This weekend went by so fast! Last Thursday night I posted about being nervous yet super excited for my first BlogHerFood conference. I promised I would report back with my notes, pictures and insights so here is a very quick recap. I will have many more stories to share in the next few weeks.
After I had gotten some breakfast on the first day, I found a table to sit at and introduced myself to the only other person sitting at the table. Turns out she was a representative from a meat company. Imagine her face when she asked me what my blog was about and I replied with “Vegan and Vegetarian living.” Happy times. Thank goodness another Vegetarian blogger ended up at my table. Her name is Lisa and she writes over at LisaCohen.typepad.com. She became my bestie the rest of the weekend.
I ended up meeting many many fellow bloggers. We all shared a big common bond in that we were all food bloggers in some way. Some blogged about pastries, some wrote about food and fitness and others wrote about cooking great meals in a pinch. There was a lot of diversity, a lot of interesting viewpoints and a lot of interesting people. It was wonderful to be able to put faces to some of the blogs I read on a regular basis.
As the day went on, we sat through various sessions from learning about how to protect yourself from people that steal your content to how to maximize your Pinterest experience. We learned about book publishing and learned exercises to expand your creative thinking. Over the next few months I have a lot of things to implement on the blog. Things to benefit you, the reader, and things to help me, the writer. Things to make the blog bigger and better.
The conference itself was focused on food blogging, and of course, food. We learned about superfoods, sampled new products from different sponsors, and we ate. For the Vegan crowd they served a cold Lentil salad with fruit for breakfast. For lunch we had Portobello mushrooms, curried cauliflower and sautéed chickpeas and spinach.
At the closing party I had the opportunity to meet Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman with a show on the Food Network. Everyone knows I am a big fan of anything involving the Food Network. Ree started out as a blogger just like the rest of us and has achieved huge success.
I had brought an outfit to wear for each day of the conference. It is important to present yourself well not only as a blogger and a writer, but also as a brand. I had bought a cute coral sundress to bring with me for the second day of the conference and I was shattered when one of the speakers wore the same dress on the first day! Any female knows it would be very faux pas of me to show up in the same dress the next day so I had to make an emergency run to a mall for something else to wear. (Though as you can see from the picture above I did end up wearing the dress to the closing party.) I also needed something that fit a little looser to accommodate all that great food we were eating.
Over the next few months, I will be getting into more specific details about everything I learned and take you along as I implement changes. One thing I learned was to limit the amount of ads I profile on my site and use that space instead to showcase my more popular content and recipes. Feel free to comment and let me know what YOU would like to see more of here.
Overall, it was a great experience and I hope to have the opportunity to attend again next year. It was fun being able to visit Miami and explore its flavors and cultures. I am anxiously awaiting to learn of the next city that will host BlogHerFood.
As I said, there are many more stories to share, from the bus driver who got us really lost on the way to a lunchtime excursion to all the swag I walked away with. Let’s just say I am learning how to incorporate all the free samples I took home with me into our everyday meals. I am going to create a post to talk about all the sponsors and the swag. So far we have eaten Kings Hawaiian bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past two days. I think I knew how versatile bread was but I had never given it too much thought about how to work it into every meal. Actually, neither Chad nor I eat a lot of bread to begin so it was a bit of a change for us and we sure had fun experimenting!
I hope you stick around and go with the flow as I make changes here at Beauty and the Beets and begin a new chapter in my blogging life!