Disclosure: I received a discounted ticket to the Food and Wine Conference in exchange for promoting the conference. As always, all opinions are my own.
Blogging is about so much more than writing or creating content. It is about engagement and community. It is about creating friendships and social connections that extend far beyond where you live. Blogging has enabled the world to shrink in such a way that most people never thought possible. Conferences dedicated to blogging allow the world shrink even more. New friendships become real when people meet for the very first time. Old friendships are renewed and reenergized when people reconnect after a year or more has passed by.
Be Authentic. Be Passionate. Be You.
A few weeks ago, I attended the third annual Food and Wine Conference. It also just happened to be my third year attending the conference. I was actually a little bit nervous and even considered not going to this year’s conference. I haven’t been nearly as active in the blogging community as I would like to be and I was concerned that I would be totally out of the loop. My fears were completely unwarranted though. When Pete and I arrived at the conference check in desk on Friday evening, it was like we had never left last year’s conference. It absolutely amazed me at how comfortable I felt around people I hadn’t seen or really talked to in a year.
The Food and Wine Conference took place over the course of a weekend at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando. This resort is absolutely gorgeous and it is a wonderful place to host this conference. The rooms are luxurious. The beds are comfortable. The amenities are wonderful, including a spa, fitness center, and several pools. Plus there is a golf course for Pete to enjoy while I am attending the conference sessions. Did I mention that there are a myriad of dining options around the restaurant to satisfy any palette?
Stay committed to who you are. –Monica Bhide
On Friday evening, the conference started off with a welcome reception featuring delicious strawberry shortcake cocktails and a dinner that showcased the different dining options available at the resort. During those events, I found myself reconnecting with people that I haven’t seen in a year and meeting new people that were first time conference attendees. I also tried some interesting foods that I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. It was a delicious and fun way to start the conference.
Do what you do well and do it better.