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Eat. Drink. Blog. Conference 2013 – Perth

Welcome to my 300th post. I think it’s fitting that it happens to be about blogging.

A few weeks after I attended the Eat. Drink. Blog. Conference in Perth, I’ve been writing furiously. Not about the conference but about all the other things I did during my week in Western Australia. I needed time to think about the conference, the presentations and discussions and what it meant to me and what it meant for TIFFIN. Now that the dust has settled, here’s what I ate, drank and blogged.

EDB Chairs EDB Breakfast







But first, a segue to tell you about the conference itself. Eat. Drink. Blog is an annual blogging conference organised by bloggers themselves. Each year a group of volunteers put together a pitch to host the conference in their city. The successful hosting committee then spends the ensuing months planning and coordinating the conference. This involves securing an appropriate venue, sponsorship and speakers as well as putting together the program of events. It’s a massive job with endless details and contingencies to plan for. The committee also decides on who will attend the event, based on application from hopeful bloggers. For those who are successful, it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet with like minded bloggers, learn about what’s happening in the blogging world and of course, eat, drink and blog. Oh, and take endless photographs.

EDB Lunch - photographers EDB Photogrpahers







The Perth team really showed us how it was done. The venue was Perth City Farm – a relaxed location with plenty of room to mingle, enjoy the surrounds and make the space our own for the day. We were fed and watered with the best of the best from amazingly generous sponsors throughout the weekend who provided breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks. Sponsors also provided prizes and gifts for delegates and ran activities with a food theme on the second day.

EDB BrowniesEDB Cupcakes


EDB lunch - goat's cheese & pomegranate
EDB Lunch - Paremesan
EDB Lunch - Cheese
EDB Morning Tea
EDB Lunch - Iberico
EDB Lunch Plate
So what happened at the conference? There were panel discussions and presentations from a variety of bloggers, chefs, business owners and experts in social and visual media.  The conference has generated vigorous debate on Twitter over the past few weeks about the subject of blogger ethics and working with PR companies. People are very passionate on this topic. This suggests to me that the committee did a fantastic job in understanding the audience and developing a program that engaged us fully and well after the conference finished.
EDB Goodie Bags
We used the #EDB13 hashtag for the event and managed to get it trending on Twitter which is not bad for 80 people – showing just how influential we are! There’s far too much to talk about here so I’ll just give you some takeaways from each session that resonated with me.
EDB Audience
State of Blogging – even a few years ago, blogging was seen as a hobby by amateurs. Very rapidly though and in the face of the decline of traditional media, blogging has gained a firm foothold and recognition as a legitimate dissemination platform. I learned a new term ‘UrbanTrippers’ – those who do reviews on Urbanspoon and Trip Advisor (that’s me).
EDB Chair - Ai Ling

EDB Chair – Ai Ling

Coffee – coffee is a serious business. Unless you have a beard, skinny jeans and skater shoes, step away from the espresso machine. Having said that, I also learned that filter and pour over (& plunger) is on the rise and are perfectly legitimate ways to enjoy coffee.

EDB Coffee EDB Siphon Coffee







EDB Speakers Adam & Anthony

Writing – spontaneity! Even a 5 line post can engage an audience (this is not one of those posts). The reason food blogs are successful is that people are bored at work and want to be entertained and transported. Many nods of agreement from the panel.

Photography – there are some basic techniques that are equally as relevant to iPhone photography as they are to DSLRs including composition, leading lines and colour.

Eating Local – bloggers can assist small producers by meeting with them, writing about them and promoting their produce.

Mobile Blogging – ‘innovate or die’. OK, maybe Thang didn’t say that in so many words but the message was clear the environmental scanning for leaps in technology, platforms and channels are an important part of the blogger’s house keeping. The video blogging wave is coming.

Thang Ngo

Thang Ngo

Legal Issues – like any emerging industry, some aspects of the law are murky in relation to blogging however there are some parts of the law that are just as relevant to digital media as they are to print eg: Copyright. You are entitled to express a view and you can say anything within reason as long as it’s true.

Ethics – be up front with your readers about the type of sponsorship, payment or relationship you have with a product or company and allow readers to judge your content based on its merits. As attractive as all of those invitations and product tests may seem, it’s wise to be selective and choose only those that are a good fit for your brand. (As an aside, after listening this discussion, I said ‘no’ to my first invite yesterday.) If you do choose to attend an event, try a sample or go on a famil, take the time beforehand to be clear about what the expectations are, from both sides.

Don't be fooled by the relaxed pose...

