Over the last few days, I attended TBEX, the Travel Blogger Exchange, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), a conference of travel bloggers and travel industry representatives – and it was a great success, for the Philippines as the host of the events, TBEX as the organizer and for the many attendees!
I was looking forward to the event as an opportunity to learn and to network with other bloggers and travel industry folks – and I was keeping my fingers crossed for my new hometown, hoping that the event would go well! Alas, my finger-crossing was not needed. TBEX and the Tourism Promotion Board of the Philippines (TPB) did a great job at preparing and running the event. The PICC was a great convention location. The staff at the venue was a great reflection of the Philippines, with radiant smiles and always helpful, creating a wonderful experience for the attendees. Travel between the PICC, event venues and hotels was well organized and ran much smoother than I expected with the constantly busy traffic of Manila.
One of the highlights of the event was the Welcome Party at the Blue Leaf, with great Filipino food and a show that highlighted the cultural diversity of the country, with dance, costumes and song from the different regions and ethnic groups in the country! While all the countries in the region are proud of their history, few acknowledge and highlight their diversity like the TPB did here!
And TBEX did an equally good job at putting together an interesting conference for travel bloggers and industry representatives, with more than 30 sessions covering topics from writing to photography or videography and Facebook or Snapchat! There were topics for new bloggers and veterans alike.
TBEX also provided opportunities for bloggers to network in the breaks, at events like the Welcome Party or the well attended TravelMassive party at the Raffles Hotel. There were even “speed-
datingnetworking” sessions to meet industry representatives, including the event sponsors Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Airlines and Agoda!
Many of the attendees had a chance to participate in events prior to the actual conference, like visiting the historic sights, local markets or luxuriate in a local Spa (read my review of the LeSpa at the Sofitel Manila soon). Others, will go on to see some of the regions presented in the cultural show, from Mindanao or Palawan to the very North of the country! All of it designed to bring attention to the Philippines as a tourist destination and gain new fans of the country. The hundreds of bloggers attending the event will reach millions of views with their posts on blogs and social media posts, generating much deserved interest in the Philippines! You can find out more about TBEX and future events here. I’m looking forward to finding out where & when the next TBEX in Asia/Pacific will be!
If you are an attendee, looking for something else to do in Manila, check out my Manila Mini-Guide!