Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Beer Bloggers Conference

It's old news now of course but thought I'd post about it anyway because it's interesting, well, to me anyway. The first ever Beer Bloggers Conference is going to take place in Boulder, Colorado from 5th-7th November this year. Unfortunately I will not be going. Why? I can't afford it! More's the pity.
It sounds like it's going to be both fun and interesting though if you can get there, with a mixture of lectures, presentations, live-blogging and general beery goodness, not to mention the chance to meet like minded people!
There will be four keynote speakers, four technology companies from Boulder giving presentations and so far about 70 people have signed up to it, you can find the full agenda here. There's going to be at least four breweries there too including Great Divide, Odells with lesser known this side of the pond, New Belgium Brewery and Breckenridge Brewery.
However, one of the things that surprises me is the date, surely it would have been better to base it just before, after or even during GABF?(Not that I can afford to get to that either!), mainly because so many beer bloggers would go to it, maybe even give them a discount on their tickets if they're signed up for the conference(are you listening CAMRA?), before you say it, yes I know a lot of us, if not all, get trade tickets for free to GBBF but live-blogging and other events around this would only help raise the profile of the GABF and GBBF.
The Way forward?
Talking of 'live-blogging' I think it would be good, certainly fun, I think, if we had the chance to live-blog at the twissups, this would require finding free wi-fi in a decent location(oh and extension cables!). Does the Marble Arch have free wi-fi?
So does the UK need a bloggers conference or do we just continue with the twissups? If you look at the agenda for the bloggers conference in Boulder there's a lot of hour long 'Content Sessions' what these are I don't know, is it discussion about peoples content, lectures about what people should use as content, I'd appreciate a bit of enlightenment so if anyone knows, hows about letting the rest of us in on it? But the rest of it seems mildly interesting, the keynote speech from Greg Koch, CEO of Stone will probably be the best received, as it looks like it's going to be a major craft brewer telling beer bloggers that they're great, excuse my cynicism but this seems like the ultimate exercise in blowing smoke up a collective's arse. But hey! we all like to hear good things being said about ourselves, right? It also seems like as usual those stateside are sparing no expense in putting on buses for the two brewery tours etc..can you see anyone here doing that? The Breweries and pubs that we have visited have been more than generous with both their time (and beer) and we thank them for that but travel around this country is both expensive and irritating so how do you ensure attendance? I guess it just comes down to no reason other than a passion for beer, doesn't pay the bills though does it?(unless you're really lucky).
Hardy travellers all.
Whether you get to Boulder or not this year, what are your thoughts on the idea of a conference? Do you think the UK should have a beer bloggers conference? I'm undecided as to the value of one, are 'twissups' the way forward? Give me your thoughts people, this is one that really interests me and I know it interests a few of you too!


Allan Wright said...

Hi Glyn,

I'm the organizer of the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder and can give you a little insight. First, we picked November because we wanted to get the conference slotted in for 2010 and because local breweries told us "please don't schedule it near the GABF". Apparently they are jam packed and didn't think they would have the time to focus on the bloggers at that time.

Second, we now have 13 breweries signed up to pour, all of them from the US. We'd love to have some UK/European breweries attend.

Third, we haven't released all the content session info yet because we are waiting to have attending bloggers vote on what they want to learn. I can give you a hint, though. These will be real educational sessions such as monetization, search engine optimization, adding video to your blog, increasing your community of readers, writing and editing a beer review, etc.

Finally, we at Zephyr Adventures, organizers of the wine, beer, and food conferences here in the US, are planning a European beer bloggers conference for 2011.


Allan Wright

Rabidbarfly said...

Hi Allan, I've emailed you a response, sounds amazing!

Mark said...

A UK version sounds good! Hold it in London. ;)