2011 Food Blog Conferences

Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there. —  Josh Billings

Participants take their hand at photography at the 2010 Big Summer Potluck
Participants take their hand at photography at the 2010 Big Summer Potluck

Schwerpunkt! This was one of my favorite words in graduate school. Pronounced, SHVER-pungkt, it’s a word that one of the other students in the program introduced to us. Schwerpunkt he told us was a German word that means an area of concentrated effort like a firm-fisted punch.

No, he wasn’t threatening violence. He was using the word as a metaphor to describe the best way to create a marketing strategy. Know your goals, be straight forward in the selection of your area of concentration and strike with confidence. Schwerpunkt!

This is the word I’m thinking of as I plan for 2011. One goal I have for this year is to attend one (or more) Food Blogging Conferences. I love the idea of networking with other food bloggers, attending sessions about photography, and of course, goodie bags! Oh, how I love goodie bags!

If you’re like me, you’re weighing your options for which of the exciting and informative Food Blog Conferences you will attend in 2011. They all look so inviting!

In some cases I need Hormione’s Time Turner in order to attend them all (some are on the same weekend). In other cases, I simply need a bigger budget!

I wish I could have it all, but most of the time I’m left with the realization that it’s better to have a more targeted approach to life. It’s then that I realize the importance of the word Schwerpunkt! Be direct and hit your target precisely.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of 2011 Food Blogging Conferences. I’m starting with the ones I know definitive information about but will add more as I learn about them.

If you’re thinking about a food blogging conference in 2011, review this list with your goals in mind so you can be direct in attending the best one for you!

Happy Schwerpunkt –ing to us all!

Food Blog South

Dates: Saturday, January 22, 2011 (Pre-conference Party & Dinner on Friday evening)

Location: Birmingham, AL

Theme:  Proceeds from Food Blog South will support two selected charities. Learn more on their site.  The conference will include why Southern foods are so trendy, marketing and social media tips, and even a presentation by a Southern Living food photographer’s tips for perfect pictures, and more.

Speakers: Food Blog South features many talented and expert speakers including: Food writer Kim Severson, cookbook author Virginia Willis, Taste of the South editor Brooke Bell, chef Marian Cooper-Cairns, Southern Living food photographer Jennifer Davick, and many more!

Registration: The one-day conference costs $135, but time is limited so secure your spot quickly!

Website:  Learn more about Food Blog South by going to their their website, following them  Twitter or you can like them on Facebook for regular updates.

NEW!

Food Blog Forum 

Dates: April 9, 2011

Location: Rosen College (UCF School of Hospitality) just miles from Universal Studies and Disney World!

Theme:  This is the third Food Blog Forum conference. Attendees can expect  relevant topics for food bloggers, including food styling and photography; best practices of blog design and usability; SEO; branding, marketing and monetization. There will also be several opportunities for networking, including an opening night reception.

Speakers: Food Blog Forum conferences continue to attract top-notch speakers. The Orlando conference will include:  Jaden and Scott Hair speaking about building a brand, Lindsay Landis of Purr Design who will speak about blog design and usability, Helene Dujardin of Tartelette who will walk participants through the process of finding composition voice. Other scheduled speakers include: Peter Scott, Jeff Houck, Heather McPherson, and Dawn Viola.

Registration: The registration fee includes the Friday evening reception and all-day Saturday workshop and networking opportunities. Food Blog Forum Orlando Registration is now live.

Website:  You can learn more about this conference at FoodBlogForum. On Twitter you can follow FoodBlogForum or follow the hashtag #FBF.

Camp BlogawayCamp Blog Away conference is highlighted on the Namely Marly site.

Dates: April 29 – May 1, 2011

Location: Angelus Oaks (near Big Bear) in the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains of sunny Southern California

Theme:  This is the third annual Camp Blogaway and this year’s event proves to be the best ever. Set in a rustic location, Camp Blogaway takes a playful twist on the Bootcamp theme. Don’t worry, there won’t be any pushups involved. But you can expect an impressive value for your dollar with workshops on Food Vlogging, SEO and Traffic Building techniques, Building a Community and more.

