The Reason I’m Going to BlogHer Food is YOU!

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Today I find myself (finally) on a flight to Florida because on May 16th and 17th I’ll be attending one of the largest food blogging conferences in the country. BlogHer Food will be a new experience for me because not only is it in a new to me city (Miami) but I’ve actually never attended a food blogger conference. NEVER EVER!!

Last summer I was lucky enough to attend BlogHer in Chicago and let me tell you it was an exhausting 3 days of events, forums and parties all over downtown.  There were breakfasts, lunches, dinners and oh so many parties.  In those 3, really 2 1/2 days, I attended about 25 events above and beyond the conference.  I met a ton of pr teams and brands.  I was handed bag after bag bursting with SWAG and made some amazing blogger friends.  But I really didn’t meet any food bloggers.  Which I found to be pretty surprising, but looking back on it….there weren’t a lot of actual food brands there.  I mean there were brands like Coffee-Mate and SodaStream…but no actual brands of things I could use as raw ingredients in my recipes or on my blog.  Not that I back down from a challenge, I definitely used everything I could in a recipe.

That kind of disappointed me but I had such a blast meeting and getting to know people (if you’ve never met me, you don’t know it but I love to chat) that made BlogHer worth my time.  While currently I have no plans to attend this years BlogHer, which is in San Jose, California I’d definitely reconsider if a brand asked me to go (hint, hint).  It’s a great time to connect with bloggers you’ve only ever heard of or talked to online.  I’ve learned that unless you’re a blogger, people don’t really understand what you do.  It kind of doesn’t make sense to them.  My mom still doesn’t think of it as a “real” job because I don’t leave the house everyday.  But at blogging conferences you meet people who get you…they understand and let me tell you bloggers are a pretty friendly bunch.  Once you’re friends…it’s like you’re family.  You’ll do anything for one another even if you’re on opposite sides of the country.  I have family who live in the same state and wouldn’t go that far to help.  It’s different knowing my blogger friends know exactly how much work I put into a single post and how much time I spend checking my social media.  I really need those gigs of data to keep flowing and I’m really not ignoring you I’m tweeting what you say and making up my own hashtags as I go.  

So this year I really wanted to attend BlogHer Food because I wanted to meet bloggers who do what I do.  Who work out of their own kitchen, take their own photos and video and kind of pave their own path in life.  I’m lucky that I live here in Chicago because there’s a Chicago Food Bloggers group.  Granted we all do different things with food from solely focusing on restaurant reviews to recipe creation to vegan things but at least we’ve got some common ground.  I’ve been lucky to meet a few that I truly like and even though we aren’t that close its nice to know people when you attend events.

Rosie Discovers isn’t old like Rosie our mascot (13 years), we just passed the two year mark this past March and we didn’t start with just a focus on food.  While I knew I wanted to blog, at the beginning I wasn’t quite sure how blogging worked.  I knew there were bloggers in the Chicago area, but had never met any of them.  After some trial and error, Rosie Discovers finally became a food blog focusing on recipe creation with a little bit of Chicago and things we love thrown in from time to time.  I’ve been fortunate to always do something I love and even though blogging is a heck of a lot of work, I do it because I love being in the kitchen.

My hopes for BlogHer Food are to make new blogging friends.  That’s really why I’m going, I want to meet as many of you as possible!  That’s also the reason why I volunteered to work the registration desk.  Last year at BlogHer I got to see a lot of the people I’d only ever seen online.  Through attending events and just being on the conference floor I met some bloggers who I think of as my extended family.  The goal this year is to expand on that.  So please, if you see me this weekend stop me and say hi!  I really want to meet you!!

If I meet some brands or pr people and work comes from it, that’s going to be icing on the BlogHer cake.  Oh, I hope there’s real cake too!

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