What I Learned at #BlogHer19 Food

By SHE Media Influencer Elizabeth Kate

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SHE Media Influencer, Elizabeth Kate, recaps her experience at #BlogHer19 Food.

From (two) happy hours, to panels, to sponsors, and more! Take a look at how our SHE Media Influencers benefit from attending BlogHer.

Hi! My name is Elizabeth. I'm overwhelmingly passionate about (almost) everything I do, from my work as a Community Manager in NYC to my food blog and my dog. My blog, Vivi e impara, means “live and learn” in Italian. Live and learn is my NYC-based food blog about women's health, food, and much, much more!

On May 8th, content creators, influencers and entrepreneurs came together for an entire day of food-focused panel discussions, interviews, and more at #BlogHer19 Food. One great thing about the foodie community is that more often than not, people are open, friendly, and willing to share their personal experiences.

As a long-time SHE Media Influencer, I was invited to the kickoff party at a bar in Tribeca the night before the event. Right away, I knew I found my people: Women that love food and are striving to build an ethical business or community. There was an overall good, supportive vibe in the room. Samantha Skey, CEO of SHE Media, was warm and friendly, as well as the other team members. I found this to be true the next day as well during the keynote and panel discussions.

SHE Media CEO, Samantha Skey, welcomes attendees to #BlogHer19 Food.

SHE Media CEO, Samantha Skey, welcomes attendees to #BlogHer19 Food.

Overall, the panel discussions didn’t seem scripted or staged, just real people sharing their stories in hopes of inspiring others. The line-up was not short of successful and strong women. Speakers included Gail Simmons and Christina Tosi, and Instagram influencers like Alexa Matthews of @eatingnyc and Remy Park of @veggiekins, to name a few.

As a food content creator, I learned the most during the #BlogHerU "Social Media for Foodies" panel. Authenticity and connecting with relevant brands was a key theme. I picked up on a few secrets and behind the scenes tidbits which are really the most valuable since everything looks so “perfect” on the highlight reel of social media.

Personally, the panels inspired me in my personal Vivi e impara food Instagram journey to show my face more during my stories, add my personality, and not worry if I mess up a word or two.

As Dara Pollak of @skinnypignyc expressed, we don’t want people to think food influencers are “a sandwich”. We’re real people doing our thing, and it’s important to show ourselves and open up so the audience can connect further.

I’ve always believed that finding your most authentic self is most important and I’m glad that people on social media (I’m looking at you, Instagram) are embracing this more and more. Authenticity was a recurring theme throughout the action-packed day at #BlogHer19 Food.

From left to right: Lin Chen, Dara Pollak, Alyssa Rimmer, and Phoebe pose before speaking on the #BlogHerU Social Media for Foodies panel.

From left to right: Lin Chen, Dara Pollak, Alyssa Rimmer, and Phoebe pose before speaking on the #BlogHerU Social Media for Foodies panel.

Not only did I learn from the keynotes and powerful panels of women, but I had a lot of fun along the way! During the breakout sessions, I sampled the rosé tasting from Wölffer Estate, cookie dough from DŌ Cookie Dough Confections, and of course I didn’t say no to the array of Baked by Melissa cupcakes. How could I forget about the happiest hour sponsored by Smirnoff’s Zero-Sugar Infusions? Everything was so delicious!

Overall, the event was a great opportunity to hear from successful female content creators and connect with other food bloggers (and food lovers!) like myself. Since the event, I’ve collaborated with EatTiamo, an Italian food subscription service that I love (see here and here). I’ve also connected with many other foodies that are hoping to build something meaningful.

As women, we have to know our strengths. Authenticity, empathy, and compassion, while considered “soft skills”, can be incredibly powerful and influential in telling your story. We have to remember this and promote ourselves and our strengths, not weaknesses. Another thing I learned is that mean-spirited competition will get you nowhere. This is a food community of women, and you must learn and support one another.

After the event, I felt inspired meeting other food content creators, influencers, and entrepreneurs who have found their voice and broke through the stereotypes along the way. I would attend the next BlogHer event and hope to learn even more about this incredible network of women inspiring, empowering, and celebrating female content creators.

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