Vida Vegan Con
Here’s the deal: We put out the call. We read the submissions. We talked. We made spreadsheets. We talked some more. We drank cup after cup of coffee and barely had time to discuss our favorite nondairy creamers of the moment. You simply cannot imagine how hard it was for us to narrow down our speaker lineup. Such amazing talent. Such fantastic voices. So much feedback to consider. Seriously, why can’t Vida Vegan Con be a week long?!
But we’ve done it, and now we can’t wait to share it with you! Each week we’re featuring a handful of speakers, with a teaser of what sort of expertise they’ll be sharing with you (to supplement the class topics sneak peek we shared earlier this summer).
As in past years, we’ve curated this lineup of activists, authors, experts and other leaders in their fields to share with you their skills, their unique voices, and their ability to inspire. We’ll debut the official conference agenda in early 2015.
So here they are, in randomly random order, your second collection of Vida Vegan Con III speakers:
Gena Hamshaw, of Choosing Raw.
Another crowd favorite from past years with an inspiring, recent cookbook to her name, the lovely Gena is a former book editor turned certified clinical nutritionist, who will be calling upon her years of expertise and prowess to share tips on embarking on your own contemporary healthcare career. Stay tuned for passionate, realistic advice on how to incorporate and embrace veganism in the much-debated “nutrition wars” these days.
Monique Koch, of Brown Vegan.
Monique Koch is a welcome newcomer to the VVC family who showcases her down to earth charisma on her blog and growing series of Youtube videos. Monique focuses on healthy cooking & family life, and will be presenting on what she does so well: keeping honesty and authenticity in your online presence.
Matt Ruscigno, of True Love Health.
We’ve got no shortage of diverse, vegan nutrition experts for Vida Vegan Con III, and that is such a beautiful thing! Matt is a longtime vegan, registered dietician, and endurance athlete with an impressive background that includes co-authoring No Meat Athlete and Appetite for Reduction. His latest project is the documentary web series, Strongest Hearts, which profiles vegan athletes. Matt is joining us to discuss quite frankly, (and surely in detailed, mesmerizing facts) how “Science Is Awesome!” and why we don’t need to exaggerate health claims about veganism. Get ready!
Nicole J. Georges, of Invincible Summer.
You just may recognize Nicole from VVC2013, where she delivered our opening talk on artistry, community and veganism. This year, the inventive, longtime writer and illustrator ⸺ and recent Lambda award winner for her graphic memoir, Calling Dr. Laura ⸺joins our exciting speaker lineup to share everything you need to know on touring for your own book or project.
Jackie Sobon, of Vegan Yack Attack.
Let’s get to the point: Jackie is a modern-day culinary blogging mastermind (and VVC2013 attendee), which means she’s an expert food photographer, recipe developer and internet personality, galore! She’s joining us to get real on modern blogging etiquette and social media essentials in regards to own path to super-blogger status.
The countdown to Vida Vegan Con 2015 continues! You can check out the first set of amazing speakers over here. Ready to register? Yeah! Put in for your vacation time, get ready to explore Austin’s fantastic vegan happenings, and reserve your spot today!
Vida Vegan Con III ∗ May 29-31, 2015 ∗ Austin, TX
We put out the call. We read the submissions. We talked. We made spreadsheets. We talked some more. We used and abused a dry-erase board… You simply cannot imagine how hard it was for us to narrow down our speaker lineup. Such amazing talent. Such fantastic voices. Why can’t Vida Vegan Con be a week long?! (Seriously, Google, how about sponsoring us?)
But we’ve done it, and now we can’t wait to share it with you! Each week we’ll feature a handful of speakers, with a teaser of what sort of expertise they’ll be sharing with you (to supplement the class topics sneak peek we posted last week).
As in past years, we’ve curated this lineup of activists, authors, smartypantses, and other leaders in their fields to share with you their skills, their unique voices, and their ability to inspire.
So here they are, in randomly random order, your first handful of Vida Vegan Con III speakers:
Susan Voisin, of Fat Free Vegan.
An overwhelming crowd favorite from VVC2013, Susan will be teaching us post-processing for food photography—how to fix almost anything with software. She’ll also be sharing teaching duties in a class on monetizing your blog.
Sasha Perry, of Strongest Hearts.
New to VVC, Sasha is a veteran filmmaker who was recently a producer and shooter (the camera kind!) on a little show called “Whale Wars” on Animal Planet. Sasha will be presenting on video and film as activism through storytelling. Get ready to get inspired!
Ginny Messina, of The Vegan RD.
Ginny’s back for her third round of VVC, and we couldn’t be more honored to bring you arguably the best-respected voice in vegan nutrition. This year she’ll be talking about a super hot topic, preventing ex-vegans.
Tashina Combs, of Logical Harmony.
Tashina has become the go-to resource for vegan cosmetics and bodycare and we’re glad to welcome her to her first time speaking at VVC. She’ll be teaching us about the difference between cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, what to look for, what questions to ask, and who you can trust.
Brian Patton, of The Sexy Vegan.
Cookbook author, podcaster, and the 2013 Vida Vegan Galarama host, Brian is presenting his first VVC class this year. He’ll be breaking down social media and teaching us how to tweet like you give a damn.
There you have it, round one, with so much more to come! Ready to register? Especially as we announce speakers, these tickets are gonna go fast. Put in for your vacation time and reserve your spot today!
Vida Vegan Con III ∗ May 29-31, 2015 ∗ Austin, TX
First of all, a big THANK YOU to everyone who bought Early Bird tickets, inclusive- and double-inclusive weekend tickets, and contributed to our Vida Vegan Membership Drive. Y’all ROCK.
And now, with Early Bird tickets sold out and speakers now confirmed, get ready for the next step… general registration is now open.
