Wednesday, September 17, 2014

IFBC Seattle 2014 - Anticipation

The International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) opens this week in Seattle, an opportunity to spend 2 1/2 days with over 400 food bloggers. The agenda boasts a multi-strand focus on Food, Writing, and Technology... plus some food and wine tasting and a ton of personal networking opportunities. I can't wait to connect in person with some of the bloggers I only know online.

The Facebook page for IFBC Attendees & Alumni has been incredibly active; alternately entertaining, occasionally cheeky, full of useful "how to make the most of IFBC" tips, and well... interesting. My favorite FB tips so far include: 
     wear stretchy pants so you can sample everything, 
     spit don't swallow when wine tasting,
     bring extra batteries or a charging cord for electronic devices,
     go old school and carry a notebook and pen,
     carry an ample supply of business cards to swap,
     prepare a brief "elevator pitch" to describe your blog
     and be uber sociable, but plan ahead for contacts you care about.

Many attendees are organizing all sorts of pre-conference excursions and tours, runs, food crawls, pub crawls, breakfast meet-ups and casual networking occasions. The warm weather and sunshine this week should encourage our out-of-town visitors to get out and about, enjoying the best of Seattle. Fortunately the slate of featured conference speakers and array of educational sessions sound terrific; interesting enough to keep me focused on happenings inside the Westin. 

Between today and Saturday I need to identify my goals for attending this event. Why am I participating?  Should I focus on food and recipe development, writing topics, or blogging and technology issues? What do I hope to take away from the experience? It's a challenge to be specific.
Here's a peek at my tentative agenda for Day 1, a very relaxed start to what is sure to be a terrific, active weekend.    

Friday, September 19
Arrive late-morning and spend some time exploring Seattle's downtown. First stop, visit Penzey's Spices retail store (new to me since I usually order their product online) and then head off to Market Spice, a long-established local favorite. It's a comfortable downhill stroll to Pike Place Market to tour the food stalls, snack and nibble my way through some of the dining spots and shoot a lot of place and people photos.

4:30 - 6:30 PM A Taste of Washington Cookbook Launch and reception. I might need a restorative glass of wine or two after the hike back uphill from the Market to the Westin.

6:30 - 9:00 PM Grand Opening Reception Hosted by Raincoast Crisps, Bristol Bay Sustainable Salmon and Accolade Wines
Register for the conference, visit the Gift Suite, enjoy light bites, wine and meet more bloggers. 

Return home, solidify my game plan for Day 2 and get some rest 'cuz it's going to be a busy day. See for yourself; check out the entire agenda here.

Disclaimer: I am attending the conference on a reduced blogger rate that requires three posts about the conference. Post image provided by IFBC.

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