to make it, you’ll at least get a good feel for what it was like, and what you missed (and why you might want to go next year).
Be sure to follow TBEX10  on Twitter for more details on TBEX11 (to be held in Vancouver on June 15 – 15, 2011) as they’re announced.
I’m not going to rehash the whole thing, since so many of you were already there, instead all I’m going to serve up is a small peek based on my personal highlights.
My TBEX10 Experience
- Best Presentation: Gary Arndt ‘s lively and humorous talk on the subject of Travel Porn, succinctly defined as “looking at photos of other people doing things you’ll never do in places you’ll never go”. The point? Images are what attracts and sells…..write all the lovely stories you want, but don’t forget to include compelling images. Also, a crappy photo that you took yourself is better than a great photo you got elsewhere – it tells your story.
- Best Schwag: The fabulous Bootsnall  branded moleskin notebooks! Like many writers do, I go through pocket-sized notebooks like candy when I’m traveling, so getting a free one was a real treat.
- Best Reason (for me) to be at TBEX10: Getting to meet so many of the terrific travel bloggers whom I follow on twitter, connect with on Facebook, and whose blogs I read, such as the always-enthusiastic Dave & Deb (aka ThePlanetD) , Andy Hayes , Pam Mandel , Sean Keener , Donna Hull , Lola Akinmade , Candice Walsh , Cailin O’Neil , Jennifer Miner , Shannon O’Donnell , Mariellen Ward , Margo Millure , Nancy Harder , and Kim-Marie Evans , and also to have a chance to spend even a little bit of time chatting with those I’ve met before, like JoAnna Haugen , Gary Arndt , Chris Christensen , Jim Benning , Jessica Spiegel , Doug Anweiler  and his wonderful wife Margit, and Wendy Perrin . (P.S. If you would like me to change how I linked to you, or if we met and I forgot to list you, drop me a quick email  so I can update this post.)
- Funniest Moment: Mike Barish  accepting the award for best-dressed attendee in a powder-blue tuxedo reminiscent of the prom-wear we’d all like to forget.
- Best NYC Tourist Moment: Riding the Staten Island Ferry with my good friends Nancy (aka “Suzy” from our Case Study ) and JoAnna, and seeing the Statue of Liberty semi-up close and personal – beautiful!
- Most Important Lesson Learned: to make sure to arrange at least a day (two is better) on both ends of the conference to get together with others – and more time for sightseeing. I would have LOVED to have had more time to hang out and get to know some of the people I met, and to experience more of what NYC has to offer.
- Biggest Disappointment: That I did not get to meet everyone, not even all the people I know online and really wanted to meet.
- What I Was Most Grateful For: to paraphrase Blanche DuBois , “the kindness of strangers” – after a fun night exploring NYC with Nancy, we would likely have not made it home had it not been for all the great NYC natives looking out for us to make sure we stood on the right subway track, didn’t miss our train, and got off at the right stop. Thank you, anonymous New Yorkers.
And last, but not least, a big ‘thank you’ to all the great sponsors for their generosity (there were some terrific giveaways!), in particular the folks at CitySights  for providing me with a complimentary tour on their Hop On/Hop Off bus tour, CityPass  for giving us their awesome sight-seeing coupon booklet, Weber Shandwick Travel & Lifestyle  for hosting a great kick-off party at the Omni Berkshire, Australia’s Outback Northern Territory  for hosting lunch on Saturday, TripAdvisor  for a fun Happy Hour (even though I didn’t win one of the iPads they gave away), BootsnAll  and Eurocheapo  for an entertaining after-party Saturday night, and the fabulous ladies from DiamondPR  for sponsoring the popular Taco Truck on Sunday after the conference ended, a great idea and great tacos!
I want to thank everyone who came up to me and introduced themselves – thank you! There were so many people there and so little time that I’m really glad you did that…..I hope I’ll get to spend more time with you next year and get to know you a bit.
If you were there and I didn’t get to meet you and give you a hug, I’m sincerely sorry – but there’s always next year, right?
So that’s my take on TBEX10. I would love to hear what you thought of it in the comments below!
P.S. If you’d like to watch a short video featuring several attendees offering their favorite highlight of NYC, check out Nancy D. Brown’s YouTube video .
Did you attend TBEX10? Share your personal highlights too!