The Foodbuzz Festival
The Foodbuzz Festival is a food blogger’s dream. It is a weekend centered on food- food conversations, food demonstrations, wine, beer, food tastings, new brands, people, flavors, markets… It is a weekend of food. Come hungry.
I am a planner. I like to make lists and I like to be in control. Last year I was quite nervous as I didn’t really know many people attending and I didn’t know how comfortable I would be at each event. I quickly learned that most of us were in the same position, and by the end of the weekend we had all become fast friends. A bit of wine might have helped with that…
Anyway, for those who are attending for the first time this year, I thought I would put together a list to help you prepare.
- San Francisco is very walkable. Last year we walked miles upon miles exploring the city, and I was happy I had my walking boots on. Make sure you have comfortable shoes because San Francisco is beautiful and you will want to see it. Further, even though the Tasting Pavillion did not seem large, my feet were very tired by the end. You will be thankful if you wear your comfortable (but obviously cute) shoes.
- Pack a small extra bag that you could check if needed for your return flight. I got a bit out of control purchasing goodies from the Ferry Plaza market. There were also some fabulous samples given out that were liquids that I really wanted to bring home. I was happy I had the space and option to check a bag.
- You might want to bring a pair of elastic waist pants. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to anyone and everyone. You might not have an instant bond with every person you meet, but the more you meet the better chance you have at making connections. You never know what you might learn or what friendship you might form. Note: I was not always as social as I now am. I learned how to be social from plenty of solo outings when I was in Italy for 8 months. Yes, there were some awkward moments, but they were worth the risk. If I can do it you can too. Don’t be afraid to say hello!
- When you do introduce yourself (to everyone!) be sure to say your name and your blog clearly. When the other person introduces himself or herself, repeat his/her first name so that you don’t forget it. And if you do forget it, don’t be embarrassed to ask him/her to repeat it. There are a lot of people to meet!
- Bring business cards, and keep them accessible. I was so thankful for all the business cards I received at the Foodbuzz Festival. I found so many great blogs and products that I would not have remembered without the cards. To this same point, carry a small notebook and pen in case you want to take notes. I learned a lot about wines, blogging, and cooking over the weekend, and I was thankful to have a notebook to write down what I learned.
- Know what you write about! Last year I didn’t know how to explain my blog without rambling and feeling embarrassed. My blog has a clear and direct focus, but I couldn’t put the words together. After fumbling all weekend I finally took some time (after the festival) to figure out how to explain what my blog is about in a couple of short sentences. Practice and know what to say when someone inevitably asks “What is your blog about?”
- If you see someone you recognize but have never met before, go and say hello! I was shy at first to do this, and I always regretted it, especially when I recognized the face but couldn’t remember which blog he or she wrote.
- A smile goes a long way.
- This is not the time to be picky. This is not the time to be on a diet. There are incredible foods to taste in San Francisco and during the Foodbuzz Festival- open your mind a bit and try them.
- Come hungry. See previous point- the food will be incredible.
- Ask questions! At the Tasting Pavillion, there will be lots of new companies and foods present. If you are curious about ingredients, history, or anything about something you try, just ask! I learned a lot about the chocolate making process and about the Foodzie site just from asking questions (or listening to the answers of fellow foodies’ questions).
- You MUST visit the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market. I don’t know if it is part of the official schedule, but you must make it a part of yours. It is still my favorite market, and I look forward to visiting it again.
- Last year’s Twitter hashtag was #fbzfest. I assume that hashtag will continue this year. It was very useful when meeting up with new friends or figuring out the next item on our schedule.
- Be supportive of your fellow Foodbuzz Featured Publishers. Some of them will be showcasing their recipes at the Tasting Pavilion. Visit them all if you can. I was so thankful of everyone who visited me while I was demonstrating my winning Nature’s Pride Recipe.
Don’t forget- foodies are friendly! Say hello to everyone around you and share the foodie fun. See you there!
P.S. I just read all of my festival posts from last year and got so excited!!!!!! My goal is to meet every person there, so if you see me say hello!
RhodeyGirl & PhillyBoy at NYC's Eataly
Foodbuzz Festival 2009: