Excursion lesson on cooperage at Road 13
Bloggers and would-be bloggers turned out in force for the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton held in June. While the conference was aimed at bloggers already immersed in the industry, the conference revealed a lot of important information for others involved in different aspects of the wine industry. For the region, it showcased the Okanagan, B.C. our food and our wine. Other wines and regions were also presented, from Ontario, Uruguay, Greece, and South Africa.
What those in the wine industry need to know, if they don’t already, is that blogging is increasingly important for disseminating information. Visiting bloggers should be treated with the same level of respect as any other visiting media. After all, many bloggers also write for established and national magazines, as well as social media. Others are consultants, winemakers or foodies.
There were many events, sessions and excursions. One event, ‘Live Wine Blogging’ allowed each winery five minutes to pour, tell their story, and describe the wine. For bloggers it was a frantic experience to sip, savour and blog in their social media of choice.
Here’s the interesting part about this event. If 250 bloggers use Twitter to comment on 10 different wines to 2,000 of their followers (2013 survey results estimate the average blogger has 3,000 followers) that means 5 million mentions went out in the one-hour session (250 x 10 = 2,500 tweets x 2,000 followers). Multiply that by a three-day conference and add in photos and videos posted on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and the official blog entries. That’s a lot of coverage, just think of the spin-off.
How to Blog
For those in the industry who are thinking of setting up their own blog, having a plan, or clear goals is highly recommended. Whether an independent writer, winery insider or a hired consultant, you must take a professional approach to writing. Telling a story should be emphasized over simply providing technical details. As well, people distrust “lazy writing” shown by mistakes in grammar and spelling, as well as content that lacks a genuine ring.
While it takes a couple of years to build up an audience, wine bloggers are in the enviable position of being able to start a conversation with their readers and viewers. The tone of their experience at a winery will set the tone for how they describe it to their viewers.
The Wine Bloggers Conference
Approximately 250 attended the annual event from across North America, about 25% hailed from B.C. Representing various facets of the wine industry from independent wine writers and authors to winemakers, owners, PR folks and marketing consultants.
Given the proliferation of tools for blogging, publishing online content is easier than ever. For some, blogging means creating a free, self-hosted domain, others may be blogging for national publications; or it might mean social networking on Twitter or Facebook, known as “micro-blogging.”
The next Winebloggers Conference will be held July 11-13 in Santa Barbara Country, California.
For more information visit winebloggersconference.org