Although the IFBC conference is still a couple of months away, the excitement is beginning to simmer and will soon be at a full boil. Friends are connecting on email and social media, starting to make plans to arrive a day or two early to spend time together. Roommates are being found and discussions about where to eat are popping up, with favorites and new hot spots surfacing for consideration. The pre-planning is underway and we are anticipating another fantastic experience.
Conferences are opportunities to forge new friendships and strengthen our social media relationships with face-to-face meetings. There is nothing sweeter than finally meeting someone in person that you’ve only known online. Getting to know the person behind the posts, peeling back the layers and discovering the wonderful personalities and quirkiness of social media friends.
It is also a chance to meet representatives from companies and products we love and use regularly. Beginning a relationship that may lead to future collaborations and, if you’re lucky, lifelong friendships. We may not know where that chance meeting may lead or the potential value at the time, but each one is an opportunity to grow our business and expand our horizons.
A chance meeting at a food conference in Austin led to me a brand ambassadorship. Meeting an online friend in person resulted in a cookbook deal. Another conference contact resulted in a new recipe development contract and over the years, many friendships that enrich my life. I have received equipment and products to test and won prizes from sponsors I’ve met at conferences. The food community has been very kind to me and I wake up every day grateful for the new opportunities that pop up unexpectedly.
This year IFBC is back in Seattle at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel on 6th Ave. It is a great hotel, centrally located with good meeting spaces and a great bar area for relaxing and meeting people. The 25-story tower rooms give you beautiful views of the city and, if you are lucky, Mt. Ranier on clear days. Book your room early to get the discounted active food blogger rates.
The agenda and speaker line up for this year’s IFBC is being built and we are thrilled at the potential to meet and learn from some of the best in the industry. The Keynote Speaker this year is Kim Severson of The New York Times. I’ve seen her speak several times and she is always fun and you never know what’s coming next! Food Photographer Christopher Testani and photographer/stylist Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille will help us raise our game. Judith Dern of Allrecipe.com and Katie Ayoub of Flavor & The Menu will keep us in step with emerging trends in the industry. And this is just a snippet of the incredible talent that will be presenting at IFBC this September.
They always have wonderful sponsors and this year is no different. We will have the opportunity to try the products and meet the folks from Anolon, Stonyfield Organic, WordPress.com, Maryhill Winery, Krusteaz, Bays English Muffins, Concannon Vineyards, Wusthof, American Lamb, Franciacorta, Manitoba Harvest, Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs, Isernio’s Sausage, Sur la Table, Miele, Sabra, KitchenAid, BigOven, Sansaire, House Foods, Lindsay, Coravin, and more.
For more information about the conference, agenda, speakers, lodging, and other details look here. And to register, click here. Don’t wait too long, this conference usually sells out and the blogger rate to attend is the best deal! Plus you won’t believe the swag … bring an extra bag just to haul it all home!
I hope to see you in Seattle this fall!
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