Where Wine Bloggers Are Going…Are You With Them?
There are roughly five spaces still available for the 2010 North American Wine Bloggers Conference from the 300 that were originally available.
What does this mean?
It means a number of things, not the least of which is that this conference, now in its 3rd year, is attracting numerous people who take their wine blog very seriously, but also others who are serious about learning about wine blogging and the wine blogging world. Why in the world is this the case?
It is the case, I believe, because
1. there is now sure recognition that the world of wine blogs are playing a large role in educating wine consumers.
2. Wine Blogs play a key role in spurring conversation among members of the trade.
3. There is money to be made in blogging and there is a growing anticipation that blogs will serve as an important advertising vehicle for brands.
I can't recommend this even more for those folks in the industry who want a close up glimpse and an inside understanding of wine bloggers and the wine blogging community. It's also an opportunity to meet wine bloggers, talk them up, figure out what individual bloggers are looking for when it comes to story idea, and, if you are a publicist or marketer, to put yourself on a first name basis with many of the people you will probably be reaching out to when you leave and in years to come as you attempt to promote your brand, wines, event or service.
If you want an idea of who is supporting or at least looking to get the attention of the new citizen journalists that easy publishing technology has spawned, take a look at a list of this year's sponsors:
Washington Wine Commission
Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
Lake Chelan Wine Growers Association
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau
Wine Yakima Valley
Red Mountain AVA
Click Wine Group
Rias Baixas Albarino
The Meritage Alliance
Barnard Griffin Winery
It's a pretty impressive list. Clearly Washington-based wineries and trade associations are taking advantage of the bloggers coming to their neck of the woods in Walla Walla. But Napa is there too.
Over the past half year or so I've been less sure of where the wine blogging world is going, other than upwards toward more visibility for its best bloggers. It's been difficult to identify a more specific trajectory for this sector of the wine media in terms of potential influence on the industry and consumer habits. What's clear is that the same momentum that is driving media consumers to an on-line environment and to bloggers is driving wine drinkers and wine professionals to investigate and even rely upon the wine blogosphere.
One of the things I hope to come away from the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference is a better take on what the best wine bloggers are capable of achieving and if there are any goals or ambitions that might not only be common across the board but whether or not those ambitions are achievable. There are a lot of questions.
One of those questions, however, is not about the enjoyment to be had at the upcoming wine bloggers conference. Based on the previous two held in Sonoma County and Napa Valley, you're going to have a ball if you go.