THE BOOZE BIN
By Pia Mara Finkell (@piamara)
I think it has something to do with my fondness for the underdog (despite being a rabid Yanks fan), but maybe also because I’ve always fancied myself a writer at heart. So, when my Agency agreed to a trade of services, allowing us a presence at the upcoming Bloggers Conferences, in exchange for helping Zephyr Adventures get the word out to the media about four of their seven upcoming gatherings of blogging minds…I. was. PSYCHED.
As part of our sponsorship, I was allowed a coveted seat on one of the breakout session panel discussions. Full disclosure, the thought of speaking in front of 75-100 of my peers is both horrifying and thrilling. What could I put out there that would be interesting enough to get butts in seats and hold these top bloggers’ attention for an hour? Deep breaths. Would either of the keynote speakers, Eric Asimov or Jancis Robinson, be in attendance? Pass the paper bag, please.
To add to the challenge, there is a ridiculously awesome line-up of sessions on the docket. In the same time slot as my session on their published agenda, they’re offering a session on the Aromas of Wine, led by Master of Wine and all-around nice gal, Sheri Sauter Morano. Sheri will guide attendees on a quest to develop their “sensory memory bank and a nose for picking out aromas commonly associated with certain varietals.” AMAZING. To add insult to injury, I’m also up against a session exploring Online Technologies and Wine, with digital/social and wine ninjas like Paul Mabray from Vintank, John Meyer of 9 Clouds, and Philip James from Lot 18 and Snooth. Are you kidding me with that? Side note, I hope they will record the sessions, because I’m bummed to not get to sit in on that one.
As to my session, I have been thinking (and blogging) a lot about all things Millennials and wine, so that seemed a logical starting point. But what about this wide topic would particularly interest a room full of bloggers? Getting a little deeper, what makes a wine blogger tick? Perhaps a discussion on what blogs Millennial wine lovers read and how they choose to drink up (yeah, I went there) these sound bites. Or maybe a deeper sociological study of how my generation prefers to learn about wine, in contrast to our Boomer parents. Tasting Notes or video? Advice from a wine expert or a friend? Should bloggers cater to this particular audience, or stick true to their voice (if you’ve read anything I’ve written on this in the past, clearly I believe the latter)?
The session on Millennials and Wine is still in the works, but having this opportunity to reach out to other bloggers, wine and digital experts to pick their brains on the topic and invite them to join the panel has been a treat. Lordy knows I’m not as cool as the Sheris or Pauls of the wine world, but the great thing about a bloggers conference is that I don’t have to be. Everyone gets a chance to speak their voice, and (in theory) there’s no judgment.
All that being said, I’m still looking for ideas, so use that comments section friends!