Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Setting My Wine Bloggers Conference Agenda..No Easy Task!

Thursday morning I fly up to Pasco, Washington. Thursday afternoon I take a shuttle (bus) to Walla Walla, Washington. From that point until Sunday afternoon, my life will revolve around two things: wine and social media. Attending the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference is going to be the highlight of my year and as I've already said, something that is incredibly valuable to my dreams and aspirations.

Right now I'm staring at the Participant Packet that Allan Wright sent out to the attendees. The packet contains the schedule of activities, amongst other things. That's as far as I've gotten because trying to pick out which workshops and sessions to attend has turned out to be harder than I anticipated.

So far on Friday the 25th, I want to attend the "Wing Blogging 101" breakout session. The "Advanced Wine Blogging" sounds a bit beyond the scope of what I do here (for now at least). I'm definitely interested in the "Wine Blogging and the Wine Industry" session too though, so I may attend that. Of the three breakout sessions offered, it might be the most familiar because of my time in the industry. Tempting..Very tempting!

Beyond that, Friday is full of scheduled activities that I'm definitely planning on attending. The live blogging event, featuring white wines from all over Washington is going to be intense and stimulating. I'll be spitting for that one, but plan on having a glass or two at the pre-dinner reception and dinner. Both of those are hosted by St. Michelle Wine Estates, of which I'm a big fan.

Saturday the 26th is going to kick ass in a huge way. First we get to visit some local vineyards and wineries, then have lunch with those fine people, and in the afternoon there are four sessions I could attend. I'm leaning towards "Growing Your Audience From Other Bloggers to Consumers" and "What is the Future of Wine Writing" featuring two of my favorite bloggers, Steve Heimoff and Tom Wark. I envision the discussion getting quite lively.

Following the breakout sessions, another live blogging event featuring red wines then a pre-dinner reception and dinner both hosted by the Washington Wine Commission. While I do not know a lot about their activities, I'll be reading up on them tomorrow and Thursday to find out their mission and goals.

Oh and there's a really really exciting event on Saturday night. The Wines From Spain people are hosting a Rias Baixas fiesta featuring Albarino (a grape, not a band!). I LOVE LOVE LOVE Albarino, this is going to be awesome! Maybe they'll know how I can get a job working for a winery in Spain. Hmmmm....

Sunday promises to be very intersting, despite the almost certain hangovers most of us will be nursing. I'm excited to attend the "More Effective Writing in Your Blog" session followed by the "Top Gun Blogging" panel. It's going to be very educational for me, so long as I have a Rockstar before the first activity.

After surviving those two sessions, we'll be treated to a food and wine pairing seminar and lunch. At around half past noon, the Conference will officially come to a close and I suspect most people will be going on the Post Conference Excursion. Unfortunately I will not be going on that, rather, I'll probably be sleeping until the afternoon shuttle bus leaves for Pasco.

Sunday night will find me in Pasco with not much to do, so I'll take a little tour around town and enjoy the sights. I'll probably enjoy a light meal and a glass of wine. Yea that's surprising isn't it? Monday is going to be a very, very quiet day since my flight doesn't leave until the evening. I suspect I'll be at the airport trying to standby for an earlier flight to San Francisco then on to San Diego. That'll be a good time to catch up on my blogging and recap the events of the weekend.

That's my plan as of now, Tuesday evening. I'll write another bookend blog when I get back, seeing if I actually stuck to what I intend to do. After all this planning though, I'm mainly excited to meet people, bloggers, wine lovers, winemakers, PR Tweeps, and anyone else who will be there. That is what this event is about, people who love wine and love writing about wine. They're sharing something through their writing, you can't help but respect that. See you in Walla Walla!!

Beau Carufel

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