The Importance of Face-to-face Networking for Writers

travel writers

Today’s travel writing success post is a story behind a photo. This blurry photo above.

Pictured there are Jennifer Miner, me, Beth Blair, Sheila Scarborough, Ramsey Qubein, and Kara Williams. Many of us met each other for the first time four+ years ago in Kansas City at a travel writing/destinations meet-up event called Travel Media Showcase.

This next picture here was snapped while we were attending TBEX this past summer in Toronto, at a party Expedia sponsored. (The other two were there, but it’s not easy to find everyone in a crowd of 1,000 to snap a group photo).

TBEX Toronto

Between those four years, here’s what happened:

Kara wrote for me for several years at Practical Travel Gear and for a while at Hotel Scoop. She reviewed my latest edition of The World’s Cheapest Destinations over at The Vacation Gals.

Ramsey has been my business gear writer for several years at Practical Travel Gear.

Beth got my input for a book she was writing and I’m quoted a few times in it: Break Into Travel Writing.

I got some input from Jennifer Miner and quoted her in Travel Writing 2.0—the book behind this blog. She and I were on a blogging panel at a NATJA convention a couple years back.

Sheila Scarborough was the first person I hired to be a blogger at Perceptive Travel and happily she’s been still with me as we won a Lowell Thomas Awards Gold from SATW.

At the TBEX convention in June, I saw Beth Whitman of Wanderlust and Lipstick for the fourth or fifth time, someone I’ve put together joint advertising deals with. I caught up with people who have interviewed me, like Johnny Jet, Laura Bly, and Adam from BootsnAll. I met former, current, and hopefully future advertisers. I connected with PR people who may invite me on a trip someday, plus some I’ve traveled with already.

In other words, I got more done in a day and a half from a connections standpoint than I usually do in two months of farting around on social media and e-mail. That’s how it often is with conferences. They’re crazy, crowded, and overwhelming, but they’re places to make real connections face to face.

I think I’ve been to seven conferences this year, actually, which feels kind of excessive. But great things have come out of every one of them. And they’ll keep paying off for years. See you at the next one!

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