The Big #BlogHerFood16 Highlights Preview

BlogHer Original Post

As we get ready to descend on Austin next week for #BlogHerFood16, I wanted to create one big recap of all the activities you can expect there—just case you’ve missed some of the many interesting announcements as they’ve rolled in over the last few months.

#BlogHerFood16 highlights

The Main Stage

On Friday morning, we kick off with our Welcome and Lightning Lessons, including a sneak preview of the SheKnows Community site that’s going to be launched soon after the conference. Executive Editorial Director Julie Ross Godar will walk you through what to expect (and gain) from being an active member of our site, and she'll share some very useful techniques for sharing your food content on a multi-topic platform. She’ll be followed by a mind-stretching presentation from Irvin Lin on how to find your inspiration for your food content from decidedly non-food-related sources. Next, I’ll walk you through a level-setting lesson on Owning Your Expertise. Understanding your specific, unique expertise (and being bold enough to own it) is a necessary step to deriving the most value from it! And finally, Susan Getgood will update us all on the latest rulings from the FTC that affect all bloggers and social media users who interact with brands.

Also on Friday, a quartet of highly successful bloggers and social media mavens hits the main stage for a discussion of how they’ve found success and satisfaction outside their blog. And to close out Friday, we'll be treated to an appearance and cooking demo by several of the Smollett siblings, who'll talk about food, family traditions, and being on the Food Network.

On Saturday morning, The Pitch: Food Edition returns to the conference after its smash debut at #BlogHerFood15. The Pitch is a platform and video series created by SheKnows Media to elevate, connect, and mentor women entrepreneurs. This year, four entrepreneurs will pitch to a panel of judges (and to you) their products, ranging from a food app to a food truck. We'll announce the winner (determined by the judge’s rankings and your votes) at the closing keynote.

Finally, that closing keynote will feature an exploration of the many, many opportunities to become celebrities now open to chefs, and also how celebrities are gaining credibility and respect in the world of food. Chef, "The Chew" co-host, and beloved "Top Chef" cheftestant Carla Hall will discuss that continuum with actor and cookbook author Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Lisa Lillien of Hungry Girl, who started out sending a daily email to friend and has built an empire and best-selling books.

The Program

#BlogHerFood16 isn’t all about the main stage. Two days of breakout programming allow us to dive deeply into four subject areas. The Art & Science of Blogging covers the craft and the business skills required to make your food blog fly. The A/V Club track is perfect for helping you expand your presence into podcasting and video. Social Media Bootcamp delivers the latest best practices on social tools from Pinterest to Snapchat. And the In the Kitchen sessions get hands-on with demonstrations.

The Sponsors

We leave a generous amount of time to visit with sponsors and taste their wares, including our Friday night Welcome Reception in the sponsor hall. From the healthy to the indulgent, from kitchen equipment to blog information sources, our sponsors cover a range of interests (and flavors).

The Fun

Two #BlogHerFood traditions will continue in 2016: the Saturday afternoon excursions and the Saturday closing party.

On Saturday afternoon, rather than sending everyone to just one location, we decided to mix things up and create several excursion opportunities. We've lined up a few Austinites to take groups to their own favorite place. From the most classic Texan comfort food to authentic Indian food in the heart of Austin, these are local gems picked by local experts. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!

This year we close out all the fun with a rooftop party in the Gibson Lounge at Maggie Mae’s, an Austin institution. If you like craft cocktails (and checking out vintage Gibson guitars) this will be the perfect way to wind down your #BlogHerFood16 experience with food, friends, and a fancy drink.

With all that going on you could hardly be blamed for wishing you could be two or even three places at once. What session or speaker or sponsor are you most looking forward to?