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Taryn is the Content Creator, Food Photographer, and Recipe Developer behind Hot Pan Kitchen, a gluten free recipe blog that mostly focuses on real foods with some treats. She’s shot photography for brands, bloggers, and restaurants. Taryn has been creating content for about two years, which gives her a sweet spot of some experience but also remembering what it was like to get started and she think others who are just starting out can benefit from lessons she’s learned.


Notes from Episode #056: What To Know About Attending Food Conferences Before You Go

  • Fun fact: Taryn is from the Seattle area but doesn’t like coffee! She does drink tea. 

  • You’ll get something out of any conference you attend because there is so much helpful material and just having the desire to learn helps. Food blogging conferences are great but there are other types of conferences that could have value for you too so consider those as well.

  • What to take into consideration when deciding which conference to attend:

    • Location

    • Do you know someone that’s going to attend

    • Who’s speaking

    • Budget

    • Feedback from previous attendees to help decide which offers you the best material

    • Networking – who’s speaking, which Brands will attend?

    • What skills will you gain 

  • Benefits 

    • Expanding your circle

    • Broadening your audience

    • Networking

  • Logistics to think about

    • Where will you stay – check out AirBNB optinos because you can share and still have your private space!

    • Reach out and share a room with other bloggers – engage with people through Facebook Conference page so you can easily connect. Great way to get to know others and have someone you know to hang with at the conference.

    • Share transportation – Uber, Lyft

    • Connect for meals with other bloggers by setting it up in advance – great way to get to know another blogger!

    • Swag – you might receive great gifts and you have to make arrangements to get it back to you. Leave extra room in your suitcase! You don’t want to leave cool items behind. 

    • What to wear – be comfortable! But also confident and fabulous. Give yourself a boost of self-confidence! 

      • Be mindful of the dress code for different events that may be held. Workshops might be more casual than the main conference. Be sure to check the weather so you’re not caught surprised. You can also check instagram and see what other people have worn in previous conferences. General rule of thumb: dress on the nicer side so you can represent yourself well.

  • Bring business cards! This is good for networking and to hand out to Brands. If you have a picture on your biz card, that is super helpful to place a name and face after returning from the conference. 

    • Hand a business card IF someone asks for them. But don’t just pass them out to just anyone. If you establish a connection, then it’s another good time to give out a card. 

  • Bring your computer with you

    • You can take notes as you go

    • You are still able to work on something that needs to be taken care of in off times or at the airport. 

  • Cameras are expensive, bulky and usually not needed unless it’s a specific conference that needs it.

  • Water bottle

  • Snacks! 

    • Bring some with you.

    • Especially if you have an allergy or food restriction

    • Higher protein snacks because you are busy and will need the pick me up

  • Bring a larger bag that’s easy to carry around like a backpack to carry items you’re given while at the conference because you’re not able to run back to the hotel or place you’re staying during the day.

  • What to expect from the Experience itself:

    • You’ll enter a conference and there will be a sea of people. But everyone’s having that same experience so don’t let it overwhelm you.

    • Jump from table to table and really connect with many people so you make the most of your time and get to know new people. 

    • Research what Brands will be at the conference. Make sure you “like” and follow their social media pages. Shoot them a quick message online introducing yourself and that you’ll be attending X conference. Then when you get to the show, you have a touchpoint to reference when introducing yourself. 

  • The Aftermath

    • Decompression time: necessary for introverts especially, but for everyone, plan to come home and take some down time. Give yourself a day or two to slowly get back into the swing of things. 

    • Be sure to look over the notes you took while they are fresh in your mind. If you hand wrote notes, type them up. 

    • Make a to-do list or tasks to get started on, for immediate implementation and some plans for other things down the line.  

  • Taryn’s advice: Nervousness and anxiety and excitement tend to stem from the same place in the body. So if you do a mindset shift, and let your anxiety become excitement, that can help you overcome the stress and let it become positive.

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