The ongoing obsession with food trucks, carts, wagons or any food sold on wheels never seems to die down. What's surprising is there's never been a national conference serving this growing industry. Enter Roam, "a mobile food conference" that will launch in Portland from September 13 to 15, 2013.
FoodCartsPortland co-founders Brett Burmeister and Lizzy Caston are behind the conference. "We've been speaking at food conferences and consulting for a few years now, and so many people contact us from all over seeking information, education, and support on mobile food topics. The need for a conference of this type is certainly there." Roam will feature speakers, education sessions, exhibits and events for those who work in, want to be in, or serve what has been said to be a $1.5 billion a year industry.
With their third Roam partner, Christie Blake from Northwest Green Event Management, Portland is just the first stop – the trio is already looking at Austin, D.C. or Boston to be the host city for Roam 2014. In its inaugural year, Roam will take place at the DoubleTree, near Portland's Convention Center, with a three-day attendance cost of $435. (Conference fees include meetings, meals, and conference sessions as well as some special events such as a food truck happy hour and off-site food cart tours.) For those new to the mobile food world, Roam also features a one-day, $175, "Start-Up Boot Camp" on Friday, September 13 for those wanting to start their own mobile food business.
But what about the food? "It would be a pretty lame food conference without good food," Caston says. "We'll have a few surprises in store for those who want to check out some of Portland's 600+ food carts, and we're also hoping to bring in some of the best mobile food vendors in North America to show off their mad cooking skills." Updates and more information here.
· Roam Mobile Food Conference [Official site]
· All Previous Food Cart Coverage [Eater PDX]