Friday, October 03, 2014

TECHmunch Atlanta

On September 26, TECHmunch came to Atlanta. TECHmunch is a traveling food blog conference and I am the local co-producer in Atlanta. I have previously co-produced the conference in years past. It was the first time in Atlanta and it was a blast. Thank to Babette of BakeSpace, this is the eighth TECHmunch that I have attended. I have produced four in New York, spoke at two in Austin, spoke at one in Philly and produced this one in Atlanta.

The venue was Monday Night Brewing, which is a local microbrewery. It's an unconventional but fun venue for a conference. We had a beer tasting there afterwards.

Our first panel was about cookbook publishing with authors Angie Dudley (Bakerella) and Virginia Willis. They have very different stories of how they became authors, but they were both generous in sharing their stories. Virginia advises budding cookbook authors to develop a good reputation first, and then branch out. Regarding opportunities, she recommends to say yes first, and then figure it out. BTW, Virginia's upcoming cookbook is Lighten Up, Y'all. It is available for pre-order and it will be released in March of 2015.

A new addition to TECHmunch was the live cookbook pitch. Attendees volunteered to get on stage to pitch their cookbook ideas.  Sponsored by Beyond Meat, there were about a dozen people who pitched their ideas. I really enjoyed listening to the pitches, and it’s great especially when women get up and talk about their goals.  It reminded a little of the New York Tech Meetup. The winner of the cookbook pitch is Michelle Valigursky of the blog Savor The Salt.

I was the moderator for the restaurant review panel which included John Kessler from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Denise Romeo from Atlanta Food Blogger Society, Debbie Rosen (The Rosen Group) and Christopher Hassiotis (Zagat Atlanta). We talk about photography etiquette in restaurants, developing relationship with publicists and best practices for reviewing restaurants.

The Social Media Panel was very informative. Moderated by Danica Kombol, the panelists were Christie Crowder, Tasha Edwards , Jaha Knight and Danny Williams. These guys were very knowledgeable and inspired attendees to step up their social media game. One takeaway: Hashtags are huge for Instagram and Twitter. It it how you are discovered.

Evi Abeler did a Google Hangout about food photography. She gave tips on how to take excellent photos and what props and tools to use.You can read her food photography posts on

Lunch sponsored by and the food was from MetroFresh. Dessert provided Hot Sugar Atlanta and Sprinkles.

Serena Erlich did a Google Hangout about the importance of editorial calendars.
Big Bad Booth Co sponsored a fun photo booth.
We had a fun after party and sampling of new menu items at West Egg Cafe.