Review of food bloggers connect, London, November 2009

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Profile picture of Paul

Posted 29 November 2009 00:52

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I attended Food Bloggers Connect today and... it was very good!

It was good to see the faces behind the blogs. I wasn’t too sure what to expect – a room full of cooking nerds, budding Delia Smith's... Actually I was met with a around 40-50 ‘normal’ people who just happened to enjoy writing about their experiences of cooking or consuming food.

Upon arrival I mingled with several fellow bloggers. It was surprising how many of them had only started blogging within the past 2 months. Most like to blog about food that they had made and some liked to blog about food that they have eaten in restaurants. Most of the bloggers were focused on one area of food, such as baking, desserts or family food; one girl (who was not a vegetarian) liked to write about vegetables!

Most of the bloggers were from London, although there were some from all over the world, including Aoife Cox (The Daily Spud) who flew in from Dublin especially for this event!

While mingling and getting to know one another, most people (including myself) had business cards to give out. I had recently got a set of business cards printed and I was happy with the positive feedback that I got from them.

After the mingling it was time for lunch. The Levant is a Lebanese restaurant so the food was quite interesting. It was nice although I have to admit I couldn’t identify everything that I had bundled onto my plate. It must have been good however as I went up for a second (large) portion! The restaurant owner can breathe a sigh of relief as everyone I talked to seemed to like the food. There can’t be much worse for a restaurant than upsetting a restaurant full of food bloggers!

After stuffing ourselves to almost bursting point, we were directed to some comfortable chairs for a series of talks.

The first talk was about a recipe book that had been produced and mainly sold in America. The proceeds of that would go to charity.

The second talk was about food photography (a subject that I am quite interested in). I found some aspects of this interesting, however having recently done a photography course in Italy (with part of it involving food photography), I actually disagreed with some of what was said and I felt that some of it could have been explained better. However the basic message was good and clear – basically good photographs help encourage readers to read the text associated with them, plus bloggers should really think about the composition of the object being photographed to make it tantalising and exciting.

This was followed by a second talk on photography (from a more technical perspective). Many of the bloggers were hurriedly writing down notes as the presenter discussed the 4 key aspects of photography – ISO, Aperture, Focus and Depth of Field. Everything he said was correct and I could see the bloggers holding and looking at the settings on their cameras, but I think this type of talk would be more suited to a workshop than a quick talk. Although if it gets people thinking about photography and encourages them to research it a little after the event, then I’m all for it.

There were also talks on social media, writing style and copyright.  These 3 talks were all interesting. I personally didn’t agree with everything that each of the presenters said, but that is what makes these types of sessions fun – seeing things from another person’s point of view, who is in the same ‘blogging space’ as you.

After the talks we were given goodie bags which included some healthy food items such as hemp, smoked and un-smoked sea salt, pepper, a large block of cheese, olives with chillies and some other interesting items.

As the talks had over-run by around 30 minutes and it was nearing 18:00, we were gently ushered out of the section of the restaurant we were in so that the restaurant staff could prepare it for guests.

They had a professional HD video camera which they used to film aspects of the entire event plus interview bloggers about their blogs. There were quite a few people eager to do this so I didn’t get a chance to this time – maybe next time.

So overall I found it to be a very well run event, especially for the first one. I’m sure Bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) is already organising the next one! I thought it was a great way to meet other bloggers whose blogs I had read, discover blogs that I have not found yet, probe people about information that I wanted to know for GetMeCooking (e.g. which cooking websites they use and what they do and do not like about them) and in general learn what the food blogging community is up to right now.

I can’t wait for the next one! See you there?

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  • Profile picture of Paul
    A music video of the event has been posted here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYpGNkbJ_M0&feature=player_embedded and I am in it :-)
    Posted by on 13 December 2009 19:04
  • Profile picture of Paul
    I agree, things did get a bit rushed, but it was great fun.

    FBC10 - I'll be there! :-)
    Posted by on 12 December 2009 16:02
  • Guest
    Sorry I didn't get to meet you, there wasn't enough mingling time, lol! Great write-up and hope to see you in 2010!
    Posted by Guest on 12 December 2009 15:35
  • Guest
    Paul! Wow you don't waste any time :) Thanks for an honest review. I agree that not everyone is going to agree with everything that is said. Everyone will apply what they think will work for them best. I'm glad you enjoyed it and the next one is definately going to be longer! The FBC committee is already hard at work ;)

    Bx
    Posted by Guest on 30 November 2009 13:48
  • Guest
    Hello Paul
    Lovely to meet you yesterday, I think your point about the photography talks is a good one and talking to Bethany today it sounds like the next event will be more workshop based.
    Sorry I didn't get to pick up one of your cards but I will be checking out your blog!
    Sarah, http://blog.maisoncupcake.com
    Posted by Guest on 29 November 2009 22:36
  • Profile picture of Paul
    Aoife - I'll see you there! :-)

    Good to meet you too Carly. I like how you review restaurants. I critique them all the time with my friends but don't write about them - mainly because there aren't that many decent restaurants in Milton Keynes and I don't want to get banned lol.
    Posted by on 29 November 2009 16:42
  • Guest
    Nice review Paul - not everyone is going to agree with everything that was said but I do think they did a good job for the first time out. I'd definitely be interested in travelling over from Dublin again for the next one! Aoife
    Posted by Guest on 29 November 2009 15:45
  • Guest
    Hi Paul, glad you enjoyed the event yesterday - me too. Lovely to meet you. Carly (Greedy Diva)
    Posted by Guest on 29 November 2009 15:41
  • Guest
    Sounds interesting, but too far away for me to attend anything like this.
    Posted by Guest on 29 November 2009 11:50
  • Profile picture of Paul
    General feedback from the event will be posted here: http://www.foodbloggerconnect.com/feedback/food-blogger-connect-2009/trackback/
    Posted by on 29 November 2009 10:27