Vida Vegan Con

Psst: Want to speak at VVCIII?

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Your time has come! To break out those big ideas and fill out a very, very special form.

photo Do you have something to say about Vegan Parenting & Family Life? Starting your own Vegan Business? The future of Technology? Community Development (whether online or IRL)? Running a blog for a decade without going crazy? And going crazy? Food Styling? Photography? Cruelty-Free Fashion? Publishing? Veganism, Gender & Sexuality? We want to hear it!

Janessa, Michele and myself have put together a beautiful, long (and honestly, beautifully long) list of topics that we’d love to see come to the third Vida Vegan Conference and folks have certainly been asking for. Check it out over here, read a bunch more about what we’re looking for, including the speaking requirements, and apply!

Frankly, my unofficial, not-so-ridiculous estimate is that we’ve received roughly two emails a week about wanting to speak at the third conference since we closed the application to speak at VVC2013—on top of seeking a rad mix of new and returning speakers, so it looks like the competition will be fiercer than ever! (Thanks for letting me have this reality competition-hosting moment.)  

Vida Vegan Con III is set for May 29-31, 2015 in Austin, TX.

So much more, including the first-ever Membership Drive (which means a brand spanking new Vida Vegan Membership program and those coveted conference early bird rates) official locations, travel advice and sponsorship opportunities, coming soon!

The deadline to apply is July 9.

VVCIII Takes On…Austin!

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If you received yesterday’s official VVHQ newsletter, then you’re already in the know. But for the rest of you, we’ve got some pretty big news (and subscribe here for the first look next time). So let’s get to it!

Vida Vegan Con III (or #VVCIII, if that’s how you see the world) will be in…

austin_grid

Austin, Texas. May 29-31, 2015.

That’s right, after hosting two glorious, action-packed conferences in our home city (and vegan wonderland) of Portland, we’re taking this show on the road. Janessa, Jess, and I (Michele) have spent over a year scouting about for the perfect city and space in an exciting, happening vegan community to rival our little vegan mecca.

We’ll have loads of information on all things Austin, including:

  • lodging & travel tips (getting to and around Austin)
  • our favorite grub (lots of budget eats)
  • just where and when all our conference happenings will be—because you know we’re gonna try to jam as much Vida Vegan and Austin as we can into this double-stuffed weekend.

So when can I register?!

Official, regular registration opens August 1, 2014, BUT we’ve got a special little Early Bird action going on as part of our next announcement:

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
Much, much more info to come right around the corner, but Early Bird discounted registration and a very limited availability of more-inclusive weekend packages will be part of this program to make stronger connections among our community. It’s a mutual support system, with some really cool perks for you and a more open line of communication for us. Seriously, sit tight and stay tuned. We’ll hip you to everything you need to know before the program opens (and the Early Bird options are available) on June 13.

So can I be a speaker?!

Once again, we’ll have an entirely open application process, but it will be fiercer than ever. Based on attendee feedback, we’ll have more specialized presentations, panels, and hands-on workshops, which means fewer multi-speaker classes. More details to come, but start preparing your submission now—we’ll be looking for thoughtful, original proposals. The application window will be open May 9–July 9.

 

welcome_austin_bootMARK YOUR CALENDARS!

May 9–July 9: Speaker Application
June 13: Membership Drive opens (Early Bird registration)
August 1: Regular registration opens

 May 29-31, 2015: Vida Vegan Con III

Excited?! We are! Spread the love with the official hashtag: #VVCIII

The Countdown to VVC2015: Introducing the Vida Vegan Street Team!

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Hello, hello! Vida Vegan Headquarters is back with some really big news that will hopefully bring even more folks to future Vida Vegan Cons!

We’re introducing the new Vida Vegan Street Team, and all are welcome to join!

Trust me, your friendly organizers are no strangers to budgeting (here’s something you don’t see on Instagram: all the dang bowls of clean-out-the-fridge lentil soup I eat), and we totally get that registration costs are simply not in everyone’s budget. Once again, we will be offering full registration scholarships and relying on some very special assistants as we run around a new city, but we wanted to make it possible to volunteer and actually attend all the classes you want. The Vida Vegan Street Team concept is here to make that happen.

