Attending a food blogging conference (the What, the How, the Why)

by Irvin on June 3, 2013 · 169 comments

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How to attend a food blogging conference (The What, the How, the Why). By Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

So here’s the situation: you’re a food blogger (and if you’re not, just bounce away and come back next week; I’ll have another post for y’all). You’re going to a food blogging conference. It’s your first one. Or maybe it’s your fifth one. Regardless, you’re excited, nervous and maybe just a little be confused as to why you are spending large sums of money to fly somewhere to meet people you really don’t know in person (yeah yeah, you’re TOTALLY BFF with them on Twitter, doesn’t count).

Sure, there are some awesome blogs posts out there about what to do and how to act at the blog conferences. Bring business cards. Wear comfortable shoes. Take notes. Blah blah blah. But here’s the skinny on what I wish people would have told me about food blogging conferences before I went and what I want you all to know to prepare for the conferences:

1. There will be squealing involved. No matter how low key and how mellow you think you are, there will be at least ONE person who you have never met that presumes to know you and that will exclaim out loud “OH MAH GAWD! I’M SO GLAD TO FINALLY MEET YOU!!!!” and you will be expected to be just as excited. Even if you aren’t excited, jump up and down a little bit. It makes for a good show. (<— I totally do this, as you can see below.)

Obviously, because I am jumping, I am excited to meet you. By Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

2. There is a high probability that you have no idea who the heck that squealing person is that just ran up to you. Just roll with it and pretend you do. Next time you go to the bathroom, totally take out your phone and immediately find them on Twitter and follow them. They’ll never know. Plus you just made a new friend — well, new to you anyway. Either/or it’s a win-win situation. (<— If I meet you and then excuse myself to go the bathroom, I swear it’s ’cuz I have a small bladder.)

3. You will, at some point, see someone that YOU want talk to. They will be surrounded by other bloggers that are all gorgeous and they will be laughing a lot together and occasionally flipping their long beautiful shampoo-ad worthy hair. Obviously those surrounding people’s purpose in life is to make the entire situation seem as intimidating as possible as they are all former models turned successful food bloggers. My advice, just go up and say hello anyway. Nine times out of ten they’ll love meeting you. Soon you’ll be part of that laughing group and your hair will somehow develop a gorgeous luster just by association. Trust me on this one. (<— Just FYI, my hair is naturally lackluster but I put a lot of product in it so expect some sheen.)

Not the shiny lustrous hair on these food bloggers. By Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

4. You will probably forget the same people you met on the first day, the very next day because they will be wearing different clothes (totally inconsiderate of them). You might even introduce yourself to them again and they’ll look at you with hurt eyes and say “We met yesterday.” Just pretend you were drunk when you met the day before. Even if you met them at 8am (It’s all those damn Bloody Mary’s I had for breakfast! Honest!). (<— I’ve never done this. Promise.)

5. It will seem like everyone will be invited to some private event by some big company and you weren’t. It’s ok though, because those private events are kind of boring. Really I’ve been a few of them. Sure they’re full of free food and booze but the swag bag is often times really lame. That said, you have two options. You could 1. Ignore all the cool kids going to the event and just hang out in the lobby and meet random bloggers, which in the end is like throwing your own impromptu party because those random bloggers are pretty cool too or 2. Just crash the private event, which no one will really notice you crashing because they are usually pretty open anyway and enjoy the free booze. It’s a win-win situation really. (<— If you throw those private events, I’m totally not talking about your event. THAT event was loads of fun and your swag bag was totally the best ever! Thanks for the free can of soup that I couldn’t bring on to the plane)

6. If you’re a guy, I will probably remember who you are. If you’re African American I will probably remember who you are. If you are a white woman and you’re not the Pioneer Woman, good luck; all you people look the same to me. (<— I jest. Some of my best friends are white women.)

Michael of Food for the Thoughtless Joy the Baker

7. Inevitably there will be three sessions that you will want to attend all happening at the same time. Find a few friends that are going to one of those sessions and make a deal with them to constantly take notes and tweet out the interesting bits during the session while you do the same at a difference session. Expect your followers to either love you for your tweets or quietly unfollow you because you were annoying them with your damn #constant #hashtag #conference #tweets. Don’t worry, just find those followers that unfollowed you at the conference and scream “OH MAH GAWD! I’M SO GLAD TO FINALLY MEET YOU!!!!” and jump up and down a lot while you hug them. They’ll be guilted into re-following you. (<— I swear I’ve had people follow and unfollow and refollow me – all because of guilt. Don’t underestimate the power of it.)

8. Inevitably there will be a time slot in the conference that will have NO session you care to attend. Go to the lobby and get a drink. Meet people. Socialize. Then when you forget who that person is the next day, you can legitimately say you forgot them because you were drinking. (<— Again this has never happened to me.)

9. Realize that some of the “famous” bloggers are there to have fun as well. And that means they want to see their friends who they haven’t seen in ages. This probably comes across as cliquey, but understand this is a chance for them to hang out with friends who they haven’t seen in ages and if you only get to see your friend once a year wouldn’t YOU want to hang out with them? If you DO get a chance to meet the famous folks, that’s great but if it doesn’t, then go meet someone else. There’s plenty of other bloggers out there that you can meet. (<— Come up and talk to me! I’m crazy awesome fun and jump around a lot. Also my hair is short so I can’t flip it around and intimidate you. Plus if you’re a male African American food blogger, I promise I will totally remember who you are.)

