Oh my goodness – it’s finally here! Conference week!
I have been so excited about the International Food Blogger Conference, being held here in Seattle, ever since I signed up for it (waaaaay back in October!) The organizers offered a special rate to bloggers of $95. All I would have to do to get this special deal is write three posts about the conference (disclaimer – this is the first one.) And with it being held in my very own backyard (no travel required) how could I pass that up?
So now it is here, and my excitement is met with another emotion that I never expected. I am SO nervous.
It feels very much to me like the first day of school and I have butterflies in my stomach about all of the unknowns.
Though I do attend a lot of events and network quite a bit, I have been blogging for three and half years and have never attended a food blogger conference (or a blogger conference…or a writing conference…) So many questions swirling around in my head as a newbie. I know I tend to over-analyze things, and this conference is no different.
Here’s what I think I know:
- I will learn a lot. That’s really the point, right? Aside from networking, of course.
- There will be tons of people to meet. 320 bloggers to be exact – I understand though, that by conference standards, this is an intimate crowd.
- I will bring home a whole bunch of goodies. The good ol’ swag bag! I hear that the IFBC swag is something else!
- I will have fun.
- Which sessions to attend. There are so many good ones, taught by professionals in the food industry that I admire and respect, and at times they conflict with each other. What if I choose the wrong ones?
- What to wear. They advise bloggers to be comfy, but I want to make a good impression. Hmmmm…how to look good and be comfortable? An art I have yet to master in my life.
- Will my business cards arrive in time? I realized a couple of weeks ago that I was going to need gobs of business cards – to hand out to other bloggers, to vendors and for entering drawings. I immediately went online and ordered 500 – maybe overkill. They are set to be delivered tomorrow…fingers crossed that they come today!
- Which equipment to bring Camera, laptop, Iphone, chargers, back-up batteries? I am not sure how much or how little to saddle myself with. At least I got my laptop working again last night (just in case) – had a bit of a scare there when the screen went black and I had to spend hours re-setting the system! Phew! That was a close one!
- Will I like the food? I know it is is silly being a food blogger, but there are some things I am not fond of. I do realize how fortunate I am though that I don’t have to deal with dietary restrictions like others who are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo…
- How will I get to the conference and where will I park? I wish I were staying in the host hotel right about now. At least the fortune that I am now going to spend on parking would be worth it, as I would get to fully immerse myself in the whole experience – late night pajama parties and all.
- Will the other bloggers like me? Will they like my blog? Will I make friends? I know I am excited to meet everybody – but will they be excited to meet me?
- Am I ready? There is so much I wanted to do to my blog to make it ready. My “about me” page needs a serious update and I have not yet moved my blog over to the self-hosted site (that I have been working on for the last year and a half!) Plus, I am sorely behind in posting to my Pinterest and Instagram.
I am sure that most of these worries will melt away as I enter the conference hall for the first time, but for now I am on pins and needles. So if you are a conference veteran (or even a like-minded newbie!) give a girl some love – I am sure I am not the only one who could use a guiding hand and a calming word or two – we bloggers are good with our words, right?