Location: Delta Toronto Hotel, 75 Lower Simcoe St., Toronto, ON
Date Attended: Oct. 21st to Oct. 23rd, 2016
I am a proud member of Food Bloggers of Canada (FBC); a community of Canadian food bloggers. I was excited for my first FBC Conference, and it was conveniently located in Toronto this year. I was particularly excited for “me time” without the kids, and seized the opportunity to network, eat a ton, and take notes during the workshops. FBC founders Melissa Hartfiel and Ethan Adeland did an incredible job at organizing the successful conference which capped the attendance to 150 food bloggers to maximize networking opportunities.
I could have written several posts to cover all the sessions I attended and the lessons learned, but I wanted to reflect the things that stood out to me most.
Here’s a snapshot of my 3 day weekend schedule:
Friday: Farm and Food Care Farm Tour, cocktail reception and dinner with a keynote speaker
Saturday: Breakfast, 4 workshops, lunch, desserts with bloggers, dinner
Sunday: Breakfast and coffee break, speakers, network with brands, lunch
#FBC2016 Dinner day 1
Here are the top 6 highlights of #FBC2016:
1. Farm and Food Care Farm Tour. There were about 20 of us that attended the early morning tour to 2 Ontario farms to Beverly Greenhouses and Summitholm Holsteins. The intimate setting allowed for great networking, and to learn a ton about cucumber and dairy farming. I recommend the farm tour to future attendees.
Check out the farm tour in the 1 minute video:
2. The food was amazing! Being a food bloggers conference, the food better be damn good! For the sponsored buffet breakfasts and lunches, I wish I had a bigger tummy to fit in everything. The best meal of the conference was the Canadian Lentils Dinner held at Montecito Restaurant.
See what we ate!
Dessert time at Montecito restaurant
3. The connections! I did not meet everyone who attended, but I was able to strike many meaningful conversations during and after the conference with bloggers and sponsors, and have gained valuable resources. I also made new friends.
4. “Do the work” was the theme of the 2016 conference, and I couldn’t agree more. Big props to all the food bloggers out there! Food bloggers are writers, editors, photographers, food stylers, marketers, and content creators all in one. When you notice a blogger’s success, remember that hard work was put into it.
With the various workshops that I attended, Heather Travis’ “key messaging for bloggers” was most valuable for me at this time. Before I revamp my website, figuring out “why am I blogging, and what I want to cover” is important.
5. The motivation! There were many inspirational stories from speakers including Chef Dennis Prescott, Deb Perelman, Neolle Chorney and Claire Tansey. I couldn’t retain all the information from the entire weekend, but the motivation will get me off my feet.
Founders of Food Bloggers of Canada, Melissa and Ethan
6. “This is your journey!” I love this quote. It’s easy to get bogged down on what other bloggers are doing. I will define my success, rather than to benchmark it based on another person’s journey. I will continue to do what feels right to me.
I was asked recently, “so what’s the end goal for you? Do you want to write a cook book, teach, or become a full-time writer?” I am not sure, but I don’t want this blogging journey to end.
If you attended this year or previous years, what did you enjoy the most about the conference? If you are thinking of attending next year, do you have any questions? Comment below. I would love to hear from you!
Next year, it will be the 5th annual FBC Conference and Canada’s 150th birthday, so it is appropriately held in Ottawa. I can’t wait for #FBC2017!
Thank you for the fabulous swag bag! #FBC2016