Below is the agenda for IFBC19 in Juneau, Alaska. All events will take place at the Centennial Hall Convention Center unless otherwise indicated. We will be filling in the final content and speakers no later than February. Please add your email address to the Get IFBC News box to the right to stay informed. Previous years’ agendas and speakers can be found in our Archives.
Thursday, June 20
Pre-Conference Excursions: See the Excursions page for details.
- 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Juneau Food Tours “Tour With Taste”
- 12:00 – 3:00 PM Glacier Beer, Seafood Tasting, & Helicopter Tour
- 2:30 – 5:30 PM Alaskan Brewing Company Tasting & Tour
- 2:30 – 5:30 PM Juneau Food Tours “Bites and Booze”
6:30 – 8:30 PM Opening Reception: Sponsored by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute featuring premium Alaskan seafood small bites with a wine and beer open bar. With special appearances by Chef Beau Schooler and Chef Lionel Udippa, winners of the 2015 and 2017 Great American Seafood Cook-off competitions. The reception will take place at the Glass Atrium in the Alaska State Museum, which is a nice 1/2 mile walk along the waterfront from the host hotel.
Friday, June 21
Breakfast On Your Own
8:00 AM – 6:30 PM Registration & Sponsor Expo: Check in to the conference and meet with our sponsors.
8:15 – 9:15 AM Intro to Food Blogging: Much of the content at the IFBC presumes you already have experience with blogging and social media. If you are new to blogging, make sure to join this one-hour session where we will cover the basics and get you up to speed for the rest of the event! Topics covered will include polishing up your existing blog, engaging in social media, the basics of search engine optimization, promoting your posts once you hit publish, and more. Presenters will be Shannon Epstein of Fit Slow Cooker Queen, who in her first two years of blogging went from zero page views to 500K, and Allan Wright of Zephyr Conferences who had his own food and drink blog and now runs three influencer conferences including the IFBC.
8:15 – 9:15 AM Kitchen Bloggers Meetup: Join the Kitchen Bloggers group and host Trish Lindemood to learn about this group, network, and have a little fun. This informal get together is designed both for those already in the Kitchen Bloggers group and those interested to learn more.
9:30 – 10:00 AM Conference Opening and Introduction to the IFBC
10:00 – 11:45 AM Advice From the Experts: Hear from veteran, expert food bloggers Jason Logsdon from Amazing Food Made Easy and Toni Dash fromBoulder Locavore who will expound on everything you can and should be doing as a food blogger to perfect your craft. These two will cover establishing a niche, identifying who your community is, improving your email newsletter, mastering social media, and much more.
11:45 AM – 1:15 PM Lunch On Your Own
1:15 – 2:15 PM Discovery Sessions: Hear from two of our sponsors who will entertain and educate you with their food products.
2:15 – 2:30 PM Break
2:30 – 3:30 PM Food Writing – A Professional View: Almost everyone attending the IFBC is a food writer via one medium or another. And many attendees monetize their blogs or social media followings. But getting paid to write stories about food is still a rarity. We’ll hear from two professional writers about the realities of professional writing including finding paid assignments, working with editors, the changing world of print publications, and more. Kae Lani Kennedy is the Food & Travel Editor at USA TODAY 10Best and Katie Workman is a columnist for the Associated Press.
3:30 – 4:30 PM Food Blogging Around the World: Hear from four different bloggers from four different countries about their experiences with food blogging, social media, working with brands, and more. We tentatively have food bloggers participating from China and Western Europe.
4:30 – 6:00 PM Gift Suite and Taste of Juneau: Two great events in one! At the Gift Suite, you can pick and choose which from dozens of local Juneau and Alaska products you would like to take home and try. The Taste of Juneau is an unparalleled opportunity to taste food from 15 – 20 Juneau restaurants.
6:15 – 7:15 PM Lightning Talks: Following on the success of the 2018 event, we will have 10 of your fellow attendees get up on stage to deliver five-minute, Ignite-style “Lightning Talks”. With 20 slides each advancing automatically on 15-second intervals, speakers have to be on the top of their game to deliver fun, informative, often hilarious talks. We will put out a Call for Speaker to registered conference attendees about 45 days before the event.
Saturday, June 22
Breakfast On Your Own
8:30 AM – 5:45 PM Registration & Expo: Meet our Sponsors, register, or let us know if you have any questions.
9:00 – 10:00 AM Breakout Sessions: Choose one of two.
- Session One: Professionalizing Your Video: We all know video is supposed to be queen of content and within the last few years this seems to have happened in the food world. But while once a homemade video shot and edited on your cell phone would be sufficient, now brands and many viewers are demanding more professional work. Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack of Muy Bueno Cookbook will walk us through finding, hiring, and working with a videographer; using virtual assistants to cook and record your recipes for you; and pitching videos to brands to recoup your investment.
