Food Blog Forum – Orlando
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you probably know that this past weekend I was at the Food Blog Forum Seminar in Orlando. Food Blog Forum is a community, created by Jaden & Scott of Steamy Kitchen and Diane & Todd of White on Rice Couple, focusing on photography, social media and technology in the food blog world. In other words, a group of highly passionate people wanting to share their knowledge & experience as well as what Jaden calls the “spirit of generosity” when it comes to food blogging.
I was over the moon that this seminar was coming to town…my town! I have only met a handful of food bloggers in real life, so needless to say I was thrilled to meet others, especially my neighboring Floridian food bloggers.
(Joanne & Adam, Michelle, Merry-Jennifer, Denise, Renee aka RJ Flamingo)
(Julie, our wonderful event hostess, and Lindsay of Purr Design)
(Jessica the not so Novice Chef and me)
This event was hosted by Julie, Dawn & Jaden and was seriously out of this world. We kicked off the weekend with a meet & greet get together at Whole Foods Orlando. Let me tell you, Whole Foods knows how to throw a party. There was a live cooking demo going on in one room, a creme brulee station going on in the other room…and mouth watering food (and wine) in between. KerryGold hooked us up with some serious cheese and I was in complete awe of the beautiful brie cake on display (that I sadly never tasted. boo hoo!!).
(I spy Julie, one of the Alkaline Sisters, and my Whole Foods shopping buddy after the party…I introduced her to Joe’s Oats Veggie Burgers and she introduced me to Good Earth Tea)
Saturday was full of interaction with people in the “industry”… we got to hear from Food Editors Heather McPherson of the Orlando Sentinel and Jeff Houck of the Tampa Tribune. Now some people get giddy about meeting people like Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber…well I get giddy about meeting food editors like Heather and Jeff. I started following Heather many years ago when I actually worked for the Orlando Sentinel myself…and have been a fan ever since. These two shared lots of valuable insight with us and had great chemistry, they had us smiling the whole time.
(Jeff and Heather)
Our day was jam packed with presentations from other very smart people…Peter Scott from IZEA helped us wrap our brains around SEO and Social Media Sponsorships, Lindsay of Purr Design talked to us about how to make our blogs more functional and user friendly, Helene of Tartelette schooled us on food photography and styling, Dawn gave us incredible tips on how to “write for the big boys” and of course Jaden & Scott shared insight on how to make our blogs more successful with personal branding and monetization.
Don’t we look all studious?
(Scott, Jaden, Dawn and Merry-Jennifer)
Oh and did I mention there were prizes?? Goodness gracious..the prizes! All donated courtesy of event sponsors Kitchen Aid, Cooking.com, Le Creuset, Calphalon, KerryGold, West Bend, America’s Test Kitchen, Chicago Metallic and EdgeWare. I happily walked away with a much desired and needed rice cooker from Cooking.com!
A big chunk of our afternoon was spent with Helene. I think we were all anxiously awaiting time with Helene because oh my goodness, she is just the sweetest thing, and an incredible force behind the camera. She rocks people, enough said.
I will say that I have had my Canon Rebel for a little over two years now and have been ever grateful to the pictures it has produced for me. But I’m shamelessly an “auto” girl. Or no flash girl. I just take pictures, I know nothing about photography. A lightbulb went off for me on Saturday as Helene talked about light, mood, styling and other stuff (some of it over my head, but it’s all about baby steps). I went home feeling a little closer to my camera and can’t wait to play with it.
I love the vibe when you are in a room full of food bloggers. Everyone is so generous with helping one another and sharing what works for them. I especially enjoyed my time with my not so new friends Merry-Jennifer, Julie, and Denise…and my newer friends Michelle, Julius aka Droolius, Julie, Jaclyn and Brie and gosh so many others.
Our day of knowledge ended like any day in a room full of foodies should…
Just when we didn’t think it could get any better…we were welcomed into McCormick & Schmicks with a spread of sushi, shrimp, Kobe sliders, sangria and some seriously great hospitality.
Okay…I’m ready to do it all over again.
Food Blog Forum Recaps:
The Domestic Mama & The Village Cook
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So glad you made it, Aggie! I’m so happy we finally met and hope to see you regularly. You’re so awesome and so sweet! I can’t wait for the bake sale and squeeze in dim sum! 🙂
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It looks like you guys had so much fun! I’m crazy jealous! 🙂
Great recap, Aggie. It was a good weekend and I was to meet you and other Floridians.
