Huntsville welcomes world’s largest travel blogger conference to Rocket City
Conference will showcase city to millions across the globe
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2017
(Huntsville, AL) – Last spring at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, it was announced that Huntsville will have the honor of hosting the prestigious 2017 TBEX North America conference, May 4-6, 2017. The big weekend draws near, and the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is prepared for the arrival of close to 600 attendees from around the world.
TBEX (an acronym for Travel Blog Exchange) is the world’s largest conference for travel bloggers, journalists, online content curators, and other industry professionals. Hosting an event of this magnitude will not only bring a positive impact on the local economy, but a level of exposure that is extremely beneficial for Madison County, North Alabama, and the state of Alabama as a whole.
By serving as the host city, the amount of digital publicity Huntsville/Madison County will receive through various social media channels and other online platforms is exponential. The TBEX community reaches over 300 million consumers across the globe, with a targeted audience of travelers and destination tourists. Conference-goers will take their experiences with the host city’s restaurants, museums, attractions, and more and use those ventures as content to publish on their respective mediums, many of which individually garner viewers or readers by the thousands.
“We are thrilled to host the 2017 TBEX North America conference. We know social media has a huge impact in today’s world, and this is a magnificent opportunity to showcase all the outstanding things Huntsville has to offer to a global audience,” said Judy Ryals, President/CEO for the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
TBEX began in 2009 and has since grown to be the largest conference of its kind. Attendees are among some of the most influential names in their professions, which range from blogging and photography to radio hosting and internet video production. Although a majority of TBEX North America attendees are typically North American, a sizeable percentage of conference goers arrive from Europe and Asia as well.
Last November, the CVB hosted a group of nine specially-selected TBEX registrants on a press trip arranged to provide a preview of what attendees could expect during their time in the Rocket City. The trip, which lasted only 2 ½ days, generated over 930 social media posts with a combined reach of over 28 million people.
“It’s a megaphone to shout about Huntsville,” said Leslie Walker, Convention Sales Manager for the CVB. Walker spearheaded the efforts to bring the conference to the Rocket City. “These travel media professionals will experience – and promote – all that Huntsville, and the entire state of Alabama, has to offer as a destination.”
Locals are encouraged to be mindful of the attendees’ presence through the weekend, since their interactions with residents will be a factor in how the community is portrayed in media coverage. “Everyone you come across could be a TBEXer, and every TBEXer is a potential news story about Huntsville,” added Walker.
Several pre- and post- conference activities will be held as well, not only in Huntsville but in areas throughout the state.
Throughout the conference, attendees will enjoy special events held at a variety of local venues, including Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment, A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Campus No. 805, with the actual convention taking place at the Von Braun Center. The Embassy Suites Hotel & Spa will serve as the event’s headquarter hotel.
It’s not just major attractions that stand to benefit from all the TBEX hype, however. Conference attendees like to immerse themselves in the local culture as much as possible, and that means visiting mom and pop shops, craft breweries, restaurants, and other small businesses that are uniquely Huntsville and Madison County.
Doug Smith, owner of A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard, said, “Seasoned travelers know how to find the best places, so when TBEX chose Huntsville, it came as an endorsement of our community, including our tourism community full of great ideas and motivated to make our city shine.”
Locals may get a glimpse of some of the conference “extras” as well, like the light displays in Downtown Huntsville and the lobby of the Embassy Suites, the art display at the Huntsville Museum of Art, and the special conference map drawn by Lowe Mill artist David Nuttall, all done especially for TBEX.
In preparation for TBEX, the CVB has prepared several TBEX-dedicated blogs to serve as a resource for those coming to the conference from far and wide. The recently unveiled You Are Here project was also born out of the need to highlight Huntsville’s “little-known facts” to conference-goers.
Those interested in joining the 2017 TBEX North America social media buzz can do so by using the hashtags #TBEX and #iHeartHsv.
About Huntsville/Madison County CVB
The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization which was developed in 1970 to create economic growth for Huntsville/Madison County by marketing the community as a top-of-mind convention and visitor destination. As the official city/county agency which promotes the area as a tourist destination and convention site, the CVB works with an array of hospitality industry partners to market our destination to visitors of all types.