First off, thank you to everyone who sponsored, spoke at, or attended the 2022 International Food Blogger Conference in El Paso. We especially want to thank Destination El Paso, which was a stellar partner over the last years during the pandemic in helping us run the conference. If you have not seen the short summary video, it is worth your time.
So where does the conference go from here?
We have no plans at this point to bring back the International Food Blogger Conference. Obviously, the pandemic has been bad for conferences. Even conferences that have run have tended to have fewer participants and sponsors than in pre-pandemic years. And while we think conferences will return, we at Zephyr Conferences also faced the reality of losing 1/2 our four-person staff due to the pandemic.
In 2021 we experienced a surge in (mostly domestic) travel and this surge has only increased in 2022, as people are hungry to again travel around the world. This means the tour side of our Zephyr United business has been booming and requiring much of our time and attention. Which we are not complaining about!
In the end, we have decided to not plan a 2023 International Food Blogger Conference unless something changes. We are open to any suggestions from key food industry players or influencer groups regarding the future of the IFBC.
Nancy Hartman says
While I fully understand the landscape of conferences in the past two years and the drop in attendance due to the pandemic, I was looking forward to attending IFBC 2023. I am excited that we are moving out of the pandemic, hopefully, and able to travel again, even if it is domestic. There aren’t that many conferences to attend for food bloggers and websites. Here’s hoping something changes.
I haven’t traveled or been to a conference since pre-pandemic and 2022 was still a little to soon for me. was looking forward to 2023 but i get it and wish you the best and thanks for all the previous food blogging conferences! Cheers☺️
Doug Levy says
Even though this is a completely reasonable decision, I hope there’s a way to keep something going. Maybe it’s smaller, maybe it’s not professionally produced, maybe it’s a hybrid event, or something completely different. At the very least, I hope the Facebook group keeps running so that the community that you and we have created stays together to the extent possible.
I also want to thank Allan and the Zephyr team for all they’ve done to create these complicated events. I have no idea how the economics works out, but I’m sure that there isn’t enough revenue to cover the many headaches.
This year’s event was smaller but in many ways, better. There was a lot of opportunity to learn from others, and that’s really the best part of a conference.
Thank you for your kind comments. The IFBC has been running since 2009 and we have been involved since 2010, so discontinuing it is an emotional decision. The decision is, in large part, due to recent attendance. If we had 120 people who could commit up front to being a paid attendee at a future conference, we could probably make it work.
I’m so looking forward to traveling and attending conferences again this year and into the future. I’ve attended 2 IFBC in the past and they were FANTASTIC! If/when another is planned both my husband and I would love to attend.
IDEA: The new IFBC could be all about the field trips (rather than a conference with speakers). Buses or train rides to various foodie destinations: wineries, breweries, restaurants, cooking classes, city food tours, and other culinary destinations and experiences in fun cities or those with a lot of cultural heritage. This would really draw people in and renew the excitement!
Stacey Mincoff says
I truly wanted to attend the last conference, but the pandemic as well as politics left me unsure about being in Texas at the time that I canceled (or hopefully postponed). I have a credit to attend this conference as well as the Everything Food Conference which has also decided to quit. I also have a $344 credit with American Airlines that I will lose as well because I canceled and that credit expires this month. I even paid for travel insurance, but it doesn’t apply since I didn’t actually have covid. I’m so sorry it’s been rough… It’s been rough on all of us. I do wish you would reconsider now that the pandemic is lifting. Surely there are people out there you can hire to help. I love this conference. I love seeing you, your team and so many friends that I’ve made along the way. You do such a great job, it would be a real shame to see that go to waste. Please reconsider, but I do understand.