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FBF Day 1 turned out to be a lot a fun, but I was really excited for Day 2’s events – the actual conference portion. This is what I came for, to learn ways I can become a better blogger.

We had a small continental breakfast before getting started… would you look at these fruit cups? LED cubes, so cool.

Fruit Cups

A lot of the information we learned could be universally interpreted not just for bloggers, but for bakers, businesses & everyday life.

SESSION 1

Session 1

Hosts: Jaden Hair (@SteamyKitchen), Scott Hair (@MrSteamyKitchen)
Topic: Redefining Success & Setting Goals

  • Takeaway Points:
  • When setting goals, always start with the emotion you’re trying to achieve. Ex: I’m trying to achieve “X” = what will “X” give me?
  • No’s can be more powerful than Yes’s. If an opportunity is going to take you away from the overall pursuit of your goal, maybe its not the right opportunity for you.
  • Pursue emotion rather than physical items (money, car, etc); what will really make you happy in your life?
  • The simple things in life, such as experiences, will mean more; memories last, physical things tend not to. Take time to appreciate the small, simple pleasures.
  • What does success mean to you – is it x-number of blog comments, a certain number of Facebook fans, a monetary goal, or more family time? Take time to define your meaning of success; if you aren’t conscious of your meaning of success, how will you know when you achieve it?

SESSION 2

Session 2

Hosts: Scott Porter (@RiceOnWhite) & Diane Cu (@WhiteOnRice)
**Cake poppers… Todd & Diane work with Bakerella!
Topic: Taking Your Visual Ideas to Flight

  • Takeaway Points:
  • Look beyond the obvious; what is your story/message?
  • Your eyes are your lens; your heart is your shutter.
  • Value the imperfect photos; there is story within a moment, authenticity is beautiful.
  • Mood, feel, voice, message – know what you want to say. Focus on ideas, story and powerful messages.
  • Go outside yourself; what stories are going on around you, tell someone else’s story.
  • Video is becoming a powerful medium. Try sites like animoto.com to get you started.

We had a break for lunch, and oh my, what a lunch it was. Disney is all about details – from princess themed croutons to the right color sprinkles, they are masters of their craft. Well, except for cake pops (major bummer), see end of this post.

Monster's Inc. Cupcakes

Monster’s Inc. & Princess Cupcakes

Turkey Pot Pie

There was a very scary incident at lunch (which I’m not sure any of us were aware of at the time)… Rebecca of Foodie with Family choked on a piece of food; she is ok, thank goodness, thanks to a well-trained chef. Please read her post; it’s an important reminder about the need for everyone to be trained in life-saving skills such as the Heimlich maneuver… you never know when an emergency will strike.

SESSION 3

Session 3

Hosts: Elise Bauer (@SimplyRecipes), Babette Pepaj (@BakeSpace) & Erik Deutsch (@EricDeutsch)
Topic: Technology Talk – Trends & Tools

  • Takeaway Points:
  • Optimize for mobile. Mobile is a major driving force for blog traffic; research style sheets for mobile settings or plug-ins for mobile sites.
  • Video, video video. Video is such a powerful visual tool.
  • Pinterest is the number one traffic driving source for most blogs. Place pin buttons on your images and try out Pin Chats. The best time to Pin is 7am-11am & 7pm-11pm on Sunday through Tuesday.
  • Research ways to monitize your blog; it can make money for you if you know the right tools.

SESSION 4

Session 4

Hosts: Lindsay Landis (@LoveAndOliveOil), David Leite (@DavidLeite), Julie Deily (@TheLittleKitchn) & Jeff Houck (@JeffHouck)
Topic: Grassroots Community Building

  • Takeaway Points:
  • Be authentic! This cannot be stressed enough.
  • Consistency & discipline are keys for success.
  • Designate a time every day to blog (or work on a personal task); if you don’t make it a priority, it will get brushed to the side for other things.
  • Acknowledge your audience. Reply to comments – these people are what keep you going.

Day 2 Candids

After each session, there was a small break in which they would pull names for giveaways. The sponsors donated amazing items like KitchenAid stand mixers, OXO gift baskets, Chobani for a year, King Arthur Flour gift sets – oh, and 2 people won KitchenAid stoves! I was super surprised when my name got pulled for this beauty, a Le Creuset saucier… which had a few interesting rides through the x-ray scanner at the airpot (TSA was not sure what to make of it in my carry-on).

Le Creuset Saucier

The only disappointing food of the weekend were the cake pops… or bake pops actually. Yes, sigh, Disney uses the pop machines.

IMG_9444And unfortunately, there wasn’t much care given to their presentation. After seeing LED cubes in my fruit cup earlier, this was slightly disheartening, especially me being a cake pop maker. Sadly, they tasted as dry as they looked.

We are a conference of food bloggers, 125 people armed with at least one camera (two if you count our phones). Disney, call me – I know some talented bakers I could send your way.

IMG_9446After the conference, a small group of us got together for our Foodie Swap. This was organized a few weeks before FBF. Each person brought a food item from their local area, and we all traded. This is what I came home with!!! Stay tuned to my social media pages, I will be sharing about each one as I try them.

Food Swap

Later that evening, we headed over to The Hollywood Studios. (L-R) Karen (Pint Sized Baker), Charles (Local Forkful) & Vijay (Nosh On It). I really liked them until they peer-pressured me into getting on the Tower of Terror, lol.

Group

Anytime I mentioned something about not wanting to be in line, Karyn loved it & would crack up laughing. Here we are, seconds before the ride started.

Tower of Terror

We had a private dessert reception at The Hollywood Studios & got to see Fantasmic – a really, really cool show that used amazing water and lighting effects, and featured almost every Disney character I could think of. Here are my two fav’ shots of the night…

Mickey

IMG_0448

 

Please tune in for Day 3 and my overall wrap-up tomorrow!

 

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