Travel Bloggers Trample Toronto

Travel Bloggers Trample Toronto

By Michael Dwyer

Welcome to TBEX - Photo by Michael Dwyer

Welcome to TBEX

The Impact on Toronto

Over 13 hundred bloggers converged, in person, on the Canadian city that plays host to many world travelers. While that number of people in a giant city, with so many tourists floating around, will likely not be noticed on a large scale; it was sure noticeable to those in attendance of the TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange) Conference this past weekend. Toronto doubled the size of the event from one year ago in Keystone, CO, which I also attended.

The breakout session rooms were mostly packed, making it very difficult to enter and exit, let alone find a seat. I often did not attend a workshop I wanted if too crowded and ended up going to a room where I could find a seat. The overall feel of the event was different from a year ago. Keystone left me warm and fuzzy inside and I wanted more. This year I felt unconnected, and sensed a push rather than a nudge to propel my blogging career.

One of the many presentations at TBEX Toronto - Photo by Michael Dwyer

One of the many presentations at TBEX Toronto

Professional Development in Toronto included:

  • Content Strategy
  • Travel Photography
  • Contests on Facebook
  • Virtual Assistants
  • Twitter Chats
  • Video 101
  • Building a Publishing Empire
  • Building your Audience
  • Build a Instagram Strategy
  • Podcasting
  • And More!

I took many notes and learned a lot. Professional development events always give me something to work with. However, I still feel something was missing or something strange was added. The organizers should have accounted for the large numbers and reworked the rooms to accommodate everyone. That being said, it ran well: Technology worked and events started on time.

Personal note to TBEX: Have coffee available all day, every day, thank you.

Blogger, Writer, Content Creator?

As a travel writer from a traditional media background (broadcast radio and print publications), I have used several titles to describe what I do: Radio Talk Host, Travel Writer, Columnist, etc. More recently, I had settled on Freelance Content Provider. Freelance to indicate I’m available for hire. Content to tell outlets I write, take photos and shoot video. And Provider, to designate that I create and deliver to any outlet willing to pay for my services.

A blogger is a person who writes for a web log. They add photos and videos. Travel bloggers have a huge presence on the Internet and they are becoming a more popular source for travel research. The column you are reading now, is more or less one of those.

TBEX speakers often called bloggers Content Creators. Writers and bloggers really have the same calling; they provide creative content through words, photos and video for an outlet. Since many bloggers own their own website (blog), they are usually their own boss.

I look at the difference this way: Traditional travel writers generally have better writing skills because they pitch story angles to multiple news outlets; but tend to have a slower learning curve to new media and technology. New media travel bloggers tend to have less knowledge about journalism and the craft of writing; however, they are on top of innovative technology. A writer will construct his or her article in the style of the paying magazine, while the blogger will present a personal experience, often with a flair that is his or her own style.

Toronto Night - Photo by Michael Dwyer

Toronto Night

Will I go to the next TBEX you ask?

Their next event is in Dublin, Ireland and I would love to go. I don’t think I can make the journey this time. However, I will return to the North American one next year, wherever it may be (I’m guessing Baton Rouge).

I trust the event organizers will listen to the attendees and make changes to keep the momentum going for future events. To find out more about the Travel Bloggers Exchange, visit them online at

Please comment and ask questions to this post. Writers, bloggers, readers – whoever you are – please share your thoughts and share on your favorite social media sites.

Forget the Conference; I want to go to Toronto!

So, if you are still reading and you are one of my regular readers who wants to learn about a destination, stay tuned. Over the next several weeks, I’ll start to create content about traveling to the wonderful city of Toronto.

Read about Toronto’s Top Neighbourhoods

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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