This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
It has been a whirlwind of a week for Conscious PR, with EAT! Vancouver ending with a bang this past weekend. It came with emotional ups and downs, but in retrospect it was an amazing experience and it is in these roller coaster moments that I learn something new about myself and the way I do business.
I was up early at 5:40am to take Food Network personality Anna Olson to the Global Studios in Burnaby for her morning interview. Then I went on site to pick up my parking pass and badge and walk the show floor. I returned home to answer the day’s emails, which came with no less than four TV shows wanting to come to the show that weekend.
I transited to CTV and scarfed down lunch outside. Anna made fudge brownies which smelled heavenly. I didn’t taste any of them but she had given me a loaf from the morning, so that was good enough. As I was in the studio I was getting a call and e-mail from a writer who said he wasn’t being admitted to the show, even though he was on the list. I sent a text message that would hopefully get him in.
I arrived on site to find a big line at the show office – which is actually typical of pre-show hour. Tip: Pre-show opening is not a great time for a media preview! What saved the day was my client who had an extra copy of the media list on hand, which the office folk used to check people in. I met three other media on site who should have been in the system, but were not, so thankfully the list was there.
After ensuring that the on-site media who needed interviews were taken care of, I went back home to print off a Master list and more media forms, which were not on site either. I also had to respond to a last minute media request, which knocked me off kilter. Everything worked out, but I kicked myself (mentally) for not having taken care of it earlier. The guilt carried with me like a dark cloud for hours.
I went back to site and everything was all in place for the Celebrity Chef Throwdown. Fulcrum Events has an amazing team, so everything went smoothly, with Bal Arneson guest judging (which was arranged in less than 24 hours!) and Rob Feenie taking the win after competing a second time in the competition.
I needed a stiff drink after that day, which was thankfully taken care of by YEW Restaurant who had invited Dan Clapson, myself, and Anna. It was a beautiful end to an otherwise stressful day.
I slept in a bit and planned to go to site by 2pm for the first of several interviews happening at 3:30pm. My client called to inform me that protesters against Monsanto were marching downtown and were on their way to the site, even though none of the show exhibitors were affiliated with the company. She said they were handling it, and that I should forward any media to them for statements. It’s nice to have clients that are calm under pressure! I got ready to go to site, but by then the protest had died down quite a bit, and they were nowhere close to the show entrance where potential attendees might be disrupted. I made a mental note to have a formal plan ready for situations like this in future years.
I also felt a bit of a moral conflict, as I completely side with these protesters, but at the same time I did not want my client’s event to be tarnished. At the moment, the priority was my client, but it looks like everything worked out fine for both parties.
Protesters at their destination
Saturday was a whirlwind and I was glad to have the footwear I did. Interviews were done with organizers, Anna Olson, Chuck Hughes, Rob Feenie, Naz “BBQ Naz” Cavallaro, and Filipino-American Chef Thomas Weibull. I could not even spare 5 minutes to talk to my family on site!
In work mode, I find I have very little appetite, so I was only able to try out a Jamaican tart from Jamaican Pizza Jerk and Tacofino‘s Chilled Avocado soup, but that was enough to hold me over. My highlight of the day was getting a photo with Chuck Hughes, who I really worked with for a total of 15 seconds in person (plus the 1-2 e-mails and phone call from a different show two years ago). He is hilarious and super humble, as were all the chefs at the show, actually. It’s really nice to see how genuine these personalities are despite their fame.
Chilled avocado soup by Tacofino
Blurry shot of yours truly with Chuck Hughes
After the fiascos on Friday, I told myself I needed to start meditating twice daily for the next week to get my head clear again, so I started this night.
Sunday was R&R day even though I went back to site to inhale desserts. Nobody beats macarons from Kitchening & Co. who also had their new Ginger Molasses cookie. I also took home a round jar of Secret Location‘s Blonde Chocolate & Coffee Milk Jam, made by none other than Pastry Chef Kira Desmond. You MUST go to Secret Location for her desserts if you have not yet. They are works of art.
Honourable mention goes to Trugs Gourmet Foods’ Hidden Garden Food cookies, which taste as good as the nutritious vegetables that are hidden in their cookies!
After all that sugar I had a semi-light dinner at a Japanese restaurant with Leo’s mom. Then we went home to watch a few episodes of the new season of Arrested Development which got released on Netflix.
I was grateful for all the amazing food I had the past weekend.
I got caught up on all the e-mails from Friday. I also treated myself to a facial that I won several months back in the afternoon, which was nice.
I did some contract work and responded to some work-related e-mails throughout the day. I wanted to go to the Third Tuesday Meetup but my body would not let me stay out late, plus I had groceries to make dinner, so I went home.
Lessons of the week:
1. Be prepared as much as possible.
2. Learn from what went wrong and improve on it.
3. Listen to your body. Wear good footwear when you are standing for most of the day. When you can, rest.
4. Be grateful.
5. Treat yourself.