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Idea - How About A gluten-free Convention
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Wouldn't that be fun? We could have it either centrally located somewhere in the middle/north US, or do a poll on where the most celiacs happen to be, and have it there the first time. Get all the gluten-free companies to have booths there.

We could have a cooking competition using gluten-free products. It could just be one basic thing that we can't eat mainstream versions of. Best cookie, best mac & cheese, best onion rings. Something like that.

I'm not the organizing type, but just thought I'd throw the idea out.

Nancy

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I am SO DOWN with the gluten-free Iron Chef! Kick ass! :lol:

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I think that is a great idea! Hopefully others will be interested and we can get the ball rolling :D

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I can't cook well enough with or without gluten to enter a cooking contest but I'm all about a conference and if I can swing it I'll be there. What about Chicago as a centralized location? CA is too far for most (I think) but Chicago is fairly central and always has lots of great hotel offers for groups. I may be able to help with planning starting this summer. Until I'm snowed under with work and learning my new lifestyle.

Also, some Celiac awareness group (maybe GIG) meets each year for a conference but it's always in Salt Lake City which is NOT centrally located in the US.

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I wuld definitely go- I can see it now CchelsE and me in a smack down iron Chef style. :P Seriously, it would be so fun to organize even just a central place to meet for a long weekend. Chicago would probably be PERFECT. Or we could go Canadian which would be fun too! Montral, toronto?

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They managed to pull of a gluten free beer festival http://www.glutenfreebeerfestival.com/, so it sounds like a good idea to me! I'd be there!

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Guhlia- Thaat is so cool! If we could combine the two, I'd die andgo to heaven. :D

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I am seriously there!!! I love cooking!! Chicago sounds good. :)

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I don't know what I'd do if I were in a convention hall full of *safe* food and *safe* beer... I think I'd just burst into tears knowing that I could have anything I wanted in that room. Please tell me I wouldn't be the only dry eye... Does anyone have really good organizational tools to set something like this up? Think the gluten-free beer festival would be interested in joining hands with an entire gluten-free convention? We could have all the gluten-free companies bring samples and do ribbons like the gluten-free beer festival did. How better to get the word out about their product?!?!?!

Okay, I must go now... I'm drooling all over my computer just thinking about it... :unsure:

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I'm in.

TO WIN!

Ha!

Just joking, but really, I'm in. I can help organize!

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Do you think the mainstream product producers would have any interest in this? Maybe if we marketed it correctly to them? I know that Grandma Utz potato chips label as gluten free. So do Lays Stax, Thai Kitchen, and so many others. Maybe they would be interested in setting up booths with samples and coupons??? Just a thought. I think if we can somehow get the mainstream group to join us, we'll be able to reach out to so many more people. In addition, it may in turn raise celiac awareness. We already have the governmental labeling laws kind of on our side. This could be the perfect time for a breakthrough.

Maybe I'm thinking bigger than I should... So if this just sounds like an aimless pipe dream, please ignore it... I just desperately want the word to get out. And let me tell you, a room full of gluten free goodies is driving me up a wall! :D

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i agree with guhlia 100%.

i am pretty confident i would start crying if i were surrounded by a convention hall full of gluten-free food and sympathetic celiacs. cook-off = brilliant! (sponsored by ...etc etc etc); booths thing = genius. that would be *so* much better than ordering food online to taste it.

guhlia, i see your pipe dream and raise you one implausible fantasy: celiac celebrity speakers/performers.

:)

paula

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Think Kid Rock would perform in memory of his little friend (sorry, can't remember his name right now). I'm not a Kid Rock fan, but is sure would be cool to have someone of that stature perform.

Paula *hugs* we can cry together. I think if I saw a convention hall of all that, I'd just be down on my knees sobbing with relief.

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i think that, in the least, the initial idea of a get together, where we all bake and have a mini-convention sounds fun.

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Would it be possible for one of the moderators to move this topic into the "coping with" forum to get more attention? I think you guys have an awesome idea here and that seems to be the most popular forum on here.

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I just love the idea for us all (as many that can) to get together for a weekend and visit face to face. If it were at all possible, I would be there. I think it would be great!

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i was doing some more thinking about this.

in the summer, i am opening up business at our farmer's market with all gluten-free and dairy-free stuff. if it takes off, i want to open business, officially.

anyway, i would be willing to cater the whole event.

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I'll def. go!

It would be so AMAZING to be surrounded by people who UNDERSTAND (really understand) what I go through every day of my life. My eyes would def. not be dry!

And Chicago sounds perfect, since it's the biggest city right in the middle.

Can we really do this? It's sounds too good to be true!

