IFBC in Portland, Day 2
If you missed my recap for yesterday, you really should start there. IFBC has been everything I hoped for, and way, way more.
We started the day off late, expecting to skip the breakfast, since it was hosted by the National Pork Association, and Megan is gluten-free and vegan. When we got down to the lobby though, we were told that there were a few options she could have (and lots of bacon left for me), so we headed over. Unfortunately, we walked in right as they were speaking about how they deal with pork feces, so I don’t imagine it was a great start to Megan’s day…
We had about 10 minutes to eat, and we were fortunate enough to be sitting at Becky Johnson’s table (co-author with her daughter of We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook). I had just started following their blog last week and was so honored to meet her (and later her daughter and adorable grandson) in person! We agreed to trade knowledge: I’d send her everything I know about SEO/technology and she’d send me tips about how to get published…which I never, ever, ever, have given any thought to – there are far greater food bloggers out there and this conference has completely humbled me!
As soon as we had scarfed down our food, we headed to the workshops. The first one I attended was called “It’s not selling out, it’s getting paid: the evolution of food publication monetization”. There were a few points I was able to take home, and the panelists were just so sweet and adorable that you couldn’t help but love them: Tori Avey from The Shiksa in the Kitchen and Gabi Moskowitz from BrokeAssGourmet.com.
Next up, I hit up the SEO session hosted by Rand Fishkin, founder of SEOMoz.org, which I almost didn’t go to until Megan convinced me to. Wow, do I ever owe her. A) I learned so much, B) Thanks to Vicki Winters, my blog got featured in an experiment and had triple the hits of my highest day ever!
After the fantastic session by Rand, it was time for lunch. Again, Megan and I were going to skip because we figured it was going to be another typical “sponsored demo”. At the last minute, we decided to go, and we were sure happy we did, because the lunch featured the Ninja cooking system, demoed by the adorable Jennifer Odea from 365 Days of Slow Cooking, and every IFBC attendee is getting a free one shipped to us! I’m so excited to try doing a full meal in the slow cooker!
Full meal cooked in the Ninja system
After lunch, it was another round of workshops. We attended the one called: “The Inside’s Guide to Recipe Writing and Development”, given by Kelly Senyei, blogger at Just a Taste and author of Food Blogging For Dummies. There were some key takeaways for me, like checking Google Insights to check the popularity of keywords.
We had enough time to check out a second workshop, but we were feeling a bit overwhelmed and exhausted, so we opted for a beverage in the lobby instead. We were with the lovely Marisa from Margaritas in the Rain (she’s originally from Hawaii!) and the inspirational Heidi from The Busy Nothings (she’s an amazing wife, mother of 2, and businesswoman who manages to balance it all).
After a quick break in our room (to catch up on email and FaceTime my boys!), we headed down for the Farm to Table sponsored dinner.
With our friend Vicki from the Vicki Winters Show:
The first course, tuna pâté crostini with tomato, fried caper and lemon zest.
Three-bean salad with basil purée.
Jerk spice Draper Valley chicken with grilled watermelon and black quinoa salad.
Megan’s gluten-free and vegan meal – curried risotto with beets and white asparagus.
Only at a food blogging conference is everyone using Instagram and Twitter, and the feed is displayed on a big screen in the room.
Dessert was a shortbread tart with tres leches caramel, fresh blackberries, yogurt sorbet, and Saigon cinnamon.
After supper, there was an after party hosted by Mail Chimp. They gave out those funky monkey hats and t-shirts, which I of course grabbed for my boys.
That was it! Day 2 done. IFBC has been a blast, but I’m ready to get back home to my boys – I’m getting teary-eyed every time I see other kids! Today we’re skipping the photography session to explore a local vegan restaurant called Portobello.