What is TBEX you ask? Well TBEX is to Travel Bloggers what Comicon is to Star Wars fans. Its basically a Travel Blogging Conference and the best way to network, meet, and interact with potential sponsors for everything related to Travel Blogging. When I tell people that I’m trying to make Travel Blogging a full time job they always look at me in disbelief and never forget to remind me to “not quit my day job”. I’ve got news for you, there is a way to receive an income travel blogging and there’s people out there doing it right this very second. I won’t go much into that at this time… but its an achievable goal.

2 years ago when I decided that this was something I was very passionate about and I got to watch via Twitter / Instagram (while I was deployed out to sea), while travel bloggers attended this very conference. Then last year the conference was held in Dublin! I knew that it was one of my dreams to attend the conference one day. They hold 2 TBEX conferences every year one in North America and one in Europe. (In 2015 they’ve also added Asia!)

If I am really serious about this thing, then I guess I was going to have to go all in. So when the first flyer was released and the first email sent that TBEX Europe would be held in Athens Greece this year, I knew it would be impossible to resist. That’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Italy. I signed up that day to attend, and I’ve been as impatient as ever ticking down the days ever since.

There is less than 10 days till I leave and I’m SO excited, scared, jittery, all of it combined into one package! TBEX cancun was held in September which is kind  of cool because everyone has been posting what they learned on Twitter and I’ve been eating it up. There’s so much to learn from so many different people, its hard to pick a place to start.

I’m by no means a business major or marketer and that’s what I’ll be pretending to know all about when I arrive, which is also very exciting. On top of all that I’m going to be meeting and listening to some of the experts in the Travel Blogging business. I think that’s the most exciting news. Seeing people I’ve been following over the past couple of years in person. Wow, I think only something you are so passionate about can make you feel so on top of the world.

As I sit by marking the days I’ve also been preparing and taking the recommendations I’ve been given. I thought I’d share just a few of these things with you.

1. Business Cards:

Anything and everything you read about TBEX says you need em! Which is why I’m not trying to just add on to that, but when I initially decided I was going to do business cards I listened to @asoutherngypsy. When I saw her post about getting her first set of business cards and that she had used Moo to do it, I decided I should check them out. I liked what her cards looked like and I wanted to make sure that mine were pretty classy and well printed on good card stock too. This decision didn’t disappoint. I LOVE my new business cards, and I can’t wait to pass a few of them out at the conference (a few, as in 200!) ha!

2. Media Kit:

First of all, what the heck is a media kit!? That’s the question I had to ask myself when I read that it was recommended I have one printed and ready to pass out. Thank God for Google, because I soon found out that its a one page explanation of who you are, what you do, statistics from your website, and what all you are willing to provide or do if asked to work with a sponsor. After scouring the internet and reading and looking at hundreds of media kits I decided to head over to youtube for a how to video, I mean why not? I stumbled upon a chef community that was guest hosting Kelly Snyder on preparing and marketing media kits. 1 hour and an e-book later I decided that I was going to be able to build one on my own after all.

The only problem was how was I going to build this thing to be visually appealing? After reading a few other travel bloggers how to’s, they had mentioned Canva for the job and I clicked the link and made an account, deciding to try out the program for myself. With 3 evenings of work down, I had a media kit that I think is perfect for me. Do I have good statistics and social media followers? No, not yet, but at least I put the effort into compiling it anyway, that has to count for something right?

3. Presenting that Media Kit:

For the most part after listening to some real business guru’s you always want to have your media kit riddled with links (you can do that with Canva) ready to go electronically on your iPad or smartphone just in case you are in that perfect moment and you are able to quickly email it off to someone who seems interested. I intend to have that ready to go, but I also want to be able to give hard copies to a few people that I would love to potentially work with, especially during the speed networking sessions. That’s why I think its important to have envelopes available and media kits printed out and ready to hand out during any part of the conference. Which is why I decided to get some presentation folders to prepare my media kit to hand out. (there’s also a wax seal involved)

4. Elevator Pitch:

Alongside that media kit its pretty important to have an elevator pitch primed and ready for that moment when you have 1 minute to explain who you are, what you are about, and interest people to come back for more. Can I just tell you how hard it can be to fill 1 minute with enticing information that hooks a person to listen and think about closing on a business deal? So I go into work, sit down in exasperation and turn to my co-worker who is a pilot that works in my office and ask his advice. He’s currently getting his Masters in Business so I figured he might have an idea of what I should do.

He tells me that just yesterday he was talking to a friend of his (another pilot) about a podcast that just came out recently called Startup where a guy who has worked for some successful podcasts (This American Life) has decided to quit his job and try to start his own company in which he does a small mini podcast series on exactly how he’s doing it. He happens to have a specific podcast on how to pitch your company to a millionaire (Chris Sacca), which you can really apply to other things such as pitching your Travel Blog to sponsors (you’re welcome).

5. T-Shirt:

After reading through all the most recent posts on “How to prepare for TBEX” topic, I saw that business cards and media kits, are written in just about all posts. Then I stumbled on one post that mentioned having a T-shirt with your brand on it… If there’s always something I’m trying to play around with its my artistic side so I decided to jump on the T-shirt with your brand idea, and you’ll probably see me wearing it at least one of the days during the conference.

As far as the other things I am doing, I also saw on twitter about the Travel Massive event. Its a way for you to start meeting and mingling with travel bloggers and professionals before the conference even begins, which I jumped on. Its free and they are providing drinks during the mingling (you can never say no to free drinks!).

Also I guess I’m the only one who didn’t realize that the PREBEX tours were FREE and waited too long to get a good one. Don’t make the same mistake as me in the future and make sure to sign up as soon as you know what you want. I am now doing the Athens Food Tour which I am excited about and Jessica and Hai from Notes of Nomads, even hit me up on instagram to see if I would be interested in a photo walk, which I am!

There’s so many moving pieces and so many ideas running through my head, but the best part is I just get to hold on for the ride and let my love for Travel Blogging and being around people who love it just as much, envelope me. I’ve never been to any conference before in my life but there must be something so special about getting together with hundreds of people who are out there living, doing, talking, and consumed by the same thing you love and do. How refreshing.

This article appeared first on Dynamic Soarer.