Speakers: Camp Blogaway features speakers who are not just experts in their field, they’re real-world food bloggers who know the work involved in cultivating and growing high quality food blogs. The 2011 speakers include:  Carolyn O’Neil, RD (otherwise known as the Good Eats’ Lady of the Refrigerator), Cheryl of 5 Second Rule, Susan of FoodBlogga, Greg of SippitySup, Lori of RecipeGirl, Jennifer of Savor the Thyme, Erika of In Erika’s Kitchen, and Patti of Worth the Whisk.

Registration: The $325 registration fee includes 2 nights’ lodging, all meals, workshops, materials, goodies as well as valuable face-time with awesome sponsors.  Transportation not included. Space is limited so be prepared to secure your spot quickly! The registration page is now live at: http://campblogaway.com/

Website:  Learn more about this conference at Camp Blogaway. Join the email list or follow on Twitter for updates and reminders.

Eat, Write, Retreat

Dates: May 20-22, 2011

Location: Washington, DC

Theme:  All-inclusive food blogger event. This stimulating environment will focus on all the topics you love: food, photography, writing, and beyond

Speakers: This conference packs a powerhouse of expert speakers, including: Fran Brennan of Food News Journal, chef Lisa Cherkasky, food photographer Renee Comet, food writer Monica Bhide, food editor Jennifer Perillo, food writer Domenica Marchetti, Pam Anderson of ThreeManyCooks, nutritionist Robyn Webb, and marketing guru Brona Cosgrave.

Registration: Please check out their extended holiday registration pricing on their website.

Website:  Learn more about this conference at Eat Write Retreat!

BlogHer Food

Dates: May 20-21, 2011

Location: Atlanta, GA

Theme: This is the third annual BlogHer Food Conference that brings together food bloggers from every walk of life. BlogHer Food provides plenty of opportunities to meet other bloggers, eat great food, learn from expert speakers, and to share best practices.

Registration: This conference usually sells out quickly so head over to their site to learn more and register.

Speakers: Past conferences have included an amazing line-up of speakers such as: Ree Drummond aka the Pioneer Woman, Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes, David Lebovitz, Michael Ruhlman and Molly Wizenberg of Orangette in sessions covering everything from food photography to food politics. The list of speakers for the 2011 conference has not yet been published.

Website:  More details about the conference will be published soon on BlogHer Food 11.

 

 

Big Summer Potluck

Guide to 2011 Food Blogger Conferences features photos about the 2011 Big Summer Potluck
2010 Big Summer Potluck

Dates: July 29 – 31, 2011

Location: Pennsylvania

Theme:   The Big Summer Potluck started in 2010 as the brainchild of the ladies from Three Many Cooks and the The Ivory Hut who decided that East Coast food bloggers needed to connect. The 2010 event brought together 35 food bloggers from as close by as next door and as far away as Seattle. The setting and small group size leads to a very intimate gathering which is perfect to get to know other committed food bloggers and to learn from nationally-recognized speakers.

Speakers:  The 2011 Big Summer Potluck will feature award-winning documentary photographer, Penny de los Santos, and Shauna Ahern of the Gluten-Free Girl.

Registration: This conference usually fills fast (spots are limited to 60) so check back for updated registration details

Website: The Big Summer Potluck site or follow the discussion on Twitter at:  @TheBigPotluck or the #BSP2 hashtag list.

 

Vida Vegan Con

Dates: August 26-28, 2011

Location: Portland, Oregon

Theme:  This first ever totally vegan food blogging conference weekend will feature classes, panel discussions, workshops, excursions, local vegan dining options, receptions, entertainment, and more.

Speakers:  This conference is packed with a venerable Who’s Who of the vegan blog world including: Isa Chandra Moskowitz of Post Punk Kitchen, Gena Hamshaw of Choosing Raw, Mo of Mo Betta Vegan, and more!

Website:  You can register for this conference at the Vida Vegan Conference site and follow them on Twitter for regular updates.

