HeartRome

My life and times in the eternal city and beyond

TBEX Conference – Girona, Costa Brava Spain

I just got back from Spain on my first official business trip while living in Rome!

I was at the TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange) Conference in Girona (Costa Brava, Spain – right near Barcelona) proudly representing Rome Food Tours.

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It was a fantastic opportunity to meet the growing number of international travel bloggers on whom many operators in the tourism sector now rely on to help spread the word about business.

If you think about it, it’s the old ‘word-of-mouth’ online and it’s growing… At a pretty crazy rate!

It was mind blowing for me to see the influence travel bloggers have developed. On a basic level, this was evidenced by the fine hospitality we received from the amazing City of Girona. And tourism bodies around the world are tapping into the importance of this influence.

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Basically 300+ bloggers and travel industry people united for 2 days of learning, sharing and networking.

The city of Girona (and various conference sponsors) wined and dined us from start to finish.

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The opening night kicked off with all guests being bused to the Castell de Sant Gregori (yep! just a castle party!) for a party catered by – El Celler de Can Roca – only the 2nd best restaurant in the world! The highlight for me was the ‘cheese room’ and of course the dessert buffet! We were also treated to some local live entertainment with a human pyramid coming to life right before our very eyes!

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The next party was a beach party held at a beautiful Eco-resort and hosted by Expedia. We feasted on paella, jamon (Iberian ham / prosciutto), other catalan delights and local wine.

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Our days were filled with really insightful sessions with topics ranging from the importance of social and new media to marketing and how to write creatively.

On our last night we ventured into Girona old town – a beautifully preserved medieval town with a gorgeous cathedral its focal point – for goodbye tapas and complete reenactment of Napoleon’s 1809 invasion (with cannon and gun fire galore)!

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It was just so great being back in Spain. I absolutely love the food, the sangria, friendly people and the laid back Mediterranean lifestyle.

As both a blogger and an industry representative I found the conference to be really useful and informative… It was so nice to meet many of the bloggers and writers that I usually communicate with in the world of twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc in the real world! And so many new people… I know I have made some friends for life..

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Thanks TBEX – it has been unforgettable and so much fun!

I think my pics show just that 🙂

(oh and here are some final pics from a whirlwind 24 hours in Barcelona with some conference-goers.. What a city!)

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Signing off from Trastevere
Baci, Maria

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