Well, finally here I am with a report back on the SA Food and Wine Blogger Indaba that was held on Sunday 24 June 2012. WOW! What an epic event! I am still overwhelmed by the great success of the day. During the final few weeks of the run up to the event I was inundated with companies suddenly waking up to the fact that the Indaba was taking place and offering to sponsor products for the goodie bags. This started taking over my life to a large degree, writing emails, getting logos, trying to do the html code (my worst!) and organizing for delivery, some here and some directly to the venue thank goodness. My little house looked kind of like a warehouse, we never saw the dining room table the last couple of weeks. But the excitement rose as all the delicious products started filling up spaces.
The Indaba really started for us on Saturday as my wonderfully supportive family, together with a team of key workers from Pick n Pay and a group of lovely blogger friends, all got together at the Conference Centre to start setting up and filling goodie bags……and when I say filling goodie bags I really do mean filling goodie bags….the products just kept on coming and the production line got busier and busier….eventually after a few hours we all sat down exhausted and cracked open a bottle of delicious sponsored wine while we chatted and stuck lables onto A4 pads for all the delegates. Each delegate would be going home with not one………but THREE goodie bags!
During the morning I got a text message from my friend Jeanne from Cooksister that said simply: “The beagle has landed” I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that my keynote speaker and presenter of workshops had safely arrived on the flight from London. We carried on working madly and eventually Jeanne arrived and jumped in with both feet to help pack goodie bags! A short while later I noticed her hunched in the corner over her bags scratching around furiously….the air turning blue above her head :) Turned out she’d lost her flash drive with her entire presentations for the following day!! After momentarily panicking we set to work and thank goodness for her hubby Nick at home in London we managed to download the presentations safely onto my pc later in the day! That was the beginning of the saga’s……….late Saturday night I got a message from Alida to say “don’t panic”………what do you do when you get a message like that?? You panic!! Of course, like one does!! Her laptop had died!! Thereafter ensued some late night calls with my son who promised to be at the venue bright and early with his laptop, a copy of lightroom and his tool kit. Jeanne and I eventually went to bed after we had everything done and ready to roll.
Sunday dawned dark, wet and cold and we arrived dozily at the Pick n Pay Office Park conference centre at 7am to be greeted by some very eager bloggers already waiting! I love that! We set the registration table up quickly and soon the arrivals started coming in earnest, being welcomed by the tantalizing aromas of the coffee being served by Source Management, amazing caterers for the day. Saga #3 happened when I got a call from Alida to ask if there was a staircase or lift…..ummmmm both I replied, WHY? “Because I have had a very bad fall and can hardly walk” So son in law Damon and I rushed down to the parking lot to meet her and help her up to the auditorium where we seated her along with my son Devin who helped to get her presentation sorted out on a laptop. Mark Jennings the wonderful PR and marketing dude from Pick n Pay turned out to be the emergency paramedic on duty and soon was down on the floor patching up Ali’s foot! I did not even realize that until I saw photos afterwards. Thank you Mark! Fortunately, with the help of anti-inflammatory and pain medication she was able to give her presentation in the morning and her workshop presentation with Jeanne in the afternoon. What a trooper!
The morning progressed rapidly thereafter with Paul Raphaely from the fabulous food company NoMU, my chosen MC for the day, taking up his duty as sheepdog and herding everyone into the auditorium to be seated by 8.30am sharp so that the conference could begin.
We were all welcomed by Pick n Pay representatives and also Paul and then the excellent presentations began with a short talk to bloggers by Paul Galatis from the amazing online kitchen tool company and co-headline sponsor Yuppiechef. Interesting, to the point and valuable, these presentations included ethics, etiquette and why we blog, monetizing your blog, building your blog brand with social media, writing for the web and pinterest for bloggers, all very apt, relevant and important topics to bloggers and social media people.
Paul Raphaely, Linda Harding, Jeanne Horak-Druiff and Paul Galatis
The morning flew by in a haze with much tweeting and counter tweeting going on in between listening to the wonderful presentations. We trended that day, first in Cape Town and then in South Africa :) Half way through the morning we broke up for a fabulous and very welcome spread for the tea break. Amazing how hungry you get when you sit around doing nothing but listening on a cold day!
After the last presentations Paul Raphaely then wrapped up the morning plenary session with instructions on the afternoon workshops and a few words of introduction were said by Yehbaby representative Ronelle Louwrens on the newly launched Tangled Tree wines, exclusively served with the amazing lunch spread from the team at Source Management, the caterers chosen by Pick n Pay for the day……
Above two food photographs courtesy of Sybil Doms
Photos courtesy of Candice at Gorgeous Gourmet
After lunch everyone proceeded to their workshop of choice, the selection being food writing, food styling and photography, photography basics, WordPress and Plugins, Writing and Publishing a Cookbook (Sarah Graham Bitten) hands on Cake Decorating, Basics of Food Styling and Props, SEO and Live Blog Audit, Photoshop, Grappa and Food Pairing and Gorgeous By Graham Beck Bubbly and Canape workshops. Quite a fabulous choice wouldn’t you say? To see the full agenda with presenters you can pop over here
Photos courtesy of Angie from Pretty Little Thing
Photos courtesy of Jeanne Horak Druiff Cooksister!
MC for the afternoon was my wingman, my right hand man, my best friend, my confidante, my husband Donald without whom I would not be able to do what I do. I thank him from the bottom of my heart and am so grateful to have a man of his calibre by my side, supporting and strengthening me. The day was wrapped up with a fabulous prize giving and auction courtesy of the fantastic sponsors for this event. My son in law Damon did the honours as auctioneer once again with the assistance of Donald and my son Devin adding to the fun. An awesome amount of R15,600 was raised during the auction for the charity project Lavender in Lavender Hill and CEO of the charity Marcelle van Zyl was in the audience to see the amount raised. Excitement was high as the prize giving got under way with the fantastic Banquet in a Box giveaway from Pesto Princess which was won by Tandy from Lavender and Lime and culminated with the Kitchen Aid Mixer sponsored by Yuppiechef and won by an ecstatic Roxanne.
The amazing table of prizes and auction items, Damon, Devin, Donald, Roxanne
All in all, a wonderful day and enjoyed by everyone. Thank you to everyone who participated and who came to make this such an amazing event.