2018 Whidbey-Camano Islands Conference 
Whidbey Island, Washington
May 6-9, 2018

“ ... Farms, mussels and whales, oh my! ...”

Bridge at Deception Pass Whidbey Island WashingtonWhidbey Island, Washington is a traveler’s dream destination. Anchored in the Salish Sea about 45 minutes from Seattle, the island is nestled between the Cascade and Olympic Mountains.

Visitors will find a vibrant farm-to-table culinary scene with hundreds of independent farmers and chefs of unerring skill who source their foodstuffs from the island. Top that off with a lively arts community, rich heritage, charming seaside villages, plenty of stunning scenery, exciting outdoor adventure and friendly islanders, and you have the perfect location for the IFWTWA 2018 Conference.

Oh, and spring is an active whale-spotting season when migrating whales often feed offshore.

Attendees at the 2018 IFWTWA Conference on Whidbey Island saw something a little different in an IFWTWA conference. Instead of a hotel conference center as might be a typical venue for an annual event, members settled into a different setting at Camp Casey, a historic army base turned into a rustic conference center. 

Whidbey Islanders were thrilled to host IFWTWA. They rolled out the welcome mat for our members across the island. Our content creators took in professional training sessions, a tourism marketplace with our Associate members and other hosts, and sampled a cornucopia of the best restaurants, hotels, parks, and attractions showcasing the island bounty throughout our multi-day grand tour of Whidbey Island.

Conference Program Snapshot

May 4-5:

Pre-conference press trips to Anacortes, Washington, and the San Juan Islands

May 6: 

  • Arrive and visit the IFWTWA Hospitality Suite
  • An evening Welcome Reception will be held at the Oak Harbor Yacht Club featuring locally sourced foods, wines, ciders, beers, and spirits. 
  • Welcome from Island dignitaries 

May 7: 

  • Conference at Camp Casey for a full day of professional development 
  • Keynote speaker Erin James, editor of SIP Northwest magazine and author of Cidercraft
  • A panel of local beverage producers 
  • A culinary panel of island farmers and notable chefs 
  • A tourism panel focusing on the island’s arts, heritage, and adventure 
  • Workshops focusing on the marketing and branding in the current media marketplace 
  • A tourism marketplace with one-on-one “speed-dating” meetings between media professionals and tourism marketplace exhibitors. 
  • The day ends with an optional activity: a shuttle to the historic, waterfront village of Coupeville (Washington state’s second oldest town) for a “Taste of Coupeville.” Restaurants and shops are offering specials just for IFWTWA Conference attendees in this tiny, walkable town. The charming seaside town is where the movie “Practical Magic” was filmed. 

May 8: 

  • A full-day tour of Whidbey Island 
  • A visit to the famous Penn Cove Mussels for a behind-the scenes tour of mussel farming 
  • A special luncheon featuring local products with island artists in action 
  • Free time in Langley, the “Village by the Sea,” to browse unique boutique shops, breweries, tasting rooms, eateries, galleries and a chance to ring the famous whale bell if you spot whales in Saratoga Passage 
  • A farm-to-table dinner prepared by an island chef and showcasing the bounty of the island

May 9:  

Post-conference press trips