Over 200 food bloggers, social media strategists and brand ambassadors gathered at The Gateway in Salt Lake City for the first ever Everything Food Conference over the weekend.
Between presentations, conference guests could wander the sponsor booths, picking up free food samples and networking with presenters and other food bloggers.
Stacey Bryant, founder and creator of the drink blog TastyBev, flew in from Las Vegas to attend the conference.
“I’m really impressed at the quality of the presentations at this conference,” Bryant said. “It’s been an incredible networking opportunity and a fun way to learn how to improve my blog.”
This conference was primarily for food bloggers, so the food was top notch, and it was everywhere. Waffle Love, Kneader’s and Chick-Fil-A catered the main meals for conference attendees. Sponsor booths such as Smith’s, Filipo Berio Olive Oil, Blendtec, Cuisine Unlimited, Julie Ann Caramels and Lick’d Popsicles offered tasty samples for guests.
The conference included some of today’s best food bloggers and social media experts.
Phil Pallen, a Los Angeles based brand strategist whose celebrity clients have been featured on Dancing with the Stars, American Idol and Shark Tank, spoke about how food bloggers could create a strong brand identity. Pallen has a podcast called No Philter, and he recently published a book about Twitter strategies called Shut Up & Tweet.
“You’ve got to be a rockstar on three social media platforms,” Pallen said. “Give those platforms purpose, because you’ve usually got three seconds to make a first impression.”
Camille Beckstrand, co-founder of Six Sisters’ Stuff, spoke about social media strategies for a food blog. Beckstrand also taught how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to a food blog. The Six Sisters’ Stuff Pinterest account has almost 600,000 followers.
“Bloggers are small business owners,” Beckstrand said. “When bloggers start to view their blog as a business, they will start seeing tangible success.”
Amanda Rettke, the blogger behind I Am Baker, discussed how to make Facebook relevant for a food blog. Rettke has over a million followers on her Facebook page. She talked about the new Facebook Live video feature, and how to engage blog readers with this technology.
Lindsay Ostrom, founder of the blog Pinch Of Yum, presented 10 tips on how to shoot expert food photographs. Ostrom has freelanced as a photographer for Bon Appetit and gives workshops in her Minneapolis studio on food photography and food styling.
“I’m here to show you how I transitioned from an average camera owner to a food photographer,” Ostrom said.“But remember, it’s still all about the food.”
Other notable speakers at the Everything Food Conference included Maria Lichty of “Two Peas and their Pod,” Sally McKenney of “Sally’s Baking Addiction,” and Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com.
The weekend ended in true foodie fashion with a cupcake battle hosted by Cupcake Wars’ Justin Willman and judged by Sweet Tooth Fairy Bakery founder Megan Faulkner Brown.
To find out how to register for next year’s Everything Food Conference, click here, or visit the Everything Food Conference Facebook or Instagram pages.