In September I attended my fourth International Food Bloggers Conference. Each year I meet fellow bloggers, learn about writing, technology, and most of all eat copious amounts of delicious food. This year, as in 2016, the conference was held in Sacramento. I love this city. The people are genuinely warm and friendly, and the town itself is simply delicious. It didn’t hurt that I had a beautiful view of the capitol from my hotel.
Having the conference located on the West Coast has its benefits. Sacramento is a community rich in farmlands and wineries. The city is surrounded by cattle, sheep, wine, and organic produce. I do believe it’s a little piece of heaven. The fact that it’s a quick plane ride (or two) from Juneau also has its attraction.
Along with the fantastic location and wonderful dining options, there are educational opportunities provided via the conference. For example, a mere $25.00 fee provides one with a full day excursion to a vineyard, where one is immersed in the agricultural process of farm to fork and treated to a fabulous dinner provided by the hosting vineyard.
My husband recently asked me if my financial investment was worth the expense of attending. I gave this some thought. Not only do I attend interesting educational tours such as the one mentioned above, I also learn from my colleagues and fellow bloggers. Full disclosure, I do not earn a living blogging. In fact, my blog is not a money-making enterprise at all. However, it is my voice. It is how I share my culinary experiences, information about my company, my staff, and my partners. It allows me to tell the story of Alaska and its wonderful cuisine, particularly the seafood.
While at the conference this year, I attended several sessions on monetizing blogs, websites, and Instagram, as well as food tastings and parings. These opportunities provide me with a renewed energy for my writing, as well as tools to write and produce a better product. Keeping up to date on food trends, technology, and connecting with colleagues enables me to grow and to become more creative in telling a relevant story.
So, to answer my husband’s question, “Is the financial investment worth it?” I emphatically respond “Yes!”
The 2018 conference will be held in New Orleans. This will be the 10th year for IFBC, and I hope to see you there!