The Wine Media Conference, scheduled for August 20 – 22 in Eugene, Oregon, will be postponed until August 5 – 7, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This August we will host a virtual event with tastings for the wine media community. WMC21 will be paired with the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference, which will take place immediately prior on August 3 – 5.
Rationale for Postponing
At this point, three months out from the event, we do not know if we will legally be able to run the conference. While the country is gradually starting to ease restrictions on social distancing, non-essential travel, and group gatherings, we do not know whether Oregon will allow a conference of 225 – 250 attendees in August.
Just as importantly, even if we are allowed to hold the conference, we at Zephyr Conferences are not confident we can do so safely. We might be able to keep social distancing in a conference room but it will be difficult for tastings and excursions. Even if we were to hold the conference it is probable many of our speakers, sponsors, and attendees would not participate because of health or economic concerns.
Therefore, rather than continue to plan for a conference that might not happen and might not serve our community well if it does happen, we have decided to postpone the event for one year. We hope this will allow all of you to attend, so we can bring a full complement of wine writers, bloggers, and influencers to Oregon.
Registered attendees of the 2020 event will automatically be registered for the 2021 conference. You need do nothing.
Virtual Event and Tasting
As a way to keep our community together, we will plan a virtual event for sometime in the period August 20 – 22, this year’s scheduled date. The event will have speakers, content, and tastings. Our Oregon wine industry partners who are hosting the six pre-conference and post-conference excursions will do tastings (complete with wine sent to your door) for all of you signed up for those excursions. Consorzio DOC Delle Venezia and Velenosi Wines, two of our sponsors who have agreed to roll over to 2021, will also do small tastings on a first come, first served basis for registered attendees. The virtual event will be free to those registered for the 2021 conference and low cost to everyone else. Exact details will be announced soon.
Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference
We are also announcing that the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference, which was just held in Eugene in March, will return to Oregon August 3 – 5 next year to take place immediately prior to the Wine Media Conference. The exact location in Oregon is still pending. We promise big changes to the content for those who attended last year and hope this will draw more wine industry members to Oregon next August, including those who potentially will attend both events. Media can receive a 50% discount to the WMTC.
It is not a fun decision to have to postpone the Wine Media Conference. We realize we are disappointing many members of our community who were looking forward to a trip to Oregon in August as well as the Oregon wine industry which was looking forward to welcoming so many media. However, we have determined this is the responsible decision to make.
Registration remains open for the Wine Media Conference. We hope you can join us!