I try to attend a food blogging conference once a year just to keep current with the on goings in this field. Last year, I missed out, but this year I decided to go to the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) in Sacramento. I was working a lot in California this year so it seemed like an easy fit for me to get there. I forgot how fun these events are!
If you are hesitant here are a few good reasons to attend a conference.
Meeting Other Bloggers
This is so important. Most of us work from the house or a tiny little rented space just by ourselves. Let me just say, sometimes it gets lonely. Coming from corporate America, I miss having large teams and brainstorming sessions with other people. I always bring business cards and I make 100% effort to meet everyone at every table I sit at during the sessions. I speak to them. I know in today's world that doesn't happen so much anymore. So when I say speak I mean actually talking to them, not interacting with them on some social channel.
I explore every inch of the conference. Also the pre and post conference events. I figure if I'm spending the money to be there I want to see it all. Also with most of these, the sponsors of the events are present. I maximize my time with the sponsors. Even if they are not a sponsor I could partner with, you never know who knows whom.
Learn New Skills
I plan out my sessions before I get to the event and have a backup plan incase something falls through with the original session. I make sure to attend everything I have chosen. It's always surprising to me when someone pays the money and then doesn't attend the session or get the most out of the event. And I'm also going to say, take notes! I know a lot of the sessions will send out the slides later on, but the slides won't have my notes. You never know when an idea or inspiration strikes and without the notes, you probably won't remember it a week later when you get home and get around to unpacking all your stuff.
At these events we hear and see a lot of great things that others are doing, or you should be doing. After each session, I make a list of items I want to implement when I get home. I also make a list of research items. Something that I heard that I might want to look into later. I then go home, sit in front of my computer and get those items on my "to-do" calendar.
Discover A New City
This is always my favorite part. I've been a heavy duty traveler most of my life. So the opportunity to visit another city is always high on my to do list. I love the pre and post conference events for this. They are usually field trips somewhere in the city focused on a specific thing that the city is known for. The price is usually reasonable, and the event is almost always worth your time.
And there you have it, five reasons to attend a conference. I'm so glad I got to see some familiar faces and meet a bunch of new friends. If you are interested in attending IFBC conference next year you can check out the information here.
This year, I got to attend as a citizen blogger. Which means that for a reduced price, I get to attend the conference and in exchange I agree to write three posts about anything I choose related to the conference. How great is that! All thoughts and opinions are my own.