A few weeks ago, May 17-23rd to be exact I had the pleasure of attending the Everything Food Conference in beautiful SLC, UT. First food bloggers conference btw. It consisted of way too much yummy food (never an issue in my book), amazing speakers, wonderful presentations and most importantly I learned a ton+ met amazing people.
I could literally go on and on giving you a play by play of the conference, not my style though. To bring you back with me I’m going to share funny stories essentially memories to transport you there.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid? –Mary Crafts Homer
Since this is my blog I can go ahead and speak pretty candid. I was a ball of nerves. It might not had seemed like I was, but I was. The good news is I tried my best to put my nerves aside and be me. Something that is actually more difficult than you would think. You see I’m an introvert against what others actually believe. When I’m in an uncomfortable situation or I don’t know anyone, I tend to get really shy, quiet, pretty serious and hide behind my phone. If you ever see me staring at my phone trust me its a defense mechanism if you want to talk to me, just talk.
The amazing thing is when you finally realize you’re surrounded by people that totally get you, the nerves you had quickly diminish and you start to wonder when you will see them again?
We all spoke SEO (with puzzled looks), Photoshop, WordPress, social media, know way too well what it means to photograph first and eat second. These were my peeps. Not the yellow marshmallow Easter candies. #sorryforattemptingtojoke
The 4 secrets to a successful blog? Blood, sweat, tears and mistakes.-Bjork Ostrom
The fact that they got me, it made me feel instantly comfortable, so my phone wasn’t glued to my hands in the form of a safety blanket rather a way to document the amazing time I was having. I quickly let my goofy side out. I tried to talk people into eating clay, it’s a thing trust me. Just ask the great folks at Redmond who gave me plenty of samples along with a big gift I am proud to say I use every day and is helping me big time. Will be writing a post soon.**
YOU CAN DO IT-Lindsay Ostrom –Pinch of Yum
~Your guide to survive a food bloggers conference~
Make you sure you recharge your batteries.
When I say this I mean internally and your gadgets, more precisely your phone. Internally is just as important as you phone or iPad trust me. You will be running around from one place to the next on little to no sleep (which is perfectly fine), just find something that helps you balance that out. I would mediate every morning and evening, there’s this great app called Headspace, that I am a huge fan of. Now your phone, you don’t want to be mid photo and have your phone die.
You can sleep when the conference is over. Take advantage of your time.
I kept hearing mixed messages: take time out if you need it, go to sleep early, then hear take as much out of the conference as you can, or sleep when you’re back home. What I finally realized is, when will I have the opportunity to make deconstructed beef wellingtons or french onion soup again with Terry, Olivia and Chloe? Or sit at a table with Brad and Stephanie and discuss weird topics like Bernie and anything else that wasn’t even food/blog related. Moments like these don’t happen often. Take advantage of your time with the people you’re around. Pick peoples brains, ask questions but also make friends. A lot of the bonding moments happened outside of the conference venue, like sitting the night before my flight with Jessica discussing my future project. Disagreeing with Chloe whether or not banh mi’s have pate in them. Spoiler: they do.
Don’t compare your chapter one with someone else’s chapter ten. –Jessica (Jessica in the Kitchen)
This was something I needed to hear and understand. I was given this very powerful message by a very special blogger/friend the first day we ever met. On Wednesday night a group of bloggers and some sponsors met at the Red Rock Brewery. I was nervous mostly since I knew no one but I was also really intimidated after hearing everyone talk about their numbers, and page views and followers, it really made me feel like I was out of place. Until a very wise person told me this. You have no idea how much this truly helped me the rest of the weekend and basically what I remind myself when I start freaking out.
Make a schedule but don’t freak out if not everything goes as planned.
If you know me than you will know that I am a control freak when it comes to planning, I like to have everything on paper and scheduled to the last second, where to eat, where to shop, everything. Its weird. I don’t go with the flow, unless its vacation or something. Going in to the conference I had so many things I wanted to do, learn as much as possible, take everything I could from the conference itself, explore SLC, go hiking, check out the food scene, go shopping, Wholefoods, the list was endless. I wish I could say I did everything, truthfully I’m glad I didn’t. I was able to cross the big items off my list like gain as much experience as I could, learn a hell of a lot, eat delicious food, meet incredible people, network, I also was able to add to the list. I was able to figure out what my niche was, find out that I had no idea what hiking was (I can picture a few people laughing at this), dropping Olivia’s coffee on our way out of Starbucks while opening the door was not on the list, but Shadi and me definitely laughed and had a story to share with everyone after. Embrace life and go with the flow, its more exciting that way.
You will connect with the people you least expect and smile about it.
Going in I knew no one, like no one. I had messaged a few people through the Facebook group, but that was it. I had stalked everyone’s blog/social media accounts so that I knew who was going to the conference. First of all its impossible to meet everyone, there’s so many people, second you aren’t meant to click with everyone. Somehow you will find your people, among everyone you will find your group. I kept reading that on other bloggers blogs and thought no way in such a short amount of time. Trust me, you will. I ended up making long lasting friendships, found a mentor and found my tribe.
Don’t be shy, say hi to everyone and start up a conversation, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
When I say this I truly mean it. I of all people know way to well how scary and daunting it is to have to walk in to a room and talk to people you don’t know and somehow they all seem to know each other. The truth is, deep down we’re all on that same boat. You really have nothing to lose. I mean worst case scenario you make a fool of yourself which trust me isn’t as bad as you think since mostly everyone is nervous. Look I started to randomly talk to Lindsay from Pinch of Yum about hiking, mind you I don’t even hike. We laughed and she ended up recognizing me after and we talked. Dude seriously just approach people. Terry literally came up to Chloe, Olivia and me during the VIP registration and I am so happy she did. She’s so sweet and we ended up spending the entire day as a group and talking throughout the rest of the conference.
Don’t worry about over eating, life goes on and not too much will happen from a few days of uncontrolled eating.
Speaking as someone who suffers from an eating disorder and had a bizarre relationship with food. I know how much over eating or not eating enough can mess with someones head. Just remember this, food is a way to connect with people, to create memories. It’s what brings us together, just breathe and find something to connect with it. Getting popsicles from the conference was not mandatory yet the funny videos we all made while eating them and talking about how great they were, made them something I knew I wanted to do. Just do your thing without missing out. Find what works for you.
There is a thing as too much learning. Sometimes you just have to act.
While I was at the conference to learn, to improve my blog, to take it from a hobby to a business, network, meet fellow bloggers, interact with sponsors, get my feet wet, and much more. There is a thing as too much info, it makes you start to over think everything and make more checks before flying. Just leap and go for it. Speaking of leaping I am happy to share that I will be sharing more on the new secret project of mine, I will say this: video blogging is coming soon. As in I will be video blogging. Stay tuned to know more**.
Thank you! I had a blast!
I want to thank Kami and Sabrina for their amazing job putting the Everything Food Conference together. Your speech at the end really moved me. I also want to thank the sponsors for the food and awesome swag. To the speakers thanks for the motivation, the inspiring kick in the butt and tricks of the trade. I also want to thank all the bloggers that attended, for the ones I didn’t get to meet, until next time, hopefully I will see your avatar around. To the amazing people I did have the pleasure of meeting, thank you for the push, the care, the love and the fun times. Oh and for putting up with my quirky side.