Vida Vegan Con

Month of Memories: VVC2011 Meet & Greet

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SAMSUNG

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.

 

What’s new with Katie of Vegan Noms?

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The summer is flying by and as proud organizers, we’ve been wondering what everyone has been up to since VVC2013! So, we reached out to our attendees through our official Vida Vegan Headquarters Facebook page and wanted to share the lively results. Here’s the inspirational update from Katie of Vegan Noms, another 2011 and 2013 Gold star alumnae:

ProfilePic2013 has been one hell of a year! After reorienting to day-to-day life after the whimsical whirlwind that was VVC2013, I’ve made deeper commitments to cleaner eating, keeping moving, and appreciating the details in life. In a few short days I will find myself having completed my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and embarking on the next chapter in my career. Looking forward to keeping up with bloggers and connecting with new vegans along the way… Things couldn’t be better!

For Katie’s latest updates, reviews and fresh recipes, head on over to Vegan Noms right now.

As always, stay tuned for more updates from Vida Vegan Headquarters & whirlwind it up!

The VVC Shop Is Now Open

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Did you forget to get yourself a special Vida Vegan Con water bottle or t-shirt at the conference? Sort of wish you had an extra mug? Or maybe you didn’t go to the conference this year but still want to pick up some new VVC gear.  We get it, and we’ve got it for you in the Vida Vegan Shop.

The truth is, we strive to keep our registration pricepoint low (free for some) and our sponsorships accessible, so more people have the chance to join us at our events. And we have lost sponsors for refusing to give them our mailing lists, send out sponsored emails, or allow them to present demos at the event—and we feel OK with that. We’re proud to stand up and say no to demands we feel would upset the positive, inspirational, creative vibe of the Con. (Obviously, our sponsors help make these things happen, and we truly do love the ones we work with—and hope you do too.)

That means it’s largely the three of us ladies doing as much of the work ourselves as possible to keep costs down. That also means when you buy a t-shirt, you help us put together a deposit toward the next event without us having to compromise the integrity of Vida Vegan organizers and attendees.

You have no idea how greatly we appreciate that. We’ll hug you all next time we see you, seriously.

Thank you, and enjoy!

THANK YOU #VVC2013!

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Thank you so much to the attendees, speakers, and sponsors of the second (sold-out! internationally attended!) Vida Vegan Bloggers Conference!

This event, the now three-day extravaganza (plus, another Galarama), has grown so much, and we thank you all so much, for making it even more than what we ever thought it could be. Your friendly organizers have spent the past two years pouring our hearts and minds into this event, and constantly get chills from the community that’s grown from our vegan bloggers conference—for writers and readers alike.

There’s so much more to say, and so much to reflect on, but we need some sleep (and kale), and we’re sure you do too.

We’re emailing our attendees for feedback (and a ticket giveaway to the next Con, what the hey?), so be on the lookout for that, and as always, stay tuned right here for updates on what and when and where our next shindig(s) will be.

In the meantime, go blog (better than ever!) and peruse all the #VVC2013 hashtags on Instagram and Twitter and all over. We’ve seen lots of folks live-blogging and recapping already, and remain in awe.

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VEGANS!
We can’t say it enough: THANK YOU!

VVC II Anticipation: Friday’s New Product Spotlight & Meet the Exhibitors

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One of the roughly 400 bajillion new elements we’re introducing to Vida Vegan Con II is the legit New Product Spotlight on Friday afternoon. This spotlight happens at the very opening of the Exhibit Area (11:30am), located inside your home base for the weekend: the Kridel Grand Ballroom, where all meals, refreshments, announcements the Expert Corner, All Things Vegan Radio (and more!) will reside.  All of our snazzy, supportive exhibitors will be providing samples for your enjoyment during this Spotlight (most of which, non-surprisingly, will surely offer very tasty bites)…some of which may be brand spankin’ new!

Here’s the scoop with our full lineup of 2013 Exhibitors, listed in alphabetical order. Any new product picks they’ve told us about are included below, but hey, every table will have plenty to share and discuss, no doubt! 

  • Attune Foods, Erewhon Buckwheat & Hemp cereal
  • The Better Bean Company 
  • Bob’s Red Mill new Grains of Discovery product line features Amaranth, Chia Seed, Farro, Kamut, Millet, Quinoa, Sorghum, Spelt and Teff from around the world
  • Chicago Vegan Foods > We haven’t heard about a new product just yet, but there will be S’mores at the Friday night Pop Up and Nacho Teese at the Saturday Build-a-Bowl lunch buffet. You know what to do.
  • Coconut Bliss Salted Caramel & Chocolate Pint, Strawberry Love Bars, Cafe Latte Bars
  • Compassion Couture Cornelia Guest Roxy Clutch, Neuaura Arisa, Cri de Coeur – Pia & Matt & Nat Cara in Ocean (tabling on Saturday & Sunday!)
  • Earth Balance Vegan Aged White Cheddar Puffs, Vegan Buttery Flavor Popcorn, Vegan Aged White Cheddar Popcorn & P.B. Popps, travel-sized coconut peanut butter
  • Go Veggie! Strawberry Cream Cheese Alternative
  • Heidi Ho Cheeses Chia Cheese Sauce
  • KeVita Mojita & Daily Cleanse flavors
  • Missionary Chocolates Coconut Palm Sugar Truffle (tabling on Friday & Sunday!)
  • Nasoya Nayonaise Original & NayoWhipped
  • Pacific Foods Organic Refried Pinto Beans, Organic Baked Beans, Organic Refried Black Beans, Organic Refried Black Beans with Green Chiles, Organic Vegetable Lentil & Roasted Red Pepper Soup, reduced Sodium – Organic Spicy Black Bean & Kale Soup, Unsweetened Hemp Original Non-dairy Beverage, Unsweetened Hemp Vanilla Non-dairy Beverage
  • Pacific Northwest Kale Chips Cascade Ranch flavor
  • Peanut Butter & Co bigger 28 ounce jars of all their flavors
  • So Delicious Dairy Free Chocolate Coconut Milk Beverage, Barista Style French Vanilla Creamer, Barista Style Orginal Creamer, Gluten-Free Cookies & Cream Frozen Dessert (look for this last one being debuted during their Sunday Ice Cream Social)
  • Tofurky Artisan sausages: Andouille, Spinach Pesto and Chick’n & Apple
  • Upton’s Naturals Bacon Seitan. They’re not sampling at their table, but, it will be in Sunday’s ‘The Sandwich Board’ lunch buffet so go get some!
  • Vegan Cuts the latest Vegan Cuts Snack Box, featuring 7 or more vegan products, ranging from sweet treats to household fun stuff.
  • Wayfare  ♥ We Can’t Say It’s Ice Cream

More to come at 11:30am on Friday…

If you’re tabling and have a new product to include, let us know and we’ll announce it all on Friday at the Spotlight.

The full list of exhibitors and sponsors is located here.