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It’s actually happening. I am finally, finally going to my first-ever conference. I’ve been blogging since 2012 (not here, clearly) and longing to attend a conference ever since. Alas, FinCon (personal finance bloggers conference) is always held during my busiest time of year at work. Plus, the cost of attendance when I have to get an airplane becomes very high, very quickly. It was held one week before WBC18 and I was so, so sad seeing everyone get to meet up and have an epic time.

Last year, when we started thinking about creating a wine blog, I took a look to see what sort of conference options there might be. I happily discovered the Wine Bloggers Conference. Given that last year’s was in Santa Rosa, California, I figured next year’s would be in Vermont and I still wouldn’t be able to swing it. As soon as I found out this year’s was going to be in Walla Walla, WA, I bought tickets, because it was within driving distance.

I still wasn’t sure I’d be able to convince my spouse to go, nor that I would be able to get the time off work… but here we are! I’ve been taking Crush the Conference webinars, to get prepped.

For my friends in the FinCon crowd, I got a smoking hotel deal. The host hotel was booked up for one of the nights that we needed, so I started to research my options. It turns out there’s a Motel 6 literally through the parking lot and they had availability for all the nights we needed. Even better? It was less than half of the rate of the host hotel rooms, because they were sold out of the discount block. It may turn out to be a total dive, but it’s saving something like $600!

I’ll Be Presenting on Affiliate Marketing for Wine Bloggers

In a moment of inspiration, which I have since cursed, I replied when the call went out looking for “Ignite style lightning presenters.” The result is that yours truly will be giving a five minute talk at her very first conference, where the slides auto-advance every 15 seconds.

Please be gentle… and I am assuming I will have already had the opportunity to calm my nerves with some vino, prior to the presentation. I’ve got a free eBook ready for everyone, too.

My Strange Conference Packing List

There have been some extremely handy threads in the WBC Facebook group over the past few weeks. Between all my longing reading up on conferences over the past few years and those threads, here’s some of the conference necessities, and oddities, I’ll be packing with me:

  • business cards
  • a portable battery pack
  • so many throat lozenges
  • nalgenes
  • nuun (like gatorade, but without the sugar)
  • ear plugs
  • advil
  • wine books... I am forgetful when it comes to details
  • fancy clothes – I brought one super dressy dress and will play it by ear
  • small USD bills – to tip wait staff at meals that are included in our pass or excursion
  • clif bars for snacks
  • a warm jacket in case the A/C is too strong
  • so freaking many electronics
  • oodles of camera & videography gear
  • breakfast foods

Perhaps not too strange?

What I’m Hoping to Get Out of the Wine Bloggers Conference 2018

This wine blog is brand new. Sure, there are some posts that have been up for awhile, but this is a baby blog. I want to leave #WBC18 inspired and oozing with ideas and energy to build this up into the site it deserves to be!

I would love to have 2 solid collaborations come out of the weekend, whether it’s guest posts, mini courses, post sponsorships or something else I haven’t even thought of yet. If you want to collaborate, let me know.

I also want to leave with a whole host of new friends 🙂 At this time, I barely know anyone in the wine world, and I want that to change! I love the blogging community and need to find a nice corner of it to join.

Finally, I want the Lighting Presentation to go well and build up my public speaking confidence. There’s a lot of good info in my noggin’ and I want to share it!

The Wine Bloggers Conference Lineup is An Insanely Good Deal

There’s a not-small chance that I have been building up the itineraries in my mind. A lot.

We’ve opted to add on some pre-conference excursions, an extra optional dinner, an education session during the conference and a post-conference excursion, bringing the total cost per person for the conference fees to $180 USD (not including breakfasts, tips or hotels). What we are getting for that will blow your mind.

  • Winery tour & lunch
  • Wine education session
  • Dinner
  • Conference events
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Conference events
  • Lunch
  • Wine & Cheese pairing session
  • Gala Dinner
  • 3 Winery Tour
  • Winery Lunch
  • 4 Course diner on a yacht
  • a free hotel night
  • Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga class
  • Did I mention oodles and oodles and oodles of wine throughout?

If you split the fees across only the meals included (seven), that’s $25.71 (I work with numbers for my day job, mmkay) per meal… and they all include wine. How could you not want to attend? I am so excited.

Also, did you notice that hotel room just casually tossed into the list? The post-conference excursion we’re doing with Visit Tri-Cities looks beyond incredible. I hope I can write a sufficiently good post to show it all off to you.

My liver has been given advance warning. It’s still not ready.

Will I get a chance to meet you at #WBC18?

Update: Curious what I learned at the Wine Bloggers Conference? Here are 7 Lessons Learned from my First Blogging Conference, which is now known as the Wine Media Conference.

Or, check out my Live Blogging Tips for the Wine Media Conference!

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