As many of you know by now, I attended the Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC14–the number indicates the calendar year, not the number of events that have occurred–there have been seven such conferences) this past weekend. There are countless posts that could be written about the event, but I thought I should start with this one.
This is the second WBC I have attended (the first was two years ago in Portland–WBC12) and although far from an expert, I thought I would pass along some of the priceless wisdom I have accumulated. The next WBC (WBC15) is scheduled for next August and this time it will be here on the East Coast, in the Finger Lakes Wine Region. As you are no doubt pondering if you should attend the Conference next year, I thought I would pass along the top five reasons you should (and should not) attend the Conference.
Five Reasons Why You Should Attend The Wine Bloggers Conference
- You have never been to the WBC before: The Wine Bloggers Conference is certainly memorable and if you are a wine blogger, you should at least try to attend at least one. You meet other bloggers and countless wine trade professionals.
- You have been to the WBC before: The first time around I tried to do everything and left feeling that I failed a bit since there is no possible way to do everything, The second time around I went in with much more realistic goals and those were largely met.
- You like to drink wine: There is a lot of wine. No, there is a ton of wine. On certain days, you might start drinking wine as early as 9:30 in the morning (which youjustify since you think you are still on East Coast time) and might not stop until well after midnight (but you are now on West Coast time, so that is OK, too).
- You like to visit wine regions and wineries: The Wine Bloggers Conference has been to some of the top wine regions on the continent (there is also a European WBC justin case….). The two I attended were in Oregon and Santa Barbara County.
- You will likely meet some of your wine blogger buddies: As a blogger, there are perhaps dozens of other bloggers that you follow and follow you. You exchange comments on your blogs, you interact on Twitter and Facebook—at the WBC you can do that in an entirely new medium—face-to-face.
Five Reasons Why You Should Not Attend The Wine Bloggers Conference
- You have never been to the WBC before: You have no idea what you are missing if you have never been and you might want to keep it that way. You also might be an anti-social hermit, blogging from your parent’s basement and eschew human interaction.
- You have been to the WBC before: Your personal motto might be: “Been there, done that.” At your first WBC you realize that it is mainly an avenue for a bunch of winos to get together and drink copious amounts of wine. You figure you can do that in the privacy of your parent’s basement without any need to socialize.
- You like to drink wine: When I drink/taste wine, I like to do it in a certain way—namely around the dinner table with family and friends. At the WBC, you drink wine in just about every context imaginable. The first time I attended, I was determined to take notes on every wine that I tried. That did not even last through the welcoming event the night before the actual conference. No one can take that many notes. Except Richard Jennings, of course.
- You like to visit wine regions and wineries: The WBC is an artificial way to visit wine regions, one that you will not experience again until the next Conference (unless, of course, you are Bill Eyer [aka Cuvée Corner] and get invited to go on junkets all over the world). At the WBC you and 50 of your closest friends will have lunches in barrel rooms and dinners in the vineyards. That does not happen (at least to me) in real life. I normally have to elbow some old man in the head at the tasting bar to get a sip of the third wine on the tasting menu. And I usually eat dinner at the Jack-in-the-Box.
- You will likely meet some of your wine blogger buddies: Let’s face facts, bloggers in general are rather strange, and wine bloggers are no exception. Some of the people I was most anxious to meet turned outto be, well, people I would normally try to avoidin every day life. And those you actually can stomach end up taking pictures of you (or worse, videos) of you conducting incredibly stupid acts and then post them all to Facebook where everyone else that was at the conference (and some that weren’t) then makes comments about how idiotic you looked. No, that has never happened to me.