Bookings now open! Please click here for all the details and to grab your ticket.
For the past few years I’ve watched with envy as groups of creative, generous, clever people were gathering at events like Cherry Bombe Jubilee in the States and Blogtacular in the UK, thinking how much I’d love to go to something like this, but with a farming/food focus in my own backyard. So here goes. We at My Open Kitchen (meaning myself and my podcast co-host and as of this week one-day-a-week saving grace Skye Manson) are organising our very own festival of ideas and it’s going to go down in Orange next May.
What’s it all about?
The main point of this event is to get a bunch of farmers, food producers and small businesses together to share ideas and inspiration about how we can all use social media to better tell our stories and build communities around what we do. Plus of course, spend a weekend with awesome, like minded people talking about food, taking photos and learning from each other. Starting with welcome drinks on Friday night we move on to Saturday with a full day of talks, panel discussions, feasting and networking and then finish up on Sunday with a choice of six mini-workshops.
Speakers and panelists
Our keynote speaker on Saturday will be Sara Tasker of Me and Orla and the podcast Hashtag Authentic and truly we are just so thrilled to be bringing this lovely and clever ‘queen of Instagram’ out from the UK specially for this event – whoop boom bang. Sara is one of the most inspiring people we’ve come across in this on-line world, and one of the most generous with her considerable knowledge of how to navigate it with good grace, humour and skill.
And alongside Sara, we have the following stellar line up of panelists speaking on the day;
Annabelle Hickson – A writer who takes photos, often of flowers, columnist for Country Style magazine, Lives on a pecan farm in Australia. Creator of simple, beautiful foraged flower and foliage installations (just wait till you see what’s she’s doing to our Gathering venue!) and blogger at one of our favourite places to hang online The Dailys.
Tamsin Carvan – Food writer, social media natural and host of Tamsin’s Table; long table lunches and hands on seasonal cooking classes celebrating the produce Tamsin and her partner produce on their Poowong East property in Gippsland, Victoria.
Beth MacDonald – Beth bas been blogging at BabyMac for over 10 years now and is one of the best in the biz. We love how she builds community, how she connects so personally with her people and how she works with brands and has turned our blog into a business that always brings value and interest to her community. Go Beth. So excited to have her on this panel!
Pip Brett – Pip is the powerhouse behind Orange’s concept store The Sonic (our venue for welcome drinks on the 18th). She runs the Instagram account for her two businesses (both housed in the Sonic) @jumbledonline and @igloustore nd is a social media gun. Pip has LOADS to share about building communities around what you do.
Barbara Sweeney – Creator of the wonderful Food and Words festival and events/talks series, food writer of our dreams, contributor to Country Style magazine. Barbara is a woman of many talents – she writes about food, farmers and artisan producers, is a restaurant reviewer, judges regional food competitions and is also a talking cookbook.
Penny Hanan – Penny (who also happens to be Sophie’s sister-in-law!) runs a business called 1803 Artisan Deer Design. She uses bi-products from our farm (leather, antler etc) and in collaboration with talented Australian artisans across Australia, produces a range of truly special products. She’s all about transparency, integrity and making beautiful, unique products. And she tells this story on social media to a super engaged community.
Megan Trousdale – Shopkeeper at 125-year-old Odgers & McClelland Exchange Stores Nundle NSW. National magazine writer since 1997. Growing & cooking food on 8-acres. Megan is one of our favourite country creatives and super generous with her experience and passion for running regional businesses online.
Fiona Walmsley, Fiona and her family run Buena Vista Farm on the NSW South Coast. She is a fantastic example of how social media can help producers and farmers built communities around what they do and also runs workshops and cooking classes from the farm too. We are so thrilled she will be speaking at our Gathering and know that everyone will learn LOTS from this clever clogs.
When and where is this thing happening?
Friday 18, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20th May.
What’s going to happen?
Here’s the program as it stands now. We will add a series of mini workshops for the Sunday morning and once they are all confirmed will make these available to Gathering ticket holders in November. These will cover everything from ‘Bloom and Grow’ with Sara Tasker to food writing, working with brands and loads more (still to be confirmed!).
Friday 18 May – 6-8pm welcome drinks at The Sonic.
Saturday, 19 May – Gathering, The Old Convent
8.45-9.30 – Registrations/networking/light breakfast
9.30 – Introduction from Sophie, throw to opening keynote
10- 11 – Keynote Sara Tasker
11 – Break
11.30-12.30 – Panel ‘How social media can help turn your passion into a business’ Penny Hanan 1803 Artisan Design (moderator), Pip Brett (The Sonic), Megan Trousdale (Exchange Stores), Fiona Weir Walmsley (Buena Vista Farm).
12.30-2 – Lunch
2-3 – Panel ‘Community, collaboration and building connections’ Barbara Sweeney (moderator), Luisa Brimble, Sara Tasker, Annabelle Hickson.
3.30 – Break
3.30-4.30 – Panel ; ‘How to win at social media without drinking the bathwater; Authenticity, ‘comparisonism’ and sticking to your story’. Skye Manson (moderator) – Beth MacDonald, Michelle Crawford, Tamsin Carvan.
There will be a dinner following our day together, a great chance to keep chatting, sit and share a beautiful meal together at one of Orange’s prettiest spots. Details will be announced shortly – we’re just nutting it all out now!
How much will it cost?
$350; this cost includes welcome drinks at The Sonic on Friday night, then Saturday’s full day of talks and panel discussion (including a bus to and from the venue, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea).
We will provide loads of recommendations for places to stay, things to do in the area (mostly via this fantastic website and resource; visitorange.com). But just wanted to confirm that your travel and accommodation costs not covered in the Gathering ticket.
How do I get tickets?
Basically – the main thing to do is sign up for the My Open Kitchen newsletter as all updates and ticket details will drop there first.
Advance bookings will open on October 23 for past, present and future (enrolled) students of the My Open Kitchen ecourse) then the following week, October 26, we’ll open up for general bookings first via the My Open Kitchen blog. (www.my-open-kitchen.com)
We can only fit 70 into the venue so that’s how many tickets are up for grabs!
This event is proudly supported by Orange City Council. We are so grateful to you for taking a leap of faith and coming on board to sponsor this event. We will be sharing more from these guys soon and they will also be a wonderful resource for visitors to the Gathering in terms of where to stay and how to get to Orange. For now, check out their website; visitorange.com for accommodation, tours, things to do and see.