There are loads of awesome bloggers to meet at food blogging conferences. By Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

10. If you whip out your big dSLR camera expect people to totally start asking you questions about it. Is it Nikon or Canon? (<— Because apparently these are only two brands that are acceptable to own.) What lens do you have? Do you shoot natural light? (<— The only acceptable answer seems to be yes, even though professionals totally use artificial light.) Do you shoot manual? What does this button do? Can you explain to me the different between aperture and shutter speed? And OH MAH GAWD! if you happen to have some nifty gadget for your camera (a Gorillapod, a Gary Fong, or even something you made at home), as you’ll NEVER get away from the crowds. Expect tons of questions and several people to actually whip out their phones and order those gadgets from Amazon right then and there.(<— Totally true story; happened to me at BlogHer Food 2011)

11. You might feel overwhelmed at times during the conference but that’s normal. TOTALLY normal. Feel free to step away from the crowd and realize that even if you want to do EVERYTHING possible (that’s your FOMO kicking in) you don’t have to. You can’t be everywhere at once, and sometimes the best times are just finding an old friend (or making a new one) and just have a one-on-one conversation with them. Don’t be afraid to go up to a complete stranger and say hello and ask what their blog is. But make sure that stranger is actually going to the conference and not just staying at the hotel randomly that weekend. Because then they might think you’re a weird creepy stalker guy (<— This never happened to me.)

I totally got overwhelmed at a blogging conference. I should have taken a break. By Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

12. Have fun. But also work. I mean if you REALLY wanted to go and have fun, shouldn’t you have spent that same money and flown to Hawaii? By all means, enjoy yourself, but keep in mind the conference isn’t just for fun. Network by meeting brands, fellow bloggers, agents and publishers. Learn stuff from the sessions and take tons of photos and ask a million questions. Remember that you are there for a reason. And that reason is…wait. Why did I spend so much money to go to this conference? I can’t remember….Damn I think I was drinking when I bought those tickets. (<— This is a total lie. I don’t rarely drink.)

I’m speaking at BlogHer Food 2013 in Austin, Texas this coming weekend! I’ll be talking in two session. The first one is called Beyond Twitter and Facebook: Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and Foodspotting and will have Ben Rhau of You Fed a Baby Chili, Marla Meridith of Family Fresh Cooking, and Kathy Strahs of Panini Happy and Cooking on the Side on the panel. The second workshop will be Salvage that Bad Image with Sabrina Modelle of The Tomato Tart.

I’ll also be talking at the Food and Wine Conference over in Orlando, Florida in July. I’m on a panel called The World Through Your Lens along with Carla Cardello of Chocolate Moosey, Cheri Parrag of The Watering Mouth and Renee Dobbs of Magnolia Days.

I hope to see you at one of the conferences! I’ll be the gay Asian male food blogger. And yes, I’ve been told I look just like my photo. Expect spiky hair.

Spiky Hair results from loads of hair product. By Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

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{ 169 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen June 3, 2013 at 5:45 am

I love you as always, Irvin! I wish I was going to BlogHer Food so we could meet, maybe some day! Blogger FYI, your Pin It text is a little messed up!

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Thanks Lindsay! I totally fixed the Pin It text. That’s what happens when you blog at 3:30am…

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Amy June 3, 2013 at 5:49 am

So perfect, Irvin!

Look forward to seeing you this weekend. I don’t know if you remember me, but I’ll be one of the white women. I’ll try not to flip my hair.

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I TOTALLY remember you Amy! You look nothing like the other white women food bloggers. ;)

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Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon June 3, 2013 at 6:04 am

So since you are actually on the panel, who can I rely on to take care of live tweeting????

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm

You’re just going to have to find someone else! I would offer to live tweet while presenting but even I’m not that good as multi-tasking.

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bridget {bake at 350} June 3, 2013 at 6:05 am

Oh my gosh….this made me laugh so hard. I hope to meet you in Austin! I am a white woman, but also use vast amounts of hair products. And I’ll probably squeal if I meet you. ;)

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Please do! I can’t believe we haven’t met before. I’ll be sure to jump and down.

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Aimee @ Simple Bites June 3, 2013 at 6:09 am

Awesome, Irvin. You almost make we want to buy a ticket for BHF. Almost. Rock that panel!

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm

What? You’re not going to be there? Totally going to miss you…

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Carla June 3, 2013 at 6:32 am

Yes, yes, and yes. Totally agree with you and wish I read this before my first conference last year. Excited to speak with you in July! (And by excited I mean so nervous I’ll probably throw up. Maybe we should grab a drink beforehand….)

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I’m super excited to speak with you too!

And it IS called the food and WINE conference. I expect there will be drinking involved during the weekend. ;)

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Ruthy @ Omeletta June 3, 2013 at 6:42 am

This is genius! Especially since i just got back from Eat Write Retreat last night- you’re bang on the money with the squealing Twitter friend (I get excited easily!), the camera lowdowns, and the overwhelmingness of it all at times! Hopefully someday, at some random conference center, I’ll run squealing up to you and you can follow me later while on a potty break.

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Well that was totally embarrassing. I thought I WAS following you on Twitter! No really. I think Twitter must have unfollowed you randomly. It does that. Or that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…

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hani@haniela's June 3, 2013 at 6:56 am

This was great, I laughed so hard and for being it Monday and all( I’m not a Monday person) I give you a laugh reward!
I’ve never been to a conference but so would love to go one day. Maybe soon.
Hopefully you’ll share all the fun details with us soon.
I found you via @bake at 350 twitter post.

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Awww… I love Bake at 350! And I’m glad to give you a little bit of Monday laughter! And if you ever do make it to one of the conferences that I’m at, be sure to come up and say hi!

