Hello, vegans on the Internet!
We have a few updates in the Vida Vegan Con universe.
First up, a big thank you and Mmmm, miso BBQ sauce to all who attended last weekend’s Exquisite Dinner at Bridgeport BrewPub and helped us raise some cash and awareness for Merciful Maiden Critter Haven. We’d love to throw future vegan dinners in the future—please get in touch if you have an idea for a location or if you’d like to get your restaurant involved. Don’t be surprised if we take this series on the road one day. More photos of the dishes at the bottom of the post.
Behind the scenes, we’ve been hard at work, exiting the early planning stages of May 2013’s Vida Vegan Con II in Portland, Oregon, reviewing applications from potential speakers and poring over countless Google docs. In case you missed it, the dates and location are up, and registration will open this summer.
In addition to grand plans for 2013’s Vida Vegan Con, we started thinking…we wanted even more content and share a never-ending travel bug, so why not pick the brains of the Pacific Northwest Silicon Forest vegans for something special?
As usual, stay tuned…for the Vida Vegan Tech Seminar this Fall—November 3, 2012, to be exact, in downtown Seattle, Washington, at the stunning Seattle Public Library. Registration will open soon! Get in touch if you’d like to be involved.
And just one more thing: All three organizers are proud to announce our involvement with this summer’s annual International Food Bloggers Conference, Foodista, which just so happens to be this August in Portland. All three conference organizers and bloggers, Janessa, Jess & Michele, will be holding a Niche Blogging talk, and we’re told Nutiva Organic will be providing a special vegan breakfast on Sunday. Plus, Foodista is offering a special discount to all friends of Vida Vegan Con for the month of May, which can be found here.
With that, here’s more from our first Exquisite Dinner:
The Pub Trio: Wookie Wings with hot sauce, Mac & Cheese, Red Bean Slider
Every day’s better with a Wookie Wing.
The Standard: Lentil Loaf with Miso BBQ sauce, rice flour-battered sweet potato fries, grilled asparagus
Dessert: Rich Chocolate Cake with Porter ganache and raspberry butterfly
You’ve all been so good and (mostly) patient while we figured out which city will host the next Vida Vegan Con. Well, a lot of emails, tours, and meetings later, we are super excited to tell you the locations of our next TWO conferences:
May 2013: Portland, OR
Yes, we are returning to Portland for our sophomore conference. We found a fantastic, new location that we all instantly fell in love with—we toyed with announcing the name, but we haven’t signed the contract yet. You understand. It’s bigger than last year’s space, so we’ll be able to fit more of you and our favorite exhibitors! Plus some extras we’ve been brewing up ideas for, like a lounge area or work center.
As soon as we sign the contracts, we’ll give you a date and get ready to open registration. Just like last time, we’ll put together travel info and direct you to the best lodging deals, including dorm possibilities. We know a lot of you made longer vacations of the last VVC and will do our best to extend those special room-block prices. So stay tuned for more! And if you’d like to submit a speaker proposal, do it here before May 1, 2012.
August 2014: Chicago, IL
On our scouting trip in January, we knew we had to hold a conference here. We didn’t find the perfect spot yet, so the scouting will continue for VVC III! If you’re in Chicago and have suggestions, let us know. We’ll be taking another trip out there before too long.
Last hinty bit of newsy hints: One-day concentrated seminars comin’ up! We’re planning a small, single-day, concentrated blogging/social networking tech seminar for this November and a vegan business one for March 2014. They will be held in different cities, and neither of them will be in Portland or Chicago. Take away one tease, lay on another, right? We hope it’s more intriguing than frustrating.
Also coming up for local folks: On April 22, Earth Day, Vida Vegan is partnering with BridgePort Brewpub to bring you an exquisitely spring-themed vegan coursed dinner.
The menu will include fresh and lively dishes made with BridgePort beers (yup, they’re vegan-friendly microbrews), and a portion of all ticket sales will go to a local animal sanctuary.
More details, the final menu and a link to ticket sales will be announced in late March/early April. Check out the Facebook event here, and save the date.
All in all, we can’t wait to see you all again!
We know January and February in Chicago can be brutal, but that’s when we had time to go and that’s when we could afford to go, so that’s when we went, and you know what, we loved it!
Michele was lucky enough to grow up there, but for Jess and Janessa, this was a first look (and feel!) of the Windy City. We packed up our boots and gloves and headed to Chi-town to see if it has what it takes to host a few hundred vegan bloggers for a weekend.
We met up with friends, old and new…
And we ate!
The verdict? Chicago definitely has what it takes to embrace us and keep us busy. We saw a lot of cool spaces, ate a lot of comfort food (some good, some bad, some awesome), and even found a tattoo artist who uses vegan inks.
The holdup? We’re looking to bring you an even better, more polished event for 2013 and are honestly a little nervous about holding our sophomore conference so far away. Chicago’s a little more expensive than Portland, and we have a smaller pool of friends and family to beg, borrow, and steal from. We know we can do it…but we also can’t afford to lose our day jobs. We have a bunch to talk about before making a final decision, but we’re planning for a March 15th announcement, after a couple more meetings.
You know either way, Portland or Chicago, it’s gonna be a blast. It wouldn’t be so surprising if we went with one for 2013 and another for VVC3. So, see you somewhere May 2013!
You may have heard some buzzin’ on the Facebook page, and it’s true, Vida Vegan is considering Chicago for the Spring 2013 Conference.
We’ll be in town January 21-24 to check out event spaces and let Janessa and Jess get a feel for the city. Michele was lucky to grow up there, so yes, we know how unbelievably horrible the weather can be. We just need to make a decision soon, so the time is now.
So…whatcha think? We’d love to go to a new city each year, and Chicago is the easiest one for us, after Portland. We’ve heard the calls for the Southeast Asia conference, but I think we’re a few years from there just yet.
If any of y’all VVC’ers are in town, we’re putting together a little meetup Sunday, the 22nd, for what else but pizza! Meet us at for lunch at 1:00 pm at The Boiler Room. Totally casual, we’ll just give them a little heads-up that they best get their vegan cheese at the ready. Here’s the Facebook event we set up, with a map & stuff!
Our conversation with Coconut Bliss began in 2010. Being a brand-new, vegan conference heading into its first year, we strongly depend on our sponsors for all this excitement to happen, and we value this sponsorship. The news of the sale to Lochmead Dairy came as a surprise to us, just as it did to the rest of the vegan community. As the organizers, we immediately discussed our own feelings and the feelings of all involved with Vida Vegan Con.
See you this summer,
Janessa, Jess & Michele
The Vida Vegan Con Organizers