It has been an unexpectedly busy day here at BeerScribe.com in the wake of last night’s piece on the state of beer blogging. I can imagine few topics more geeky than the present one but I’ll indulge it for one more post. The first ever Beer Bloggers Conference is ready to get underway in Boulder, Colorado. It is put on by the same folks who run a supposedly popular Wine Bloggers Conference and it is pretty close to sold out with more than 100 attendees.
Despite a brief mention in my earlier piece, I hadn’t given too much thought to the conference but have just taken a closer look at the agenda and I must admit to being a bit puzzled by it. Aside from beer blogging in general, I am left wondering, at its core, what does the Beer Bloggers Conference actually offer attendees? Is it just an excuse to get together with other like-minded beer folks and enjoy a few rounds (which is a perfectly enviable vacation)? Or is it professionally (in the broadest sense here) helpful in some tangible or meaningful way?
Putting aside those who just want a vacation and to drink some beers, what does the conference actually offer? A lot of the seminars/speeches seem to be pretty rah-rah in nature, and that’s great, just not something I’d pay money to attend. For people who all seem to agree there is no real money to be made here, a lot of the conference’s remaining content seems to be related to making money on the web. And I’d be pretty skeptical if I was attending those particular seminars. Frankly, sharing “$10,000 worth of SEO advice” sounds like a load of bullshit to me, not too different from the dozens of spam marketing/SEO emails I receive every day for both of my businesses. So beyond the rah-rah from the usual industry cheerleaders, I’m curious to hear from the organizers, promoters, speakers, and attendees what the content actually offers.
Brewery visits and beer dinners are great and all, but is that the real reason for the conference? I imagine the conference organizers aren’t doing this for free so I think the inquiry is worth making.