FBC2013 – Food Bloggers of Canada Conference – Been there, Done that, Loved it!on April 23rd, 2013 Posted in Tips and News
When I entered my “Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies” recipe to the “My Cookies Are The Best” contest with “Manitoba Canola Growers” I didn’t really think I would win. Not that my cookies are not the best, don’t get me wrong, I just figured they are going to have so many entries that my chances are slim. Also, I only entered one recipe and some contestants entered more than one, but really, I’m a busy mom so I only had time for one entry, oh well I believe in just letting life lead you, and that’s what I did.
Imagine how shocked I was when one day I receive and email from Mardi at “Food Bloggers of Canada” telling me that I won!! To be honest, I first thought it’s a spam. Not that I think Mardi is a spammer but really, the prize was so big, that I couldn’t believe I was one of two winners. After a couple of emails it was confirmed – “Manitoba Canola Growers” awarded me with the best prize EVER and I got to go on a fully paid trip to the first ever Food Bloggers of Canada Conference. Woohoo!!
So on April 11th I flew out to Toronto airport to meet the lovely ladies from “Manitoba Canola Growers” (Ellen Pruden and Jennifer Dyck) and Jeanine from “The Baking Beauties” who was the second winner in the contest and my roomie at the “Hockley Valley Resort” which is where the conference took place.
I am not going to rave about these girls here because then my post would end up being sooooo long, but I will say in one word that these girls were AMAZING.
The conference started with registration on Friday (April 12th) and that’s when we received our swag bags; and oh boy, we got so many gifts!! The conference sponsors were so generous and wonderful. We got a bag full of cook books, cookies, coupons, tablet stand, mushroom growing kit (will be detailed in separate post), a new Delta® kitchen faucet with Touch2O® Technology and so much more! I was so impressed and felt truly honored to take part in this conference.
Following registration, we had a reception with amazing finger food from all sponsors, great wine and even greater people. So much food and so many food bloggers, lovely food bloggers from all over Canada, it was so great to meet everyone.
The fancy dinner after the reception was a hit. Other than having mouth watering food we got to listen to the conference Keynote speaker David Leite from LeitesCulinaria.com.
David is a funny, sarcastic, smart and experienced food blogger. He was full of charm and information and I felt truly inspired when he told us to “Be authentic – be yourself” – so true. Personally I thought it is such a wonderful guideline.
The second day was packed with fun, informative and inspiring sessions and speakers. From technical tips for your blog to monetizing, working with brands and photography 101, everything was covered and all of our questions were answered. We had another super fancy dinner later that evening with a variety of wines from “Wine Country Ontario” and after that, I think I just needed to process everything so I excused myself to our cozy room which ended the evening for me.
The third and last day was short. Some additional great sessions, lunch and then home. The challenging part was the packing. We had to pack SO MUCH! So many gifts, so many products, so much food! Did I already mention that we had amazing sponsors?
So yeah, I had the most amazing time ever spent with the gals from “Manitoba Canola Growers”, with Jeanine and with all the great people who attended the conference. I had great food, I met great people (food bloggers rock!), I was fortunate enough to get acquainted with Jeanine, Ellen and Jennifer, I was also super lucky to get on a limo with them and go and discover the farm life at Brian and Trudy’s farm right outside Meaford, ON.
I got to learn how Canola Oil is made, I got to understand that farm life is not as relaxing as it seems, I got to meet some cows and enjoy a yummy homemade lunch. I got to get awesome gifts and a new faucet (woot-woot) and mainly I got to relax and focus on what I love doing. Overall it was such an amazing conference and such a wonderful experience.
I can’t thank “Manitoba Canola Growers” enough for making this possible and to FBC for organizing such an unforgettable conference. I feel I made new friends, gained lots of knowledge and expanded my network. Isn’t that what it was all about? Mission accomplished! Well done everyone.