Have you ever tried throwing a party for 80 strangers? And it’s not just any party. It’s like you’re having to try REALLY hard to impress these strangers, because you’ve kind of talked up how awesome your house and snacks are, and if it all falls in a heap, then well, these strangers have paid a lot of money and traveled a really long way to come to this party. Last weekend, a group of blogger friends and I hosted a conference for some food bloggers. As you do. Eat Drink Blog is an annual event, where we gather in a city (this year, Perth) and get really excited about pastries, among other things. This year, the organizing committee sat down and really thought hard about what we wanted to say about the state of play in Perth and blogging and food. Ultimately, it wasn’t a hard choice at all. We all love and strongly believe in our local food scene. And while we were showcasing locavore, in all it’s Perthy goodness, the information we were sharing was universal. Love your local produce. From garlic and tomatoes, to wine and cake mixes, as much as you can – buy from your local producers and then tell your friends to get them to follow suit. We took this theme and laced it through everything we did – the sponsors we sought, the food we served, the gifts we imparted on our guests; there was no way of disguising how much we love Perth and everything that comes with it. And I think that’s what made us successful – what brought all of us to that room was love: of food, of writing, and a drive to want to do and be better.
Among our inspiring presenters was Adam Roberts. We, along with Experience Perth, brought Adam over from LA to impart his bloggy wisdom upon us, having successfully blogged for many years and published two books. Adam was the perfect choice; he was funny and generous with his experiences, utterly fearless, and patient with so many people wanting his time.
Today’s food blog conference made me feel like Mick Jagger if Mick Jagger surrounded himself with people who take pictures of pastries.
— Adam Roberts (@amateurgourmet) November 9, 2013
After a day of talks about writing, photography, ethics and PR, general story swapping and far too many pictures of food, came the after party.
I was horrendously busy during the street food style pop-up dinner, so please allow me to direct your attention to the beautiful Rachi from Le Bon Viviant and her great post detailing all the fuds. While my experience of Eat Drink Blog was very different to that of the delegates, (check out what they have to say here) it was still an incredible thing to participate in. The things I’m taking away from this weekend are:
- Learn the power of asking. As a community, not for profit event, everything at Eat Drink Blog was sponsored or donated, and given to us freely. People wanted to help, and be apart of something great. And to those people, thank you.
- Danishes are the food of the gods.
- Social media is really important. And frankly, live-tweeting is really hard! So, if you’ve got a room full of people tweeting, instagramming and generally loving the internet – you’re gonna need one of these set up. Trust me on this, it’s the best investment you’ll make.
- Most bloggers (by my completely unscientific observations and Twitter research) are introverts. I assure you, everyone in that room is just as nervous and shy as you. Therefore, don’t worry about talking to people, because they’re all worried about talking to you too!
- Have a very clear idea of what you want your conference to be from very early on.
- There will never be enough money or time to do everything that you want to do. Work out very early on what you absolutely must have, and work backwards from there.
- Have passionate speakers. The talk between Phil Lees and The Food Pornographer was not only fascinating, but also great to watch because they were both so fired up. I’ve included a little editorial policy as a result of the discussion.
- You can never have too many Sharpies. Fact.