Wow – all I can say is wow. This past weekend was the craziest, biggest event I’ve been a part of since starting my journey. Granted, I’ve been to bigger private expos that are huge (GFAF always has the biggest most massive audience of GF and allergy-friendly attendees), but this was a two day expo AND education conference – and part of a national non-profit organization. I was honored to not only be a vendor, but also the organizer of the official bloggers program for their FIRST public expo and their first time having bloggers! Guys, I am so happy with the results – the expo was awesome and the conference was so educational and the bloggers were amazing. Yes, this is my happy face.
I flew in a bit early to California because – let’s face it – I need a vacation. Here’s me staying in Playa del Rey. Filmed my concession video for Blogger of the Year for the Foggy Awards on this very patio (see the video here). I dined at a few local spots like Fresh Brothers and Sauce on Hampton while I was there too! Hooray for easy GF eating!
My girlfriend drove me up from LA to Pasadena to set up my booth and get the blogger booth ready. The first day of the CDF Expo was all about the education and conference break-outs. The conference (Saturday) was awesome! I finally got to see Dr. Joseph Murray and Dr. Peter Green speak about celiac disease! To see pics of some of the slides – search the hashtag #CDFExpo on Instagram and Twitter to follow our bloggers’ journey during the conference.
We set up our booth a few down from the Blogger’s Station. We were a total hit at the show (in my eyes at least!). Lucy from Lucy’s stopped by and told me how much she liked the shirts. Jilly Lagasse (aka one of the Lagasse sisters) was my VIP guest and left with a few shirts too! We were debuting a few new colors and styles – including the new Zest Bakery hooded sweatshirts!
Non-GFBF (GFBF actually – still need a new name) came out to help me sell so I could leave and see Dr. Murray and Dr. Green speak!
We started off our day with an amazing bag full of so many gluten-free items (including full sized samples). Here’s Chrissy from Glam without Gluten and Sarah from CanIEathere.com showing off the samples.
Beermosas (beer & OJ) with Peter from New Planet Beer!
Taste Guru (and our pal Andrew) giving great deals on their subscription boxes!
Schar (I took home several boxes of the honey grahams)
The Lagasse Girls and their book The Gluten-Free Table
Delightfully Free is a great cookbook (also refined sugar free as well as GFDF)
Check out the new packaging from XO Baking Co.!
One of my readers (and fellow awesome lady) Ariel stopped by rocking her hoodie! She also dropped off some awesome cupcakes for me. THANK YOU!
I was so happy to see that our shirts made it into some raffle baskets. I didn’t win any, but I sure hope you did!
Before I go, I wanted to give a special shout-out to the awesome bloggers that worked hard to spread the message (SERIOUSLY, GET TESTED FOR CELIAC) and to promote the conference and expo. Here’s the rundown of the awesome bloggers:
Erica (that’s me!) (CeliacandtheBeast.com)
Sarah (CanIEatHere.com), Chrissy (GlamWithoutGluten.com), Brian (EastBayCeliac.com), Kim (@GFKimAZ), me, Alison (AGirlDefloured.com), Andrea (RockinGlutenFree.com)
Chrissy (GlamWithoutGluten), Annie (Anniesglutenfreegrub.com – by the time I got around to writing this she already had a recap up!), Katie (House-54.com), me
Alision (AGirlDefloured.com), Brian (EastBayCeliac.com), Chrissy (GlamWithoutGluten.com), Chandice (GlutenFreeFrenzy.com) and Andrea (RockinGlutenFree.com)
Alision (AGirlDefloured.com), Brian (EastBayCeliac.com), Sarah (CanIEatHere.com), Chrissy (GlamWithoutGluten.com), me
Kim (ThrivingGFCF.com) and me at the Schar community dinner at The Melting Pot
Finally, thank you to Janelle, Deborah, Marilyn, and the entire CDF team. You guys not only put on a great conference, amazing expo (an outstanding success open to the public for the first time ever), but took a chance on sponsoring a team of awesome bloggers for the first time. THANK YOU!
HOW TO WIN A GLUTEN FREE BOX OF GOODIES FROM THE CDF EXPO:
Enter to win a box of assorted gluten-free goodies from the CDF Conference & GF Expo – for US residents only
1 winner, picked randomly (via Rafflecopter) based on valid entries.
HOW IT WORKS:
Each person can be entered into this contest via Rafflecopter.
Friday, May 18th 2013 at midnight EST