I already wrote about the nine-hour Portland bloggers pre-funk, but what about the actual event?
Well, it began unofficially with a supermodel scramble at one of Portland’s original vegetarian restaurants, Paradox Café. I had breakfast there with Vegan Score before heading to registration.
The conference was at the Portland Art Museum. Registration was all morning long, which gave people time to check in without long lines, grab a latté, explore the museum, and find long-lost friends. We grabbed swag bags and checked out the exhibitors hall, both of which were filled with vegan goodies.
On Friday I attended the following sessions: Blogging as Writing, Monetizing Your Blog, Expanding Your Message to Include Animal Rights, and the MoFo (Month of Food) Workshop. All the sessions were helpful and I gained the most from the animal rights one. I learned that through gentle suggestions, reminders–even humor–I can let people know about how to eliminate cruelty. Jasmin Singer from Our Hen House said something as simple as, “I made this recipe without eggs because I don’t like how hens are mistreated” goes a long way to getting people to think about their impact on the world.
After the sessions, Veggie Grill hosted a delicious reception and then a lot of us headed over to the world’s only vegan mini mall. I met up with Vegan Moxie, Vegtastic, Vegans Don’t Bite, and whole bunch of others. I am in the habit of calling bloggers by their blog names, but I assure you, they all have proper names too! We had vegan gorditos at Food Fight, vegan s’mores at Herbivore Clothing, and lattés at Sweet Pea vegan bakery. After filling our bellies I went to Hungry Tiger, a vegan-friendly bar, for a drink with the Fat Gay Vegan, Vegan Score, and The Messy Vegetarian Cook.
Saturday started with a scrumptious breakfast buffet at the conference, followed by these sessions: Ethics Beyond the Plate, Vegan Invasion, Finding Balance, and International activism. Mind you, these are only the sessions I attended. There were three going on at any given time–from iPhone Photography to Vegan Parenting. There was something for everyone.
We broke for lunch halfway through the day and I was still full by the time I got to the gala. We had lots to choose from: a vegan sundae bar, vegan artisanal cheese table, drinks, dancing, and of course, the silent auction to benefit Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW. We raised over $4000 for them!
Sunday began with another great breakfast. I attended four sessions: Publishing, Body Image, Social Media, and Interdietary Co-habitation. Of course we had another great lunch–a sandwich bar!
I was sad when things wrapped up for the day, weekend, year. I’d made new friends, got to know acquaintances from online and in Seattle, and reveled in the company of kind and compassionate people. Everyone had a different story. There were 20-year-old bloggers and 60-year-old ones. We came from all walks of life, but we were united in our love of animals, health, the earth, and of course food.
I’m excited for the next event and I have a lot of blogs to read in the meantime.