I have to wonder this: why are all these Travel Blog Exchange conferences in the most expensive countries on the planet?
Why not have them in places where travelers can actually afford to go?
Like Central America, Southeast Asia, Morocco, the Balkans -- 90% of the countries on the planet.
Places have to be open to the idea of travel BLOGGERS. I went to Copenhagen (I live in Europe so it worked for me) and Visit Copenhagen was extremely amiable to travel bloggers. It is probably the case that the places chosen understand that it's not all about print media and see the influence travel bloggers have.
Yes, I do see this point.
But the emphasis seems to be on BLOGGERS rather than travelers.
It might sound cliche, but I think conferences work in major cities like SF, LA, Las Vegas, (or Chicago for instance--which you mentioned), etc because tickets/cost is kept low and because of the "deals" (on hotels, in particular) the conference organizers get for bringing people in.
I liked what TBEX did in 2010 -- they offered one conference in NY and later another one in Europe.
Regarding TBEX 2011 in Vancouver, the costs of it are still much lower than other conferences that I'm hearing/learning about (in other industries). I'm considering attending a different conference (outside the blogging realm) in 2011 in California (so "local" to me), and the registration for that one is more 10X as much and the hotel is about $25/night more than those being offered in Vancouver at TBEX 2011. (It is a very different kind of industry conference so maybe the 2 are not really directly comparable...but just trying to give you an idea of the difference...)
Thanks for noticing all the little details about how we're trying to make this accessible to as many bloggers as possible Meliha.
Yeah, Vegas is always a good option becuase of infrastructure and affordablitlty (if you can keep away from the casino, that is). It is just SO played out. Don't get me wrong, we love Vegas. We just got back from our second trip this year.
How about TBEX 2012, Portland, OR? Best airport in the country, cheap transportation to almost any part of the city and outstanding (cheap) food. Talk about a lovely city that would probably trip over themselves to have a new conference.
I like the Las Vegas and Portland ideas. Seattle also sounds like a decent option...but not sure how the weather would be (how many days out of the year is it rainy there...?)...
I think an important element of this site is that we are TRAVEL BLOGGERS, and not just bloggers. There is a big difference that is often being blurred in this profession where people who don't even travel are landing their "travel blogs" in the upper eschelons of the rankings. Believe me, it is about 100 times more difficult and vastly more expensive to run a successful website from the road than it is from your living room.
And as these are meetups for travel bloggers -- bloggers who publish content about travel -- it is my impression that they perhaps should be in places that travelers can afford to go.
But, honestly, I know that this is not possible. Who would show up for a conference in Luang Prabang?
Affordability is relative. My earlier response to one of your posts said that I felt $20-$30 for 2 people for dinner was reasonable, but you didn't agree.
Personally, I'd rather spend more money to attend a conference in a city that's developed and clean and safe (like Vancouver or NY) than one in a city that might be unstable or dirty or considered unsafe (I am NOT referring to Luang Prabang--just speaking in general).
Not all travel bloggers have desire to travel to the latter types of destinations.
So how about we save the adventure travel for our own excursions (for those interested in doing so) instead of trying to have a conference in those locations...?
Btw, did you consider what would happen if the conference organizers DID put together a conf/meetup in a location that fell more on the unsafe side...and then something happened to one of the attendees? Not only would that put a bad light on the conference, but wouldn't they be liable?
1) Not all travel people are backpackers. In fact, hardly anyone at the low end of the market ever sponsor anything.
2) If you did a density map of where travel bloggers live, you'll find they don't live in the places you listed. Even in SE Asia, I've found that most travel bloggers are in Singapore or KL, which are probably the most expensive cities in the region. The total cost for everyone to go to Costa Rica would be more, even if hotel/food prices are less, than going to a city in North America.
3) I stayed at a total crap hole at TBEX New York this last year just to save money. You can fine hostels in almost any major city if cost is an issue.
4) Many of the places you listed don't have the infrastructure for large conferences, let alone the bandwidth or wifi to handle 600 bloggers.
Gary, it seems as if you are loaded with money, so I can't expect you to relate to traveler money issues.
"If you did a density map of where travel bloggers live, you'll find they don't live in the places you listed?"
I am not talking about bloggers who "live" places, but bloggers who travel. You are right though, the former group is probably 90% of the profession.
"The total cost for everyone to go to Costa Rica would be more, even if hotel/food prices are less, than going to a city in North America."
The cost of a flight to Costa Rica from the east of the USA is cheaper than getting to Vancouver, you can get a dorm bed in CR for $10 a night, meals for $3, your math doesn't add up.
Also, many parts of countries in the "developing world" are no longer technological backwaters. I don't believe for a second that a conference hall could not be book in CR or Mexico that has adequate internet capabilities.
I think the real issue is that these conferences are, as you pointed out, for people in the upper ends of the travel industry, but is this site made up of a lot of backpackers? Hmm, maybe I am in the wrong place.