Tickets to this three-day, full-weekend event that now includes the first ever Friday Vegan Bazaar are available now—click here for more info and to grab your spot. May 29-31, 2015, is gonna be a blast and we can’t wait to see you there!
We’re a few weeks into our Membership Drive, and on behalf of Vida Vegan HQ, I’m so happy to welcome all who have signed up. We’ll start sending out welcome packs to those eligible in just a couple of weeks. So far we’ve got great stuff from Field Roast, Obsessive Confection Disorder, Peanut Butter & Co, and Tofurky…and there’s more to come! And we’ll be running our first member feature on the blog this month—we can’t wait!
Really, we want to thank you for the support. We don’t have angel investors or corporate backing or anything, so it’s between you and us to keep this going and to launch new projects. We considered doing a crowdfunder but figured this would be the better route, just grouping the fundraising with our Membership launch and Early Bird ticket sales, which we’ve wanted to do for a while now.
We’re learning so much about you through those profiles of yours: what kind of tech equipment you’re into, favorite classes of past VVC’ers, and how many of you are already vegan or workin’ on it—super helpful as we build our VVC III agenda, but also for future programs and projects. Again, we’re only here because of you, so the more we can connect with you the better.
For those who haven’t signed up, you’ve got until July 31 to grab these bonuses. But be warned: Some of the perks are limited and close to selling out…like the Early Bird registration spots and individual inclusive packages did. We do still have a couple of the double-inclusives left, so if you’ve got a friend registering and would like to share a 2-queen-bed hotel room, check it out. (And if that’s not going to work for you, mark your calendar: Regular Vida Vegan Conference registration opens August 1.)
If you can’t attend the conference but still want to support what we do, we’ve got benefits like online shout-outs, e-books, blog features, and postcards with love from Austin. Or you can check out our online store and pick up a t-shirt or water bottle. Thank you!
Other pots on the stove:
Don’t forget, this weekend is our first Vida Vegan Google Hangout. Sunday, July 6, at noon PST, join us online for an hour of chit-chat. We want to see new and old faces! Connect with each other. Let us know what’s happening with you. Hit us up with questions you have about VVC or anything else we’ve got going on.
Oh, and our open speaker application period ends July 9—so if you’ve been working on your idea, time to button it up and send it on in! We want to hear from you!
New date for Vida Vegan Con III!!
Due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict with our event space (we’ll tell ya just where on Friday, stay tuned!), Vida Vegan Con has adjusted our official date. That’s right, we’ve all got an extra week to wait! Deep breaths, noochy popcorn, and please adjust your calendars and travel plans accordingly.
Head here for exclusive Early Bird rate (open now) and more Membership Drive options, including inclusive packages, blog features, or a trip to Portland to brunch with us!
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, 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:
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.
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
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!
Yeah, we don’t have an office. Our HQ is a P.O. box and a collection of living rooms, coffee shops, hotel lobbies, and bars. It’s a little challenging at times, sure, but it also allows us to try new spots around town, curl up with cats, and stay limber, so we can dream up lots of fun stuff for the likes of you.
Here’s a look back, via our Instagram feeds, at what a Vida Vegan meeting looks like!
And for you Portland folks, just a heads-up, we signed a contract for a little event space for early December. We’ll try to get details together for you soon. We’re pretty excited about how it’s shaping up.
Joining us in our walk down memory lane are some of our favorite Vida Vegan Con alumni. What are their upcoming projects and seasonal shenanigans—and what did they take home from VVC2013?
Today we’re checking in with John McDevitt. Running Vegan Omaha and helping the kitties via The Teal Cat Project, it’s ironic the he’s the voice behind The Laziest Vegans in the World. Hey, John!
What have you been up to this summer?
Traveling, relaxing, gardening, and jogging.
Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?
Because I really like Jess, Janessa, and Michele. Plus, all of the presenters and attendees are amazing.
Looking back, what was the most memorable class?
The VeganMofo class ruled.
How has your blog changed since the three-day conference?
Not much. Still lazy as ever (blogwise, anyway).
How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?
Ha! Not at all. I did enjoy hearing other people’s perspectives, though.
Who were you really excited to meet?
Any nice surprises you’d like to share? Special memories of VVC2013?
I just love the vibe of the conference. So many vegans in one place, it’s pretty amazing! Happy to see everyone from 2011 and meet the 2013 newbies.
So, have you started reading any new blogs?
Yes, a couple! Can’t wait till VeganMofo to find even more cool vegan blogs.
What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?
I like to see people having fun with blogging and not take it so seriously.
What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC?
Maybe expand the conference beyond blogging?
What other vegan events put together by VVHQ would you like to attend?
A vegan cruise, just do it! [Editor's note: We've done some research, and we haven't ruled it out.]
Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? (as if you could resist!)
Until next time, Mr. McDevitt.
See John’s coverage of the past Vida Vegan Con here (and catch up on convenience foods galore)! And stay tuned for more of our Month of Memories, from us (Janessa, Jess & Michele) and our Vida Vegan family, all VeganMoFo long.
Look at all those vegan mugs!
When we planned the pre-VVC2011 meet & greet, we had NO IDEA who would show up. Sure, we gave the folks at Vendetta a little heads-up, that we might have upwards of 50 people swing by, and that they might want to add some extra vegan specials to the menu. But then y’all kept coming. This is a shot of just one little area and I can count around 30 of you!
For many, this was the first opportunity we had to put faces to names (or avatars or logos) from blogs, forums, and cookbooks. Newbs and pros mingling, some of us crawling out from behind our keyboards for a very rare social situation—even the most socially awkward can be comfortable in a gathering of bloggers! It was just so exciting and invigorating to witness this gathering…and precisely what we needed to kick off our very first conference weekend.
And I can’t help but wonder how many friendships were born in that patio.