This past weekend, while 250 bloggers, PR reps, and winery individuals gathered at The Flamingo in Santa Rosa for the 2009 North American Wine Bloggers Conference, it was announced that the 2010 Conference will be in Walla Walla, Washington. Amidst much buzz, this is both an exciting time and a challenging one.
The Walla Walla wine culture kicked off in 1977 when the first modern winery was established. In 1984, the region was formally recognized as a unique American Viticultural Area (AVA). Since then, the region has grown in to a world class growing region. I persoally am excited about the prospect of discovering Walla Walla and its wines, but I know it will present unique challenges to many wishing to attend the WBC next year.
Any area that is not in your backyard is going to present it’s own set of challenges, and given the requests for scholarship assistance at this years conference, I would like to kick of the 2010 WBC Scholarship program as early as possible.
To that end I am seeking Regional Ambassadors! That’s right. We want you! What I need is your assistance reaching out to your local wine and web 2.0 community to garner interest in and solicit scholarship donations to assist Citizen Bloggers in attending the 2010 WBC in Walla Walla. No donation is too small, and we recognize that this is a challenging time. However, given the exposure that 250+ bloggers, industry professionals and PR Reps can generate, it’s probably the cheapest advertising you can get these days.
If you feel like you have a good network of local businesses, wine people, PR agencies, individuals, and others who are interesing in blogging and how it relates to social media and media today, please shoot me a line at wbcscholarship at gmail dot com. I would love to see some cross posts on your blogs, and a firestorm of interest generated before the end of 2009. Many people have already signed up for the Walla Walla WBC, and we need to be smart about our planning!
I am also looking for selection committe members, to assist if necessary in the selection of scholarship recipients. This year we were extremely fortunate in that we were fully funded, so everyone who applied got some grant money. Next year, we would like to to be the case, but if we need to narrow down the applicant pool, I need to have additional team members since I do not want to have any bias in the process.
We are accepting donations to our NON 501C TOTALLY VOLUNTARY Scholarship program now. There are no perks to this scholarship, just the knowledge that you are helping to further the newest media method there is: The blogger. Whether we choose video, text, pictures or a combination, blogging is morphing in to the most buzz worthy ad source there is. Get on the bus or get off the highway!
If you want to donate please use the Pay Pal link below. We will also be accepting donations by checks (details to follow).