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Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons June 3, 2013 at 8:39 am

You never cease to make me chortle =) I’ve been a food blogger for many, many moons [it sounds more dramatic that way] but I’ve never attended a food conference! I feel like I need to hit up this right of passage at some point, eh?

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I think you can totally learn a lot and have a lot of fun at food blog conferences. But they also can be quite the commitment of funds and time. I have loads of respect for those who have never been to one actually!

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Linda | The Urban Mrs June 3, 2013 at 10:35 am

You ROCK, Irvin! This really cracks me up and very helpful for my first food blogging conference.

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I’m glad! Always happy to amuse.

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Cat @ Breakfast to Bed June 3, 2013 at 10:44 am

What about white women food bloggers with half-Cinese babies accompanied by their Gaysian BF?

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Babies trump everything. If you bring a baby along, I might not remember who you are, but I’ll remember you baby. EVERYONE will remember your baby. Babies are the like the crack of food blogging conferences.

Gaysians. Not so much. We’re a dime a dozen. ;)

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Lea June 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Thank you for writing this!

As a first timer I’m a bit apprehensive about not knowing anyone IRL and all that jazz, but hearing your take on it really makes me feel much better :)

Cheers to a good foodie conference!

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm

There will be TONS of new attendees at conferences, many who know NO ONE AT ALL. So don’t worry. The best thing about food blogging conferences is that you have an immediately talking point and common interest – food! It’s so easy to start a conversation by just asking what someone’s name is and what their blog is…

Enjoy yourself!

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Kathy - Panini Happy June 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Lol, people do tend to remember having met me at these things (or at least a reasonable facsimile)! Looking forward to the weekend. :-)

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm

People remember you because your awesome Kathy! Can’t wait to see you this weekend!

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Tiffany June 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm

This was a fabulous post, all the way around. Insightful, funny, informative… good stuff. I would love to do a blog conference one of these days, but teaching conferences are all I can get to at the moment. One day, and hopefully one day SOON.

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Well if you do make it to any of the food blogging conferences, do say hello to me!

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Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen June 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Hilarious post, Irvin! (I need that last photo of you in a framed print! Adorbs.)And, so realistic…as it is what I would expect especially at BHF…all the squealing and jumping up and down and all. As Dianne Jacob once shared about food bloggers (I’m paraphrasing, but this is pretty much it), “We’re an enthusiastic group.” Right away, I knew what she meant! Translation: Cray-cray! Wish I was going to BHF to meet you! Perhaps next year at IACP or BHF. :) xoxo

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Dianne is right. We ARE an enthusiastic group! How else do you account for all the exclamation points we all use? Perhaps next year! I’m hoping to go to IACP or BHF…

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Brandie June 3, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Ok, totally.laughed.out.loud. Squeeeee!!! :)
I COMPLETELY agree with “have your own party” idea. Going to an event where you hardly know people can be intimidating. So gather the people you like to hang with, and make your own fun! Sometimes that is the best party of all. :)

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Absolutely! I think one of the best things about the conferences is hanging out with friends…

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Nami | Just One Cookbook June 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I haven’t had a chance to go to any conference yet, but this post was really helpful to learn what to expect (and omg it was so hilarious!). I was so glad to see you in person at M.Y.China for IACP launch party (if you remember me…). Wish I can attend your session in the future – I know you will make it more fun! Good luck with the sessions!

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Nami! Of course I remember you! I hope we get to run into each other more at local San Francisco events. Or at the food blogging conferences. I think I see my local SF food blogging friends at the conferences than I do around town now that I think about it…

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merri June 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

LOL! Love it! All these things about meeting people totally works in the club industry too. Sadly, being so small, those over exuberant people are more likely to actually pick me up, something I hate. I have gotten pretty good at pretending I remember people, even when they ask hey, do you remember me? and I always say yes, of course! And often, after talking to them a bit, I honestly do start to remember. Otherwise, I’ll just try and remember them the next time. in a setting like this, it’s easy also to pretend I was too messed up the last time to remember, instead of just being really bad at telling people apart (despite being a white female, white people, esp guys, are hardest for me to tell apart lol. Since I am a white female, I wont be surprised if you forget me when you see me IRL next time LOL). PS I totally have FOMO. About everything. I’m not even a food blogger but I’ll prob fomo over your tweets at your conference lol.

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Ha! I can totally see how all the big circuit boys would pick you up…and how annoying that could get! but you DO have the excuse to say that you were too messed up or it was too dark and loud to remember someone. Food blogging conferences don’t have that built in excuse.

And yes, I’m trying tame my FOMO…but it flares up a lot…especially at conferences like these!

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merri June 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm

i do have the excuse…kinda. i’m also kind of at work, so it’s kinda like when you conventioneers have a glass of wine and its ok but ten, maybe not so ok since you’re at work, and i sorta am too! fun work! but dark, that’s a good excuse, thanks, i can use that! fomo is a hard thing to tame.

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Lora @cakeduchess June 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Great post, Irvin. I couldn’t stop giggling at so many points. Some fun tips for first timers and even those that have gone to many. I have to say I’ve only been to one and some people are instantly recognizable and some people are not easy to place from a Twitter avatar or some photos on FB. So it is good to just sort of roll with it and to enjoy all the new friends you are connecting with. Can’t wait to see you at Food and Wine in July!

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm

It so true that some people TOTALLY look like their twitter avatar and some don’t! It’s also funny to talk with someone and realize that even though you’ve never met them you feel like you know them but they might not know you at all (or vice versa)!

See you Florida!

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Belinda @zomppa June 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

If I ever meet you, 1) I’m gonna say OMIGOSH!! and 2) I want you to jump up like that when you see me.

