As many or most of you know- thanks to my endlessly going on…and on…and on… about my excitement- I was headed to BlogHer Food '12 in Seattle on June 8th and 9th. BlogHer is a huge network of writers, blogs, talent, so much to explain that I can't really even skim the surface.. They provide the advertisements on my site and not only am I always happy with the quality of the ads, I have been extremely happy to work with a group that is about women and writers first, and provide advertisements as a secondary benefit to their members. The events that they hold are attended by hundreds of people, talked about avidly on the interwebs and I have been wanting to go since I joined the network.
So on the way home from San Francisco, my dad and I packed up the kids and drove up the coast, through Oregon and up to Seattle.
Can you tell they were in the car a long, long time?
We settled into the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, in their king suite, which was a fabulous family suite. One room was a king size bed with a tv, then the other was a sitting room with a pull-out bed.
This is my favorite picture from the entire four weeks we were gone.
Friday morning saw the start of the conference, with a bountiful breakfast provided for you to eat while listening to the morning welcome presentation.
Diane Cu and Todd Porter of White on Rice Couple did an amazing, tear jerking, heartfelt presentation that started out our day.
I didn't take many pictures of sessions, but I did snap a quick shot in my first photography one, all about photography styles.
Between sessions, I would come upstairs occasionally to find treats and treasures that had been delivered to my room.
The husband absconded with most of this as soon as I brought it home.
The food was great, the only problem was that they did run out! As this was a food conference, I consider it the ultimate faux pas! I came down for breakfast Saturday morning 10 minutes into breakfast and pickings were very scarce. I talked to a few hungry bloggers that day, more who went off site from the hotel to eat later and this seemed to be the number one complaint.
The lunch on Friday was great, however.
I met Hank Shaw and proceeded to tell him he's my foodie crush.
You just can't take me anywhere.
I also told him he needs to get up to Canada one fall and go hunting with Kevin. How awesome would that be??!!
Hank's presentation was by far the best, the most “hands on” in regards to real food demo and prep. He showed everyone how to fillet a salmon and is a witty, engaging speaker to boot. He also was paired with Jennifer Perillo who gave a great session on knife skills. Again, very engaging with the video used on the large screen instead of just someone sitting at a table talking at you.
The one complaint I did hear over and over is that the session quality wasn't that high and I am leaning towards agreeing. Some of the sessions I attended that were labelled advanced were beginner at best, others seemed not well organized or put together.
I'd challenge organizers to step away from the “4 people sitting at a table” panel and find ways to make it more interactive. I'm also curious what the quality control is for sessions, are they previewed in any form? Some were so very dry that I couldn't keep my eyes open yet the topic should have been interesting, lively and fun.
When the whole reason people are there is the sessions, they should shine like stars and be raved about after the fact.
I'm torn as to what I think of the event. On one hand I loved the two sessions that I mentioned, merely liked a few such as the one on Cook Book Photography and then really disliked a couple. The main thing I heard from the conference is that everyone comes back to visit with each other. People skip out on sessions and don't even bother going and instead head out for lunch and shopping with their compadre. There's another area I'm torn on, I DID meet some fabulous, fantastic people who I would love to see next year, but on the other hand I love learning my craft and everything that is involved.Can I see myself just going for the visiting if the session quality doesn't improve? The social part was nice – it pushed my comfort zone to go out and just meet strangers!- and the resulting invitations were fabulous. I was proud of myself for just sitting down and meeting new people, that's not something I enjoy doing.
Oh, wait, did I mention fabulous invitations in that last paragraph?
Posts coming soon!
Glad to be home Magpie0