Gary is currently in Toronto, ON (Sep 18th, 2014)
 

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Las Vegas/Blog World Recap

Street artist on Venice Beach

Street artist on Venice Beach

I’m finally out of Vegas and have arrived in Newport Beach, CA. I’m staying at the Newport Beach Fairmont, courtesy of Fairmont Hotels. After a week at Circus Circus, staying here is like Jed Clampet moving from a shack in Kentucky to a Beverly Hills Mansion.

Sunday I drove Rob of Bloggeries.com to Los Angles from Vegas. He is starting his own trip around the world and is leaving tonight to Thailand on a one way ticket. We hung out on Venice Beach and watched all manner of people out doing their thing. It was nice to see someone else setting out on their own adventure.

Saturday night I was invited to see the Cirque du Soleli show, Mystere, at Treasure Island with Pam Mandel of Nerds Eye View. I’ve seen several Cirque shows before. I saw Love when I was in Vegas at the start of my trip, I saw La Nuba in Orlando, and I saw Dralion when it came to town in Minneapolis. Even though Mystere is one of the oldest Cirque shows in Vegas, it didn’t disappoint. My comment to Pam was that Cirque should be a new Olympic sport.

Thai dinner with Jim Bennett, Jen Leo, Jessica Speigel, Trisha Miller and myself

Thai dinner with Jim Bennett, Jen Leo, Jessica Speigel, Trisha Miller and myself

I’d also like to mention that I got to meet Drew Bennett of BenSpark.com. (Drew also posts a daily photo and has been doing it longer than I have) He was sitting in a session that I was at and asked a question. I introduced myself to him and we started talking about photography. He pulled out a point and shoot camera to take a photo of us and I made the comment that I seldom get to take photos of myself when I travel. (which many other people have commented on as well) Without skipping a beat, he went into his bag and pulled out an xShot 2.0, which is an extending metal rod where you can attach your camera at one end. So I really want to thank him for that.

The big question for those of you with blogs who are reading this, is was it worth going to Blog World Expo? The short answer is: Not really. I have no regrets going, but I don’t know if I’ll be coming back. Blog World seemed mostly designed for new bloggers. None of the panels were particularly enlightening. I’d get more business information by attending Affiliate Summit and you meet more and better people in the travel industry by attending Travel Blog Exchange (the 2010 conference is happening in New York June 26-27).

You can take some OK images with an iPhone

You can take some OK images with an iPhone

I did meet some interesting people that had nothing to do with travel, but they were few and far between. There were a lot of “social media consultants” (I have no idea what the hell that is) and other marketing types that just sort of provided chaff for the conference. The reality is, the only real reason to attend conferences is to meet with people in person. Given my niche of travel blogging, there aren’t many people who really care to talk to me. The entire weekend I hung out with the same group of travel bloggers.

To anyone who noticed the giant hole in the crotch of my jeans this weekend, I apologize. That is one of the hazards of living out of a bag with not much clothes in reserve. I’m buying a new pair today.

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Comments

  1. It was great meeting you and I really enjoyed the Thai dinner – excellent food, excellent company. But I can’t believe I missed the giant crotch hole – I’m usually much more observant! :)

    Hope to see you at TBEX 2010!

  2. jamie says:

    What? No photo of the giant crotch hole?

  3. Jennifer says:

    The Travel Blog Exchange this summer should be a much better fit for commenters Emily and Dave (and New York City location? Awesome). I’m already looking forward to it. Along with opportunites to meet sponsors/PR reps who are relevant to our professional interests, it’ll be fun and interesting to meet fellow travel writers we only know online.

    • Thanks for your comment, Jennifer! The more I hear about the Travel Blog Exchange meetup, the more I want to go. I didn’t know about the one this year until too late (though not a bad thing, my blog was only weeks old). I just read the info for the 2010 meetup, and I’m going to sign up. I think you’re right — it sounds like it will be a more valuable experience for someone like me. And I’m never one to turn down an excuse to go to NYC :)

  4. TFN says:

    you really took that pic from an iphone? thats nice :)

  5. Dave says:

    Thanks for posting what you thought about the conference. It’ll save me a trip in the future. I felt like I got a lot out of the live streams and Twitter chatter and I didn’t have to leave my couch.

    Hopefully I’ll be living and working in NYC by the time the next Travel Blog Exchange conference rolls around. I think I’d get the most bang for my buck by attending that one.

  6. I’m glad you posted this. I really wanted to go to the expo but wasn’t able to, and I was bummed that I would miss out on all kinds of great stuff. I feel a little better now! It sounds like it was fun to meet some other travel bloggers in person, and I would have loved that opportunity. But I’m a bit relieved to hear that the conference itself wasn’t too enlightening. I would have loved something like that when I was a brand new blogger (my travel blog is new but I’ve been blogging for other sites for years) but would probably be boring now. Sounds like you still managed to have some fun and meet some cool people, though! I’m certainly envious of that :)

  7. Y’know that old saying about how all press is good press, so long as they spell your name right? It’s i before e except after c, Gary. Spiegel. :)

  8. Hmmm, wasn’t there one more person at that Thai dinner? I can’t remember his name eitehr ;-)

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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