We heard you – and as the organizers of the International Food Blogger Conference, we would like to own up to a few areas in which we did not perform as highly as we could have last year and share with you how we plan to improve. This conference is for you and about you, and as the longest-running conference dedicated to food bloggers, we’re committed to listening to you and working for you. We love what we do, in short, because of you. So, here’s our plan and commitment for 2017 and beyond based on the feedback you provided.
Content Subject Areas: We admit we fell in love with the Sacramento “farm to fork” theme and we added quite a few content sessions related to this topic. However, our 2016 attendees were clear in telling us this was not the subject matter of interest of greatest interest to them. “This is supposed to be a food blogging conference, not a food conference,” they might as well have told us.
What We Will Do: Go back to our focus on blogging, social media, writing, and technology. We will still incorporate “farm to fork,” but this will take place in the pre-conference and post-conference excursions to local farms, wineries, and businesses.
Content Quality: We also did not do a good enough job getting our speakers to deliver content that is advanced enough for our audience. This left some of our sessions too full of fluff.
What We Will Do: As we did last year, we will incorporate an annual standard content search including a public Call for Content (this year’s open through March 13th), a private vote on potential sessions by IFBC Alumni, a Presenters Packet sent to selected speakers, and detailed communication up to and after the event with speakers. We have also implemented the first-ever Advisory Board for the IFBC, with which we will confer and collaborate on all things IFBC. We expect these processes to ensure high-quality, advanced-level, real-world, blogging-focused content for our attendees.
Date Selection: We erred in selecting the 2017 date which conflicts with a major Jewish holiday. This was not intentional and has nothing to do with being political, anti-religious, or even anti-Semitic. If you know us, you know that couldn’t be further from the truth. Rather, it was solely due to having limited options in Sacramento where we were already committed for 2017, including negotiating with four separate hotels until finally moving to the convention center.
What We Will Do: Plan farther in advance. Securing locations for the following year is a BIG project and we usually start well in advance. Because we knew we would be returning to Sacramento, we let this process slide until too late in the year, and our options were gone. In the future, we will not repeat this error and apologize sincerely for the unfortunate timing this year.
Thank you to everyone that provided feedback after the 2016 event. Your thoughts, insights and ideas are always welcome and an important aspect of what makes the IFBC one of the best food blogger conferences available. We also appreciate your praise and comments about the good aspects of the conference, and will continue to work to enhance those areas as well. But one never improves by focusing on what one does well, and it is important to us to own up publicly when we do fall short of our high standards.
With that said, we want you to know that we love what we do and that we’re committed to providing you with an event that propels your passions. We want to do the best job possible and we’ll do that, in part, by listening to you.
We believe in the mission of the IFBC and will continue to foster its success as well as yours! We hope to see you in September in Sacramento. You can register here – and please note, we’re extending the early bird discount through April 4, 2017!