Five Conversations You Should Have At BlogHer Food '12

BlogHer Original Post

In just a few days, all of us attending BlogHer Food '12 will gather in Seattle to meet new food blogger friends, reconnect with the people we haven't seen in awhile, and learn as much as we can in 48 whirlwind hours. There's going to be a lot of talking over the two days: presentations from the main dais at plenary sessions; chatting at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the event's parties; and conversations between panelists and the audience at the breakout sessions.

Whether you're new the the conference or have attended before, it helps to have a strategy to make sure all that talk yields lots of new ideas and material that you can apply to the your blog when you get home. Here are five conversations that will help maximize your BlogHer Food experience from registration until you check in for your flight home.

Conversations at BlogHer Food

1. Talk to someone about their blogging process.

As you're talking to your tablemates at breakfast on the Day One, or at lunch, or as you're wandering through the exhibit hall, ask how your fellow bloggers organize their blogging lives. Do they do all their cooking in one day, then write the posts over the course of the week? Do they bake, shoot, write, and eat in one fell swoop? Do they batch posts and schedule them to go live ahead of time? No matter how well you think you have organized your blogging life, you can learn something new from talking to other bloggers about how they get those recipes from the conceptual stage to the web.

2. Talk to the sponsors about how they can help you blog better.

We're grateful to BlogHer Food '12's sponsors for joining us to celebrate everyone's writing and food photography, and they have lots to offer! Whether it's samples, new technology, or ideas for posts, there's plenty to learn from the sponsors and their representatives. Tell them where your blog focuses, and ask them how they can help you—you might be surprised at the recipe ideas you pick up, the tools you learn about, and the connections you make!

3. Talk to a veteran food blogger.

Elise Bauer. Jaden Hair. Kalyn Denny. Those are just a few of the veteran food bloggers who will be in attendance at BlogHerFood '12. If you see a blogger who you've read for years, and who maybe even inspired you to start your blog, go up and say hello. If they made a difference in your blogging, say thank you! Even if the conversation consists of just a quick greeting, it's fun to connect with those have blazed trails for and mentored so many food bloggers along the way. Don't be shy!

4. Talk to me!

As BlogHer's Food Section Editor, I'm always looking for new voices to feature and interesting posts to highlight. The food blogging space is a crowded one, and though I do my best to read as many food blogs as I can, I know I miss a lot. If you're interested in making sure I know who you are and am seeing your best posts, whether that's on your blog or on BlogHer, come and introduce yourself to me!

One caveat on this: I know I won't have time to talk to everyone at the conference, and I also know not every food blogger is going to make it to BlogHer Food. I would love to hear from you on Twitter or by email, if either of those options suit better.

5. Talk to a blogger who writes about something totally different than you do.

Are you a baking blogger who spends your days up to your elbows in butter and cream? Talk to a vegan blogger to learn more about their posts. Do you only cook and write about traditional American dishes? Have a conversation with a blogger who focuses on international recipes. Love to write about cocktails and mocktails? Chat up a blogger who reviews restaurants.

By talking to a blogger who writes about completely different recipes and stories than you, you can't help but see how many different ways in to food blogging there are out there—this can provide inspiration on days when you feel like all the recipes you're considering blogging about have been written about time and time again. Ask them about favorite ingredients and techniques, and consider whether you can use any of those in your cooking or baking. Ask them to send you to their favorite post—you just might find a recipe that will change your meal planning and tantalize your taste buds!

What conversations do you hope to have at BlogHer Food? Share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you won't be able to join us at the conference, I invite you to start those conversations right here!

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at 100 Proof Stories. She is also the Food Section Editor for BlogHer, and will be moderating the Hunger In America panel at BlogHer Food '12.

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