Blogger Brilliance Conference- Tampa!

Weeee!, I attended a blogger conference, Blogger Brilliance, on Saturday here in Tampa! I had such a good time! Here is my recap:

Jackie and I went together! (picture by Katie!)

Hosted by Bon Bon Rose Girls and White Book Agency and sponsored by Keratherapy, Blogger Brilliance was a success!


This is a bad picture, but our expert panelists for the day included:
I highly recommend that their blogs and websites are checked out. They all had great things to say during panel. They spoke about creative blogging (including the importance of original content, using your voice, tapping into your passion, honing your niche, knowing your audience and best blogging practices) and business and technical blogging (including working with brands, the future of monetizing blogs, banner ads and sponsored posts, building your brand, and starting a small business).

For Blogger Brilliance, attendees had the option of purchasing either a fashion or a foodie track. Given that I'm crazy about food, I'm trying to build up this blog, and that I think food makes the world go 'round, (also given that I think I lack a study fashion sense), I selected the Foodie track, which included a cooking demonstration and food tasting by Chef Daniel of Pelagia Trattoria

For the panel sessions, all attendees were together in the same room. We all received a notepad to take notes on, a swag bag that included mall coupons and gum, and products from Keratherapy.

(included Keratin Infused Argan Oil, Keratin Infused Deep Conditioning Masque, and Keratin Infused Leave-In Conditioner- all 100% safe with no formaldehyde)

Upon leaving the panel sessions, Fashion Track attendees went to the fashion show going on at International Plaza, hosted by TIM GUNN (squeee!), and featuring Kate Spade, Juicy Couture, and Lucky Brand collections. As much as I love Tim Gunn, I decided to grab some food at Cheesecake Factory prior to my Foodie Track started. Leave it to me to eat before I eat. I went with my friend Jackie and my new friend, Snacky Jackie!

Mmmm, carbs.

Fried Mac & Cheese. I'm a glutton.

Wontons stuffed with crab meat and cream cheese

Chicken Piccata 

After stuffing ourselves, we headed to the remainder of the fashion show and caught the tail end where Tim Gunn was answering questions from the audience. He was talking about proportion and fit, different trends, and helping attendees understand fashion. 


At 2pm, our Foodie Track started! We headed to Pelagia Trattoria, still stuffed, but excited for the tasting!

With @snackyjackie!! (Twitter)


We started with cantaloupe and used one piece per "spice". We had sugar (it made the cantaloupe bitter), lime juice (masked the taste), sea salt (delicioso!), cayenne pepper (pretty okay), and MSG (enhanced the flavor). Chef Daniel wanted us to see how different spices can change the flavor of a food.

We were then treated to a cooking demonstration and food tasting of ravioli and berry panna cotta, along with a glass of Grappa.

Filling the ravioli!

Veal, ricotta, spinach, and sage-stuffed raviolis. I don't even like veal and it was the most amazing thing I've ever had in my life! AND Chef Daniel made the actual pasta from scratch.

Berry Panna Cotta- so, so, so good!

Raspberry Plum Grappa! So strong, but so great!

Their different Grappas. We received a jar of their Pear Grappa to take home, along with a card for a free appetizer or dessert for our next visit!

Tampa residents and visitors: VISIT PELAGIA TRATTORIA! Their food is absolutely amazing and we had the greatest time!

Jackie and I met @tampamama, Marisa!

From 1-3:30pm, Neiman Marcus was hosting a Blogger Lounge where attendees could take a break, relax on some couches, and enjoy treats and drinks. Unfortunately (or, fortunately, since I wouldn't trade my experience at Pelagia for anything!), we arrived around 3:45 and no one was there anymore. There were still goodies, though, including Neiman Marcus look books and magazines, a Neiman notebook, and a lipstick pen.

Blogger lounge.


The very last stop of our day was Gabriella's, a lounge in the Renaissance Hotel, where all Blogger Brilliance attendees came to indulge in more Pelagia appetizers.

I officially met Kristin from Bon Bon Rose Girls!!! Eeeeee!

Manchego cheese with honeycomb on a baguette

Goat cheese, pesto, and a tomato on a slice of toasted baguette and gamba-style shrimp with tarragon sauce

We met TIM GUNN! He happened to be sitting in Gabriella's and was so open to taking pictures. He also made it a point to shake hands with and ask the name of every single person there.

Okay, so my head is blocked and this will be my only opportunity to take a picture of Tim Gunn ever, but I'm there and it was exciting and he insisted we take a picture with my personal camera. Awesome.

I really did have a best time at the Blogger Brilliance conference and I can't wait for the next one!

Have you ever been to a blogger conference??


The Sisters' Hood said...

What an awesome job you did with this!!!
I was there for the weekend and brought along three girlfriends - so we made it a girls weekend and an intro to blogging for two of them.
ACK, wish I had met you in person while we were there!

CraveCute said...

What a fabulous post and wonderful pics. I am tweeting this!

Anonymous said...

What an awesome job you did covering this event! Made me wish I was there. I am very surprised that my blood relative didn't invite me to go. Oh well, "Say La Vie!"

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