It was SO great to finally meet you!! What a BLAST this past weekend was…I just want to relive it all over again. I also didn’t get to taste the Brie cake 🙁 Michelle and I also shopped Whole Foods after the party. I was very impressed with the entire weekend…all the sponsors did such an amazing job treating us like VIPs!! 😉
You got so many great photographs!! And so glad that the group shot has you and I together…as I was sad we didn’t get any with the two of us!! We’ll fix that in the future! 🙂
Oh yeah, and hubby is researching DSLR cameras for me online now…I’m so EXCITED and what a nice surprise!! He’s a keeper for sure 😉
oh my gosh! what an AMAZING event! I’m so jealous! The food? Awesome, of course. A brie cake? I want to taste it too! And glad you learned a lot, got to meet so many cool and talented people, and those prizes are ridiculous. Ah!
Ack! Missed all the fun, next time perhaps? 🙂
Wonderful recap, Aggie! It was so fun hanging out with you and getting to know you better. Looking forward to seeing you again – hopefully soon!
Great recap and photos! Sorry I missed it! 🙁
Great post! Lovely pictures; I even get to see me in a couple of photos 😉
Aw1 I love your recap! Thanks for the link also~ I may have to re-vamp mine to put all the others in it! So very nice to meet you. Def a must do again.
What a fabulous week-end!Looks like such a great time!
Thanks Aggie for letting me re-live all of the great memories of this past weekend! It was fun meeting you and hope to see you at another event very soon.
Awesome-ness in Florida. Hoola!!! Continue bonding with your camera and share, share
Sounds like a fabulous time Aggie!!!!!
Aggie, it was so cool meeting you. You’re so much fun! I agree with your post, check out mine. You need to know that you have a better camera (better pictures) I used my phone. Will improve on that (upgrade) after being around Helene & such great food bloggers there’s no way one doesn’t get inspired and motivated to improve!
I loved the whole experience & can’t wait to get together again & share the ups & downs learned along the way!
Hugs to you and hope to get together soon!
I’ve not attended any foodie related events, but in years past I would attend the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) food show every August, it lasted for 3 days, and was always a fun time. And a great way to network with vendors, fellow chefs, and learn about new products, attend seminiars, cooking demonstrations, and taste tests from just about every food booth. I would love to attend a foodie seminar.
One of the best parts about these weekends is meeting people like you in real life. Good lord – do I really look like that? Eesh! LOL!
🙂 It looks like you had soooo much fun! I’m kinda envious sitting here reading about it. OMW that food is off the hook GF. A Brie cake!? Brilliant.
I should have arranged to come to Florida a few days earlier. Looks like a great conference!
Very nice meeting you Aggie and talking at FBF! Thank you for the shout out as well. I was super please with the amount of networking I did with other FL food bloggers and glad we are all connecting online. Kudos to event organizers and speakers!
Looks like a wonderful time Aggie. A great way to learn more about food blogging and meet some great people. Feel free to pass on any tips to me!
Looks like it was an awesome conference! I went to the one in Atlanta and loved it 🙂
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I was anxiously awaiting the posts about last weekend…how cool was it?!! I am bummed I had to miss it. I know I will go another time and meet you and all the other fabulous foodies!!When are you coming down to see your in-laws and me?:)
I wonder if I will ever be ready to jump a plane and head for a blogging conference … they always look so fun and full of learning opps, but they also seem overwhelming. Guess my insecurities are talkin’ …
I’m glad it was a great time for you! I’ll be looking for a new take on photos! Master that camera! Haha!
Looks like so much fun, Aggie! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!
I would have LOVED to have gone. I had no idea it was even happening. Looks amazing!
Awesome! So jealous! I would’ve gone for sure had it been a little closer and had I not been in the middle of the move. I must attend a conf this year!
I’m happy to see events like this popping-up in Central Florida for bloggers. Looks like you all had a great time!
Aggie, it was such a treat to meet you, a kindred spirit for sure! Sooo wish we lived closer! If you ever venture to the west coast do let me know! I am busting with excitement as today I just upgraded my camera to the Canon 5D- tomorrow I’ll be shooting everything in sight! I have a lot to learn but will be meeting Helen in Santa Fe and hope she’ll fix me up! Great wrap up of the event, wish it was longer than just one day! Hugs xo
Wish I could have been there, what a great time!!!
Amazing and I’m more than a little jealous!
This looks like it was an amazing event, and like you all had an awesome time!
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