Vegan Lifestyle Conferences & Social Media Events
Important Reminder: Advance Signup for select classes took place on May 15. Please check out this post to see the status of remaining spots. All other classes are simply first come, first served for seating.
3:30-5:30 ✿ Unofficial Meet & Greet, White Owl Social Club In town early? Come to the unofficial Vida Vegan meet & greet and get to know fellow attendees over cocktails & root beer. Read this post for more information and a Facebook event RSVP.
6:00-7:15 ✿ Intrepid Herbivores Screening, People’s Co-op. This unofficial friends-of-VVC event is all ages and there is no charge – find out more about the episode on our Q & A with host Sadie. More details and RSVP on their Facebook event.
9:30 – 12:00 ✿ Registration
Check in and pick up your Vida Vegan badge, official materials, and Swag Bag of Wonder at the registration table. Come by early and you can stash your stuff back at your hotel or hit up the food carts for a snack!
11:30 – 12:30 ✿ Exhibitor Hall opens, New Product Spotlight, Welcome
Welcome to the Kridel Grand Ballroom, your home base for the weekend. Come on in and meet our exhibitors—and check out their newest products!
12:45 – 1:30
MILLER: Compassionate Parenting
Michelle Schwegmann, moderator, Dreena Burton, Josh Hooten, Sayward Rebhal
Whether we like it or not, we are all ambassadors for vegan living, and when we have kids, the choices we make for them are scrutinized. Learn how to respond to naysayers, speak your mind simply and articulately, and talk plain and simple, without fear, about your choice to raise your own child as vegan. Defending compassionate choices is outreach—you can be effective, defending our children and animals along the way.
TRUSTEE: Food Styling: Keeping It Real
Make your food look good enough to eat, both on screen and in real life! Learn how to present everything in the most mouthwatering light possible, from soups to sweets, without using any dirty tricks.
STEVENS: Blog Writing as Writing: Take Your Blog Writing to the Next Level
Blogs were once regarded as informal, online diaries. Now books developed from blogs are dominating the literary market. How do we keep up with the ongoing professionalization of blogging? How can we polish and refine our blog narratives? How can we blog with the same discernment with which we’d write a print book or a NY Times op-ed? In this interactive, question-driven workshop, we’ll cover editing, finding a voice, defining your target audience, and defining central themes. For those looking to transition your blog writing into a book proposal or a print project, we’ll discuss the distinctions between print and online writing, too.
1:45 – 2:30
MILLER: Vegan Nutrition: Keeping Your Blog Current & Reliable
Is the vegan nutrition information on your blog science-based and accurate? It’s not always easy to know. Nutrition advice on the Internet is confusing and conflicting, and some studies turn out to be just plain wrong. This presentation offers tips for sorting through complex science, and for finding and sharing the best research and advice for vegans.
WEST CONFERENCE: Monetizing Your Blog
Nava Atlas, Susan Voisin
Most of us start blogging for the love of it, but months or years into the venture, when it becomes clear that it’s as much work as it is fun, earning some money for our efforts becomes very appealing. We’ll share our experiences with various ad networks, affiliate programs, and single advertisers, and discuss which have yielded good results, what kinds of practices appeal most to visitors, and how traffic affects earnings.
TRUSTEE: iPhone Food Photography
Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Remember: Your food is not really vegan until you Instagram it! Join this interactive class and discover apps, tips, and tricks for making your iPhone photos the best they can be. Please show up with your iPhone and be ready to download a few affordable apps so that you can have fun following along.
LIBRARY: Attention Spans, Social Media & the State of Blogging
Consider blogging a trend no more—it’s status quo to professionally brand yourself with a blog, and what’s a new hobby without a unique hashtag to document it? Are micro-blogged photos and status updates the here and now? What’s next? We’ll also examine the rise of blogging and social media, and straight-up likes and dislikes, in terms of casual communication, and beyond.
2:45 – 3:45
AUDITORIUM: Art of Writing Recipes
Grant Butler, moderator, Nava Atlas, Dreena Burton, Terry Hope Romero
Many vegan blogs feature recipes, but standards vary, with some bloggers dishing up recipes that are poorly worded, difficult to follow, or overloaded with step-by-step photos. How is writing recipes for a blog different from writing recipes for more traditional print, like cookbooks and magazines? How can you write recipes that reflect your personal style, yet are still easy for readers to understand? And how do you make sure your blog readers trust your recipes? Three veteran bloggers and cookbook authors share their secrets for writing recipes that are exciting and deliver proven results.
