Counting Down to 2019
The count down to NBBQA 2019 is on! In just three short weeks the Smoking Hot Confessions Team is heading Stateside and will be going on a four week BBQ tour of the US including heading to Kansas City to be a part of the incredible NBBQA 2019 Conference and Awards.
What is the NBBQA?
The NBBQA is the National Barbeque and Grilling Association of the United States. Starting in 1991, it’s an industry body, which encapsulates the entire BBQ industry. The organisation aims to provide networking opportunities between otherwise independent niches within the industry and provide support to existing and fledgling businesses on their journey to BBQ glory.
It extends beyond the sphere of competitive BBQ to cover every facet of the industry ranging from rub manufacturers to BBQ media. And this of course is where Smoking Hot Confessions comes in. But more on that later.
What is the NBBQA Conference?
The NBBQA Conference is a four day event celebrating all things BBQ. Day One involves a bus tour of famous BBQ joints. This year we’re going to be in Kansas City, so my mind boggles when I think about where I might end up.
Following this is a 2 day conference where the best of the best take a big slice of courage with their breakfast brisket burger and jump on stage to share their wisdom and experience with the crowds. This is a great opportunity for up-and-comers to be mentored by those that are the most successful in the game.
Over these two nights there is a live recording of the TV program Culinary Food Fight, where the show takes a BBQ focus and showcases the skills of popular pitmasters and ‘pits’ them (see what I did there?) against each other.
Then there’s the Awards Night. The Awards Night is like the Oscars for BBQ. It recognises leaders within the different niches of the industry and aside from this is a great opportunity for BBQ folk to network in a social setting.
The fourth and final day closes out the Conference with a mini BBQ festival. It’s essentially a BBQ street party with live bands, an Steak Cookoff Association competition, food vendors and so much more. It’s a celebration of everything that we love about the smokey arts and an opportunity for conference participants to relax and blow off steam after the intense learning of the Conference.
SHC and the NBBQA
I first became aware of the NBBQA when my friend Saffron from Bush Kitchen contacted me to let me know that the NBBQA had added a sub-category in their Awards ceremony for Audio Series in the larger Digital Media category. I was hesitant to enter the SHC Podcast as there are so many American podcasts which are so much bigger and better established than mine, but at Saffron’s insistence I bit the bullet and entered.
The submission process involved putting up three episodes of my show to be reviewed by a panel of experts in the industry. This was very daunting as my show is my baby: I work very hard on it and I am very emotionally invested in it. The idea of my show being torn apart by people I look up to was scary, but the feedback is not given back to submissions, so if they didn’t like it, I wouldn’t know about it.
However, my nerves were unwarranted as the Smoking Hot Confessions Podcast performed better than anyone expected. Punching well above its weight against the biggest shows in the niche, the SHC Podcast took out a very respectable second place. To say I was excited is an understatement.
I was at work at the time and hid in an empty room to check the socials for any mentions of the Awards. I found a live video feed from the lads at Behind the Smoke, summarising the results and that’s how I found out I’d won second place. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, I was about to join that live video feed (whilst hiding in my car in the carpark!) and discuss the win.
Why are we excited?
Well, here at SHC we are super excited because this year, we are going to be a part of the conference. As a result of the podcast win last year, and the media work we’ve been doing in the BBQ industry since, SHC has been invited to be a part of the official media team covering this incredible event.
When we’re not in the sessions soaking up the knowledge being shared by the titans of our industry, we’re going to be photographing and videoing the event to share with all of you. Make sure you’re following SHC on your favourite platform to be kept up to date.
For 2019, SHC entered the Awards again, but this time we decided to hit a few different categories. We entered the ‘Best BBQ Blog’, ‘Best Audio Series’, ‘Best Video Series’, ‘Best Single Video’ and ‘Best Single Article’. Two days ago I received an email from NBBQA informing me that I had been selected as a finalist (Top 3), which means SHC will be getting a call out, a walk up, and a medal! It will be great to be there in person to collect the award this time, that’s for sure!
BUT! NBBQA isn’t telling anybody how many categories I’ve been selected in, or any of the positions, so that’s going to be a mystery. Perhaps we should open a betting pool on it. What do you think?
Here’s the individual entries we made:
- Best BBQ Blog: You’re already here!
- Best Audio Series:
- Best Video Series:
- Best Single Video: Matt Staunton @ BBQ Wars 2018
- Best Single Article: Breaking Down The 2019 ABA Changes