I don’t often write posts about the business of blogging, but the Third Annual Food and Wine Conference is coming up July 17-19 in Orlando, and if you are a blogger, I think this conference has a lot to offer. I attended for the first time last year, and I enjoyed it so much and learned so much that I’m coming back this year as a conference brand ambassador. I will get to work with one of the conference sponsors, and I can’t wait to find out my brand partner and work with them to come up with fun and creative ideas to spread their message while attending the conference. Plus, keep reading for a discount code to receive $50 off your conference registration.
It is said that good things come to those who wait, but whoever said that was wrong. Good things come to those who go out and make things happen. As digital publishers, we don’t have water coolers around which we can congregate and socialize. We don’t have bosses who arrange professional development seminars or send us to conferences. As digital publishers, we’re our own bosses of our online space, and we have to seek these opportunities on our own. And while there is a certain romance to going it alone and finding one’s own path, it’s inefficient to keep reinventing the wheel, and it can be lonely working from home and having friends and family roll their eyes every time you take out your phone to document your meal.
See? You have found your people! Everyone does it!
That’s where blogging conferences come in. I was one of those go-it-alone people for a very long time when I had a realization: digital publishing as a full-time hobby, part-time or full-time profession has only been around for a handful of years. By definition, everyone involved only has x number of years of experience. But get together in a group where everyone brings their x number of years of experience, and the knowledge base gets very deep very quickly.
Here’s what I especially love about the Food and Wine Conference. It started as a natural extension of the Sunday Supper Movement started by Isabel Laessig in 2010. So, before it was a conference, it was a group of passionate and like-minded folks who banded together to bring families back to the dinner table. Back to the heart of the home. With so many influential food folks focused on the same goal, brands began to take notice and the movement grew. See, there it is again: bring like-minded, passionate and experienced folks together, and magic can happen.
As I said, I attended for the first time last year, and it was truly a mountaintop experience. I couldn’t help but be inspired by everyone’s excitement and creativity and their willingness to share their roads to success with everyone. I met some dear online friends for the first time “IRL,” and I made new friends as well. Everyone at the conference measures their own success in different ways. Some aspire to write (or want to write more) cookbooks. Others want to share their food on television. Still more are passionate about products and have started their own businesses creating and marketing their own line of food products. Isabel and the conference management team understand that not everyone’s idea of success is the same, so the workshops and talks are varied so that no matter your idea of success, there is someone there who has traveled that path and is there to share their tips, tricks and wisdom with you. There are also full group sessions designed to enlighten and inspire.
Do you need to up your photography game? There’s a session for that. Do you want to become a better writer? Yup, Monica Bhide has you covered. Not really sure what SEO is and why it’s important? Get your questions answered in the SEO Yourself to Greatness session. Self publishing? Becoming a Pinterest Pro? Brand Collaboration? Check, check and check.
All this learning and camaraderie takes place in a gorgeous setting, too. The Rosen Shingle Creek, owned by Harris Rosen who is inspirational all on his own as well as this year’s keynote speaker, is a luxurious venue with huge meeting rooms, several restaurants and lounges, pools, beautiful landscaping and comfy, comfy rooms.
Rosen Shingle Creek is all about the food. Harris Rosen is so passionate about food there’s a culinary school right on the property.
Conference attendees qualify for an excellent room rate, so book through the Food and Wine Conference website (link contains the group ID so you can enjoy the discounted rate). That way, you can stay with all your friends and know that most conference events are just a short elevator ride away. When they’re not a short luxury car ride away, that is.
Oh, and dear sweet Lord, I just looked at the conference schedule and lunch on Saturday is a Poutine Bar sponsored by The Idaho Potato Commission and Wisconsin Cheese. Just get out of my way right now, but doesn’t that just make you want to attend that much more? I’m already registered and I just got more excited!
There are also some fun recipe contests to enter. Not only will you enjoy the challenge of creating an original recipe, you could win back your conference fee and maybe even your travel expenses. The Dixie Crystals Chocolate Dessert Recipe Contest is closed, but there is still plenty of time to enter the Wisconsin Cheese Recipe Contest (June 19 deadline), the Idaho Potato Commission Recipe Contest (June 20 deadline), and The Certified Angus Beef Brand Recipe Contest (June 20 deadline).
Last year, I was honored to be the first place winner in the Dixie Crystals Best Brownie Recipe Contest. Here I am with second place winner, Liz Berg of That Skinny Chick Can Bake and third place winner Betsy Cohen of Desserts Required. I love this photo because I love these two ladies. How much fun that we all got to enjoy the experience together!
So, if you’re a reader who is also a blogger wondering if this is the right conference for you, I hope I’ve helped answer your questions. And guess what? As a conference ambassador, I can give you $50 off your complete 3-day conference registration fee! Yup, just use discount code FWC2015fieldJ and save yourself a few bucks. Believe me, the conference is more than worth the full price, but it’s always nice to save a few bucks when you can. Tickets are sure to go quickly, so go ahead and register now.
I really hope to see you at the Food and Wine Conference 2015! Come out, have fun and learn. Be inspired and stop waiting. Make good things happen.
Thank you for taking the time to read today.
Have a lovely day.
As a Food and Wine Conference 2015 ambassador, I received a discounted conference pass. As such, this is a sponsored post. Thank you. All photos property of Food and Wine Conference and Rosen Shingle Creek. Please click through to go to the respective sites.