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm

If we ever meet Belinda, I would TOTALLY jump up and down like that. ;)

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Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen June 3, 2013 at 6:06 pm

This made me laugh! Looking forward to hearing you speak. :)

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Thanks! Be sure to come up and say hi to me afterwards!

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Anita at Hungry Couple June 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I’m so glad that none of those awkward situations you described have happened to you! And I’m really sorry I won’t be going to Food & Wine because… I love food and I love wine. Also, I’d love to meet you. I’m a white woman with shiny bouncy hair. You can’t miss me…

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 11:40 pm

It’s so true. I’m very luck that NONE of those awkward situations have happened to me.

Sorry you’ll miss Food and Wine. It sounds like a fun time! Maybe next time though…

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Elisa Camahort Page June 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm

“You will probably forget the same people you met on the first day, the very next day because they will be wearing different clothes (totally inconsiderate of them).”

Back in the day, when I was an aspiring actor in NYC, I used to write down what I wore to every audition. And if I got called back, I wore the same thing. So they’d remember why they liked me enough to call me back.

Totally reasonable networking advice.

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Irvin June 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm

That’s probably SUPER smart of you! I know that I totally remember people by their clothes and it’s totally confusing for me the second day. It also doesn’t help that I am usually jet lagged and also tired from lack of sleep because I’ve been up late the night before hanging out with friends!

See you this weekend Elisa!

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Elisa Camahort Page June 4, 2013 at 6:57 am

For me it’s hair. If someone had bangs and grew them out, or vice versa.Or changes color, or is wearing it up instead of down…totally throws me off. I’m not sure what that says about us that we notice the *accessories* and *accoutrements* more than the actual *person*?!?! #probablynothinggood :)

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michael Procopio June 3, 2013 at 11:48 pm

I wonder what the real Hank Shaw would think of your caption…

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 1:06 am

Wait. Are you telling me that’s not Hank Shaw up there? Dang it. I wonder who it is. Maybe it’s Michael Ruhlman…

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Hank Shaw June 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Hilarious is what I think.

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Miss Kim @ behgopa June 4, 2013 at 1:50 am

I loved this post. I’ve always been curious of how these events go. I haven’t ever had a chance to attend any yet. There was one in Orlando a while back that I wasn’t qualified for since it was required that you had been food blogging for a minimum of three months. Well, I finally made the three month mark. Yay.

The food blogging conferences seem like loads of fun while working it. Thanks for your hilarious detailed description. Great laughs! I only recognize one blogger from the photos…Joy the Baker lol.

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I believe the < a href="http://foodandwineconference.com/">Food and Wine conference will be in Orlando in July. You should look into it. It’ll be fun!

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Lisa @ Garnish with Lemon June 4, 2013 at 5:13 am

What a great post, Irvin! I’m attending BHF for the first time this week-I hope we can meet but I promise to not jump up and down and squeal!

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Jump and squeal all you want! Everyone else will. Be sure to come up and find me at BHF to say hi!

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Renee June 4, 2013 at 5:25 am

Love it Irvin! And OH MAH GAWD! I TOTALLY CAN’T WAIT TO FINALLY MEET YOU!!!!

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

ME TOO!!!

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Stacy June 4, 2013 at 5:34 am

I’ll be at BlogHer Food this weekend, my first conference, and I was trying not to stress out over how it’s going work. Thanks for the advice and the laugh. Feeling much better now!

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I’m glad to help assuage your worries. Enjoy yourself! The first one is the most memorable and the best!

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Pam Rauber June 4, 2013 at 5:50 am

Great article Irvin. I’ve been following you for years and have always enjoyed your wit and humor. Hope to meet you but I won’t jump up and down since I’ll be the “oldest white woman” attending and then, you’ll remember me next time we meet.

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Thanks Pam! I’m actually great at remember faces, but terrible at remember names. But something tells me, regardless of your age, I’ll remember you! Hope to meet you someday…

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Teresa@SassySuburbanite June 4, 2013 at 6:25 am

Now this was funny. Thanks for the insight. I’m very new to blogging and am still finding my way. I’ve been curious about these conferences and your article was so fun to read. Have fun and good luck with your speeches.

Another white woman who looks like everyone else,
Teresa :)

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Thanks Teresa! If you ever make it to the conference please don’t hesitate to come up and say hello! Glad you found my post fun to read.

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Carolyn June 4, 2013 at 7:18 am

This might be one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long while. Particularly this – If you throw those private events, I’m totally not talking about your event. THAT event was loads of fun and your swag bag was totally the best ever! Thanks for the free can of soup that I couldn’t bring on to the plane.
Thanks for the chuckle. Knock ‘em dead at BHF. And if I ever meet you at a blog conference, expect much squealing.

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I totally have gotten jars of jam, jars of oil, big bottles of Nutella, cans of starter soup and even a knife as swag from the conferences before! As awesome as they all are, it’s hard to figure out how to travel with them, especially if you don’t check a bag. Sometimes I just ship it, but other times I just give it to someone who is local…

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Annalise June 4, 2013 at 8:22 am

Best conference how-to post ever! Looking forward to seeing you again this weekend. I may have to squeal and run up to you, just for the fun of it. It’s totally okay if you (pretend) don’t know who I am (I’ll be the white woman food blogger with totally awesome hair). ;)

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Ha! Don’t worry. I’ll totally pretend to at least know who you are. Deal? ;) Can’t wait to see you!

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Kimberly June 4, 2013 at 8:22 am

I’m just a blog reader, but this was a HILARIOUS post! I met a (running) blogger at an event, and I totally squealed; I felt like I was a stalker rather than a loyal reader of her blog!! Good point about African American and male bloggers – I don’t know too many myself. Why ARE they represented in the blog world anyway?
(BTW: That unknown reader is Joy the Baker. Would you have guessed her father is African American?)

