IFBC 2017: Day One, Reader’s Digest Condensed Version

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So, I’m writing the first couple of paragraphs of my obligatory IFBC post and realizing that it is freaking boring.  It’s hard enough to be creative of my own volition while still being interesting but quite a different story when I have to do it (three blog posts on the conference in exchange for the hefty $300 discount on registration – totally worth it, but I’m still having writer’s block).  I think I’ll stick with a few highlights from the day and cover with a detailed post later in the weekend (and when it’s not close to midnight!).  Starting over…

Anyway, being this is my first ever IFBC (I’d really only heard of it this year), I had no idea what to expect.  I printed out the 11-page packet they e-mailed to us, but all I could glean from the daily agenda was that I needed to register first.  I tied myself up in knots for nothing about arriving on time as “registration” was simply picking up my pre-printed ID badge from the table where they were all laid out.  This basically set the tone for the day as most things I encountered throughout the day were far less anxiety-inducing than my own overactive imagination.  Off to the stand providing complimentary coffee (courtesy of SF Bay Coffee).

Being both an introvert and suffering from social anxiety, I found neither serving as a deterrent as I met and chatted with various other attendees throughout the day.  No big surprise, I guess; I typically find it much easier to talk to others when there’s an activity that connects us as the conversations are often about said activity.  Given that, it was a pretty enjoyable and information-packed day, never mind the abundance of food samples (to be detailed in a later post).  An added bonus is that by meeting other bloggers, we all had the opportunity to network (several I met were pretty organized as they had blog-related business cards ready to hand out).  I don’t think I met a single soul who wasn’t friendly.  I think the “oddest” aspect of the day was how many locals I met (including Bay area attendees).  At one point, I was standing at a highboy table with two attendees I’d just met, and it turned out all three of us live in Sacramento.  I don’t recall the last time I was able to just walk up to random groups of people and join them.  Everyone was pretty welcoming and interested to learn about each other.

I think I enjoyed every aspect of the day, except the walk to the park for lunch (normally a short easy walk of 2-3 blocks but difficult when you have mobility issues as I do these days; I ended up calling Gabriel to pick me up during his lunch so I wouldn’t have to walk back, which ended up being me joining him as he headed home to check on our dogs Blue and Molly since I still had over an hour to kill).

The day officially started with a keynote speaker from CropMobster then a panel of two women who’ve successfully transitioned to blogging only full-time as well-paying careers.  Following that panel was the lunch break.

Lunch was also complimentary (or covered by the cost of our registration fees).  It was provided by Nugget Markets and was pretty nice.  The only bad thing I’d have to say is they way over-estimated the number of meat sandwiches they’d need and way underestimated the number of vegetarian sandwiches they’d need (there was a giant pile of ham & cheese sandwiches remaining at the end).  I and another 1-2 attendees were admonished by one of the Nugget employees for not providing a special order for a vegetarian sandwich.  One of the other attendees pointed out that a vegetarian sandwich is standard fare so there’s no reason we would’ve thought to need to order one.  I learned later from someone who had been in the line earlier that there actually were vegetarian sandwiches among the sections of meat sandwiches but they’d quickly run out.  A little bit of a hiccup there, but, in the end, I did get a vegetarian sandwich, which was pretty tasty (and of a fairly generous size).  I would’ve loved to get a meat sandwich as they were equally huge in size, but since it’s Friday, it’s a no-meat day for me.

Following the long, leisurely lunch, we were treated to a choice of either a presentation on Modena balsamic vinegar or on Superior Farms lamb.  I wasn’t that interested in vinegar, and Gabriel’s a huge fan of lamb so I chose lamb.  It would’ve been nice to get the full-sized bottle of vinegar received by those who attended the vinegar presentation, but we did get two lamb sliders as “samples” so I think we did okay.  Only thing is I couldn’t eat those and still honor my no-meat day commitment so I saved them in the food storage bags I had the last-minute forethought to bring and gave them to Gabriel.

There were another two simultaneous presentations afterwards so, again, we had to choose one of the two – either on making money from your blog or boosting your Instagram following.  Since we’d just heard from two women with numerous tips on how to make money blogging, I figured I’d rather hear about Instagram.

The last activity of the day was the vendor samples and giveaways tables.  Another great chance to mingle with fellow attendees, we got to stuff a Sacramento Municipal Airport tote with a large variety of goodies then move on to manned vendor tables providing food and beverage samples.

I was pretty pooped by the end of this (hey, I’m still recovering from my year out on medical leave; the energy level isn’t there yet).  I ended up calling Gabriel again to drive a mile or so out of his way to take me the 1.25-1.5 blocks to the parking garage where my car was.  He even went and got it out of the parking garage for me while I rested (what a husband!).  I was fine to drive home after I’d had several minutes to just chill (someone was taking forever at the parking garage pay kiosk so Gabriel had to circle round to find another exit so he could get out).  Word to the wise – don’t park there; it cost $30 to park there for the day, which I didn’t realize.

Tomorrow is Day Two.  I’m looking forward to learning a lot since that day is packed with presentations all day (no lunch though).  Since I won’t be driving myself this time and we’ve got an evening commitment right after, I’ll need to pack for the day like I do for work, including my lunch (so yay for not needing to spend another $30; boo for having to bring a big bunch of stuff so I have everything I need for the day).

#kakainna #IFBCDayOne #IFBC #socalval

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