Photo: The calm before the storm at Travel BlogCamp 2012.
Over the last five years organising Travel BlogCamp I have come to realise that I cannot please everyone, as much as I try. Let me clarify a few points though. The theme of the evening was ‘Getting back to Basics’ and we wanted a theme because we didn’t want a repeat of last year’s Writers Vs. Bloggers debate – we tried, but failed. Whenever you have a room full of writers, journalists, PR’s and bloggers there’s always going to be a debate, which is what makes the BlogCamp unique.
Some parts of what the speakers said might be quite close to the bone, it isn’t a conference; it is an evening of debate and discussion, everyone has an opinion. I write a blog called Travel Rants for god sake; it is hardly going to be an event of fluffy content – if you enjoy this type of content then you are not going to enjoy the event. I will include a disclaimer when organising future events.
At a guess, 90% of the people attending write a blog, be it a personal or a company blog. It has never been an event where just personal travel bloggers attend, and never will. We have a mix of bloggers, writers, journalists, PR, and travel industry people. Also, I think bloggers are wanting to portray a more professional image so have started to call themselves editors, publishers and all sorts of creative job titles, which is a good idea.
So, why call the event Travel BlogCamp I hear you cry!
Well, we have two or three speakers who are knowledgeable about travel or a particular topic, lets call these “the bloggers” and the audience are “the readers” because they take in the content and leave comments, add their own opinion to the debate – they get involved. Just like a blog. The only thing different is we camp out in a pub (that doesn’t sound right but you get what I mean) and meet face-to-face. I have a moderator who gives everyone an opportunity to have his or her say, and I think Kevin did a good job on this. It’s easier to be critical on Twitter or on your blog, rather than face-to-face isn’t it? The event isn’t a TBEX, TBU, or any other Travel conference, and it will never be.
One blogger emailed me this morning and said she found the atmosphere intimidating – that is not the image I want of Travel BlogCamp – I am going to work on that if that is the general feeling – what I do want though is to create an environment where people feel confident enough to stand up and give their opinion – some people are passionate – and this could give off the impression that it is intimidating, but I would love to read your thoughts.
Over the next few days I will write a recap of the event, and highlight some of the points that stood out for me from all of the speakers, plus link to any reviews written, so please mention them in the comments section. I would like to thank everyone who spoke at the BlogCamp, it takes confidence to stand up there and be questioned by a room full of people. To the many of you who stood up and put your points of view across. Well done.
Just like every year, all of the attendees will get to have their opinion on how I develop future Travel BlogCamp events in my survey. Huge thanks to the sponsors Teletext Holidays and Mr & Mrs Smith who helped support another successful event. P.s. we’ll have a highlight video online in the next week kindly recorded by the good people at Travel Perspective.