MILLER: Why & How to Expand Your Message to Include Animal Rights
Jasmin Singer, Mariann Sullivan
This workshop will explore how to use your blog and, more broadly, your vast array of online voices (social networking, video, audio) to speak up for animals, foster community, and encourage people to get creatively active for animal rights. Bottom line, what are the very best ways to bring animals into the conversation and convey the moral imperative to create change, while engaging readers, rather than alienating them?
WEST CONFERENCE: Spirituality & Veganism
Bianca Phillips, Gabrielle Pope, Nicole Sopko
From traditional Western religion to Eastern philosophy to alternative pagan spirituality, veganism can play a role in our connection with the spirit. How do our dietary beliefs coalesce with our religious or spiritual practice? And how do others who share our spiritual belief system use those beliefs to justify eating animals?
4:00 – 4:45
MILLER: Path to Cookbook Author
Julie Hasson, Joni Marie Newman, Bianca Phillips
Have you dreamed of making the leap from blogger to cookbook author? Learn how to take your recipes from the blog to the printed page. We’ll talk about different roads to becoming a cookbook author, creating your own brand, knowing your voice, building your audience, preparing a proposal, finding an agent or publisher, recipe development, and surviving the grueling editing process.
TRUSTEE: Comments Are Your Friend
Jamie J. Hagen
On the Internet it may be true nobody knows you aren’t a dog, but anonymous comments can still make you cry. We bloggers have a lot of feelings about comments. Let’s learn from each other how best to engage with commenters, including how to learn from them and how to respond to them, especially when it comes to ethically charged content.
WEST CONFERENCE: MoFo Workshop
Kittee Berns, Mo Martin, Amey Mathews
Want to participate in The Vegan Month of Food (VeganMoFo), but feel unsure of what to blog about or intimidated about sustaining creativity for an entire month of blogging? Maybe you’ve experienced blogger burnout? Three seasoned VeganMoFo organizers/bloggers offer their advice and ideas to help you conquer MoFo. Come network with other bloggers and master the MoFo together. Bring a notebook for brainstorming exercises!
5:00 – 5:30 ✿ Welcome Address in the Ballroom, and a (Very) Veggie Grill Reception
To cap off our first day, join the Vida Vegan founders, with Nicole J. Georges (artist and author, Invincible Summer, Calling Dr. Laura), in the Kridel Ballroom for some chit-chat and Veggie Grill treats. And maybe we’ll see you a bit later—word has it Upton’s Naturals, Food for Lovers, and Chicago Vegan Foods are putting together another pop-up shop over at the vegan mini-mall. Gorditas and s’mores—what?!
8:00 – 9:15 ✿ Portland Vegan Breakfast Showcase
A.N.D. Cafe · Back to Eden Bakery · Blackheart Bagels · Cinnamon · Divine Pie · Portland Juice Press · Portobello Vegan Trattoria · Sizzle Pie · White Owl Social Club
9:30 – 10:45
MILLER: Ethics Beyond the Plate
Jason Das, moderator, Laura Beck, Jamie J. Hagen, Leigh-Chantelle, Erika Larson, John McDevitt
There’s more to veganism than whether our food contains animal products. Is avoiding them enough to satisfy our ethics? What of the intersections with environmental, labor, and human rights concerns? Or the animals (human and otherwise) exploited indirectly almost every time we spend money on something? And as the mainstream takes more notice of veganism, are we at risk of losing the ethical core of the movement?
TRUSTEE: Developing & Teaching Kick-Ass Vegan Cooking Classes for Everyone
Join a veteran chef-instructor in examining the cooking demo from the inside out. Fran shares how to choose the subject, title, and recipes so classes fill and people leave happy, as well as how to approach prep, travel, and setup, and how to juggle cooking and talking—all while engaging the audience.
LIBRARY: The Making of a Zine: From Conception to Distribution
Kittee Berns, Amey Matthews, Joanna Vaught
Have you thought about making a zine but don’t know where to start? Three veteran zine makers will share experiences and suggestions for the whole process—the idea behind your zine, how to put it together, and how to get it out into the world. Whether you’d like to make a recipe zine or an activism zine, we’ll have helpful tips for everyone—and plenty of time for questions, too.
