Vida Vegan Con

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…

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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: Vida Vegan at the Office

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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!

Working on the schedule in Michele’s living room, from @janessapk
Early VVC floor plan sketching, in Janessa’s coffee table, from @vidaveganhq
Bagels and coffee and notebooks and laptops, at Ford Food & Drink, via @vidaveganhq
A blank slate, ready to be filled with classes. Another living room shot, from @jdfunks

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.

Late-Summertime Laze: Q&A with John McDevitt

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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?

Miyoko!

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!)

Portobello gnocchi.

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.

Month of Memories: VVC2011 Meet & Greet

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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.

 

Month of Memories: Opening VVC2011

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Photo credit: Kristina Sloggett
Photo credit: Kristina Sloggett

Starting off with a memory from long, long ago. It’s the opening greeting at the first Vida Vegan Con, in August 2011. Obviously, we didn’t shoot this; it’s from Kristina Sloggett’s coverage on Spabettie.

Jess had just finished talking and it was my turn, which meant a pretty big adjustment for the microphone. Of course the cord was wrapped around the stand too tight so it was difficult to raise for me…and awkwardness ensued. Newbie mistake! But like most of the newbie mistakes we made that first conference, we laughed our way through it, figured out how to prevent it from ever happening again, and with a little help—OK, a lot of help—we got the job done.