2020 Wine Media Conference Agenda
Below is the 2020 Agenda, which is still being finalized. All sessions will take place at the Valley River Inn in Eugene unless otherwise indicated.
Monday – Wednesday, August 17 – 19
Pre-Conference Excursions: We are working with the Oregon Wine Board to offer two or three pre-conference excursions in the state. These excursions give attendees the opportunity to have an in-depth look at other wine regions outside the Eugene area. Please read each excursion carefully as starting and ending times vary, as well as whether hotel is included in the excursion cost or not. We will open excursion registration in late February to those already signed up to attend the conference; please wait to book your airfare until you are confirmed on an excursion.
Thursday, August 20
12:00 – 6:00 PM Registration
12:30 – 4:30 PM Wine Education Sessions: These small-group sessions are your opportunity to taste unusual, rare, or high value wines. We will be announcing the sessions in the coming months.
4:30 – 6:30 PM Welcome Reception: This should be an amazing introductory reception with excellent food and drink from local restaurants and producers. Combined with wines served by our sponsors and partners, this will be a fantastic way to open the conference.
6:00 PM Evening Reception (tentative)
Friday, August 21
Breakfast on Your Own
8:30 AM – 5:55 PM Registration & Expo: Meet our sponsors on breaks throughout the day
9:00 – 9:20 AM Official Conference Opening
9:20 – 10:05 AM Introduction to Eugene, the Willamette Valley, and Oregon: Here from a panel of locals about the terroir, history, and current state of grape growing and winemaking in the region.
10:05 – 10:50 AM Opening Keynote
10:50 – 11:05 AM Break
11:05 – 11:55 AM All Group Session
11:55 AM – 1:25 PM Lunch on Your Own
1:25 – 2:10 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose one of two
Managing Yourself as a Business: Put on your cape! This session will include important business basics (legal and financial); points on how to market one’s own work; and goal-setting tips & tricks to keep you on the path to growth. Presented by Christine Deussen, Deussen Global Communications, Inc.
Level Up Your WordPress Site!: Join experts from WordPress.com to learn tips, tricks, and advanced techniques of WordPress to build the site you’ve always wanted. Presented by Kellie Peterson, WordPress, Inc.
2:10 – 2:25 PM Break
2:25 – 3:25 PM Discovery Sessions: Taste wines and learn in depth about a specific region of the world from our sponsors.
3:25 – 3:40 PM Break
3:40 – 4:02 PM All Group Session: TBD
4:02 – 4:25 PM All Group Session: Increase Your Credibility by Elevating Your Writing Game: This session will teach you how to think about stories through the lens of a professional journalist, how to gather pertinent information through research and interviews, and how to frame a story in ways that appeal to your audience. It will provide tips and tricks to improve your writing, such as finding the right lead, developing a story that unfolds in an engaging way and improving that story through relentless self-editing. And it will offer ideas and suggestions for working most effectively with wine marketers and PR professionals. Presented by Bob Silver, Silver Strategic Communications.
4:25 – 5:25 PM Live Wine Social – Red: Live Wine Social is the signature event of the conference, in which wineries each have five minutes to pour one wine for a table of attendees. Bloggers, writers, and influencers taste, analyze, and write about the wine or winery on the spot. Wineries then move to a new table in a speed-dating format.
5:25 – 5:55 PM Live Wine Social Follow-up – Meet the Winemakers: Take a few minutes to ask additional questions or try the wines of winemakers who did not reach your table.
6:00 – 10:00 PM Wine Country Dinner Excursions: These dinner excursions are included in the ticket price and will be organized by the Southern Willamette Wineries Association.
Saturday, August 22
Breakfast on Your Own
8:30 AM – 5:35 PM Registration & Expo
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Breakout Sessions: Choose one of two
Increase Engagement and Revenues with Immersive Story Telling: Learn how to communicate and engage your audience through strategic direct-to-market practices via immersive story telling and experiences. This topic will be applicable both to industry and media attendees. Presented by Sarah Miller, Axis Entertainment, Inc.
Creating Community: Leveraging Your Social Media: To fully harness the power and possibility of digital content, we begin by breaking it into its two key origins — social & media — and look at how to use user-generated content to create a community around your branded causes. Presented by Brett Rawson, Washington State Wine Commission.
9:30 – 9:35 AM Break
9:35 – 10:05 AM Breakout Sessions: Choose one of two
Photography Tips for Making Your Wine Blog Pop: Learn how to make your wine blog more interesting through the use of creative and story-telling photography. Focus will be on how to create thoughtful and crisp vineyard, winemaker/owner, and winemaking process images. Presented by George Rose, George Rose Photography.
Take your Instagram to the Next Level: Learn the tips and tricks of Instagram to increase your following and engagement. Get your profile noticed through polls, Ask Me sessions, live streaming and social media takeovers. Presented by Scott Fish, Off Road.
10:05 – 10:10 AM Break
10:10 – 10:40 AM Breakout Sessions: Choose one of two
Personal Branding On Social Media for Wine Writers: This session will dive into top level strategies of defining your own professional brand as a content creator: gaining clarity on your passion, purpose, and niche; identifying your target audience; and creating laser-focused content that will attract loyal readers and followers on social media. Best practices for building a robust Instagram following will also be covered. Presented by Sarah Tracey, The Lush Life. More information about Sarah and her session.
The Business of Paid Wine Media: This session is for those who are ready to make the leap into paid wine writing and/or content creation. Topics will include what kind of prior experience may be advantageous to securing paid work, creating and maintaining one’s portfolio, learning how to capture the story behind the wine/winemaker/brand, pitching wineries and other wine businesses, pitching media outlets, and how to manage one’s freelance business. Presented by Elizabeth Smith, Elizabeth Smith Consulting.
10:40 – 10:55 AM Break
10:55 – 11:55 AM Discovery Sessions: Taste wines and learn in depth about a specific region of the world from our sponsors.
11:55 AM – 1:25 PM Lunch
1:25 – 2:25 PM All Group Session
2:25 – 2:40 PM Break
2:40 – 3:25 PM Closing Keynote
3:25 – 3:55 PM Conference Close and Announcement of 2021 Location
3:55 – 4:50 PM Live Wine Social – White/Rosé: Live Wine Social (previously Live Wine Blogging) is the signature event of the conference, in which wineries each have five minutes to pour one wine for a table of attendees. Bloggers, writers, and influencers taste, analyze, and write about the wine or winery on the spot. Wineries then move to a new table in a speed-dating format.
4:50 – 5:20 PM Live Wine Social Follow-up – Meet the Winemakers: Take a few minutes to ask additional questions or try the wines of winemakers who did not reach your table.
5:20 – 6:05 PM Lightning Talks: This is the opportunity to hear from your fellow attendees. We will have eight speakers, each of whom will have five minutes to present on a subject that is near to his or her heart. The catch is each speaker has to use 20 slides that are set to auto-rotate every 15 seconds, which keeps the talks fast and fun. Not only that, this is at the end of the conference and after a bit of wine tasting, so the event should be fun and a bit rowdy!
Sunday – Monday, August 23 – 24
Post-Conference Excursions: We are working with the Oregon Wine Board to offer three post-conference excursions in the state. There will be a small additional registration cost and attendees are responsible for their own hotel but winery visits, tastings, and most meals are included. We will open excursion registration in late February to those already signed up to attend the conference; please wait to book your airfare until you are confirmed on an excursion. Currently planned:
- South Willamette Valley (August 23)
- North Willamette Valley (August 23)
- Columbia Gorge (August 23 – 24)