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Ha! Actually I’m friends with Joy (well, twitter pals really) and she totally called me out on that one. BUT it was a joke! I love you Joy!

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Stephanie June 4, 2013 at 8:56 am

I wish I was going to one of your conferences so I can squeal and jump up and down with you without seeming weird! hehehe

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Ha! Well I seem to go to a lot of conferences so hopefully we’ll run into one another soon! Squealing and jumping totally optional…

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Nancy @ gottagetbaked June 4, 2013 at 9:52 am

I need to get a second job so that I can make some money and go to the Food and Wine Conference! I’m super disappointed I won’t get to go and meet all of you awesome bloggers. This post was hilarious. I’m a small Asian girl with coarse black hair so no self-satisfied, wind-machine flipping for me. I’m going to my first conference in September, IFBC in Seattle. It’s close enough from San Fran – will you be there? If so, that’d be totally awesome! Expect much high-pitched, Mariah-esque squealing.

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm

IFBC is super fun! Right now I have no plans on going. I’m afraid I’m a bit conferenced out this year – 2013 had me at the Roger Smith Cookbook conference, IACP, BlogHer Food and Food and Wine Conference. That’s more than enough! But you have a great time and perhaps we’ll run into each other at another conference…

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Megan June 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Love this. Also, I had a fabulous time meeting you at Foodbuzz a few years back. Also, I totally went up to the (famous) Joy the Baker and she knew me and my blog. I almost crapped my pants. Ridiculous amounts of squealing happened a few moments later, after she walked away, of course.

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Irvin June 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Thanks Megan! Joy’s actually super sweet in person. She gets around the blog-o-sphere so it doesn’t surprise me that she knew you and your blog!

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Megan June 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm

She totally is! I’ve seen her once or twice since then.

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Corina June 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Funny and true, and also a little saddening given that I’m a young, white, female blogger. We’re oversaturating the market to the point that we have to dye our hair crazy colours just for recognition (mine is purple) :P

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 1:31 am

I actually have a number of friends who have dyed their hair fun colors. Not because they want to stand out but because it’s fun! Also, I live in San Francisco. Strangely colored hair is practically the norm…

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Catherine June 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Jealous for this weekend. Only can afford one this year and it’s gonna be the new mobile food conference in Portland. So I guess I’ll just have to see you in SF at a random food event. Have fun! And eat at lots of food carts for me!

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 1:33 am

The mobile food conference in Portland sounds awesome though. You should come down here to SF for the Street Food Festival and their conference! It’s in August… http://www.sfstreetfoodfest.com/

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Nicole June 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Omg, this was hilarious and oh so ridiculously true.Squealing and all….
I am so looking forward to meeting you at F & W Conference in Orlando. I hear we’re from the same stomping grounds. If the question “What high school do you go to?” means anything to you, you know where I’m from! haha
See ya in a month and a half!

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 1:35 am

Ha! I totally am going to ask you what high school you went to when I meet you! See you in Florida!

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Jill Silverman Hough June 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm

You are such a joy to read, Irvin! I’m so glad I met you at IACP, although I’m sure you don’t remember me because I’m a white female. Well, that and we hardly talked. No matter. I’m thinking about IFBC, so thanks for the tips. I’ve been to IACP tons, but never to a bloggers conference. Feel like it’s time to see how the other half lives.

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 1:36 am

Ha! I’ve actually only been to one IACP but lost of food blogging conferences. They are different creatures. But I enjoy both. IFBC should be fun. I don’t think I’m going but I went a few years ago and had a great time…

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Jill June 5, 2013 at 8:41 am

You’re so sweet to reply to all these dang comments! I’ll look forward to saying to you in person some day–meanwhile, looking forward to your continued posts. Total fan here.

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Kat June 5, 2013 at 12:05 am

Hey just wanted to leave ya a small note – this is the first post of yours I’ve read, but it definitely won’t be the last!

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 1:36 am

Thanks Kat!

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Ethan June 5, 2013 at 12:06 am

I would so recognize you since we have matching spikey-ish hair, plus we’re in that easily identifiable 0.475% male blogger group. And now we’re like totally going to have to OMG when we finally meet!
Break a leg in Austin bud!

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 1:38 am

Dude. I TOTALLY flew all the way out to Big Summer Potluck last year in the hopes I would finally meet you and your pasty white self. BUT you bailed at the last minute. But yes, one of these days we will meet and I will jump up and down…

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Christy Horton June 5, 2013 at 12:20 am

Love it! White woman speaking at BlogHer Food-on the Your Brand, Your Cause panel- no hair products but I have distinctive long blond dreds that are rather unique. If you are in on Thursday Please, Please, Please come to the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance party http://bitesandbloggers.eventbrite.com. 16 of the best female chefs in town and plenty of boozy sponsors. All are welcome. So excited to welcome our fellow bloggers to town!

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 1:39 am

Awwww…I would love to come to the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance party but sadly I already have plans on Thursday night at EXACTLY. THE. SAME. TIME. Dang it. If there is anyway I can stop by I will but something tells me it isn’t going to happen…

Regardless, come find me at the conference and say hi!

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Kitchen Ninja (Julianne) June 5, 2013 at 5:59 am

You are killing me — so funny! But now I’m never going to go to a food blogger conference…

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm

What? I hope it wasn’t because of this blog post because they are actually pretty fun! Just, you know, where ear plugs to avoid the squealing…

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Dana June 5, 2013 at 6:09 am

I’m not much of a squealer, but I’m willing to fake it for you, Irvin. :)
Thanks for the great advice – see you Friday!

