23 May 2015, Saturday will always be a day I will remember. Never in my wildest dream, I would organised the first ever food conference for both food bloggers and instagrammers in Singapore, Food and Socialikes Connect 2015 (#FSCSG15), together will fellow foodie friends, Aries (@ironsage), Nicholas (@stormscape), Nat (@rubbisheatrubbishgrow) and Nicole (@pinkypiggu). Having organised other events such as Ghim Moh Hawker Food Trail, Tiong Bahru Hawker Food Trail, Makan Gathering at High Society Mansion for over 60 people and Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014, this is definitely another challenge and milestone in my food blogging journey.
The intention to organise the food conference was brought up by Nat after he is invited to Brisbane, Australia to be a speaker at the Australian Food Bloggers Conference. He realized there is no such event in Singapore and hence the concept and team was born to bring to you the first ever, Food and Socialikes Connect 2015 in Singapore. Instead of just food bloggers, we also notice a growing trend of F&B establishments engaging instagrammers and hence we have decided to embrace them into the foodie community.
When we starting putting the plan into action, it was not as smooth sailing as you think. We do have our friendly arguments which are usually settled by voting. It helps when you have odd number in your team. There are also people judging our intention and objective. Some even spread discouraging words that we will not succeed or find sponsorship for the event. I am glad that the team persist and in my own opinion they did a damn good job and prove all these negative people wrong.
The event would not be possible without the support from the 13 speakers and panelists who took time off to attend the event and most important to share their views and knowledge to the delegates at the event. I am glad that these established individuals in the food scene understand what we are trying to do which is like an unspoken encouragement for us to see through the event and not disappoint the overwhelming registration for the conference. We were 3 times over booked for our conference and I do like to apologize to those that were not able to make it.
Talk 1 - Technology and Food
[by co-found Dixon Chan of Burpple]
Talk 2 - Lessons in Life and Blogging
[by Dr. Leslie Tay of Ieatishootipost]
Talk 3 - Past and Present Trends of Social Media
[by co-founder Wong Hoong An of HungryGoWhere]
Workshop - Smartphone Photography
[by Alex Ortega]
Panel 1 - Impact of Social Media on Restaurant
[Panelists: Maureen Ow (Miss Tam Chiak), Dylan Ong & Joshua Khoo (Chef-owners of Saveur Group), Willin Low (Chef-owner of Wild Rocket)]
Panel 2 - Plagiarism and Rights of Social Media Users
[Panelists: Bernice Tan (Hungry Bunny), Maureen Ow (Miss Tam Chiak), Daniel Ang (Daniel Food Diary), Catherine Ling (Camemberu)]
Panel 3 - The Future of Social Media
[Panelists: Wong Hoong An (Co-founder HungryGoWhere), Daniel Ang (Daniel Food Diary), Tony (Johor Kaki), Seth Lui (Seth Lui)
Those who have been following us on social media and eagerly looking forward to attend the event would know that there was a little saga on our venue sponsorship. Our original venue decided not to honor their words after a paying client approach them for a corporate event. We were left scrambling to find another venue with only 3 weeks to our conference. There were many individual and restaurant/cafe coming forward to help us which we are deeply grateful. We even have friends speaking up for us on social media, thank you too.
Jerk Chicken Sandwich
Strawberry Coconut Mocktail
We are very thankful for Lime House to come to our rescue, sponsoring the venue to be part of the inaugural event. Beside sponsoring the event venue, the kind folks at Lime House also provided sandwiches for breakfast and hosted the delegates to a post conference mingle drink. Lime House located conveniently near Outram MRT station, in a three-storey shophouse is perfect for events with two event floors on the second and third level.
Cold Front Co - Sparkling Juice
The Food and Socialikes Connect 2015 is almost a full day event from 930am to 5pm. Hence we have brought in sponsorship from Fiji Water and Cold Front Co, Sparking Juice to keep the delegates hydrated.
By chance, I got to meet Elaine from Kafve Coffee at a charity event. Kafve Coffee specializes in specialty coffee on-the-go and cater coffee solutions to both private and corporate events! With their professional baristas, they dedicate their professionalism, passion and commitment in offering an extraordinary coffee experience to all their clients and guests. We are very thankful for Kafve Coffee and Gentlemen's Coffee for brewing all the aromatic cups of coffee at the event. We probably would not have survived the long conference without you.
The conference saw around 65 delegates in total in the house. We have made some new friends through this conference and shared many views, experience and knowledge. We probably for the first time able to put a face behind the social media handler nick we have been following on different social media platforms. I hope the conference was able to inspire you in your food journey and in one way or another unite Singapore food bloggers and instagrammers, in hopes of building camaraderie, understanding and knowledge for the food social media scene in Singapore.
As you are aware, the conference stretched from 930am to 5pm. Besides keeping our delegates hydrated, we also need to take care of their stomach. For lunch, we are very grateful to have the catering arm of Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh sponsoring us their Nasi Lemak Bento. Jabez the owner is a very kind-hearted man, who runs a yellow-ribbon project giving ex-convicts a new life at his restaurants. We also had an instagram photography contest where the winner get to walk away with a $150 dining voucher sponsored by Sunrise Bistro & Bar.
For tea-break, Palette Knife was really sweet to provide our delegates with some pastries and desserts. A second photography contest saw the winner walking away with Spa voucher sponsored by The Entertainer. I was really impressed to see so many beautiful and creative photographs from the delegates. As much as they learnt from the conference, I also get to learn a lot from them too.
Two unsung heroines that I would like to thanks are Pris Yap (BrandCellar) and Christina Tan (Thox), who has helped me to find sponsors and assembled the goodies bag. Without their help in pitching to their clients, we are not able to provide these wonderful goodies for each delegate to bring home. Thank you Alfero Gelato, Brand Cellar, Dancing Chef, The Entertainer, Garden Picks, Huiji,The Laughing Cow, Miam Miam, Oceans Of Seafood, Spicy Thai Thai Cafe, Win Win Food Singapore.
Last but not least, Fullerton Hotel sponsored two high tea vouchers for our delegates who took part in our post event contests for the most creativity goodies bag shot (Check out hasgtag #FSCsg15) and blog entry of the event.
You may also want to read other bloggers’ experiences:
Chue On It - "Of Food, Social Media, and Ethics"
Easily Satisfied, Hard to Please - "Togetherness in a Community"
Eat Food, Live Food - "Food & Socialikes Connect 2015"
Ivan Teh - Running Man - "Food & Socialikes Conect (FSCSG) 2015"
Sgfoodiary - "Where SG Food Bloggers & Instagrammers Come Together As One"
To Roam the World - "Food & Socialikes Connect 2015"
Pinky Piggu - "A Food and Social Media Conference For and By Food Bloggers and Instagrammers"
Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow - "What we Argued Over When Planning Food & Socialikes Connect #FSCsg16, the Inaugural Food Social Media Conference in Singapore"
Last but not least, a Big Thank You to each and everyone of you for your support. Food and Socialikes 2015 was finally a wrap!