11:00 – 12:00
MILLER: Privacy Lines & Oversharing
Sayward Rebhal, moderator, Dreena Burton, Joanna Vaught, Susan Voisin
In our modern world, where social media creates a permanent online presence, we need to examine where we draw our lines of privacy. From sharing our feelings in a Facebook status to checking in on Yelp, living a public life has its inherent dangers (psychological and physical). Especially for bloggers. We’ll cover whether to use an alias/pseudonym, separate social media identities, or a PO box, other safety and security issues, and the tricky prospect of blogging on someone else’s behalf (e.g., mommy blogging).
TRUSTEE: Vegan Invasion: Community Building
Laura Beck, Maeve Connor, Jason Das, Leigh-Chantelle
How to grow and maintain an active vegan community—whether you’re in a vegantropolis or in vegan BFE, it can be done! We’ll discuss ideas for expansion, thoughts on inclusion, and share successes and failures. Plus, we’re all very good-looking and we might throw candy into the audience.
WEST CONFERENCE: Cookbook & Product Reviews (Reviewing, Featuring, Realizing When You’re Naming a Name)
Hannah Kaminsky, John McDevitt, Lisa Pitman
Learn the ins and out of product and cookbook reviewing. Photography, recipe testing, giveaways, company participation, ethics—we will discuss it all!
12:15 – 1:15 ✿ Lunch in the Ballroom: Portland-Style Build-a-Bowl
Today’s lunch is sponsored by Coconut Bliss
Bob’s Red Mill quinoa or brown rice · raw greens · Upton’s Naturals chorizo · Tofurky tempeh · Nasoya tofu · raw walnut meat · Better Bean beans · Lily’s hummus · Teese · Nacheez · Hot Mama salsa · tahini · dressings and hot sauces from Organicville & Secret Aardvark
1:15 – 2:00 ✿ Exhibitor Spotlight & Vegan Battle Royale, with Amey, Kittee & Mo
Chat with your favorite exhibitors while you digest, or—if you’re up for it—join the ultimate vegan game show. Two teams battle it out over trivia, dares, and blog knowledge. So many prizes!
2:15 – 3:00
MILLER: Restaurant Reviews with Authority
If you’ve got a laptop and access to Yelp, suddenly you’re a restaurant reviewer. Hey, not so fast! How can bloggers use their unique voice and expertise to write authoritative restaurant reviews that command reader attention? What are the ethical standards you should follow to set your reviews apart from every yahoo with an iPhone? A longtime restaurant critic explains how to develop a consistent critical voice that readers trust, how to push restaurants to make better vegan food, and when it’s OK to slam a place.
TRUSTEE: Finding Balance: Blogging & Personal Life
Jamie J. Hagen, Gena Hamshaw, Kelly Peloza
How do you set reasonable limits to sustain being engaged as a vegan blogger, activist, and cook while also having a (paying!) job, family, and social life? How do you take care of yourself and connect with other writers to remain passionate about something that has the potential to take more than it can give sometimes? Let’s discuss!
LIBRARY: Writer’s Block (will run until 4:00)
Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Bring your pens, your paper, and your courage, it’s time to get down and dirty…it’s time to get writing! This hands-on workshop focuses on getting over writer’s block, and transforming your thoughts into written words. Using food as our focus, we’ll perform writing exercises to compose fully realized pieces. To attend this workshop, you’ll have to be open to sharing what you write out loud, discussing the rest of the group’s written pieces, and listening to feedback about your own. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and hopefully you’ll gain insight and skills that last you a lifetime.
3:15 – 4:00
MILLER: Vegans of Color
Mo Martin, Terry Hope Romero
People of color can often feel like the minority in veganism. Join the discussion as we examine the growing diversity of backgrounds in the movement: everything from how people of color are finding their place both in real life and online, “translating” traditional ethnic foods into the vegan diet, and practicalities from dealing with your own communities of color to finding suitable hair and beauty products.
TRUSTEE: The Other Side: A Reader’s Perspective
Maeve Connor, Gabrielle Pope, Jess Sconé
We’re all writers and readers here—but what happens if you become caught up in the narcissism of blog writing? This discussion offers an ongoing, in-depth yet casual critique of why we hit “publish,” why we read, the evolution of blogging, and really, what we like and dislike.
