The 2022 Wine Media Conference will be held September 29 – October 1 at Lake Garda in Lombardia in northern Italy.
We are extremely excited to be bringing the Wine Media Conference to Europe for the first time. (Our sister conference, the European Wine Bloggers Conference, no longer is operating.) And we think Italy is the perfect place, given its major role in the world’s wine industry and its exceptional tourism offerings.
However, times have been difficult in the conference world and there will be changes to the conference, including a much smaller size.
Lake Garda, Lombardia
Lombardy (Lombardia in Italian) is a province in northern Italy. With Milan as its major city, Lombardy is easy to access for foreign visitors. Lombardy also has the most UN World Heritage Sites in Italy, which itself has the most of any country in the world. Our host hotel is the Acquaviva Hotel, situated at the southern end of Lake Garda, one of the major tourist attractions of northern Italy.
We have an outstanding local partner in Ascovilo, the Associazione Consorzi Vini Lombardi. Ascovilo is the umbrella association representing 13 different winery associations in Lombardy, which means our experience with area wines and vintners will be broad and rich.
Ascovilo itself will have a strong presence at the conference, including sponsoring Friday excursions and both of the two Live Wine Social events. In addition, we are in the process of setting up pre-conference and post-conference excursions (at a small extra cost), at least some of which will be in Lombardy.
Please see our policies on COVID safety. For WMC22, all attendees will be required to be fully vaccinated. We believe this policy and our plan to keep our attendees in a conference “bubble” will go a long way towards keeping all attendees safe. Vaccination rates and compliance with safety policies is higher in Italy than in the United States. Since almost everyone on flights to Italy will also be vaccinated, even your flight over should be as safe or safer than domestic flights within the US.
We had great success in keeping our attendees safe in 2021, at both conferences and on the tours we run around the world. In fact, we ran five tours in Italy in 2021 and attendees universally said they felt safer than they did at home. We hope to repeat this success in 2022 in Lombardy.
Changes to the 2022 Conference
In addition to being in Europe for the first time ever, the most important change is one of size. Until and unless Italian COVID restrictions change, the conference will be limited to 64 attendees. This is the reality of finding a quality hotel in the wine country of Lombardy that meets our needs, including the ability to bring in and pour wine. If COVID restrictions on meetings are eliminated, we will be able to grow attendance to 140 people.
Another change in 2022 is that we will require all participants to pay for a meal package during the conference. This $200 package will cover an opening reception, two lunches, and two dinners (at least one off site). In the past, we often included similar meals at no charge. The times have changed and this additional fee will ensure we are able to provide you with a stellar conference experience, especially at times when food service in Italy is still under pandemic restrictions.
We think these major changes (Europe, smaller size, meal package) plus the ongoing benefits of the conference (great content, lots of wine tasting, excursions) will make for a super fun and educational experience for those who can go. We think of it as sort of a cross between a conference and a vacation.
Because the conference will be limited to 64 people, we are opening it up ONLY to accredited wine media through March 31. To be accredited, you must have a recent (last six months) article in a published magazine or newspaper or have an updated blog/website, with at least three articles within the past six months. If your blog is not up to date, you are simply not eligible. As always, media can choose to take a discount on the registration price by committing to writing about the conference.
Registration is now open for WMC22 in Italy!