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm

I feel like I should make some suggestive joke about your “faking it” but I since I do not know you very well, I shall refrain from any sort of ribald comments. See you in a few days!

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SMITH BITES June 5, 2013 at 6:29 am

you do know you’re my idol, right??? lest you forget me, i AM a white woman, never flip my hair, short, married to a 6′ 4″ tall, bald guy and we live in the Midwest . . . ring any bells? no? m’kay then i guess the next time i see you i’ll SQUEEEE and try my darndest to jump up and down . . . and if you excuse yourself to the restroom . . .

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Ha! Well it’s a good thing that I only really see you and the tall bald guy together, because if I saw you apart, I’d totally be clueless as to who you are. ;)

I’m heading through Indiana this summer. Hopefully we can connect. Love you guys!

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Chef Kendra June 5, 2013 at 6:35 am

This article makes me never want to go to one of these things. lol You’re a funny guy though.

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Thanks! The conferences are actually lots of fun. I wouldn’t continue to go to them if they weren’t. But they’re definitely not for everyone…

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Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet June 5, 2013 at 8:00 am

OH MY GAWD I can’t wait to hug you and say hi. :) love this post Irvin and I can’t wait to see your events and you. You are the best.

xoxoxo
Your online twitter friend

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm

You are do my Twitter BFF Heather! Of course, I almost never see you on twitter. Mostly because I’m not on it as much as I used to be. Can’t wait to see you! I hear you are doing a cooking demo. Can I heckle you?

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Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet June 5, 2013 at 9:15 pm

HA! Yes – heckle away. :) I’ll be doing 2 demos – Fri and Sat. Eeek. You are totally my Twitter BFF too. Life has gotten bonkers, I will fill you in when I run across the room yelling OH MY GAWD and jumping up and down. :) xo

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Trevor Sis. Boom. June 5, 2013 at 8:07 am

So I totally bought a Gary Fong on my phone within minutes of meeting you and I do believe you then totally went to the bathroom and started following me. Now I know it was just total destiny. I have a terrible memory for meeting people but I somehow totally remember all the gay asian male food bloggers. Its a gift.

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm

So what you’re saying is that secretly you are a rice queen. I hear ya. ;)

And actually you weren’t the only person to immediately buy a Gary Fong once they saw it on my camera. I should really become an affiliate or something…

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Tarrant June 5, 2013 at 8:17 am

Hey! I might recognize you solely because you are the Asian MALE food blogger. I wouldn’t really know your name though. Ha.
And I don’t remember people that I know WELL even the next day. I have been going to BlogHer conferences for errr…too many years and really, there are people who know they must tell me their name. I am always proud when I add a person to my known person list. Now I am repeating IRVIN IRVIN IRVIN in my head. You might be my person with a name this year.
Laurie White hugged me before she got her name tag for 5 years and I squeed and did the blogger greet thing and then would figure out who she was by asking someone I was with for years.
I am just blaming my non face remembering, non-neurotypical disability for this in entirety.

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Ha! I’m actually never really offended when people don’t remember me. The conferences can be totally overwhelming and you meet so many people.

And I’m terrible with names. Thankfully most people wear nametags…

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Kate McDermott June 5, 2013 at 9:13 am

Irvin- This is really funny and oh so true. See you this weekend! And, in case you don’t recognize me dear, I’ll be the older blogger feeling naked without my rolling pin.

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Kate, you should just carry your rolling pin around as an accessory! It would come in handy to beat off all the groupies you have. ;) See you soon!

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Dianne Jacob June 5, 2013 at 9:27 am

Oh this brings back memories. Very recent ones. It’s the decibel level! You nailed it, Irvin.

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Thanks Dianne! It’s true. The decibel level is high. And the sore throat that comes with talking/yelling over the noise. Oh man. I should pack some soothing cough drops now that I think of it…

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Dianne Jacob June 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Throat coat tea works every time for me. I always travel with few teabags.

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Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts June 5, 2013 at 9:59 am

So awesome!! Just went to FBF as my first ever conference, and so much of this rings true! Wish I was in Austin this weekend!

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Irvin June 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Glad you appreciate my post and sorry to miss you in Austin this weekend!

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Diana @ Appetite for China June 5, 2013 at 10:41 am

Love this post. You really captured everything that goes down at a food conference. Have a great time in Austin & Orlando!

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Thanks Diana! Wish you could be here. Hopefully I’ll make it out to New York sometime soon…

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Sprittibee June 5, 2013 at 10:49 am

I love this: “If you are a white woman and you’re not the Pioneer Woman, good luck; all you people look the same to me.”

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Ha! Thanks. It’s sort of true (but not really…).

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Rebecca {Foodie with Family} June 5, 2013 at 11:10 am

Irvin…
I’m totally going to squeal when I see you. Can we take a pass on the jumping up and down, though? I have no game and can’t hop more than a couple inches off the floor. It could get embarrassing. I’ll be the nerdy white girl with long hair staring at her iphone. Oh wait…

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Oh I have absolutely no game either. Trust me. I do not jump normally. Unless my partner tells me to in the photo studio…

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Kathy @ The Experimental Gourmand June 5, 2013 at 11:48 am

Irvin -

I howled with laughter at this post. So true, so much of it (well, you know, except for all the drinking part b/c we *never* drink at conferences).

I plan to squeal and give you a big hug and jump up and down the next time we bump into each other at a conference! Haven’t yet mastered the lustrous, shiny, flowing locks yet…must be doing something wrong with my blogging.