4:15 – 5:00
WEST CONFERENCE: Incorporating Your Other Creative Talents into Your Blog
There’s only one person alive who can tell your story. We each have unique gifts and talents, and by sharing our creative passions we put a more rounded face on veganism. I’ll discuss ways you can bring your own special skills to your blog: photography, video, pottery, drawing, singing, acting—what’ve you got? By highlighting your other creative interests, you can create a voice that is distinctly yours.
MILLER: International Activism
Helen Pitlick, moderator,Leigh-Chantelle, Ryan Patey, Lisa Pitman
A discussion of the diversity of the vegan movement and message around the world. Topics will include: engaging in activism while traveling, issues unique to specific regions/cultures/governments, the bond and division caused by identifying as vegan, and supporting activism abroad (online campaigns, fundraisers, advice) while sitting on your couch.
TRUSTEE: Sensitivity & Trigger Words
Gena Hamshaw, Chelsea Lincoln, Gabrielle Pope
Blogging allows us to share ideas, create community, and advocate for the animals, but it can also result in hurt feelings, tension, and anxiety for both reader and writer. In this candid and constructive panel, we discuss topics ranging from disordered eating to body issues, race, politics, religion, and personal ethics. How do we remain mindful of language and others’ perspectives? When does sensitivity in our audience start to impose on personal expression, and where do we draw the line between being respectful and being unnecessarily censored? How can we foster open and productive conversations in our comments sections and on our blogs? Please come with questions, comments, and ideas!
7:00-9:30 ✿ Galarama & Silent Auction Vida Vegan’s fancypants-optional fundraiser for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest will be held at Staver Locomotive in NW Portland. Event attendance is included for all conference attendees, and tickets will be available to the public.
Bookmark the Galarama site for ticket release details & donation instructions.
8:30 – 9:30 ✿ Breakfast in the Ballroom
Today’s breakfast is sponsored by Attune Foods
Attune cereals · So Delicious & Earth Balamce milks · Bob’s Red Mill GF multigrain hot cereal · coconut chia pudding · So Delicious yogurt · Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts · Peeled Snacks dried fruit · Wholesome Sweeteners brown sugar & agave · fresh fruit
9:45 – 11:00
MILLER: Publishing Avenues
Michele Truty, moderator, Nava Atlas, Joni Marie Newman, Ryan Patey
Making that leap from blog to book or magazine isn’t easy. Today you’ve got so many choices—which route is right for you? (Hint: It doesn’t need to be only one!) Our panel will share their experiences with publishers large and small, self-publishing, proposals, and medium (electronic versus print).
STEVENS: Vegan Professionals in a Nonvegan World
Grant Butler, Fran Costigan, Julie Hasson, Janessa Philemon-Kerp
Work in an industry not traditionally known for being vegan-friendly? Interested in how a vegan journalist navigates the waters of a nonvegan newspaper or a vegan pastry chef makes it work in a world known for eggs and cream, not flax and chia? Our panel shares stories and discusses the best ways to deal with cognitive dissonance and coworker interactions. How do you stand up for your way of living without coming across as a judgmental jerk, engage coworkers in healthy discussions about food choices, and win their hearts at company gatherings (hint: vegan cupcakes)?
TRUSTEE: Advanced Photography
It’s no secret that food blogs with beautiful photos attract more readers, but how can you shoot magazine-quality photos and still get dinner on the table before it’s ice cold? Learn how to set up a home studio, work with your camera’s advanced modes, and use editing software to enhance your images. You’ll be surprised at how small changes in styling, lighting, and composition will elevate your food photos from humdrum to “Yum!”
11:15 – 12:15
MILLER: Recipe Creation & Testing
Terry Hope Romero
Serving size: A great recipe serves multitudes anytime, anyplace!
Directions: Attend my class at VVC. I’ll share my evolving approach for developing recipes and workflow tips from 8-plus years of cookbooks, occasions, and clients. If you like, bring a recipe you’ve been stewing over and we’ll fry it to golden perfection.
LIBRARY: Biting Off More than You Should Chew, a Discussion
Veganism is not perfect. This is no surprise to some, but to many it’s a reason to attack. Racism, fat shaming, and other forms of oppression are often used in defense of the voiceless, in turn harming other important movements. This discussion aims to illustrate some of these issues and foster conversation on how they can be addressed.
