April 18, 2014

10 things I learned at Foodportunity

I have a soft spot for a very special food event called Foodportunity. It’s produced quarterly by the fabulous Keren Brown (@franticfoodie on Twitter), and brings together a variety of restaurants, food companies and Seattle-area “foodies”.  It’s an opportunity to meet and greet, try samples of fabulous food and just generally indulge.  It’s the venue I found my very first two social media consulting clients - thus the soft spot! – and the gathering always inspires and motivates me.  And makes me very, very full.

I recently ventured back for my fourth visit to this fab event and found it my most rewarding time yet – and felt compelled to share with you the top 10 things I learned at Foodportunity this go-round:

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  1. Social media relationships come to life when you actually get to meet IRL (in real life!). There were a handful of Twitter followers I had only interacted with online, albeit frequently! But Foodportunity delivered them in living color, right before my very eyes!  I finally was able to chat IRL with fab photographer Jackie Baisa (@JackieBaisa), food writer Julien Perry (@tastebud1), Seattle Times writer Marc Ramirez (@typewriterninja) and Taste director/chef Danielle Custer (@dcbites).
  2. Many of my Twitter friends had new jobs - and I had missed the memo!  But finally getting in the same room caught me up to speed quickly – one has left social media freelancing for a full-time Yahoo gig, another is switching newspapers (and cities!), and yet another has moved from her solo PR gig to helping a local cooking store with marketing and events. But remain connected through this funny little thing called Twitter.
  3. A la Mode Pies (@alamodepies) is the bomb! This amazing little company had slipped under my radar, even though I was following them on Twitter – but I am now their #1 raving fan!  Imagine fresh baked pies DELIVERED to your door (free in Seattle and Bellevue)…amazing flavor combinations…and the best, PIE ON A STICK!  Yes, the LolliPie is sure to be a new wedding/party favorite and destined to kick cupcakes to the curb. Okay, maybe not that last one, but this Pie on a Stick concept has some serious potential.  Stay tuned…
  4. You can send a beer to a friend – even if they live hundreds of miles away.  Huh??  For real – check out Beer2Buds and check out this cool and frosty concept.  There are almost 40 bars/restos in Washington signed up now - who knew?!
  5. I have a groupie (LOL!) and she is a very nice person.  Yes, it’s true – the lovely Jenn Davis (@AmateurGourmand) had told the world recently that I was her “Twitter Idol”, much to my surprise.  I was a little taken aback, yet flattered, and very curious…and when I finally met her at Foodportunity, she couldn’t have been any nicer.  And someone I am proud to boast as my groupie – and it isn’t creepy at all.
  6. Many people are afraid to approach chefs and/or authors one-on-one, even when the event is set up for that format. I talked with several repeat attendees who longed for the “old days” of Foodportunity, when the 4-5 featured speakers were on a panel and took Q&A from the entire group for 20-30 minutes.  The current set up had featured guests in a separate room and you had to be bold/brave/dumb enough to walk up and talk with them directly. I think most would prefer hearing all the questions and responses in a public way, to gather the most of the awesome knowledge/talent in the room. We aren’t all as bold as you think. Me included.
  7. Some of my “old” friends made via Twitter, that I hadn’t seen in awhile, are alive and doing well!  (as I expected…) That would be you @jeffreykingman, @taylor_tweets, @carissaang, and @yasharwinemongr, to name a few.
  8. Many foodies and restaurants are still not sure how to make the most of their efforts on Twitter – and several might be inclined to use my consulting services in the near future. I am ready and waiting for your call…you know who you are.
  9. The most popular bites of the night were the Beef Tongue Crostini from Luc/The Chef in the Hat and the Pork Belly Banh Mi from Matt’s in the Market. Hands down, no questions asked - nearly every attendee commented and tweeted about these tasty treats.
  10. Keren is taking her Foodportunity show on the road, debuting in Portland on Sept. 13 (@foodportunityOR).  I’m thinking an Amtrak kind of weekend might be in store…

So, if you were at Foodportunity, I’d love to hear what YOU learned…the forum is open below!

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Comments

  1. I don’t know how I can thank you enough, this kind of thing is what Foodportunity is about.

    Seeing your amazing business thrive is very inspiring. You are so appreciative of your contacts and the people you meet and I think that is very important when networking. Keep doing what you do. You are rockin it!

  2. Jenn says:

    Whew, glad I don’t come off as creepy. Great meeting you IRL as well!

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