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Bodybuilder
Mar 21st, 2006, 08:36 AM
Portland VegFest Recap

The Portland VegFest was awesome! My vegan friend Nettie and I arrived between 10AM-11AM for the 10AM-6PM event. We joked around with keynote speaker Howard Lyman for a while and then found our way to the Expo. I saw a myspace vegan friend before I even made it to the OrganicAthlete booth.

I set up shop with OrganicAthlete while Nettie went around the Expo area and listened to speakers. I was able to leave for a bit to listen to part of Howard Lymanís talk. Iíve heard him before, but he is a powerful and inspiring speaker so I caught as much of that as I could.

Unfortunately I didnít get to see any members from this forum up there, but I did meet up with a member from VF.net, a myspace friend, a woman from VegNews Magazine Iíve been in touch with, and saw another vegan friend from Eugene up there.

These kinds of events are so much fun for me. Most of my friends around here, including Megan, havenít seen that Ďmini-celebrityí side of me. I donít get that just around town, but at a vegan event, I do get that reaction from some people who have seen me in the magazines, websites, or on TV, and it feels good.

I was there representing OrganicAthlete (www.organicathlete.org), Vega (www.myvega.com) , and Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness (www.veganbodybuilding.com). During the day I signed autographs, posed for photos, gave out information, gave out energy bar and meal replacement samples, and sold some fitness clothing, calendars, and just had a really fun time!

The calendars were a huge hit! Even though we are already 3 months into the year, we still sold some and the calendar was the most popular thing at our booth in general. People loved the photos and the ones that got the most comments were Topherís photo, Alexís photo and then mine, simply because I was there I guess, and because I was holdin flowers in my photo.

Another cool part was that I am featured in VegNews as their VegBachelor and the VegNews Magazine booth was just 10 or 15 feet away from our booth and they kept sending people over to meet me. I thought maybe my single streak would end.

This was a small VegFest, with slightly over 1,000 people attending. There were maybe 50 exhibitors. I was able to give out over 400 samples of Vega (not full bars, but bite-size pieces) and tons of literature about OrganicAthlete, Vega, and VB&F. I was able to speak with hundreds of people and only had to answer the protein question about 3 times.

I got some totally sweet photos and Iíll post them soon. I was up for 25 hours in a row, changing my work schedule around to make the appearance at this event possible. So Iím pretty tired now and back at work at the moment.

In a few days Iíll be in Anaheim, CA for the Nationís largest Natural/Organic Product Expo. There will be an estimated 35,000- 40,000 visitors. Iíll be there with Vega. VegNews will also be there along with more than 2,500 other exhibitors. Iím sure weíll get some new forum members from that event! Iíll get some photos of course, so after my 4-day trip there, Iíll get them posted.

Portland VegFest was successful. I made new business contacts and was able to reach a lot of people as a member of OrganicAthlete, representative for Vega, and as President of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. I also made some new vegan friends. Good timesÖ..as youíll see in photos soon.
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Robert "Keegan The Vegan" Cheeke