If you’re not a blogger, you’ve probably never attended a blogging conference. Or, perhaps you are a blogger, but still haven’t attended one of these social media jubilees. This past month I attended BlogHer Food, one of the largest food blogging conferences, if not the largest, for three days of eating, meeting, writing, talking, tweeting, learning and photographing food.
I met fellow recipe creators, a stock image food photographer, a “small-bites” pastry chef, several registered dieticians, a coffee bean roaster and one mom-blogger who writes only about Moroccan food (I’ll be visiting that blog very soon), in addition to many women who descended upon sunny (at least while I was there) beautiful Seattle, all in the name of food.
You may (or may not be) wondering what a food blogging conference looks like. Just picture hundreds of women in one place who write, tweet, photograph and talk about one thing. Food.
BlogHer Food 2012
This is what it looks like when hundreds of women share breakfast while listening to people talk about food.
This is what the beautiful Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Downtown Seattle looks like.
With grand windows and magnificent classic chandeliers, the hotel for BlogHer food this year looked more a backdrop for The Sound of Music than a social media learning experience. Spiraling intricate staircases led me past evocative sitting areas to meeting rooms where I felt like one wrong turn would find me in some nostalgic entertaining quarters, where Captain VonTrapp would burst in and ask that I kindly remember that there are some rooms which are not to be disturbed.
Oh, to back up a minute, this is what it looks like to arrive in Seattle thanks to Southwest Airlines.
This is what it looks like to get ready for a day at BlogHer Food.
The essentials for attending any conference, especially a food blogging conference are: iPhone, camera, iPad, laptop, business cards, notepad and pen. Oh yes, and lip gloss.
This is what a Silkology private party looks like.
The ladies from Silk were kind enough to invite me to attend a private party near the hotel in downtown to eat and sample drinks made Silk products. Silk has created a menu of innovative and drool-worthy cocktails all made with products like Silk Soy or Almond Milk and Silk Fruit & Protein called #Silkology. Artful drinks named “Colorado Blossom” and “Lovely Lavender” were created by “Silkologists” and looked much to gorgeous to drink. But I did drink them, and they are amazing. In fact, you’ll see some Silkology beverages at my next “Mom’s Night Out” party indeed.
This is what a trip to Pike Place Market looks like.
Words cannot express the energy of Pike Place Market. Just a few blocks from the hotel, an excursion of food bloggers descended upon this bustling market of seafood, vegetables, flowers, jewelry and much more to explore; and what we found more than one blog post could ever cover. It would take many trips for me to gain my bearing, get over the awe and decide on one thing to write about- I had a hard enough time choosing which restaurant to eat lunch.
This is what Leroy looks like.
I don’t know who Leroy is. But on our way to Pike Place I couldn’t resist the urge to get this shot.
This is what a disgusting wall of gum looks like.
Apparently, this wall is legend. Just outside of the Market Theater in Pike Place Market, it has been tradition to stick chewed gum on this wall before entering the theater. The question of the day was, “Is it art, or just disgusting?”. I have to go with the latter because it honestly still makes my queasy just looking at it.
This is what a photo of someone I don’t know looks like.
Don’t you love it when you snap a photo only to find someone got in the way of your shot. The only problem with discarding this photo is that it’s a great shot of whomever this is. If this is you in this photo, shoot me an email and I’ll send it over to you.
This is what the first Starbucks looks like.
If you’re a Starbucks fan like me, then you know Seattle is the birth place of our favorite mermaid coffee shop. And, the reason “Pike Place” may sound familiar is because Starbucks has named a roast after the place of the first Starbucks coffee store in Pike Place Market. A long line graces the entrance as I wonder what specialty items would make me wait in that line when I could just walk a block in either direction and be at a Starbucks with no wait. Do they hand out free souvenir glasses? I guess I’ll never know because my Iced Venti Chai addiction could not wait.
This is what a day of learning at BlogHer Food looks like.
Some bloggers write about national food trends and issues pertaining to food supply, while others write about dietary specific topics like gluten-free, vegan or paleo. No matter who I met at this conference, I already knew that we shared one powerful connection, and that was our love of food.
This is what a trip through Downtown Seattle looks like.
In between sessions or during breaks at BlogHer Food, I never resisted the urge to make a quick trip through Downtown Seattle.