Travels, Wine

Wine Dogs and New Tricks: What I Learned at the Wine Bloggers Conference

December 14, 2017

It’s now been about a month since I went to the wine bloggers conference and I’m still slowly digesting it. I love when this happens, when an experience touches you so intensely and immensely that it takes time to think and feel through all you experienced. It’s the mark of a great conference, really, and something I’m really happy to have experienced this fall.

Now that I’ve had some time to think, there are a few things I wanted to share about my experience at the conference.

MartinReydinner

One the gorgeous rooms we ate in, NDB.

A whole new world

In a word? WHOA.

The conference was bigger than I originally thought it would be. There were about 300 people attending from a bunch of different corners of the wine world – wine makers, brand reps, marketing people, journalists, distributors, and, of course, bloggers. On the first night there was an expo with tables full of wines from different regions (Alsace! Carignan! California! Oregon!) plus swag tables (thanks for the sweet wine journal, WordPress!) and sponsor booths.

It was exciting and motivating to see so much happening. Having wine makers take the time to come to a conference for bloggers was like being truly welcomed into this world I’ve watched from the outside for the past few years. It felt great to be seen and listened to and asked about my blog and my audience and my content.

I’m not the only one

There are other wine bloggers out there! I’m not self-involved enough to think I was the only one to blog about wine – a quick Google will tell you otherwise – but I hadn’t actually met any other wine bloggers until this conference. I even met some Canadian ones! It feels a little absurd that I had to go to California to meet other local(ish) wine bloggers, but I’m happy to have met them so I guess I’ll let it slide.

Here are some of the new blogs (and people!) I got to know:

wine bloggers conference

Being silly with my roomie, Nicole. Avec wine, natch.

Get focused

Speaking of being seen and heard, I had some great conversations with fellow bloggers about their platforms. There are some pretty cool things out there in the world of wine blogging! Podcasts, live streaming, video, Instagram-focused content… there are so many options out there for how to share your love of wine with the world.

I also spoke to bloggers and brand reps who were interested to know about my own niche and Palate Practice’s focus. Which made me wonder… what is my niche and my focus?

I’ve been thinking about it a lot since then and have some ideas on how to focus and refine what I’m about and what I bring to you, dear reader. Over the last two years I’ve tightened my content and now, after learning that many bloggers at the conference blogged about wine as well as other topics, I feel like it’s ok to branch out again to other things. Plus, I now have three years of blogging under my belt and feel like my writing is good enough that I can bring you different things and still remain, well, me.

So stay tuned for some new and exciting things coming to this space!

Thank you!

Thanks to Thea, Becca, and all the folks who put time and effort into arranging these scholarships. I wouldn’t have been able to go at all without it. Thank you!

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