Happy Labor Day!
Now, Let's continue the Vida Vegan Con recap fun shall we?!
SATURDAY- We were up at at it early Saturday morning because breakfast was due to start being served at 8:00 a.m. and I wanted to be there at 8:00 a.m.! To know I would be partaking in an all vegan buffet feast had me giddy beyond measure. I LOVE breakfast! We arrived and I was not at all disappointed, the buffet was plentiful and tasted divine. Again, mom was very open and tried and liked most everything. As you can see I'm not shy about piling the food on my plate!
Vida Vegan Founders and listened to a moving and hilarious speech from Laura Beck of Vegansaurus. After getting our stomachs and hearts filled up with all things vegan it was time to head into sessions!
Mom and I attended the Travel Panel together, then I sat in on the Podcasting Panel and mom headed over to the Nutrition Panel where she took some notes! After the Podcasting workshop, I got to meet the amazing JL of JL Goes Vegan! It was so great to meet her in person. She is so warm and full of life! Please be sure to check out her blog!
I then met back up with mom and attended The Accidental Journalist Panel. After the panel, it was already time to head to lunch! I received so much great information from each of the sessions. I feel the organizers did an awesome job selecting topics and speakers. You can click here to view the full agenda and get the background story on what was covered at each.
Lunch was equally as awesome as breakfast, so much so that I failed to snap a pic! You will have to take my word on this one. ;-) I forgot to mention that all of the meals were made even more special by chatting it up with so many wonderful people. The list is too long to mention here, but I have a feeling I'll be introducing you to more and more of my new vegan friends through guest posts as I did with the wonderful Crissie here!
I had to bow out of lunch early to meet with my panel mates to prepare for our Positive Blogging panel! I introduced you to these lovely ladies by providing links to their blogs pre-conference, here. It was truly great sharing the stage with these very insightful, funny and intelligent women. We had a full room and good conversation and hopefully we left our attendees with some good tips and motivation on being and remaining positive in what can oftentimes be a negative and cynical world. Here we are together!
|Me, Leigh-Chantelle, Gena and Janessa|
I headed back to the hotel to try to get a little rest before getting ready for the Galarama! Mom and I took a cab over to the event center and stood in a very long line to grab some pizza and appetizers. The Galarama was open to the public and very well attended. We grabbed a seat and munched on more vegan goodness and talked to some more great attendees. After we finished our appetizers, I got back in another line to get some sundaes for me and mom. It was so refreshing and wonderful to be out and know I could eat anything without reservation. I was free to eat anything without having to ask questions about ingredients. Contrary to widely misguided popular belief, vegans are some of the biggest foodies you will ever meet! All of the food was so incredibly good and the conversations were even better!
SUNDAY- I was amped for another day of conference activities and a little sad at the same time knowing it was the final day. I headed over to the conference solo as mom wanted to spend the final day exploring Portland. She made it through four days of vegan activity and food and she was such a trooper. She was fun, open-minded and I loved every minute of sharing this experience with her. So, the day started with another scrumptious breakfast and then I headed into more sessions. I only attended the Marketing Panel in the morning and then decided to spend some time talking to all of the vendors in the ballroom. I got to spend a little time with each one. I asked questions, signed up for lists and took their pictures. I'm really glad I decided to make time to do this. I will be posting a vendor round-up here tomorrow in my final recap. It's so important to me to be aware of all of the vegan resources that are available so I can readily share them here and wherever else I get the opportunity to do so. I certainly talked myself up an appetite and the Mexican style lunch feast certainly satisfied!
I got so involved in conversation at lunch that I was late making it to the Vegan Fashion panel. I learned a great deal in this session and have already begun making over my wardrobe to be vegan-friendly so it was really great to receive more information and resources on this topic.
The last session of the day I attended was the Reality, Identity & Blogging panel. Again, be sure to click here for all the deets on each session. If I were to go into all the information, notes and thoughts I have on each, I would have about 10 parts to this series! I believe JL had about 8, I give you much kudos for your stamina my friend!
After the final session, it was time to head back to the ballroom for the farewell speech. My hats go off to Janessa, Jess and Michele for organizing the first ever vegan bloggers conference. It was sold out in five months and I believe there were about 250 attendees. I think that is a huge accomplishment the first time out of the gate. The next conference won't be until 2013, so for those of you that missed this one, you have plenty of time to prepare for the next. I was in awe of being surrounded by such positive, friendly, intelligent and insightful people. Those who love to laugh, eat delicious food and write about every aspect of veganism you can imagine. It was an experience I will never forget and look forward to more in the future and hope all of you reading stay along with me for the ride!
P.S. I also want to give an extra special thanks to wellsphere.com who will be also re-posting this coverage on their site. If you haven't checked them out yet, it is a must!