The Semi Non-Unofficial Preparation Guide To Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) 2011 In Vancouver, Canada

It’s almost here! By almost, I mean less than two months away. TBEX. An annual (and then some) gathering of travel bloggers, marketers, PR folks and other travel industry hooligans with the sole purpose of having a number of parties. No, I mean. It’s a time to bond, to learn, to grow, to hope Gary uses the word ‘porn‘ in a presentation again. And then party.

As TBEX has grown from the initial, “What the heck are we doing here and what are we going to learn?” event in 2009 to its current status as an international destination celebration of all that is travel bloggy, so has the need to prepare. What can’t you live without at this year’s TBEX conference?

Needed at this year’s TBEX:


I know, it’s just Canada to those of us in the USA. Evidently this whole time that has meant they are their own country. And they have a flag to prove it. You need a passport to get in there now, or one of those fancy enhanced drivers license. If you’re from a country other than the USA, the need for a passport is probably already glaringly obvious to you. We’re a bit slow down here.


Everyone else (except me) will have one and you should too. Don’t ask why. The herd will trample the weak.

International Cell Coverage

For me this is a big problem. I have the world’s oldest cell phone and I like it that way, except when it comes to travel. Because it works no where. I once got an international calling plan but found it hecka expensive. Yet, if you want to stay in touch and find parties, you might want an international calling plan. Me? I’ll be roaming the streets aimlessly looking for a likely group of people all looking at their phones checking in to foursquare.

The Handy Visitor’s Guide

WhyGo Canada, one of the event’s sponsors, has a handy First Time Visitors Guide post chalk full of useful info for you YVR newbs.

A Camera

No wait, don’t bring a camera. There will be 10,000 other cameras there (everyone has two, by law) and the amount of flashes going off at any given party is enough to put a Judas Priest concert to shame. You’ll be in enough other people’s photos. And you brought an iPhone, so you don’t need another camera.

Map Of Vancouver

You’re going to get lost. Get a map. Here’s the Vancouver Tourism’s page to suit your needs. Those are handy PDF versions to download into your iPhone.

Business Cards

And plenty of them. It looks like there will be 600ish attendees. You might not meet them all, but it’s best to be prepared. I also have a personal quest for this TBEX. My daughter is in the ‘collecting things’ phase of her life and she is making a collage on a huge piece of paper of various business cards. Being the Loving Dad that I am, I plan on grabbing as many of your cards as I can while at TBEX. So bring different versions, too. Order them now!

Something To Share

TBEX is about meeting other travelers and it’s also about sharing experiences. You will find a number of people who have not only been where you’ve been, but also who want to go where you’ve been. Come prepared to share something insightful about where you’ve traveled, something other than a “10 Must See…” list.

A Place To Stay

If you haven’t booked a place to stay yet, it might be a good idea to get that ironed out. Vancouver Tourism has a handy list of hotels offering discounted rates for TBEX media folks. I’m beginning to think Vancouver Tourism likes us. There’s also room at a hip hostel a few (15) blocks from the convention center, but located along a bus line. Or ask Anny Chih if her couch is available.

Good Overview Of What To Expect

BootsnAll, a TBEX sponsor and very nice people to boot (har!), has put together a well researched and thoughtful post than this on what TBEX is about, how to make the most of your time, etc… Check it out here.


Pam will want to jam with you.

A Link To The Actual TBEX Event Page

Here it is.

A Spare Liver

And some aspirin.

Not needed at this year’s TBEX:

ID – You can drink when you are old enough to hold a can in Canada.

An Attitude – I’m not going to take you seriously, so just be yourself. And give me a business card for my contact-hoarding daughter.

Fancy Shoes – They hurt your feet every time you wear them, don’t they? It’s Canada, wear shorts and a pair of flip flops.

iPhone Charger – Do you know how many other people won’t have forgotten theirs? Plus it’s a way to break the ice at parties. “Hi, I need an iPhone charging cable,” is always a welcome introduction. Even if the Queen shows up (although she uses a Droid, so don’t ask).

Powder Blue TuxedoIt’s been done. Try to top it, but don’t try to imitate it.

I look forward to seeing each and every one of you at TBEX. Come up, say, “Hi” and then promptly hand over five different versions of your business card to appease my daughter quest for calling card world domination.

22 Replies to “The Semi Non-Unofficial Preparation Guide To Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) 2011 In Vancouver, Canada”

  1. Christina S.

    Don’t worry – my non-Internet, non-camera, non-fancy LG phone and I will be there with you. Non-technologically-advanced people must travel together in groups.

    • Peter West Carey Post author sent me some free cards and I really liked them, so I’d suggest Plus you can have 50 different images printed on them. This would please my daughter. 🙂
      Places like Vista Print are cheaper for a single style and they have specials of 250 or 500 for $10 or less. You have plenty of time.

    • Peter West Carey Post author

      Thanks! And help get Jodi all healed up so she can make it too, besides the fact that I’d prefer to see her whole than all banged up. And send someone to help with my sentence structure.

  2. Anny Chih

    LOL I can’t believe you listed my couch as an option Peter! If it were available you would’ve been the first to claim it. 😉

    By the way, an ID is a definite MUST if you want to drink in Vancouver. The clubs are usually very strict about checking and we have these fancy schmancy licence readers now that scan IDs and take a photo of you when you enter (blame it on the rampant gang-related crime).

    Oh, and I’ll be joining you in the iPhone free zone. Can you believe I still don’t have a data plan? LOL I’m DMing you my cell in case you need anything in Vancouver though (I can still receive calls).

    • Peter West Carey Post author

      I specifically linked to your twitter account so you wouldn’t see a trackback on your blog. Damn it! Who knew you actually read this.

      Mmmmm….rampant gang-related crime. I can smell the spent casing now.

  3. Andrew

    My iphone at this point has become a permanent fixture in my left hand (which is just a lovely visual). I will be turning it off though once in Canada to avoid being raped by at&t. I’ll just check emails on my ipad back at the hotel. Who am I kidding, that iphone will be on all weekend in Vancouver foursquaring it up and twitpic-ing away. See ya in June.

  4. Randall Shirley

    As for the “bring an iPhone” comment, you MUST make sure you have data plan that includes Canada. Most U.S. plans won’t–you need to check with your provider and get some sort of coverage. Otherwise, don’t even dream of turning on your data roaming. I speak from experience…was damn near a $7,400 lesson. Ask me about it.

  5. Benny Lewis

    I can’t wait 😀

    I’ll be contributing to a panel (about rapid language learning) and helping with two workshops (about branding). I’ll certainly be busy, but can’t wait to meet all of you amazing people in the hallways and parties 😀

    Hopefully my Irish charms will help me convince someone to turn on their Canadian Mifi for me 🙂 A 600 person conference sounds like good wifi will be hard to come by 😀 But yeah, in the end it will just mean less time tweeting about having fun, and more time actually having fun 😉

    I won’t have an iPhone with me though; Android all the way baby!!


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