Monday, November 11, 2013

#FABlogCon is a smashing success

I had the opportunity to attend the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, from November 2nd through November 4th and was seriously blown away. 

This conference was for people who wanted to come together for a greater good. As a whole, we all came together, shared our walks of life, and learned how to be better advocates as a food allergy community. This community not only supports but embraces each person in it. This was unlike anything I had ever imagined or dreamed of. There is so much to tell and share. I can't do it all in one post but will hit the highlights today. 

The masterminds behind this beautiful event are Jenny Sprague {blog} and Homa Woodrum {blog}. Not only was this conference unlike anything I've ever seen or heard, this conference was planned across the country, literally. Jenny is from Maine and Homa was local. It truly had talent from the moment you walked in the conference doors.

One of the coolest things at the conference...

What I didn't realize is that I would converse and interact with so many professionals and members of the food allergy community. I put faces to twitter handles and met some awesome people in the process. It was an instant bond that is now deeper. It was a little intimidating, at first, when I am standing around Dr. Micheal Pistiner and Dr. John Lee of AllergyHome, Dr. Paul Ehrlich & Henry Ehrlich of, and Dr. Donna DeCosta of FoodAllergyMomDoc. I mean, I am a blogger who has food allergies but I didn't have a M.D. in my name or a book to show.

What I realized, though, is that we all had a purpose at this conference and that was to come together, in one location, and advocate with one another. It didn't matter what my credentials were or what everyone else had. It was about a common goal of building a strong community of support and advocacy. 

One of the highlights of this conference was the food itself!

When I registered for this conference, I was told to list all my allergies. That's a list and it included six anaphylactic allergies and that, in itself, was hard. I didn't want to be a burden on anyone. I also didn't want to suffer an allergic reaction in a different city. However, Chef Keith Norman and his wonderful chefs made everything either safe for me or had wonderful alternatives. I had zero fear while eating and did not suffer a reaction. That was a huge victory! 

The Chefs who made it possible to eat while at the conference! 

Just a few people pictures...

Erica Dermer of Celiac and the Beast

Mary Fran Wiley of FrannyCakes

JennyHoma & me

Homa & I

The SWAG...

Thank you, Enjoy Life, for the phenomenal swag & bag! 

Thank you Whole Foods for the great bag! Swag details will be shared later.

Bottom line...
For the first Food Allergy Bloggers Conference, the expectation was set extremely high. Not only is this a must attend event, it supports, encourages, and motivates you to keep at it. It was a wonderful conference that has left me motivated and willing to do more in the food allergy community. Follow ups to the conference, in detail, to follow.

Can't wait for the plans for next year! This conference not only empowers but encourages and supports in one setting. A common goal defined and a connection deeper than just online.

Thank you so much to Homa and Jenny for this wonderful idea and conference! You truly outdid yourselves! 

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