I’m sitting here in the lobby of the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, at the 2nd annual Wine Tourism Conference, in Santa Rosa, with fond memories of the Wine Bloggers Conferences of 2008 and 2009. The buzz is certainly different, with industry reps. tour operators, writers, and print media outlets, but the buss is here. Spending a brief morning at the trade show, I saw many faces I knew, but I also saw many faces I didn’t. Up and coming wine regions that you would not think of were represented, and I was looking forward to learning more about them. All sorts of industry professionals were represented, including tour operators, wineries, tourism associations, PR firms, and of course – those pesky bloggers! I was looking forward to both getting to know these great group of people ,but also learning what the challenges in the industry are, and how we, as new media representatives can help. Of particular interest to me were the challenges that individual regions have attracting visitors to their wine destinations. Both on a personal and semi professional level, the topic fascinates me. Additionally, the age old question of how ot engage with social media and how to utilize new media. I am a social media freak, and if you have known me since the first Wine Bloggers Conference, you know that I am also a twitterholic. While some of this has waned in recent years due to professional and personal obligations, it is still a fiery passion. In addition to my social meida addiction, I am passionate about finding out how I can help bring the wine business in to the 21st century uses the tgools of the trade. These tools include CRM but also include business practices and methodologies that are universal across businesses. So, where can wine take you? Stay tuned this week and I give you some of my insights, ideas, eye opening moments, and observations from the Wine Tourism Conference. Cheers!
We interrupt the blog to announce that the 2nd Annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference will be held in Sonoma and Napa, July 24th – July 26th. I don’t envy the event planners because I know they made every effort not to conflict with other events. I will miss some of my friends, but hopefully we can find that sweet spot where everyone can come! This year, we are back at The Flamingo in Santa Rosa, which is a Grande Dame out of the Rat Pack Days. Yes, while the outside seems a bit, well, WORN, the rooms are newly done and it’s got good space and a great pool. Don’t forget to register early, as there are only 250 slots left! Details can be found HERE Agenda details: Friday, July 24 12:00 noon Registration and Sponsor Lunch 2:00 PM Welcome and Conference Overview 2:30 PM Live Wine Blogging 4:00 PM Breakout Sessions 5:00 PM Breakout Sessions 6:30 PM Grand Tasting of Sonoma Wines 8:00 PM Pool Party Barbecue Saturday, July 25 7:00 AM Breakfast on your own 9:00 AM Depart for Napa Valley 10:00 AM Breakout Sessions 11:00 AM Breakout Sessions 12:00 noon Depart for Napa Rocks at participating wineries 7:00 PM Dinner in the Vineyards at participating Napa wineries 8:45 PM Buses return to the Flamingo 9:45 PM Informal tasting of participants’ wines Sunday, July 26 7:00 AM Breakfast on your own 9:30 AM Breakout Sessions and Industry Discussions 11:30 AM Luxe Sonoma Tasting 12:30 PM Casual lunch 1:00 PM Conference Ends 1:oopm on – if you are still around, I’m sure there will be blogger tasting, parties, and other fun stuff! If you want to see what I thought of last year, check out these posts: WBC Day 1 WBC Day 2 WBC Day 3 WBC Day 3.5 Google