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Kathy! I miss you! I actually think your hair if exceedingly shiny and flowing. Hope you’re doing well and I’ll see you sometime soon…

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Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles June 5, 2013 at 11:55 am

This cracked me up. Several times. Great post, Irvin! At BHF, If you see a white gal, about 5′-7″ or so, with long brown lustrous (ha!) hair, please come and tell me “hi”, would be great to see you again. And because I’m one of your biggest pie fans. Truly.

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Ha! Come find me and say hello if you can! And thanks for being a pie fan! Those are the best.

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Michelle June 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I am truly a beautiful, exotic East Indian female blogger, with super long, naturally bright shiny dark brown hair and large limpid brown eyes… with a very white name? Any luck with you? :) Nice one Irvin, loved reading this, you got it spot on.

PS – I’ll be the squealiee…

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Thanks Michelle! Definitely see if you can find me this weekend and say hello!

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Jenny @ The Brunette Baker June 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Bloody hilarious.

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Why thank you!

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Cooks_Books June 5, 2013 at 3:54 pm

I remember seeing you across the room at the first session at my first conference (The Roger Smith Cookbook Conference in NYC) and thinking: “Oh good, someone I know!” Of course I didn’t know you, though I did introduce myself (I have no idea if I squealed, but I rather doubt it). The point is: it’s your own fault everyone recognizes you — you do look just like your Twitter avatar. :) Fun post!

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm

I’m so glad to have met you at the Roger Smith Cookbook conference! I love what you are doing. And yes, I can’t really change my avatar because everyone says I look just like it. Which is a good thing I guess…

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Margie MacKenzie June 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Hi Irvin,
I was introduced to your blog at Camp Blogaway, a small-ish food bloggers conference held in So Cal. I was a bit overwhelmed and intimidated throughout the weekend as this was my first blogger-anything, but the take away is beginning to soak in as I learn more about the blogsphere. I love your photos, but your humor and honest voice are what really makes your blog so enjoyable. I look forward to being a regular reader. Thank you!

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Oh yay! I’m so glad that Sarah reached out to me for her presentation and mentioned me. It was like I was there in spirit!

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Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) June 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Love this! A must read for anyone attending food blogging conferences. Have a blast Irvin! I wish I could be there to hear your panels – they sound really interesting!

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Thanks Mardi! Sorry you couldn’t be here for BlogHer Food. Perhaps next time!

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A Canadian Foodie June 5, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Hilarious. Great to meat you! I would actually want to listen to your session. Never been to an American blogging conference but that is exactly what I was afraid of, so have never gone… know people like you make it real.. the first Canadian one we had in April ROCKED IT!
;)
V

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I hear the Canadian one was awesome! Ethan is great. I’m so glad you guys up there enjoyed yourself!

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Cookin Canuck June 5, 2013 at 8:31 pm

If I was going to Austin, I would absolutely jump up and down and squeal when I met you. Of course, we did happen to meet at BlogHer Food in San Francisco in 2010. But neither of us probably remembers that because we had a couple of cocktails. And my hair? Not lustrous. But that’s okay because I shoot with a Canon AND use natural light.

Love you, Irvin! You always make me laugh.

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm

I TOTALLY remember you from BlogHer Food 2010! Mostly because you were one of the few Canadian food bloggers there (even though you live here in the US and have for awhile).

Also. I totally shoot Canon as well! We’re camera buddies!

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Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic June 6, 2013 at 4:40 am

I was cracking up at this–so funny and so true.! Would love to meet you this weekend at BlogHer Food. I might have a chance of you remembering me the next day too even though I’m one of the white women…I am very tall so have that going for me (not a former model though–LOL!) Oh, and maybe I’ll be one of the ones not sweating like mad in our crazy heat (being that I’m from Texas so am used to it). Either way, looking forward to this and future conferences with using your tips!

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Thanks Brenda! Definitely find me and come up and say hello this weekend!

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com June 6, 2013 at 9:04 am

Lol, your tips on food blogging conference is so REAL! I’d totally jump up and down and squeal if we meet at any conference. Promise :D

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Yay! I’m glad you appreciated my tips. And if we meet at a conference I would TOTALLY expect nothing less than jumping and squealing…

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Katie @ Butterlust Blog June 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! As a first time attendee I have NO idea what to expect from the weekend. Thanks for a little humorous insight! Hope to see you there…I’ll be one of the 5,000 Caucasian blondes. But I promise not to squeal. :)

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Yay! I hope you have a great time this weekend. I know that the first blogging conference I went to was incredibly memorable…

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Meredith @ DareYouTo June 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Hahahah this is HILARIOUS and so, so true. Thank you thank you. Love it. Good to know some things are happening to everyone. Love your voice – going to keep reading your posts :)

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Thanks Meredith! I’m glad you found the post amusing. As for my voice, I have no idea how else to write so I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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Si June 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I SO wish I was attending this weekend to hear you speak. And hang out in the lobby. I’m Hapa Haole, so no squealing for me. Unless I met you, of course :)

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Of course! I wish you were coming this weekend as well. But perhaps we’ll meet at another conference…

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Mona June 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I just squealed upon reading that you will be at BlogHer 2013. And I just arrived in Austin. But this time the conference has not yet started, so you don’t need to run to the bathroom and look up my Twitter: @cookthisgetlaid

Oh, and I’m African-American. ;)

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Irvin June 6, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Mona, I’m already following you! But definitely find me here at BlogHer Food and come up and say hi!

