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If you’ve thought about going to a food blogging conference, you know it can be a big investment, in both your time and money. Of course as a small business owner, it’s important to be investing in yourself and your business, so attending these conferences can be a critical step in your entrepreneurial process. The key is to make sure you’re getting the most from attending a food blog conference. That’s why I reached out to Tessa Arias, so we could brainstorm some tips. Well, and also so we could share with you a very fun announcement!

Tessa and talk in today’s interview about ways you can get the most from attending a food blog conference. Of course food blogging conferences can be a lot of fun and inspiration, but it can be a great source of learning as well. You can make new friends, meet mentors, and have a lot of fun with people who speak your language (aka, SEO, alt tags, and white balance).

But, food blog conferences are more than just fun. It’s an opportunity for you to grow your skills and network with industry leaders.

There’s nothing as important as your rolodex in any business. It’s the relationships that you have that truly makes a difference. — Tessa Arias of Handle the Heat and Food Blog Academy

Tessa and I talk about the things you need to do before, during, and after your food blog conference. For example, before the conference consider finding a friend to share the cost of the hotel with. It can be a big savings on your travel budget! During the conference, set goals for what you hope to accomplish. Are there sessions you want to attend? Are you hoping to meet certain people you know will be there? After the conference, follow-up with folks that you met — by email, commenting on their site, or following and interacting with them on social media. Oh, and don’t forget to save those receipts! A food blog conference is a great tax exemption for a food blogger!

Tessa also shares a lot of great tips for initiating and engaging in conversation with strangers. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but once you get the hang for it, you can feel more relaxed. Just remember, everyone’s probably feeling a lot like you, so just take a deep breath and dive in!

Conversations are like campfires: they need some kindling before they get going. — Marly McMillen

Featured Content – Getting the Most Out of Attending a Food Blog Conference

Here are some of the highlights of my discussion with Tessa:

  • Tips on how to be mentally prepared for attending a food blogging conference so you can skip the “overwhelmed feelings” and get the most out of your trip!
  • What are the most important steps to take before leaving town. Hint, getting business cards printed and practicing your elevator speech are high on the list!
  • What to pack for your food blog conference trip. Computer? Camera? Either way, don’t forget your charger!
  • What steps you can take to “be prepared” for your trip — like reviewing the agenda, knowing who will be attending, and scoping out the sponsors you might want to get to know better.
  • What you can do during the conference to be your very best — there might just be a tip about lipstick involved.
  • Strategies you can take to keep your learnings top of mind, even after the conference is over!
  • How to deal with perceived rejection at food blog conferences. You may be left disappointed after certain encounters, but be sure to keep your confidence intact. Tessa says, “You’re not responsible for how others respond to you.” But you are responsible for how you let that impact how you feel.
  • Save your receipts. That’s right. A food blog conference is a nice tax exemption!

Show Notes

This episode includes references to some resources you might find interesting. Here they are:


  1. This is a special edition of the Chopped Podcast! One of our goals of this Special Edition was to talk about the Food Blog Success Summit. Tessa and I will be leading this mastermind-type session and we’d love to see you there! Learn more and register while tickets last!
  2. If you’re interested in attending the 2015 Chopped Conference, tickets are now on sale. Register today!
  3. Learn about future Chopped Podcast episodes by subscribing to the ChoppedCon newsletter. Just add your email in the subscribe section at the bottom of this page. You’ll be glad you did!

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