TRUSTEE: Body Image Acceptance & Veganism
Laura Beck, moderator, Chelsea Lincoln, Gabrielle Pope, Nicole Sopko, Michele Truty
Body image and veganism might not appear to go hand-in-hand—but they do! We’ll talk about recovering from eating disorders and disordered eating through veganism, fostering compassion toward fellow humans, and learning to love your own valuable, resilient, and ridiculously good-looking body.
12:30 – 1:15 ✿ Lunch in the Ballroom: The Sandwich Board
Today’s lunch is sponsored by Nasoya
Nasoya mustard-herb tofu · Upton’s Naturals Bacon Seitan · Tofurky slices · raw walnut meat · Nayonaise · Happy Campers GF & Grand Central bread · raw greens · Earth Balance peanut butter · Lily’s hummus · grilled summer vegetables · GO Veggie! shreds · dressings and hot sauces from Organicville & Secret Aardvark
1:15 – 1:40 ✿ Exhibitor Giveaways & Ice Cream Social
And get those interviews and photos before our exhibitors pack up—but first pick up a sweet treat from So Delicious!
1:45 – 2:30
MILLER: How Hot Topics in Nutrition Influence Vegan Advocacy
Gena Hamshaw, Ginny Messina, Jasmin Singer
Paleo, Blood Type, Soy, Gluten-Free, Raw, or Fuhrman—everybody has an opinion, and there’s rarely wiggle room for another point of view. But at the end of the day, what is our veganism about? What is it we advocate, personal health, moral imperative, or both? Three animal advocates with a penchant for optimal health, who each arrived at vegan advocacy through a vastly different trajectory, discuss how outdated concepts and dietary theories help and hinder the mainstream veganism movement. When it comes to vegan advocacy, where does nutrition fit in?
TRUSTEE: Artful Food Photography
Free from the guidelines and deadlines of commercial work, a personal blog gives you complete creative control, so make that space your own! Break away from white plates and conventional styling and focus on creating mood and environments. With colors, textures, props, and lighting, we’ll take on food photography with personal style and DIY methods.
STEVENS: How to Use Social Media to Win (Vegan) Friends & Influence People
Helen Pitlick, Dawn Quinn
This strategy-focused presentation (we won’t help you set up your account, and hope you have those set up beforehand, but if not that’s OK) will hone in on your blog’s identity and help you cultivate an effective strategy centered around community-building and the hows and whys of sharing content on new and emerging platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Vine. We’ll also go over who should use which platforms, and discuss how they will best complement your blogging.
LIBRARY: Writer’s Block (will run until 3:30)
Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Bring your pens, your paper, and your courage, it’s time to get down and dirty…it’s time to get writing! This hands-on workshop focuses on getting over writer’s block, and transforming your thoughts into written words. Using food as our focus, we’ll perform several writing exercises to compose fully realized pieces. To attend this workshop, you’ll have to be open to sharing what you write out loud, discussing the rest of the group’s written pieces, and listening to feedback about your own pieces. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and hopefully you’ll gain insight and skills that last you a lifetime.
2:45 – 3:30
MILLER: Veganism & Social Justice
Maeve Connor, Jamie J. Hagen, Erika Larson
As vegans with varying expressions of personal privilege, it is important that we recognize and give voice to a variety of dialogues and experiences. Using collaborative dialogue, this session addresses how veganism intersects and overlaps with social justice movements such as feminism, accessibility rights, antiracist movements, LGBTQ empowerment, and many others.
TRUSTEE: Interdietary Cohabitation
Joni Marie Newman, Bianca Phillips, Dawn Quinn
How do you share your kitchen, let alone your life, with someone who consumes animal products? What challenges does this present when you’re constantly looking for blog fodder? As a vegan voice online, does living with and loving an omnivore invite judgment from your audience or show that you’re open-minded?
STEVENS: Tech for Effective Web Presence
Anyone can drag-n-drop themselves a blog these days, but how do you use the tech tools available to raise your page to the next level? Jason covers design from themes to coding, SEO tips, and anything else you’ve got questions about.
3:45 – 4:15 ✿ Closing Address in the Ballroom & Thank You from the Vida Vegan Founders (and hugs)