In return, based on the number of hours and type of activity you’re able to contribute over 2014-2015, Vida Vegan offers a special token of our appreciation: a point system to earn big discounts—and potentially cover the entire cost of registration for Vida Vegan Con III. Full details over here.

Interested? Read that link above and sign up by filling out this quick form. Potential speakers are welcome to come on board!

Oh, okay. We bet you’re wondering and we’re this close to announcing the GIANT news of just when and where our third conference will take place. We can’t say it seriously enough: if you’re signed up for our newsletter, you will hear it first!

Month of Memories Presents: Some Foxy Q & A with Ashlee Piper of The Little Foxes

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Hey there! Welcome to the next post of our latest Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters. These special interviews give a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, summer shenanigans and reveal what they really learned at VVC2013. They’re sharing which class sticks out in their minds so many months later, and just what they’d like to see more and less of in vegan blogging, a question that’s always on our minds. 

We’re now joined by the adorably sassy Ashlee Piper, author of the “compassionate fare and cunning vegan style” blog, The Little Foxes, and official Vegucator around town.  Let’s see what she had to say about her first foray into the land of Vida Vegan Con…

Ashlee Piper at VVC2013, via The Little Foxes

Why Ashlee, just what have you been up to this summer?

Doing cooking demos, conferences, reviewing bushels of badass products, cooking up a storm, and visiting the dog beach with my pups. I foresee some road trips and camping on the horizon, too.

Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?

Because a gathering of vegan bloggers in a town that is a vegan mecca sounds like, and actually is, heaven.

Looking back, what was the most memorable class?

I loved Fran Costigan’s class on doing quality food demonstrations and workshops. I love her approach and warm vibe, and I learned so much. I also loved Hannah Kaminsky’s class on food styling! Gotta get an eye-dropper and mister, stat!

How has your blog [www.thelilfoxes.com] changed since the three-day conference?

I’ve become more dedicated to it, diligent in posting, and more collaborative. VVC gave me the opportunity to connect with other marvelous bloggers and I love the sense of community. I’ve also become more proud of my blog and bolder about advertising, promoting, monetizing, and growing it.

Blogging is totally a real career and I appreciate VVC for spotlighting that!

How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?

I am a much more dedicated and careful recipe tester now. I also take care to, with my limited camera phone resources, take better pictures of my meals. I’ve also found that simpler is better. Sometimes, as food bloggers, we get more caught up in impressing one another with molecular gastronomy and complicated ingredients and techniques than creating recipes that are attractive to people interested in making good vegan food. VVC helped me to focus on creating recipes that are fun, but approachable.

Who were you really excited to meet?

Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. But everybody, really. Everyone has so much to contribute to this movement.

Any nice surprises you’d like to share? Special memories of VVC2013?

Dancing to Melisser’s grooves, eating my weight in food, late-night karaoke with cool peeps, and MY GOD, all of the vendors and food at the conference. That swag bag ain’t no joke. Oh, and I loved the Vegan Game Show.

Vegan Battle Royale! (aka the VVC Game Show). Photo by J. Legume

So, have you started reading any new blogs?

Heck yes. So many that I cannot keep up.

What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?

More video blogs. I love ‘em and want to start doing more myself. I find text blogs to be amazing, but sometimes (especially mine), all that text can be very labor intensive and tough to read.

What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC?

Maybe a guided networking reception? I’m very outgoing, so meeting people isn’t a problem for me, but I noticed that other folks are very shy and not ready to self-promote. It might be cool to have a guided networking workshop or something where people can talk about their blogs, goals, and whatever they might need improvement or assistance with. (Noted! We’ve got some creative ice breakers up our sleeves…)

What other vegan events put together by VVHQ would you like to attend?

Are there other events (Why, yes!)? I’m always down to attend stuff in Chicago. And by golly, if VVC is in Chicago next year, you best hit me up. :)

(One more note: We‘ll keep that in mind and will certainly be there at some point!)

Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? 

VEGGIE GRILL and Departure.

Veggie Grill feasting, image via The Little Foxes

Thanks for sharing, Ashlee! Our Month of Memories Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters will continue far into VeganMoFo, and we’ve got lots more in store.

