We at Zephyr Conferences are a bit unusual in that we like to post a recap of our conferences and share some of the positives and negatives of it as seen by you, our attendees.
We have used the same 5.0 rating scale for the last 22 years, first with our active travel tours and for the last 12 years with our conferences. This allows us to compare all sessions and events at a conference with each other and with other conferences. And we make things difficult on ourselves by weighting the scale to be difficult, with a four meaning “very good” and a five meaning “outstanding”.
What You Loved
The Events: We asked our attendees to rate 12 separate events at IFBC19. For 11 of the 12, you rated the event a 4.30 or higher. Six of those events scored a 4.70 or higher. These are truly amazing scores for a conference full of people who have different likes and tastes. The events, excursions, and food rocked.
Food: 95% of you rated the food at IFBC19 as better than (63%) or equal to (32%) other food blogger conferences you have attended.
Fun: 100% of you rated IFBC19 as more fun (68%) or the same amount of fun (32%) as other food blogger conferences you have attended.
Operations: Your scores for Communications and Organization are excellent. Thank you. Although we are a small company, we do think we are pretty good at running an event, whether it be a bike tour in Italy, a wine media conference in Australia, or a food blogger conference in Juneau.
What We Need to Improve
The good thing is that there is really just one thing we need to improve for IFBC20 in El Paso. The bad thing is that it is likely the most critical component of a food blogger conference.
The content and speakers were rated highly this year, the third highest out of 11 total IFBCs. Yet this area still generated the most suggestions for improvement. In other words, while our content and speakers are very good, we need to improve to be outstanding.
I will take personal responsibility for this as I was in charge of determining content and securing speakers this year. And I have to face the reality that while I used to run a food blog, I gave it up when I moved recently (it was location specific) and I simply am not in touch enough with what food bloggers want.
Overall, IFBC19 was great. By a more than two to one ratio, attendees preferred it to other food blogger conferences they have attended. Clearly, after stops in Sacramento, New Orleans, and Juneau we have the events and food down. If you have not attended IFBC recently or never have, you are missing out on how great a food blogger conference can be.
And while you rated our content and speakers high, we need to do better. For 2020, we are going to take a new approach. We are going to hire one of you in the IFBC community to determine the content and speakers. We are going to ask that person to do a review of other conferences (and not just food blogger conferences), examine research on what is hot, peruse through recent attendee surveys, and come up with a plan for creating outstanding content and securing outstanding speakers in El Paso. If you are interested, send us a note or sign up for updates as we will be posting about this soon.