This year’s Foodbuzz Festival was not about the food. It was about the people. And a lesson in social media and the importance of having a twitter account.
And I got schooled.
I was instantly taken back to how I felt the night before the first day of 5th grade.
I had meticulously planned out an outfit that I thought (at the time) would be fashionable and perfect for the first day of school. I was sorely misguided on what that meant and wore light denim short overalls with caramel leather boots with mauve-colored socks. With lace ruffles. I’m sure they were on clearance at Mervyn’s. The popular girls were wearing Esprit and Guess everything.
I figured I would be super friendly and smile to everyone in the hallways to try to lure them into being my friend. Instead, people wondered “who is this crazy girl and what is she so happy about?” and I’m sure I grinned and gestured in ways that can only be interpreted as creepy.
I was wondering what I would say during each of the endless rounds of 3-minute schmooze sessions with strangers trading business cards and blog names. I was nervous about fitting in and feeling left out. I searched for a friendly face and an invitation to join a dinner table.
I wanted to find just one person who was genuinely interested in talking with me and sharing why they were at the conference, what they blogged about and what they liked to cook.
I found three. Megan, Heather and Teri were full of smiles and happy to share in good company.
And then some.
I also had the good fortune of sitting next to Lauren and Kellie and her most welcoming smile.
So, what do bloggers do at a blogger conference?
As I learned from Irvin's and Stella’s session on social media, an experience or moment isn’t real or doesn’t even exist if it isn’t memorialized on Twitter or Facebook.
Ashley also put together a really informative presentation on the basics of photography and moving away from auto mode. It’s not easy to teach via power-point, especially when you have a lot of material to cover, but she waded through victoriously and handed out homemade peanut butter cups to keep the crowd alive. After seeing several line ups of the same shot with varying ISO, aperture and shutter speed settings, things started to make more sense. Here’s to ditching auto mode!
(Don't tell her that I had to manually try to correct the exposure on the slide about the exposure.)
Tyler Florence did a cooking demonstration for cider-brined pork chops with herbed spaetzle and braised red cabbage.
Now that’s some good eye candy. And I’m not talking about the pork chops. But, honestly, most of the bloggers seemed more interested in wanting to talk to each other. And eat!
Saturday’s “Taste Pavilion” is essentially a food trade show where companies bring along samples and you get to see some of the new foods on the market and meet the people behind the labels. I was hoping to find this year’s “dough balls” that would capture the blogosphere like it did at the 2010 Foodbuzz Festival. Nothing stood out in quite the same way, but I did find these pickled raisins from Boatstreet Pickles in Seattle.
Boatstreet Café is what had inspired me to make pickled grapes for the Underground Market.
I learned that endive grows in the dark. Odd. But delicious.
There was a panel discussion on ways to take your blog to the next level: from photography, to finding (and developing) your voice, podcasts, and cookbook deals.
(from left to right)
Kath of Kath Eats Real Food.
Sarah of Peas and Thank You.
Joy the Baker.
Tracy of Shutterbean.
Megan of How Sweet Eats.
I snagged one quick moment to talk to Joy the Baker and her advice was do it because you love it.
But you know what pleased the crowd even more than all this good blog advice? Mama Pea’s dough balls that she had toted to San Francisco with love all the way from her kitchen in Oregon.