Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?
*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
#TBEXStockholm. “It’s a different way of doing things.” True that, dear Jaume Marin. 2016 has marked my third “Travel Bloggers Exchange” conference after participating in Dublin back in 2013 as well as #inCostaBrava last year. Every year, the world’s largest gathering of digital influencers and tourism industry people is held in a different European, American or Asian city. This year, our European host city Stockholm has received us to a taste of Scandinavia, both in terms of pre- and post-conference blog trips as well as extending their welcome throughout the conference days.
Let me start with the opening keynote by Ian Cleary, who I’ve first met at TBEX Dublin in 2013 and who has made a name for himself by sharing his cutting edge knowledge on RazorSocial.com. He opens up #TBEXStockholm by reminding us of the power of Social Media, saying that “your influence changes behaviour. Content and true storytelling is what people want and will continue to see. Just think of the recent, rapid rise in adblock on the Internet. Blunt advertising no longer works.”
Ian concludes his powerful opening speech by giving us the following five pieces of advice:
In a conference environment such as TBEX, I always find it ultimately rewarding to attend sessions that confirm my observations, teach me new angles to my existing publishing work, and open up fresh insights as to “what else is possible”. Listening to Marko & Alex Ayling, travel video experts at www.VagaBrothers.com, we confirm once more that it “takes heaps of time to build a brand, especially on a crowded platform like YouTube where 93% of all views go to the top 1% of publishers. Our feedback has shown that it is best to put yourself in front of the camera, to be funny, instructional, and have a continuous narrative across your video publications.”
Facebook Videos, they mention, have the advantage of leveraging off a huge audience and perfectly targeting short form video formats that are shareable. Instagram, in comparison, is your “little quick escape and works best when serving the travel / lifestyle generation’s need for great photos and, to some extent, short videos”.
Have I ever told you that I am deeply impressed by Jaume & Gemma’s work ethics and passion throughout their network with us digital influencers, travel writers, YouTubers and the like? I think I am not exaggerating when I call them and their team at Costa Brava tourism board as one of the most long-term, blogger-friendly business partners worldwide. They have hosted TBEX twice (in 2012 and 2015) and have always been super professional, highly engaged and ultimately innovative in terms of potential cooperations between digital influencers and local tourism authorities. If you do not know them or their work yet, go and check it all out here: http://en.costabrava.org and / or read my comprehensive post about the success and proceedings from #TBEX #inCostaBrava last year.
Now here comes the love.
I have subsequently met, and fallen in love with, Costa Brava, its people, its language (yes! “She is fluent, and not only in Spanish, but also in Catalan, eh!”, Jaume & Gemma make a proud point of continuously mentioning, making me blush), calling Catalonia a new home on this planet Earth.
And so it goes:
Mumbling, smiles and laughter fill the audience as Jaume carries on his refreshing “music of talking about love, not sex”. “Everybody wants it. Everybody is looking for it. But no one really knows IT. Sometimes, I get the feeling that some brands act no better than horny teenagers around blogger cooperations.”
Engagement and real pay-off, both him and Gemma stress, only comes from long-term cooperation among local partners, tourism associations, and bloggers. It is about “fishing, not hunting”, and choosing content creators on the basis of a real relationship that pays into the brand message of both. Only likewise, potentially huge amplification of all messages shared can be achieved.
To further elaborate on “engaging content creators with love”, Jaume & Gemma share more of their tracking insights from measuring success from professional travel blogger relations. On their specifically designed website, http://tbex.costabrava.org, they have created their own map of geotagged content that has been published by creators across the world under the hashtags of #inCostaBrava and #inPyrenees. Out of over 100 countries, Twitter alone has generated 208 million potential impressions across a “mere” 32.000 tweets. More importantly, though, “we have to look at the conversations behind these numbers. There are real people behind all of this! It is like me: I follow someone who has two kids like me. Who loves adventure like me. Who writes about creative tourism. Like Elena. I follow her because I like what she is doing, it is very interesting.” (Moltes gràcies, dear Jaume!).
For the fourth time in a row, #NBEFinland will take place in January 2017 built on the huge success of the Nordic Bloggers Experience conference and blog trips during the past three years, starting in 2014. “Honesty, transparency, and thinking about blogging as a business, have not only helped my own blog to grow, but have indeed contributed to grow our network of Nordic bloggers far across its Scandinavian borders. I cannot emphasise the need for cooperation strongly enough!”, says Inna during her interactive, and inspiring, speech at TBEX Stockholm.
Very often, it’s the “corridor conversations” of large gatherings such as TBEX that lead to something great: A new book project. A fresh travel campaign. An unexpected turn of events, a final meeting with someone only ever met online, and continuous sharing, learning and networking among your peers. For me, this is now a major reason as to why I attend conferences such as TBEX, the Social Travel Summit, and/or other smaller gatherings of like-minded individuals and inspirational professionals across industries.
Here is to continuing in sharing the love, beauty and passion of our industry as we grow together as a global team.
All of my Stockholm pictures and TBEX conference photos are published here:
Great round up! It was so lovely meeting you at TBEX 🙂 And you have no idea how much talking with you about the language thing helped me -currently going through the blog and setting all languages as they should be:) See you around the world again!
Perfect summary of yet another very inspiring TBEX! Thanks, Elena!