As I mentioned earlier this week, I recently had the opportunity to get away to Atlanta and attend Food Blog Forum’s seminar, “Build Your Best Blog”. It was such an amazing experience – food, friends and adventures all wrapped up in one very full weekend.
I met up with one of my food blogging buddies, Molly from The Duchess of Fork – It was so great to finally meet her after reading her posts for the last few years. Though we’d never met, we were fast friends!
Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen and her husband Scott kicked off the morning with some inspirational stories about how they got their start towards success, fame and total Internet domination.
The first panel discussion was on working with brands and leveraging social media to further your exposure with the mainstream press. Let me tell you – I ate this up. The panel was led by James Andrews & Lauren Thomas from the Social Media Marketing firm, Everywhere, and by John Kessler from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. I took away so many great approaches and best practices from this session. I found myself listening both from the prospective of a food blogger who would love to enter into successful partnerships with brands, and as a Social Experience Marketing Manager who wants to build effective strategies for my clients.
One of the highlights of the morning sessions was when I got to have a lovely little conversation with Virginia Willis – I have long been a fan of hers and it was so wonderful to discover she is every bit as charming and talented as I thought. Her panel discussion with Alisa Berry on honing your personal brand served as wonderful reminder that I’m my most important resource.
It would be impossible for me to talk about my Food Blog Forum experience without mentioning the delicious food provided by our host venue, The Shed. They served us up a variety of scrumptious sliders including: fried green tomato & goat cheese, sirloin with caramelized onion & red peppers and chicken salad sliders. The deviled eggs and cheesy pasta salad were nothing to scoff at either.
I should also take a moment to comment on the amazing swag! Thank you so much to Chefs Catalog and all the other brands who totally hooked us food bloggers up.
After lunch we were treated to an AMAZING live photography and food styling demonstration by Todd & Diane of White on Rice Couple.
I didn’t take any photos during this session because I was absolutely focused on trying to soak up all of the genius they were throwing out at us. I have so much to learn about food photography. Despite my recent proclamation that I will never be a food stylist, I left this session feeling incredibly motivated to step it up with my photography skills. Let’s just say I have a date with my Canon product manual this weekend.
While the content I learned about monetization, social media and photography was invaluable – the highlight of my Food Blog Forum experience was meeting so many other gracious, inspiring and passionate food bloggers! We have such a wonderful little community, and I’m glad to be a part of it.
This is Kristina of Knuckle Salad. She has a food and craft blog – she made her necklace using a vintage Mad Magazine. How freakin cool is that?! She’s so cute and uber talented.
I met so many wonderful folks last weekend, it would be impossible to list them all. I wish I had taken more photos of the people! My google reader is bulging at the seams with the great new blogs I’ve started following. For instance, Prerna of Indian Simmer has some of the most amazing photography, and her recipes look delicious! Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen was such a sweetheart – and she had heard of my lil ol blog! You’ll want to add hers to your list for sure. I had a great time talking to Julie of The Little Kitchen, and I wish I could have spent more time talking to Megan of What Megan’s Making – she had traveled all the way from Michigan.
All in all, it was a great event. If you are ever considering attending a Food Blog Forum seminar, I highly recommend it! If you are interested in reading event recaps from the event in Atlanta, follow the #FBF hashtag on twitter – there is a ton of great information there.