IFB Con Day 1: Wine Down Blogger Meetup

So I’m finally back home after my trip to New York for IFB Evolving Influence, and OMG…was it an amazing experience!

I’m sure you all have no doubts about this since you could see for yourselves from the livestream, tweets, and photos that it was not only a tremendously informative conference, it was an absolute blast.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

First, I want you all to know how immensely touched I was by your “go get ’em girl” messages before the event. I was so nervous and you gave me your votes of confidence and it made me feel wonderful and ready. Jennine Jacob told me that she saw the comments, tweets, and excitement you all shared when it was announced that I would moderate the panel. So thank you for that as well.

And finally, while I’m confessing my love for all of you, my fantastic, supportive, incredible G&G followers THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for the tweets, the shares, and the complimentary and congratulatory messages you sent out into the world during and after my appearance. I haven’t been able to respond to all of them yet, but know that I have seen most of them and I am eternally grateful. One day when YOU are on the panel, I’m going to be right there to cheer you on too.

Now, on to the fun stuff: the lowdown on my trip!

Wine Down Blogger Meetup at The Ace Hotel

Frirst, I have a confession: I was a bad blogger while I was in NY. I tweeted from my iPhone when I could jag a connection, and I whipped out the flip a couple times. But I never once took the cap off my camera lens to shoot a photo. Or post immediately after. And you know what? That was totally OK. I actually experienced the event instead of not really being present because I was focused on capturing it. Luckily, everyone else took photos, so I’ve tried to collect some of them here for you to see.

Many of you probably saw tweets and details about the Wine Down Blogger Meetup at the Ace Hotel (which is uber cool, by the way). Of course we had a blast, of course! You can see some of the bloggers I met in the photos below.

I could write paragraphs about Lee, Christina, and Erika, but really, all you need to know is that they ROCK in real life and I adore all of them. And thank you, lovelies, for making my night.

From left to right: Christina of Profresh Style, Kristy, Ryan of Hootsuite, Erika of Style Activist, Maggie of Mimosas in Bed, Lee of Lee Oliveira, and me. Photo via Full Time Fabulous.

Lee and me. Photo by Christina, via Profresh Style.

There is one face in the first photo above that was unexpected: Ryan of Hootsuite. Why? Because when I was at the bar waiting for a drink, this is what happened:

V: [iPhone in hand, checking Twitter mentions via Hootsuite, since we were trying to tweet photos.]

Ryan's business card. Personal contact details have been deliberately concealed, in case you're wondering about the black rectangle.

Ryan: [Who doesn’t know V, but can see her using Hootsuite.]  Are you using Hootsuite?

V: Yeah, I am.

Ryan: That’s my company.

V: No, uh-uh, I don’t believe you! Show me your card!

Ryan: No, seriously, it is my company. [Produces business card and hands to the incredulous V.]

V: OH MY GOD! It really is your company! I love Hootsuite! This is crazy. I just started using it. It’s the best thing ever!

And that is the serendipity of New York. I met the CEO of my newest favorite app. And he was really cool. He shot some photos of us too, so if Hootsuite tweets or shares them, I’ll let you know. And if you’re not using Hootsuite to manage Twitter and Facebook, look it up. It’s such a huge timesaver!

I also met some other superfab people: Michele of The Mish Dish, who has an exquisite haircut and impeccable style. She’s like a sexy black panther in person. My panelist from the conference, Caitlin NiChathain of Gucci , also came to our meetup. She manages Gucci.com and Gucci’s social media…expect a shot of her on Lee’s blog soon. Caitlin is an Irish lass (also with an exquisite head of hair) who was unbelievably fun, gorgeous, and down-to-earth given she has LIKE THE BEST JOB IN THE UNIVERSE! I loved Caitlin. She is so smart, so classy, and so real.

Related Wine Down posts:

Come back tomorrow for deets on the Evolving Influence Conference from my perspective!


  1. how exciting! i’m so bummed that AGAIN i couldn’t run away from my classes and jet over to NY for the conference. college is such a time suck.

  2. I squeal like a kitten (FYI: kittens squeal) when I see my faves all partying together at the wine bar. And coo like a dove at the pic of you and handsome Lee. I am so looking forward in re-seeing the IFB steaming as the live of the streaming cut off a lot for me, so I didn’t get to see much. It looks like so much fun, and the bonus of meeting taste Mish-Dish, and Erika, and Kristy E is just too much! I squeal again.

    1. Ha! I was squealing inside, too, Bella! It was a treat to meet so many amazing personalities. I feel so blessed. One day I will say that about meeting you too!

  3. Looking hot in the city V! This is so funny because I just signed up for hootsuite yesterday and I’m trying to figure out why I didn’t do it sooner. It’s genius! That’s so cool that you met Ryan. Those things just don’t happen every day. Only in NYC! Everything sounds so magical and I’m beyond thrilled for you. You ROCK V and are such an inspiration to us all. x

    1. Aw, thank you Brooke! I was thinking the same about Hootsuite…like, have I been under a rock or something?

      Thank you for your sweet comment! Will be over to see you soon.

  4. What an amazing experience! I have to go to the next conference, for SURE. But I loved getting all the Twitter updates and catching pieces of the livestream during my workday!!!

    1. Thank you sweetie! I agree that the tweets and livestream are fantastic when you can’t attend. I do hope you can go next time…it’s so worth it!

