I’m sure by now most people who are less lazy than I am have posted full reviews of the Foodbuzz Festival and you’ve probably heard lots of great things about the conference. And I completely agree – the festival was awesome! It was much more food-focused (as the name implies) than the other blogging conferences I’ve been to, and there was only 3 panel sessions during the whole event. Most conferences are largely made up of the sessions, and this one was largely made up of eating all over San Fran. I didn’t mind, though.
Rather than do a play-by-play of the entire conference, I’ll just share some things that surprised me about the conference and San Francisco in general.
1.) The events of the conference were spread throughout the city.
Every conference I’ve ever attended (or worked on, since that’s what I do for a living!), has been in one building from start to finish, with maybe an event or two offsite. The Foodbuzz Festival had every event at a completely different location spread throughout the city, and I absolutely LOVED that. It was so great to actually get to see San Francisco, rather than be inside a hotel all day which could have been anywhere.
2.) San Francisco has an underground train like DC and NY.
Even if the trains were only 2 cars long, I didn’t even know the Muni existed! And it’s a good thing, too, because we used it to get to the Saturday morning sessions!
3.) I knew no one.
I feel like most of the time when I go to these conferences, there are plenty of familiar faces and of course new people to meet, but I barely knew or recognized anyone at Foodbuzz! I actually kind of loved that because I felt like I got to meet so many new people and it felt great to be completely anonymous. I didn’t meet even one person there who said they read my blog!
4.) San Francisco is really as hilly as they say it is.
I’m not sure why this surprised me, but the entire city was SO hilly. I’d heard it many times, but didn’t believe it until I saw it with my own eyes.
5.) Some big bloggers use iphone pics almost exclusively on their blogs.
One of the seminars I went to was called “Beyond the DSLR” and talked about using cameras OTHER than those big fancy (expensive) DSLRs that so many big bloggers use. One of the presenters used his iphone almost exclusively for his blog, and another presenter, who was actually a professional photographer by day, used his point-and-shoot exclusively for his blog. It made me realize I need to invest more time and energy into my photos even though I don’t have a fancy camera.
6.) San Francisco has the best coffee I’ve ever tasted, hands down.
Blue Bottle Coffee. Go there.
7.) Male food bloggers are plentiful.
Relatively speaking, that is. I’d say about 30% of the attendees were male, whereas about 2% are male at the normal healthy living blog events I attend (hey Evan!).
8.) My friend Robyn is the best hostess ever.
Really, you should be friends with her if you ever want to go to SF. After the conference was over, she came and scooped me at my hotel and gave me a tour of the entire city! We saw the golden gate bridge from every angle, walked along the beach, got some incredible coffee, and also had some amazing meals at Foreign Cinema on Monday night, Beretta on Sunday night, and Tadich Grill on Friday night. And man, looking up the URLs for those restaurants just made me mildly depressed that I’m not in San Fran anymore.
8.) Tyler Florence is the nicest guy ever.
I know, but I can’t stop. Love him.
10.) Butter really does make everything better, even oatmeal.
I got this amazing bowl of fluffy steel cut oats from the same place I got the skim cappuccino pictured above, and they serve it with whipped butter and brown sugar. I wasn’t sure whether I was going to love it or not, so I just put the smallest amount of butter in the oats and it melted and slid down the heap of oatmeal and I could.not.get.over. how amazing it was. I immediately put the rest of the butter in the oats and devoured the entire bowl. You only live once.