I had a couple of work events the past couple of nights for the local LA Times Travel and Adventure Show. My dogs are barkin’, and there will not be any running today. (That makes 3 weeks since the Disney World Half… )
On Friday night, I headed to the Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA to attend the TBEX LA event for travel bloggers, writers, and travel PR. It was a blast! TBEX (travel blog exchange) is an organization that brings together travel bloggers and writers at their annual conference. (This year, it’s in Vancouver.) The LA Chapter event was hosted by JohnnyJet and Jen Miner of The Vacation Gals. Also in attendance was Courtney McGann representing the main TBEX org.
I’ve been meaning to meet up with THE Jeremy Pepper, PR/social media expert based in LA, for the longest time, and voila! there he was!
I also met a whole new (to me) crop of travel bloggers whose blogs are currently on my RSS reader. Let’s be obnoxious and namedrop, shall we? I met: Leslie from Calfornia Grace Travels; Gailen from The Sky Steward (he brought his ‘service’ dog with him); Jackie from The Jet Packer; Kayte from golosangeles.about.com (who also has a second career as a singer); Kelly from Go! Girl Guides; Jenny from Devour the World; Greg from I’m Black and I Travel (love his story of how he picked his URL!); and Spencer Spellman from The Traveling Philosopher (who just came back from a 3-month trip in Costa Rica!).
I also met a couple of other folks who owned or repped travel businesses like Triptrotting.com and Contiki Vacations. And of course, I finagled my way to say hello to new friends Jen Miner, Melanie Waldman from TravelsWithTwo, Jade from Vagabond3, and Marianne from Best Travel Deals Tips/Travel Producer.
Honestly I find that travel bloggers are some of the most friendly people and bloggers I’ve met in my job. They’re naturally friendly, and friendly people make the best travelers and representatives, IMO. (Do you want to meet a snooty American writer in your country? Didn’t think so.)
Big thanks to TBEX LA and LACOT (LA Consortium of Online Travel Writers) for the invitation!
If you are a travel writer or blogger in the LA area, consider following the two groups on Twitter and attending one of their meet-ups!