I just got earlier this week from Austin, Texas. I had a really good time and got to explore the city before attending BlogHer Food 2016. Look for my posts on sights to see in Austin and food to eat in the next coming weeks.
This was my 3rd year attending the BlogHer Food conference and it again did not disappoint. One of my favorite things about the conference is that they are hosted in different cities across the country, so it allows my husband and I to take a mini vacation and explore a new city. One of my other favorite things is the new bloggers and connections I get to make, while seeing some old faces and getting to connect with brands and sponsors.
BlogHer Food is a big conference, there is usually around 600 people there. While there are smaller conferences, I like this conference because I think that there is more opportunity coming from a big conference. The best part is that it is solely focused on food blogging.
The conference took place in Austin Texas at the Downtown Hilton on 4th Street. The hotel was a great place to host a conference and was a central location in the city. The conference took place on a Friday and Saturday.
The conference started on Friday with lighting sessions to give us some inspiration. My favorite speaker was Irvin Lin. He was so inspiring and really made me think about creativity and inspiration. One of the greatest tips that I gained from his speech, was to look outside of food and blogging for your inspiration. Look to things you love to do, such as books, art, music, television, and movies. That way if you draw your creativity from something that really inspires you, you will be more inspired and will have a greater story to tell. I think that this also makes your content more authentic too.
This is a great takeaway for me, because I usually just get my inspiration from other food. I love the idea of getting my inspiration for recipes from everyday life and other creativity that I enjoy. I think this will lead me to tell better stories in my writing and is something I definitely want to work on in the future.
After the lunch keynote speech I was able to go to a special event sponsored by Riedel. This event was a special wine tasting, which I was very excited for. Riedel makes wine glasses. They are beautiful wine glasses and each glass is meant for a specific type of wine. Riedel Representative Chris Hillin spoke about the effect that wine glass has on the taste of the wine.
I am a fan of wine and always like trying new kinds, but I also can be picky on what I like. I was really interested in this tasting but I was also really skeptical, and thought that there was no way that the glass could make that much of a difference on the taste of the wine. We were trying the Veritas glass series with 2 glasses for red wine and 2 for white wine.
Above you can see our tastings. We started with a Sauvignon Blanc. We tried the wine in the glass it is intended for. We then tried the wine in a plastic cup. The wine tasted so much better in the wine glass and tasted almost bitter in the plastic cup. They told us the difference had to do with the smell. In the wine glass you could smell the wine better which added to the taste.
We then tried an Oaked Chardonnay. I usually don’t like Oaked Chardonnay, but trying it in the proper wine glass, it tasted good. We then tried it in the Sauvignon Blanc glass and it tasted really bitter and horrible. We did the same for the Pinot Nior and Cabernet. The glass made a huge difference in the taste of the wine. I was really amazed, as was everyone else. I can’t wait to start using these glasses at home, so that I can better my wine drinking experience.
After the wine tasting I sat through a really great session on making videos. This is something I wanted to do for awhile, specifically Facebook videos, I just didn’t even know where to start. It seems that video is really important now and it seems almost necessary for bloggers to start making videos. I plan on trying some Facebook videos soon and maybe eventually trying some Youtube videos.
The next morning I went to a session on Snapchat. I am starting to use Snapchat and the session was good to how to use it with your blog and work with brands. Then there were different lunch excursions. I signed up to go to the Driskell Hotel for lunch at the restaurant there. It was great to have lunch with different bloggers and get to meet bloggers in person.
In the afternoon I sat in on a session about Pinterest. Pinterest is one of my biggest traffic sources so I always like finding out more information about how I can do better. It was great to hear information about the new algorithms and learn how to have your pins seen more. I also learned that Pinterest will be allowing pins of videos soon. This is just another reason for me to start doing videos.
The last keynote speech was great. It featured an interview from Carla Hall of Top Chef and The Chew fame. Clara was actually walking around and attending the conference just like the rest of the bloggers. She even sat in on the session about making videos. During the keynote she interviewed Hungry Girl and Freddie Prinze Jr.
I used to receive the Hungry Girl emails before I started blogging so it was really interested to hear her talk about how she started and how she has written 12 cookbooks. Freddie Prinze Jr. said some really great things. I had no idea that he had started in culinary school before he got his first acting job and then dropped out. When I hear about celebrities writing cookbooks, I usually wonder what experience they have. It seems like he was involved in food his whole life and it has always been an interest of his.
After the keynote we all headed to Maggie Mae’s on 6th Street to attend the closing party.
I had a great time at BlogHer Food 2016 and I can’t wait to see which city I get to explore next year. (Not that I have any input whatsoever, but I would love to see the conference go to San Francisco!). I can’t wait to see all the bloggers I met next year and can’t wait to meet new bloggers.