I realized he was my most anticipated twitter author that I’ve been following – David Lebovitz, pastry chef, cookbook author, food writer, author of five books, including The Sweet Life In Paris (I picked up a copy yesterday). I was too shy to ask for an autograph but so pleased to have met this honest-Abe character and fan of one of my most favorite cities in the world as well.
My takeaway on the food bloggers conference – variety! Within the food category, there are so many realms of content, as different and unique as each blog author. While their common thread was a bond that seemed to bring them together like a high school reunion as I watched bloggers celebrate their real-time meetup, their differences were clear with the spectrum of food blogs represented. There was everything from themeatblog.com and 100daysofrealfood.com to southernfriedfitness.com and apartmenttherapy.com.
I was delighted to see some familiar faces – Leslie Green, The Hungry Housewife, captivated the camera as she tried her hand at the “how to cut a a mango” demo with the National Mango Board. Jaden Hair, cookbook author, TV chef and author of steamykitchen.com graciously welcomed me. I sat in on her session “Effective Social Networking for Food Bloggers” where Jaden and a panel of four of her colleagues helped address tools and techniques for their fellow bloggers. It was standing room only.
One of the sessions appealed to me greatly – “How Bloggers Work with Brands and Media” where much was discussed about working with the food public relations professionals, branded companies/clients and how to best brand your own food blog. I did address the group about how food clients are identifying food bloggers as a large part of their sphere of influence and possible ambassadors for their brand. With only a handful of public relations food counselors in the room that were willing to identify themselves, I looked at this group the same way I have always looked at food media – they have an audience and a point-of-view and building a relationship with them with relevant information can only help them and help our food clients.
After meeting some incredible people, enjoying the gluten-free/vegan food buffet, witnessing the “How to Cut a Mango” demo and appreciating Charcutepalooza – a sausage-making demo put on by the National Pork Board…I look forward to continuing to keep up with these food blogging authors – their blogs, facebook pages and following them on twitter. Kudos to BlogHer for a fabulous event and for helping this public relations practitioner get some real-life introductions, offline, with a group of talented foodies.