The first time I attended FBC, my Tuscan food blog Jul’s Kitchen (@JulsKitchen) was a year and a half old. I was an employee, I felt trapped in a job I didn’t like but that gave me enough money to live, travel and enjoy my life. I considered blogging just a fun hobby, a place where I could talk about my passion for food and meet other foodies.
Then I found a post about the first edition of FBC09, I saw happy faces and I felt a compelling urge to go there and share my passion with other people in real life. I asked for two days off at work and booked my ticket. I flew to London and was hosted by Sarka who kindly let me surf her couch, even though we had just met on Twitter a few months before.
During the three days of FBC10 I found inspiration, passion, friends, and motivation. I drank every single word during the conference, finding new ideas and discovering new sceneries, I fell in love with Pimm’s, met interesting people, found a bunch of amazing friends who are now among my best friends and spent hours talking with the other food bloggers, learning from their experiences, offering my point of view. I came back home with a new sense of food blogging, I started realising I could do more and better!
Last year I came back to FBC11 to meet old and new friends. It was my second time, I thought I could enjoy it more rationally, taking note of all the wise advice and the precious experiences shared with generosity. So I did, but again – I was overwhelmed by the friendly atmosphere and inspirational talks. I came back home smiling, thrilled! I couldn’t wait to get back home to start working on all the new ideas and projects born from just talking with food blogger friends.
After a few months my day job ended, but I was not scared, I felt confident enough to start living my new life as a professional food blogger thanks to all the successful examples I met at FBC10&11 and all the good advice I received there. It’s not easy; you must work twice as before, but I’m enjoying every single moment.
I cannot forget the strong network of friends that year after year FBC is developing; a safe net to come back to constantly for advice and motivation. They gave me the strength not to give up and are a constant inspiration. We have fun together, visiting each other and exchanging experiences and we learn from each other, dreaming and working together. It’s the best team you can imagine.
This year, I am attending the FBC12 conference for the third time: as every year I know I will be motivated and inspired. I am really looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, as the networking part is always the most exciting, you never know who you will find sitting next to you!
Have you seen the line up of speakers and workshops this year? Last year, coming back from FBC11, I was reading “Will Write for Food” on the plane, taking notes on the book pages and wishing to meet Dianne Jacobs someday. This year, I’ll be sitting in her class to attend the “Pen to Paper” food writing workshop, I cannot imagine anything more exciting… oh, wait! I also signed up for Ellen Silverman’s workshop on food photography, can’t wait to start playing with cameras and props to learn from a professional how to make gorgeous food shots.
To cut a long story short, every year I see the Food Blogger Connect event as a milestone, something that pushes me further, creates new goals and helps me to reach the previous ones. I can say that attending my first edition of FBC10 was the first step towards a good change in my career and life! Now, I work on my blog, teach Tuscan cooking classes to tourists here in Tuscany, I am working on my second book and I develop recipes for magazines and brands, enjoying every single aspect of my new life. I even released a short promo video for my upcoming cookbook.
FBC12 will also be offering a Showtime! Vblogging workshop hosted by Elena Parker for bloggers wanting to blog more in video. I hope to meet more bloggers this year to share experiences and grow together in this world of food blogging. Registration is still open, I can’t wait to see you all there!
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