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debbie koenig June 7, 2013 at 4:04 am

Loved this. And I’m honored to be the model for your “awesome other bloggers” shot. (You picked me because I don’t have flowing, model-worthy hair, I imagine.) Which makes me kinda embarrassed, since I introduced myself to you at IACP without realizing we met at BCP. In my defense, you didn’t remember either. And you probably don’t remember meeting me at IACP. Sigh.

Have a blast at BlogHer Food–I was at Eat Write Retreat last weekend and there’s only so much a person can handle.

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Irvin June 8, 2013 at 6:28 am

Ha! It happens all the time. I probably didn’t even realize we had met at BSP either so no worries. Hope you enjoyed EWR. I hear it was a blast. And yes, you can only go to so many conferences without it getting overwhelming…

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Alice // Hip Foodie Mom June 8, 2013 at 8:29 am

Love this. You are hilarious. . but you already know this. Dude, I so wish I could have gone to Austin this weekend. . and even FL in July but the only conference I’m making it to this year is IFBC in Seattle b/c it’s local. . thanks for this post! and love the Gorillapd SLR Camera Tripod!

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Betty Ann @Mango_Queen June 8, 2013 at 8:50 am

What a fun, hilarious post! Thoroughly enjoyed all your helpful advice and anecdotes. Loved the photos from last year’s BSP. It was nice to meet you in person then (“OMG, I’m so happy to meet you finally!”). But honestly, whether you run away to the restroom to check who I am or pretend you know me even if you don’t, I still say you’re one of the nicest guys in the industry! Glad to have met you and till we meet again at the next food conference. BTW, I’m the other Asian in the room in case you’re wondering who I am :-) Cheers, Irvin!

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Brooke@Foodwoolf.com June 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

Irvin, You are the man. Now that I know you’re speaking at Blogher with Sabrina (Tomato Tart) and Marla Meridith (Family Fresh Cooking) I’m suddenly very sad I’m not at Blogher Food with y’all. I love this post and all the honest and funny things you’ve written. A genius post. And, last but not least, thanks for the link love! xoxoxo

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Jamie @ Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom June 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Ha ha, great post. I came to your salvage that photo worksop and really enjoyed it! (one of my faves, from the weekend) I just spotted that ice cream cone picture on your front page and am off to go check it out…
~Jamie

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Rebecca E. Parsons June 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm

will you be at IFBC? I will totally be OMGing you and I promise I will probably forget you if you change your clothing!!! That’s just how I roll!!!

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Nick (Macheesmo) June 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I can’t tell if this post made me want to go to a conference or not but I think that I’m leaning toward YES just because I’m a guy which I guess makes me memorable?

Also, I have very little product in my hair but I do have a beard. That’s something right?

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Gerry @ Foodness Gracious June 10, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I’m glad I found this post after checking out your cherry crisp and adding a link to your place in my latest post. I always like to hear how nervous other people are. The more conferences I attend I’m realizing that the other bloggers are really just the same as me, I just roll with it and try to see it as not only a time to meet some great new people but also a time for me to have a vacation by myself which doesn’t happen very often :)

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Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig June 10, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Yep…the random meet-ups in the lobby are always best. Loved hanging out:).

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Vanessa June 11, 2013 at 8:24 am

“OH MY GOD IRVIN!!! YOU’RE SO HILARIOUS! I’m in LOVE with your spiky hair and all of your all your posts!” *jumping up and down, jumping up and down excitedly and nervously*

That’s what would probably happen if I ever got the chance to meet you. Meanwhile, you would probably try to give me your nicest and politest “who is this crazy b*tch??!” look.

“Who cares? Let’s drink.”

No, but really. I truly wish I could have the opportunity to attend one of your conference classes. You’re quite the inspiration.

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Sue {munchkin munchies} July 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm

You are too funny! I have not been to a conference…yet:)

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Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) July 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Great post! :-) Looking forward to seeing you in Orlando in a couple of weeks. I hope I actually get to meet you live and in person…once I get past the giggling gaggle of followers surrounding you!!

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Maria July 16, 2013 at 3:03 pm

great info, just what I needed to hear! Rarely do you get the real deal about conferences…looking forward to attending one in the future. Gracias!

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Betty July 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Thanks for this funny post! I’m a food blogger on Tumblr, and I’m attending BlogHer 13 this week. I can’t wait! I wish you were going to be there cause I would totally recognize your lustrous spiky hair and squeal like a kid!

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Guyla September 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Very entertaining and informational! Sounds like you’re one of the famous bloggers I will be hoping to meet at IFBC:)

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Irvin September 20, 2013 at 8:08 am

Sadly I won’t be at IFBC this year! I’ll be covering the Feast Portland event happening the same time. But have fun. I’m sure it’ll be a fabulous one!

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Nicole September 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Are babies REALLY like crack? Because I’m seriously considering bringing mine to IFBC tomorrow last minute and I’m a little anxious about it. @orwhateveryoudo

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Wizzy September 29, 2013 at 7:02 am

Thanks for the laugh! “If you’re African American I will probably remember who you are_” LOL Blogging from outside of the US I have wondered why there are so few African American food bloggers

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Kevin @keviniscookin November 6, 2013 at 11:07 am

Irvin,
Thanks so much for this article post. I am a newbie in doing this as more then just a part time hobby. I am a FT web designer, but food LOVER and kitchen alchemy is my passion. It’s where I can really create and taste my finished product (although it is fun to see one’s own work on the web, but it’s always for clients)!
You’re humor and site are great. I plan on attending the IFBC in Seattle next year, missed this years, and will definitely look for you if you’re going to attend. As a male food blogger it would be nice to hang and exchange thoughts on male food bloggers and the industry as a whole.
Thanks again,
Kevin

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