 

Food Blogger Connect

2010 Food Blogger Conference in London

Dates: August 12 – 14, 2011

Location: London

Theme:  Food Blogger Connect creates a platform to bring together award-winning speakers like Jaden of Steamy Kitchen, top brands like Maldon Salt and bloggers from all around the UK and the world. Last year’s event included bloggers from India, Singapore, and Canada. The 2011 event is expected to be bigger and better!

Speakers:  Past speakers have included the amazing Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen. 2011 Speakers have not yet been announced.

Website:  Learn more about registration and conference details at Food Blogger Connect 2011 Conference

International Food Blogger Conference New Orleans

Dates: August 26-28, 2011

Location: New Orleans, LA

Theme:  IFBC was the first to host a food blogger conference as  a way to bring food bloggers together to collaborate and share ideas. Though the program for the 2011 event is still in development, the IFBC in conjunction with Foodista has opened registration early this year because past conferences sold out months in advance. In addition to guaranteeing a spot, early registrants will have the opportunity to help shape the conference agenda, speaker lineup, meals and other activities. Capacity will be 250-300.

Speakers:   Past speakers have included amazing speakers like Amy Sherman, Dianne Jacob, and Kristine Kidd.

Website:  IFBC 2011 New Orleans

 

International Food Blogger Conference 2011 Santa Monica

Santa Monica is the site for the 2011 International Food Blogging Conference

Dates: November 11 – 13, 2011

Location: Santa Monica, CA

Theme:  IFBC was the first to host a food blogger conference as  a way to bring food bloggers together to collaborate and share ideas. Though the program for the 2011 event is still in development, the IFBC in conjunction with Foodista has opened registration early this year because past conferences sold out months in advance. In addition to guaranteeing a spot, early registrants will have the opportunity to help shape the conference agenda, speaker lineup, meals and other activities. Capacity will be 250-300.

Speakers:  Past speakers have included amazing speakers like Amy Sherman, Dianne Jacob, and Kristine Kidd.

Website:  IFBC 2011 Santa Monica

 

Other Food Blogging Conferences

Food Buzz Annual Conference offers an Annual Blogger Festival for its preferred foodie publishers. More information can be found on the FoodBuzz Annual Festival page.

Food Blog Forum offered a conference last year in Atlanta. Rumors are that they will hold another conference in 2011 in Boston. Learn more about Food Blog Forum and any future conferences at: http://foodblogforum.com

 

 

BlogWorld Expo for the first time in 2010 the popular BlogWorld Expo offered a food blogging track.  We’re waiting to hear if they’ll offer a similar track for 2011. Dates for their 2011 BlogWorld Expo will be announced soon.

 

TechMunch offers ongoing conferences across the US to help food bloggers gain the specific digital media, marketing and business skills they need to make their blogs more personally and financially rewarding. Learn more about these conferences at the TechMunch site or you can also “like” the BakeSpace FaceBook page to learn more about these events.

Food Blogger Camp is an annual gathering that offers food blogging tips and networking in a vacation-like setting. Food Blogger Camp is intended for all levels of food bloggers to help sharpen their skills while building new relationships. The camp includes daily sessions to network with other food bloggers, focus on improved blogging skills, and learn photography and food styling skills from professionals. You can learn more about this exciting camp at Food Blogger Camp. On Twitter you can follow the hashtag for foodblogcamp. For a recap on the 2011 event, check out these reviews: Steamy Kitchen and Family Fresh Cooking.

Plate to Page offers intensive, hands-on food writing and food photography workshops. This year they have a conference scheduled May 20-23, in Weimar, Germany. Speakers include Jamie Schler of Life’s a Feast, food photographer Ilva Beretta of the acclaimed blog Lucullian Delights, award winning food blogger Jeanne Horak-Druiff, and freelance food photographer, stylist and writer, Meeta Khurana-Wolff. If you’re like me and ready to take off for Germany, you’ll have to get in line. Registration is already sold out, but you can put your name on their waiting list. In the meantime, check out the Plate to Page site and learn more about their exciting program!

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