International Food Bloggers Conference 2012
|What will I discover?|
Lots to experience, learn, network and connect. And with a side bonus of visiting my darling nephew and wife in Portland, Oregon. More to come my friends!
Conferences have a natural rhythm. Registration, name badges and coffee. Lightweight mingling and eye contact as we slowly connect with those sitting at the round table covered in white cloth and exchanging business cards. Sessions to be attended and immersion into the topics at hand. A full agenda with PR, Branding, Niche, Voice, SEO, Photography all the while intermingled with coffee, gift bags, gourmet taste treats, exquisite dinner, wine receptions and after parties. All of which were artfully choreographed by Zepher Adventures and Foodista. These were the best of times. Each of the sessions were informative, pertinent and often entertaining.
Highlights from this year’s conference include:
❧ Book Fair – where I met the incredible Kathleen Flinn (The Sharper the Knife the Less you Cry) and Lynn Curry (Pure Beef) ) securing autographed copies of their books. Kathleen would later hold a writer’s workshop, “Hungry for Words: The Devil is in the Details, God is in the Framework,” that would challenge a room full of bloggers to go beyond cliches. “You can do better!” Kathleen would repeat, over and over.
❧ SEO for Recipe and Food Blogs – Rand Fiskin ran us through the technical and cultural impact of how to best position our content for the world of social networking and search engine optimization. Geeky stuff for sure, but priceless information for those who are both seeking audience and traffic to entice publishers and PR firms to monetize their sites. Highly candid and entertaining. Rand pulled not punches. Likewise was the incredibly personable Marissa Brassfield who made us look playfully at blog titles.
❧ Meeting a friend of a friend – Somehow with Twitter, Facebook and such I managed to capitalized on having my friend’s friends to become suddenly approachable. There is nothing better than a little name dropping in the world of personal networking to get your foot in to door, or an opportunity to be more than just a fan to persons of note. Case in point, meeting the lovely Kate McDermott, Art of the Pie who happens to be a friend of Jamie Schler of Life’s a Feast on the very day that USA Today featured her Pie Camp on National Pie Day. Talk about celebrity gold dust emanating from her whole being. She was just so thrilled and it was wonderful to see her bask in her notoriety.
Similarly meeting Chef John @foodwishes during the Cooking and Photography Demo on our last day. A perfect pairing with Andrew Scrivani as they bantied wisecracks and tidbits during the action packed session. Very entertaining, enlightening and incredibly warm and approachable.
|Andrew Scrivani and Chef John at IFBC 2012 Portland|
❧ Meeting Chefs – Getting to know Chef Gregory Gourdet and the incredible food at Departure.
After the conference I was able to take some extra time and visit with my nephew Ryan and his lovely bride Jackie while dining alfresco on the 15th Floor of Departure. I am still trying to figure out some of the taste combinations, they were that wonderful and different.
|COCONUT MISO SCALLOPS
Watermelon, radish, grilled citrus, dill
❧ Making New Friends – So many new friends and blogs to be inspired by. The casual art of exchanging cards become so much more as I jot down notes that make each meeting something special. Social networking, in the flesh. Yea, you just can’t beat it.
Next year: IFBC Seattle!
Can’t wait to attend!
Jealous!!! I so badly wanted to go and now it hurts even more knowing YOU will be there. Damn. (enjoy even if I can’t)
One of these days Jamie we will meet up again. Having a ball here. Amazing first day and I can’t wait to see that day two brings.