Every year, I look forward to the GFAF Expo here in Dallas. I go as “Press”, which is quite fun and fancy.~ I apply for the next year as soon as the applications go up—I can’t remember whether I have already applied for 2018. I probably don’t have to keep applying…I’m probz on the expected list by now…I guess I just do it because it’s an item I can tick off my mental to-do list.
One of my responsibilities as a member of the Official GFAF Expo Press Team is to write a blog post beforehand announcing the event, and I try to make it interesting because press releases be boring.~
Some nights ago, I dreamt Charlise and I forgot about the Expo until it was Sunday after it ended, and I was so disappointed in ourselves because it meant I’d have to wait a whole other year.
An embarrassing thing I realized about myself is that I’ve worn the same outfits each year.
So I’m going to, uh, definitely try to make it a point to have other clean clothes for this weekend—because I promise I own more than just those.~
I’m looking forward to…
…chatting with vendors.
We go both days and to every vendor, and when you do this for several years, you develop relationships with them. They remember you. As nerve-wracking as it is, some of them come to read your blog. I used to think I’d get bored talking about products, but I enjoy hearing the Freedom Foods guys talk to us about cereal in their Australian accents and learning about what is coming (aside from winter).
Even though it’s strictly professional, I’ve realized how much of a passion I have for free-from things and the intensity to which it extends.
Even if this wasn’t mandatory, I would attend the meet-and-greets. I liked how, in the first year we went (2014), most of the bloggers were lifestyle bloggers and I sorta got to know a few. This hasn’t happened thereafter, but I have to admit 1) I’m quite proud of my GFAF Expo “Blogger” badge collection, and 2) I do so enjoy the swag we get from the feature sponsor.
…trying ALL THE THINGS.
(Or at least most of them.)
I’ve noticed I’m more daring since subbing to snack boxes. I tried hummus the year before last. I wasn’t a huge fan—I think it’s an acquired taste, and also I love Frito Lay bean dip way too much, though there is one brand I liked that I got in a box? ‘Twas triangle-shaped, and that’s all I remember.
I prefer the samples I can take home and try, because food tastes different (and sometimes better) at home, and I haven’t tried 30 things before it. I’m also more likely to remember packages more than business cards, and I remember the flavor more? And I like the ability to try a sample in recipes before going full-size. But this doesn’t stop me.
They have like a “Chicken Florentine” and “Alfredo” something or other, and UMF. They’re so warm and hit. the. spot. even when I’m full.
…Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
There’s only one alcoholic beverage brand I drink these days, and it’s Mike’s.
(I used to drink wine coolers.)
…the “I fit here” aura of the expo in general.
It’s a professional setting, but going to the GFAF Expo feels more like play than work, and I feel like I fit in with the people there, because I have allergies. There is the general assumption that I’m “gluten-free”, which is hard/tiring to explain sometimes, but most people are understanding.
There is little non-allergicsplaining happening, i.e. being told, “You’re not allergic to milk, but the protein,” when I’m actually allergic to milk because it’s mold-forming (and also lactose intolerance). Most of the booth-runners are great at respecting allergies and transparent when it comes to revealing recipes. It’s a different scene, kinder than going someplace and the biz rep not really wanting to tell you what’s in it.
I like that there is a common courtesy/level of expected respect from both parties, and I don’t have to worry.
If you’re in the DFW area and not busy Saturday, 28th October and Sunday, 29th October, consider checking out the GFAF Expo at Dallas Market Hall (enters off Market Center Blvd.). It’s fun and yummy, and filled with lots of swag (you get a bag full of goodies when you enter). More info is available on the site.
Through 10/27, you can get 20 percent off advanced expo tickets with the code “ADVANCE” at checkout.
If you do go, I’m totally up for meeting and photos, just please let me know before.