Don’t be fooled by the relaxed pose…

Opportunities – there is no money to be made. Seriously, you may be able to make a living out of blogging but it’s a big ‘may’ and it will only be a living, not fame and fortune. Blogging can be a spring-board to other activities or roles and can be one of a number of tools in your arsenal but it takes precision planning, hours of unpaid work, a steel will and a very good thesaurus. You are working in a highly competitive market that is saturated with other clever writers.

Sure, I learned a heck of a lot and wrote copious notes that I’m going to use over the coming months to strengthen my blogging skills and brand but there was no great ‘aha’ moment for me. Rather, the conference confirmed some of what I had already been thinking about and clarified some ideas and plans I’ve been making. I won’t be taking the blogging and food world by storm and become as famous as…. (If you’re not a blogger – go ahead! Try to name one famous blogger. Answers in the comments below.) I already knew that, though. I’ll continue though to work on my craft and hopefully you will see changes and techniques I’ve learned flowing through to TIFFIN.

Thanks to the #EDB13 committee for the hard work and innovative thinking that went into making this conference a success.  Double thanks to the generous sponsors including Perth City Farm & Citibank Dining Program, European Foods Importers, Browne’s Dairy, Littlesweet Artisan Baking, 5 Senses Coffee, Jean Pierre Sancho, Red Hot Spatula, Eagle Bay Brewing, Custard & Co, Galafrey Wines, Jax Coco, Urban Locavore, Bahen & Co Chocolate, Scoop Publishing, Annilein Photography, Australian Pears, Nescafe, KitchenAid, Impact, Moo, Grand Cucina, Booktopia, Feast Magazine and Tourism WA amongst others.
EDB West n Fresh








Special mention to the food trucks at our pop up dinner – Marcelita’s Empanadas, Old Lira Pizza, Jumplings Dumplings, Bangkok Jump Street, Butty’s and Delish Ice.

EDB Van - Butty's

EDB Empanadas - free! EDB Van - Marcelitas








EDB Ice Pops 2 EDB Ice Pops 1








Thanks to the other delegates for having a laugh with me.  Thanks for reading.

The name says it all really. Eat. Drink. Blog.

EDB Sign
17 comments… add one
  • Gustoso November 22, 2013, 1:34 pm

    Good summary. I hope to be able to go next year.

  • thang@noodlies November 22, 2013, 3:18 pm

    Excellent post. And I see you're using Simon's leading lines technique in the first photo!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! November 23, 2013, 12:35 pm

      Thanks Thang. Good luck, not good management because I listened to Simon's presentation after I'd taken the photo.

  • Andrea Mynard November 23, 2013, 12:05 am

    Really interesting post, what a great excuse to sample lots of tempting food too, looks fab!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! November 23, 2013, 12:36 pm

      Yes, there was plenty on offer. I look back through the photos and realise I actually showed great restraint.

  • Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things November 23, 2013, 2:05 am

    This is BY FAR the BEST of the EDB2013 wrap ups I've read so far… a concise but brilliant summary, methinks. Thank you for sharing. Those of us who couldn't attend, like me, really appreciate it.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! November 23, 2013, 12:36 pm

      Lis – thanks so much for your kind words. High praise indeed coming from you. Hope we can go together next year!

    • Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things November 23, 2013, 2:19 pm

      Hope so too, Fiona, that would be fun… I particularly appreciate your non-judgemental take… really, really liked this!

  • Jan Rhoades November 23, 2013, 1:29 pm

    Looks and sounds like a good time was had by all.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! November 23, 2013, 3:32 pm

      It was a good time but as you can tell my some of the comments, parts of it were challenging for some participants. Debate is healthy though (lucky to live in a country where we have the freedom)

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef November 23, 2013, 10:07 pm

    This is a great review and I applaud you for mentioning the sponsors. The conference is free to attend and it's because all those generous sponsor paid the freight. I'm not surprised you wanted to show your appreciation.

    I couldn't attend this year but I went last year and I got a lot out of it but mostly it was networking that really paid off.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! November 25, 2013, 6:48 pm

      That's right Maureen. We would certainly have not been able to do this without sponsorship. I didn't get to meet everyone but did get to cement a few friendship and, there's always next year!

  • Jennifer November 26, 2013, 12:02 am

    Congrats on 300! Thanks for visiting and commenting – sorry it took me a while to swing by! This was QUITE the post! WOW! So much to see! Great photos! Sounds like a nice time! I agree with Maureen! Kudos for mentioning the sponsors!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! November 26, 2013, 10:53 am

      Hi Jennifer – I can understand the delay, So many blog posts on the same topic! Last time I looked it was 49 and counting. Thanks for your kind words and congratulations.

  • Lisa the Gourmet Wog December 1, 2013, 8:50 pm

    Hey Fiona, this is a great wrap up of the conference. Wish I could've gone, but there's always next year!

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