Food Blogger Festival Etiquette and Tips

Hi, I love your blog, wanna trade links?
There's been a proliferation of food blogger festivals over the last few years. Some of the reasons are obvious, like the explosion of new food blogs being published. It's now common knowledge that food blogging is incredibly fun, almost no work, and extremely profitable, with most bloggers making six-figure incomes.

Some reasons are less obvious, like how much money these events net for the promoters. These people are making out like Goldman Sachs. My sources report that the last BlogHerFood brought in an estimated 765.3 million dollars. Of course that's not all profit, as they did spend a couple hundred dollars on the food. Also, I believe that's all tax free, since they probably qualify as a religion.

It's all about the Benjamins.
Photo (c) yomanimus
Anyway, since there's a pretty good chance that you, or someone you know, or someone you would like to know, will be going to one of these events soon, here are some friendly tips and a few pointers on festival etiquette:

1.) Never approach a blogger who has more traffic than you. You can do nothing for them. Besides, they have more important things to do than listen to you drone on about finding your "voice." They don't give a crap about your voice, and 30 seconds in, are probably wishing you didn't have one.

2.) Never approach a blogger who has less traffic than you. These parasites just want to suck from the sweet teat that is your referral traffic. Screw them and the sustainably raised, heritage breed hog they rode in on.

3.) Only approach bloggers who have the exact same traffic as you. Of course, it's a huge breach of etiquette to ask someone what their traffic is, so just assume everyone at the festival has the same numbers as you do.

A huller!! Score!
4.) Never complain about the swag bag. There's a reason all that junk is free. Did you think they were going to throw a Kitchen Aid in there? Just happily take your strawberry huller, your silicon-coated whisk, and your little rice sample (is there anything sadder than rice for one?), and do what any experienced, self-respecting blogger would do…re-gift it!

5.) When drunk tweeting, NEVER use the phrase, so and so was "kicking ass during the panel." After three cocktails before noon, that "L" key is waaay too close to the "K" key for comfort.

That bald guy sure likes the sound of
his own voice.
6.) Only ask questions at a panel discussion that directly relate to how awesome the panelists' blogs are. That's why we, oops, I mean they, are up there. You're lucky to be in the same room as they are, so consider listening to them answer your off-topic question that was actually a self-serving statement, as gravy. 

7.) When deciding who's exclusive after party to attend, just use the following system to rank the events. Take the number of celebrity bloggers hosting, times that by the number of books they've written, then add the number of times Ruhlman has mentioned them in a tweet. Compare these numbers, and then go have a drink at the hotel bar where you're staying. You're not getting into any of those parties anyway.

Hi, my name is John, and
I'm a food blogger.
8.) Take pictures of everything. You'll want to be able to look back and remember those three bloggers you posed with in the lobby, you know, the ones you don't remember. Sure, you can close your eyes and imagine how epic Hank Shaw's beard was, but why not pull up that picture of him and make sure?

I sincerely hope this list of tips helps you enjoy your next big food blogger festival experience! By the way, this post was not a parody. There is no way I wrote this post with tongue-in-cheek. My tongue was nowhere near my cheek. In fact, it was sticking straight out the whole time. :-P

Disclaimer: I did not attend the BlogHerFood event. I was in town for the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, but partied with a bunch of BH attendees (high-traffic bloggers, of course). This post was not a review of BlogHerFood. I'm making light of the food blogger festival-going experience in general.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

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