If you haven’t been to a Food Wine Conference, this is the year to go! Lots of food, lessons in social media, and how to turn your blog into your full time career.
I’ve been blogging, technically, for 9 years or so. However, most of the early years were more about recipes review than actually making recipes. I’ve technically been a “true” blogger for the last 3 years, I think?
I still think I’m a noob. There’s SO much I don’t know about SEO and hashtags and gaining followers. I wish I had the time to track and follow all the SEO and traffic driving things.
When I started blogging more like a real food blogger, I joined the Sunday Supper Movement and started participating in their events. That was oh so long ago, it seems. But this group of amazing bloggers taught me some SEO, techniques, and tricks to get more readers.
And then I found out about the Food Wine Conference. Have you heard about it? It’s like a family reunion you didn’t know about. At least that’s how it felt to me. I have been chatting, sharing, and tweeting with these bloggers for the better part of at least two years before I attended the conference. So, it truly was like a family reunion for me.
I would like to emphasize the FOOD part of the Food Wine Conference. From the time you check in to the last demonstration or session on Sunday, there’s a TON of food! As a brand ambassador for Food Wine Conference, I advice you to bring your stretchy pants!
I walked into registration and was greeted by CK Mondavi. They were offering tastings of wine for check in. Of course, there was the Idaho Potato dancing potato heads. I wasn’t quite brave enough for that. Maybe this year. Then Florida Dairy Farmers had a glorious spa! You could make a face mask, grab a bottle of milk bath, and then get a massage.
Florida Strawberry Growers Association had cupcakes, a pastry chef making chocolate sculptures, hats, and the most amazing strawberry adult milkshakes I’ve ever tried. They.were.so.good! I chatted with a super friendly farmer who was talking about strawberries and shipping them up and down the east coast.
Friday night was tapas style last year. The restaurants in the Rosen Shingle Creek were serving up some of their delicious bites for dinner. There was sushi, a roasted beet caprese cup, grilled beef, crab cocktail with avocado, and delicious littles bites of cakes and sweets for dessert.
And that’s just a half day! I met blogger friends, made new blogger friends, and chatted with brand representatives to learn more about their brand. The swag is pretty good, too! I still have my FSGA hat with the little strawberry on the front. I love seeing the little stuffed strawberry and Idaho potato figures in my office. They reside on my monitors just for fun. If this is how the conference was starting, then I was going to have SO much to learn.
And I was right!
Now, I’m not going to recap all of last year’s #FWCon. That could be several posts. I did learn quite a bit and made lasting friendships with the bloggers I had been chatting with for a while. One of which, *wavingtoEllen* I met up with just recently. She and her family were in DC and we met for lunch. I had a blast! She’s got amazing kids. These are the types of relationships you can easily form at #FWCon.
This year, I look forward to making more friendships and learning more about food and food blogging. This year’s speakers include the Chief Marketing Officer for companies like Hershey, Capital One, and General Mills; Peter Horst. Chef, restaurant owner, and cookbook author Ina Pinkney. The Breakfast Queen has been on radio, local television, and cable television. Famous blogger Amanda Rettke from i am baker. She helps other bloggers extend their reach; I really need that.
There are a slew of other speakers from brand sponsors, fellow bloggers, chefs, social media influencers, marketing professionals, and many other food and lifestyle bloggers. There truly is a speaker for almost every aspect of food blogging, marketing, and food services.
There’s the Journey Through Food, getting into 1% of book proposals, building a powerful social media presence, time management, powerfully engaging your brand, and food sustainability. And that’s just on Saturday. I’m totally looking forward the time management. I suck at that in blogging and at work. I’ll be taking lots of notes for myself and the hubs on social media presence. He started posting on social media for his new career in real estate.
He’s looking forward to the dinner Saturday night. Lear year, Certified Angus Beef served up the most fabulous cowgirl cut ribeye! I totally love ribeye and I totally love Certified Angus Beef! It’s just the best beef ever! There were scrumptious side dishes that I devoured, too. This year, Certified Angus Beef is serving up dinner, again. I’m drooling just thinking about it. AND it’s sock hop style! I’ll be wearing a polka dot skirt with red petticoats. Just saying…..
Okay. I’m not going to spoil the Sunday schedule. There’s a hashed competition and a ton of learning to be done. There’s also a Food Service Social Media Bootcamp track on Sunday that can be attended separate from the regular conference if you just wanted to get your feet wet into what the Food Wine Conference is about.
If you’re a Sunday Supper Movement member, make sure you get snapped in the family photo! I’m the one on the far right behind Renee and Stacy. Stacy’s in the peach shirt who’s behind Tammi in the hot pink shirt. Just for reference.
I have chatted with and blogged alongside everyone one of these members and more over the past several years. They are some smart, talented, and amazing family members of the Sunday Supper Movement. I can’t wait to see them again. AND I can’t wait to see y’all there! So, head over the get your tickets to Food Wine Conference! I’m glad I took the plunge and you will be, too!