The annual Wine Bloggers Conference is just around the corner. This year, we will be in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York. For all of you veterans of the WBC, you may be familiar with this advice, so pay me no mind. Newbies, take note.
This is my 4th conference. EEEEK! Has it really been that long since I was a wet-behind-the-ears rookie in my own backyard of PDX? Wow. Time flies.
The Wine Bloggers Conference is honestly the best conference for citizen bloggers to connect with industry insiders. You will connect with some great folks who are within the industry. From PR reps (both independent and attached to wineries) to winemakers to owners, you will be talking, eating and drinking with them.
If you’re going to be doing all this great networking, why not bring business cards? I know, it sounds old and dated, but how else are going to remember everyone’s name and contact information?
And don’t throw those cards away, either. I have a binder that I picked up and have business card inserts for. I pick cards up in tasting rooms, at festivals, media events and *especially* WBC. Having those cards at the ready is a good thing! If you’re planning a trip and you know you’ll be in the area of a particular winery, why not reach out to the contact you made at WBC (or any other event) and at least let them know you’ll be in the area and would like to visit.
Don’t be offended if you don’t get invited to an after-party or side tasting. This is something that comes with time and networking. Last year in Santa Barbara, the best party I went to was one that I heard of via word of mouth. So keep an ear to the ground. Also, watch the #wbc15 hashtag. Seriously. There will be announcements.
Technology. Bring it. Have your chargers, extra memory cards, etc. with you, too. ‘Nuff said.
This should be a given, but hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! There is going to be a lot of wine and we need to remember that while this is a fun conference, it is still somewhere that we’re representing our own personal brands. Also, spitting during the speed tastings is essential. You have 5 minutes to taste, evaluate, learn and tweet/blog about a wine. 10 wines. One hour. Yeah. It’s hard, but necessary to maintain composure.
Have FUN! This conference is designed for us to learn about a new region, meet others and enjoy. Find a random dart board at a winery and play a quick game. Find out if someone has Cards Against Humanity and join in on some hilarious, twisted, wretched minds. Make friends from different walks of life than your own.
Disclosure: In exchange for a reduced rate to the Wine Bloggers Conference, attendees are required to write at least three blog posts about the conference either before, during or after.