If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.
Last year, when I was given the opportunity to attend Food Wine Conference and work as a Brand Ambassador for the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, every fiber in my body wanted to run–run as far and as fast as I could possibly go. You see, as a blogger, competitive chef, and teacher, no one would ever expect me to have such drastic social anxiety, but I do, and as much as I wanted to go to the conference, I was scared to death.
My husband often says that all I need is a glass of wine (or beer) and my anxiety is cured. I’m not sure if that an actual cure, but there is some truth to his philosophy, and after a glass of CK Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon at the welcome party, I relaxed, met new people, learned more than I ever imagined, and had a world of opportunities open in front of me.
As a relatively young blog, Gourmet Everyday has always been not-so-typical and never focused solely on family-centric, time-saving, life-hack content. Instead, I’ve chosen to remain focused on competitive cooking & recipe contests, craft beer, and off-the-beaten path destinations. So, naturally, I don’t always fit the usual blog ideal, and my biggest fear if that I don’t fit in. However, it didn’t take long to realize that every company and sponsor at the conference “fit” with me perfectly.
In the year since Food Wine Conference 2016, and because of the conference and the connections made, I have had the good fortune of working with wineries, dairies, and upstart food companies. I have been able to try and test new products, promote traditional family based businesses, and improve my skills photographing innovative campaigns and blogger challenges, and none of them would have been possible, if I’d not gone to Food Wine Conference 2016.
As a person with severe social anxiety, situations like conferences, meet & greets, receptions, and even cocktail parties are a nightmare. My head is swimming before the first drink, before the first handshake, before the first session. “What will they think of me?“… “Will they laugh at me?“… “I don’t belong here.”… “I’m not in their league.”…and this list goes on.
However, I was wrong–completely wrong. Every person I met was kind, supportive, encouraging, and most importantly, just like me…minus the anxiety. In the past year, I have been able to participate in Twitter chats, Sunday Supper events, and share my knowledge & expertise with fellow bloggers who I would have never met, if I’d not gone to Food Wine Conference 2016.
What Are You Waiting For?
Simply put…Food Wine Conference is the place to be for bloggers who wish to improve their skills, gain valuable, life changing knowledge, and open doors of opportunity. Based on the Sunday Supper Movement mission “to create a better future for families, by partnering with brands and services that help families feel good, eat better, and interact with each other,” Food Wine Conference brings together like minded bloggers and companies to create a mutually beneficial environment, where, together, we can change the world.
Simply put…Food Wine Conference changed my view of blogging (and people) and gave me more opportunities, greater knowledge, and precious friendships than I ever imagined.
Simply put…I’m soooooo thankful that I didn’t pull down the shade, when my opportunity appeared.
As a Food Wine Conference Brand Ambassador, I invite you to join us at this year’s conference, May 19-21, at Orlando’s Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. Click here to register today, and use code AmyF2017 to receive $50 off your registration fees! I hope to see you there!!