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We can do it! We just need to get a group of people who have good organizational skills (and some free time). We need to pin down exactly what we want to do (ie: booths for gluten-free manufacturers, entertainment, contests, convention hall location, etc). I'm good at coming up with ideas and I'm good at coming up with an action plan to carry out those ideas, but I'm HORRIBLE at following through with things. I think that if we want this to happen, we can make it happen. It just takes a group of dedicated individuals with good resources. A sponsor wouldn't hurt either. Maybe Celiac.com would be willing to sponsor the event. It would be expensive to pull off without sponsorship. I imagine the convention hall would be pretty pricey, plus insurance, permits (I imagine we'd need permits if food or drink were involved, even if it were informal), plus whatever else is involved in something like this.

If we do it... Can we have one big group hug for all the pain and suffering that all of us have been through before, during, and after our diagnosis?

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I'm so excited that everybody thinks this would be fun too. I was thinking a weekend thing would be good at first. I know we could fill a whole week, but that's kind of a lot at first.

I actually posted this in the Coping With section originally because I didn't know where the best place for this was either. But it got moved here by a mod. It's funny that someone else thought that Coping With was a better area than this. But most people here just go to view new posts anyway, so I'm sure most people will see it.

I'm like you Guhlia. I can think of all sorts of ideas, but following though, organizing and all that stuff is just more than I can do right now.

Lorka, catering the event would be amazing. My mouth is already watering...

Okay, more ideas from me.

Try to find at least one or two mainstream food manufacturer to send a representative at the very least. Maybe if they seem interested when we contact them, we could even see if they would be willing to create or modify a product to be gluten-free, and test market it at the convention. Imagine gluten-free Campbells soups or gluten-free Ranch Dressing. Mmm.... Suggest that they offer it by internet order at first, since most of us order our gluten-free foods that way anyway.

Special invitation to General Mills for starting to put out gluten-free Trix and Cocoa Puffs. (Read those labels though, they're not everywhere yet).

Booths, booths, booths for established gluten-free companies, and discounted prices for booths for people who have celiac / gluten intolerance and are thinking about starting (or started) a small or local business that they want to market.

I would love to find a reasonably-priced hotel company that always has in-house restaurants that would be willing to really go all out to provide gluten-free food, and develop a permanent gluten-free menu. I haven't traveled much in recent years, but I don't think Holiday Inn always has a restaurant. My main idea with this being that wouldn't it be nice when traveling to know that Hotel XYZ always has a gluten-free menu and trained staff, and it's a safe place to stay for us.

Nancy

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I live down the street from a market that is really, really big on selling gluten-free stuff.

In addition, Sherk's is here, too.

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I can't cook well enough with or without gluten to enter a cooking contest but I'm all about a conference and if I can swing it I'll be there. What about Chicago as a centralized location? CA is too far for most (I think) but Chicago is fairly central and always has lots of great hotel offers for groups. I may be able to help with planning starting this summer. Until I'm snowed under with work and learning my new lifestyle.

Also, some Celiac awareness group (maybe GIG) meets each year for a conference but it's always in Salt Lake City which is NOT centrally located in the US.

They have a conference in SLC?!?! When?? Do you have a website with GIG's info on it? I used to live in SLC...then moved to St.George, Utah (4 hours south)....now in Vegas (2 hours south of that)....so it's not TOO far for me! I would love to go to some type of convention! Unfortunately I doubt I'd be able to travel far - with a toddler in tow (not sure I'd leave her and go that far yet). But, if someone could clue me in to that conference in SLC thag GIG does, I'd really appreciate it!

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What about Baltimore? Maybe the University of Maryland Center For Celiac Research would be interested in organizing something like this. Just think of all the data they could collect with all of us in one place.

Cindy

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Okay, this is WAY too weird. My son asked me today if it would offend me if he organized a convention here for all my gluten-friends on the forum. He said it would be a get-together with nothing but STRICT gluten-free food (he is an EXCELLENT cook), and he wanted to get as many people as he could to get together. He wanted ideas for getting something started. I'll ask him if it's okay to publish his e-mail address, and if you want to start giving him ideas, he'll get the ball rolling. He was so jazzed about the idea. Weird that it happened the day that I get to use the computer and see this, huh? (Actually, it kind of freaked me out when I read the title -- it was that "goosebumps" moment -- think "Twilight Zone" music in your head!)

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I'm THERE! Anywhere. I would be willing to help organize, whatever. I think Chicago would be great because it's sort of a midway point, but I think U of M in Baltimore might really have an interest in doing something like this. Let me know if you want to start a letter writing campaign. I'd be happy to write to them. :)

Lynee- Where are you? I know you'e south of me but I forget where.

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