If this stock image model doesn't fully depict my glee, let me tell you how happy I am...
When Debbie Dubrow and I started planning the Travel Blog Exchange '09 Meetup in Chicago
, we thought it was essential to make the event free for attendees. This of course meant we'd have to find sponsorship (since the last time I checked, I had no trust fund).
Well, you may have already noticed the big logo on the event page, but we're thrilled to officially announce -- it's true, we have our first sponsor! Sean Keener, CEO of BootsnAll Travel Network, and his team decided TBEX'09 is an important event and signed on to be Platinum Sponsors.
It's great to have such a reputable company full of great content as our first sponsor, and we are grateful.
has resources and articles geared for the independent traveler. They've got everything from how to make an overnight bus ride
more comfortable, to a worldwide hostel search engine
. They also have one of the travel world's largest traveler communities
, which screens members before they can join, so users enjoy spam-free forum conversations.
BootsnAll also produces the helpful Why Go Guides
which are part guidebook, part blog and chock full of detailed information on specific destinations. TBEX member Jessica Spiegel
writes their Italy guide, and TBEX member Julie Blakley
writes their France guide. They're a great source to read and link to when you've got a story to write and need expert advice.
So here's a big THANK YOU from us to BootsnAll for their generosity and support for travel bloggers.
If you're not able to make it to Chicago, worry not, because we will livestream TBEX'09 -- plus we'll produce the panel sessions into tutorial videos here on TBEX. It will be the meetup that keeps on giving :). That makes us all the more grateful for sponsors like BootsnAll who are making this possible.
We'll be posting a list of the super fabulous speakers lined up for the expert panels during TBEX'09, just getting the last of them confirmed. But this is really shaping up to be a good time had by all! If you haven't RSVPed
yet, what are you waiting for?!