Check out Ashlee’s spirited VVC2013 recap, appropriately titled Vida Vegan Con: Where Bloggers Eat Their Weight in Food

Besides her blog, you can also catch up with Ashlee on Instagram @ashleepiper and on Twitter @Thelilfoxes

More (Late) Summertime Q & A with Julia Legume

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Hey there! Welcome to the next edition of our latest Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters! These special interviews give a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, seasonal shenanigans and reveal what they really learned at VVC2013. They’re sharing which class sticks out in their minds so many months later, and just what they’d like to see more and less of in vegan blogging, a question that’s always on our minds. 

We’re now joined by a devoted (and super appreciated!) member of the VVHQ support team and recent host of Portland’s Pop Up! Taco Shop!, Julia Legume 

Julia shows her support for Chimp Sanctuary NW.

So Julia, what have you been up to this summer?

Park Ranger-ing, watching Wheel of Fortune, petting every dog and cat I see in the streets of pdx.


Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II? 
I’m dating one of the organizers!

Looking back, what was the most memorable class?

Vegan Professionals in a Non-vegan World with Janessa, Fran, Julie, and Grant– good stuff dudes

 

How has your blog changed since the three-day conference? 

I think one more person reads it.

 

How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?

I tasted Upton’s bacon– and now I eat a lot of it at home!

How Julia brunches at home: hot biscuits & Upton’s seitan bacon.

 

Who were you really excited to meet? 

Heather Spork (who happened to be a vendor with Galaxy Foods), Madeleine.teacup and SweetT from the PPK forums, and Jojo!                 (veganinbrighton).

 

Any special memories of VVC2013 you’d like to share? 

The Chicago Vegan Foods Teese nacho machine!!!!

 

So, have you started reading any new blogs? 

Travel blogs, basically. The Gay Backpacker — I like his style.


What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?

Less recipes/ how to’s with packaged ingredients, more thoughtful and creative dishes that are inspiring

 

What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC? 

Team building exercises. Mandatory. (Noted!)

Here’s Julia, helping assemble the SWAG bags.

What other vegan events put together by VVHQ would you like to attend? 

Pool parties, pizza parties, slumber parties, hikes, campouts, dodgeball, Vegan Olympics.

 

Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? (as if you could resist!) 

DUH EMAME’S ETHIOPIAN FOODCART DOWNTOWN.

Combo platter, Emame's Ethiopian
Combo platter, Emame’s Ethiopian

Thanks for sharing!


Our Month of Memories Q & A series will continue far into VeganMoFo.

Here’s Julia’s VVC2013 recap: Vida Vegan Con, I love you. For her latest & greatest, check her out on Instagram, @donna__noble.

 

Month of Memories: A Few of Janessa’s 2013 VVC Faves

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MY LOVES
MY LOVES

VVC2 was a wirlwind of a feel good vegan social media weekend, and even in the middle of the storm, I found a few things that I absolutely cannot live without ever again, if I had a choice in the matter.

From top left:

Wayfare Maple Ice Cream: Made from oats, this creamy and smooth non-dairy ice cream is now the benchmark for all other vegan ice cream brands and flavors. While I love me some So Delicious and Coconut Bliss, this oat-based dreamy creamy pint is my new jam.

Tofurky BBQ Chicken Hot Pockets: Growing up vegetarian, I never indulged in hot pockets as a kid, but as an adult, this hot, sweet and tangy with tofu in a convenient pocket of bread is sure to be a delightful occasional indulgence when I’m back in the States. I ate several of these throughout the VVC weekend.

Tatly Vegan Temporary Tattoos: This company donated veggie-themed temporary tattoos the the VIP ticket-holders of the Galarama. I seem to have ended up with one in the aftermath of VVC, so I stuck the booklet in my backpack with me to take on my travels. I love the idea of temporary tattoos that are vegan, and though of course the vegetables are my fave, all their other themed books are adorable and fun.

Myoko Schinner’s Vegan Cheese Platter: Seriously. Artisan vegan cheese is taking over the country, and Miyoko’s ground-breaking book Artisan Vegan Cheese seems to be leading the pack. She put together a GORGEOUS plate of her cheese for the Galarama, and I found myself eating as many crackers loaded with cheese as I could.

VVC on Stage: I just love working with Jess and Michele so much, and love getting to be in a whole  building/city filled with like-minded vegan bloggers, authors and social media users. The people involved are always my absolute all-time fave thing from the conferences!