  5. You did awesome! I loved your panel. It was actually the most informative panel for me. I really needed a lot of the information. I’m a little newbie blogger and I have tons to learn. I’m so thankful that they streamed it live, even though I had issues with it, the information was so valuable to me. Have a great weekend! Oh, and I love love love your lipstick in the photos.
    My Heart Blogged

    1. Thank you Vanessa! I’m so glad you found the panel informative. Even I learned from it as well!

      PS: Thanks about the lipstick. FYI, it’s YSL Rouge Pur #49

  6. i am so jealous and SO wish I couldve been there too.. unfortunately, the connection was waaaay to shaky for me to put up with, so i am hoping for a great video sum-up.

    so would you say if i went next “year” by myself, it would be easy to mingle and get to know people?

    also: HAVE you tried tweetdeck? is hootsuite better? maybe i should try it…

    1. Hi love, thank you! I’m sure the videos are coming soon. Even I’m dying to see them or at least be able to show them to my hubby and family…they have no idea what I did up in NYC!

      And I think you could absolutely go by yourself. I hope to go, so you’ll at least “know” me!

      RE: Tweetdeck. I’ve never tried it. But I Googled it and it sounds similar to Hootsuite.

    1. Hi Lauren, thanks for your comment! Yeah, it was pretty cool to meet him. I kind of gave him a hard time because I seriously didn’t believe it was him!

  7. I am so glad that everything went so well for you Vhani.The nerves of the building up, turn into a profound sense of fulfilment afterwards. I bet you felt proud of yourself once the event was over…You are FANTASTIC!!!
    i Idid´nt see anything, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It was my husband´s birthday so we were out all day. Will there be any videos to watch????
    Mil besos and have a good weekend.
    Hot photo with Lee, yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  8. I loved your panel, I got a ton of useful information out of it! I went home from NYC and immediately wrote out a fresh to-do list for my blog 🙂
    Looks like the wine meetup was a success! I had received the invite via Facebook but was only in NYC for IFB – in and out! Can’t wait to see your next post about the conference itself!

    1. Thank you so much, Kinsey! That’s fantastic! Your blog is already looking pretty good…but if you make changes, do let me know so I can check them out.

  9. So, so proud of you and can’t wait to hear more! You werent a bad blogger at ALL because you were living this, and soaking up an amazing experience, and it’s going to come through in your future posts 🙂

  10. Oh my gosh, I love Hootsuite! I can’t remember if it was this past fall or spring that I started using it, but I know it was Fashion Week-related because I had all sorts of hashtags up. I used it when I was watching the IFB livestream (thanks again for your post covering that – it was deliriously convenient!) but by the time the boys from Proenza Schouler were up my computer had decided it didn’t want to run both sites anymore so I had to choose. The panels were all so informative and you were beyond fierce up there! You didn’t seem nervous at all. I’m so glad you were able to go to NY and contribute to the event. And I’m glad the livestream was available for those of us who couldn’t be there. I gained a lot of insight and had a wonderful time tweeting with everyone else. It was all very exciting! I just wish I had taken notes or something – but then, tweeting AND paying attention AND taking notes probably wouldn’t have been a possibility. My multitasking skills aren’t up to par.

    Anyway, the photos are gorgeous! Everyone looks amazing. I don’t blame you for not doing the blogger thing. I was watching a livestream tonight and for a moment I noticed that all the people in the front row were taking pictures on their smart phones – they were basically watching the event through their screens! If you’re going to be there I say be there.

    1. Thank you Casee Marie! So glad to know I didn’t sound like a bumbling idiot at the podium! And your observation was correct. Even I caught myself zoning out into my iPhone a little by the end of the day, but I’m glad I didn’t spend every moment snapping photos and such.

      And yeah, I ♥ Hootsuite, for sure!

  11. The picture that Christina took is ace! sounds like an AMAZING time. Wish i could have come! Maybe next time (dreaming but it’s probably while I have school and as a grad student next year I can’t miss anything :(.)

    1. Thank you, Elle! Yes, next time if you can. It’s so much fun! But I get the grad student thing. I, too, have walked in those shoes.

  12. I am equally so honored to have been on the panel with you! You were so great and nice! I was so appreciative to get someone as awesome as you as the mod!

    I would love to also talk to you more! I am so sad we didn’t get more time to chat! Whenever we’re both back in the city (I leave on Monday for more business) we should definitely meet up! =D

    1. Aw, thanks Tony! I so wish we COULD meet up. I’m actually not based in NY. But perhaps we can chat some other way. Actually, I’d love to feature you on G&G. Will be in touch.

      Thanks for your comment!

  13. Your panel was one of the best! I say that having watched all of the panels. You moderated peacefully and had a lot to say yourself. I also love IFBcon because you can meet random people like the owner of Hootsuite!

    1. Thanks, Joy…that is such a relief! I appreciate your comment and compliment.

      And yeah, the random luck in NY…you never know who you will run into!

  14. Wow that’s awesome that you met the head of hootsuite. I would have been embarrassed as I use tweetdeck ha ha. I’m still trying to catch up on all the action that occurred. I tried watching the livestream but it wasn’t really a pleasant experience as it kept stopping. Also because of the time difference I was at work for the majority of the time it was on so I’m not going back trying to pick up little bits from various different blogs. I look forward to hearing your perspective on the whole event though.


    1. Thank you Arash!

      I’m sure video of the panel is coming. So you can see them uninterrupted, if you are so inclined.

  15. I’m coming up for air and I see you mention me as a sexy black panther. WoW!!!!
    I feel so honored to have met you. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous you are. Kisses, Mish

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