We have a list of 3,787 active food bloggers. Most have, of course, never been to the IFBC nor likely to any food blogger conference. So we decided to contact a few of our 2018 attendees who were new to the IFBC to ask them how they found last year’s conference. Here is the first of those responses, provided by Leanna Pierre of Mrs. Island Breeze.
Why/How did you start your blog? Tell us about your brand/ mission.
Leanna: I started my blog as a creative outlet from my day job. I love being an attorney. It’s challenging and exciting, but it can also be quite stressful. In searching for an outlet to relieve my stress, I realized that I was happiest when I was in my kitchen. Mrs. Island Breeze is an ode to my love for cooking and cuisines from all across the globe. I believe that food is something that unites us all across time, space, race, and culture. My goal with Mrs. Island Breeze is to get people back into their kitchens, creating memories, and trying new things.
What were your thoughts and feelings about IFBC18 in New Orleans before you actually attended?
Leanna: I was excited, but also very nervous. At the time, my blog was barely over a year old. I wondered whether my blog was too “young” for me to attend a conference like this. I wondered whether the topics would go over my head and I would not be able to really get the most out of the experience. But I was also excited to meet fellow foodies and, of course, enjoy fabulous food in New Orleans.
What was your experience like at the conference?
Leeana: My experience was fabulous! Honestly, it was even better than I expected. The hotel on Bourbon Street was amazing. The scheduled tours and excursions were interesting and well thought out. I was able to visit Liberty’s Kitchen, which added a fantastic social responsibility and community improvement aspect to the conference through the lens of food.
The actual sessions were full of information that was not only relevant, but digestable and applicable regardless of where a particular attendee may be in his or her blogging journey. The
speakers and panelists were all incredibly knowledgeable, honest, and accessible. And, without question, the highlight of the conference was meeting Michael Twitty. I had a full on fan girl moment. I’m talking running down the hall, calling his name, just to snag a picture. It’s a moment that I will treasure forever.
What would you like to tell food bloggers who have never attended the IFBC but are considering doing so?
Leeana: Do it! Don’t worry about all the what ifs. Just do it. You won’t regret it and you’ll make
some fantastic foodie friends along the way. I keep in touch with quite a few of the 2018
attendees. And let’s be honest. When else are you going to go to Juneau, Alaska?!