- Successfully Representing Brands Without Being a Star Food Blogger: Speaker Raj Thandhi from Pink Chai Living will provide a blue print for how you can represent food brands without being one of the few stars out there with an amazing Alexa rating on your blog and over 100,000 social media followers. Raj would consider her blog only semi successful yet she is under contract to represent three companies on a long-term basis and is a social media ambassador for her city.
10:00 – 10:15 AM Break
10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Breakout Sessions: Choose one of two
- How I Survived the Influencer Plague: Jordan Catapano of This Girl Walks Into a Bar had a successful cocktail blog that was humming along from 2011 – 2014 with paid sponsorships, partnerships, trips, and appearances. But then influencer mania seduced her clients and she watched as her paid gigs started going to high profile influencers who had no expertise in cocktails. This forced Jordan to reexamine the goal of her brand, to reinvent her site, and to emerge with a business that exists both in the virtual and the real world. If you are looking to launch a real world business from the credibility of your food blog, you will want to listen as Jordan shares her journey and her tips for success.
- From 0 to 100K Monthly Page Views in Nine Months: Blogger Christine Pittman has perfected a strategy for creating and growing food blogs quickly. She grew her first site from 250,000 page views a month to 1.2 million a month in about two years; grew a second site to 100,000 page views in just nine months and to above 500,000 a month in 1.5 years; and launched a third site that is on target to hit 10,000 monthly page views in six months — the same pace that each of the other sites met on their ways to success. Even better, Christine is an open book about her strategies and will provide a clear blueprint on how you can do the same.
11:15 – 11:30 AM Break
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose one of two
- My Love Hate Relationship With Instagram: Dara Pollak is a food blogger and photographer at The Skinny Pig and has used Instagram extensively to communicate with her followers. She will talk about how to find your “voice” on Instagram, food photography tips and tricks, and how to use the site to create compelling content and stand out amongst the crowd. But there is more. Dara has found Instagram’s new algorithms tend to hide her content from her followers and force her to produce not what she wants to post but what Instagram thinks she should. We’ll hear both the good and the bad about Instagram in this session.
- How to Self-Publish — Concept to Paperback!: Raise your hand if you have thought about publishing a cook book! We know most of our audience has thought of this and many of you have already done so. In this session, Jessica Stier from Desserts With Benefits has helped her turn to food blogging and writing as a full-time job not too far removed from college. Jessica will share her blueprint for self-publishing a book that she has already used to produce two cookbooks with a third on the way.
12:30 – 2:00 PM Lunch on Your Own
2:00 – 4:00 PM Small-Group Discussions: This session allows you, our attendees, to drive the discussion. Ask your questions and provide your input. All ideas are good ideas, so leave your expectations at the door and come in with your ears open and be ready to participate. This is a way to reverse the typical one-directional flow of communication at a conference and puts our attendees in charge. We will have five different small-group discussions and you are free to wander in and out or stay in the one that motivates you the most. Each session will have a leader/moderator who is an expert in the subject matter. Sessions include:
- Technology: This includes topics such as Wordpress plugins, SEO, Google Analytics, site backups, caching, database maintenance, or anything else that is on your mind. Our Small Group Discussion leader is Lisa MarcAurele of Low Carb Yum.
- Food Writing: Follow up on the morning’s conversation or decide to head off on other food writing subjects.
- Social Media: We can discuss everything from Instagram to YouTube and gaining followers to scheduling your posts.
- Making Money: There is more to monetizing than simply using an ad network. Let’s discuss how to make monetization work for you! From creating books and other products, pitching to brands, creating paid courses, joining affiliate programs, and licensing recipes, we’ll talk about all the other interesting ways to make money while serving your readers. Led by veteran blogger Jana Seitzer of Whisky + Sunshine.
- All Things Blogging: This is the only small-group discussion not oriented towards advanced bloggers. This is your opportunity to ask anything you want about blogs and blogging.
4:00 – 4:15 PM Break
4:15 – 5:00 PM Keynote: To be announced
5:00 – 6:00 PM Live Food & Drink Social: Live Food & Drink Social (previously called Live Food & Drink Blogging) is becoming the signature event of the International Food Blogger Conference. We will invite 15 food producers to come in and present to our group. The format is sort of like speed dating, with each producer having five minutes to present their product to a table of attendees, all while the food influencers taste, evaluate, and write about, photograph, and video their thoughts, posting to blogs and social media as they go. After five minutes, producers rotate to a new table and we do it all again for 10 rounds in total. Live Food & Drink Social is fast, fun, and sometimes crazy!
6:00 – 6:15 PM Announcement of 2020 Location and Conference Close
6:15 – 6:30 PM The Life of a Food Blogger: We will have a final, light-hearted look at The Life of a Food Blogger by Heather Johnson, The Food Hussy.
Sunday, June 23
Post-Conference Excursion: See the Excursions page for details.
- 9:00 – 11:00 AM Whale Watching Tour With Juneau Tours