In just about a month I will be attending The International Food Blogger Conference 2014 in my home city of Seattle, WA. The countdown is on! This is my first blog conference, so as you can imagine, I’m beyond excited for the opportunity to gather with fellow food enthusiasts to talk, eat, learn, write about all things food & wine. The line-up of panel speakers and topics is top-notch, and I only wish I could clone myself in order to attend everything.
Here’s a quick run-down of what’s in store for me:
Pre-Conference Excursion: Sur La Table Test Kitchen & KitchenAid®
Sur La Table (only my favorite kitchen store) and KitchenAid® (only my favorite brand of kitchen appliances) present a sold-out field trip to the Sur La Table Test Kitchen in downtown Seattle for an afternoon of learning how to create buzz and build excitement for blogs through recipe development. Included will be a preview of new KitchenAid® products as well. I didn’t reserve my ticket fast enough (this event sold out in minutes on-line) but I’m on the wait-list. Fingers crossed!
Friday Night- Grand Opening Reception & Gift Suite:
Like any conference, the first night is when the energy of all the like-minded attendees (in this case a gathering of foodies from all corners of the country and afar) is palatable to say the least. DSLRs will be locked and loaded, ready at a moments notice to shoot all the excitement as it unfolds, one taste at a time.
This a food conference so not a minute is wasted; let the tasting begin… in the Gift Suite that is. This area will feature 15 unique food purveyors sampling their newest products. A couple of the vendors I’m familiar with already, but there are two or three new ones which I look forward to checking out. Like Lágrima Pure Vanilla Extract. I’ve heard of them, but have not tried their vanilla yet….so that’s going on my list.
Saturday- Opening Breakfast and General Session:
This session is hosted by my favorite yogurt producers, Noosa.
Started and run by Aussies but based in Colorado, they make some of the best yogurts on the planet ! Ok, maybe the planet is a bit extreme, but certainly in my part of the world. My personal favorite is the Passion Fruit flavor (no surprise there for those who know me well!). Whenever I taste this yogurt, I’m immediately transported back to Oz where I indulged in Passion fruit yogurt (well, anything Passion fruit actually) practically daily during my stint Down Under. I’m eager to learn how they got started and to taste their entire range of flavors. I’ll pretend I’ve never heard of them so I don’t look too greedy going back for seconds or thirds! :)
The balance of the day is filled with break-out sessions including cooking demonstrations, a Bordeaux wine tasting (c‘est magnifique), workshops on how to write about food, more food & wine tastings, and a seminar on how to build a brand. All great stuff!
The evening continues with more “sampling” a.k.a eating lots of yummy things with Taste of Seattle Gourmet Food Fair. On circuit will be 20-30 food and kitchen purveyors. Again, an excellent opportunity to revisit old favorites and find some new ones.
Sunday Breakfast Session:
This session is being sponsored by Bigelow Tea. President & CEO Cindi Bigelow herself will be speaking to ‘The Facts About Tea’ (along with a few fun family stories!). Breakfast is followed by morning sessions on food & travel writing, social media & SEO tutorials, professional recipe development and how to e-publish a cookbook. A half-day jam-packed with relevant and interesting content- can’t wait!
So all these good things are awaiting me in the Emerald City and all I can say is “are we there yet?”
[all photos courtesy of named food purveyors]