We made the Associated Press today. One of the benefits of moving the conference to Charlottesville in 2011 is the Virginia state government is really gung ho about promoting both its wine and tourism industries. And we are already feeling the benefits.
I received a letter a few weeks ago from Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture, Todd Haymore, giving us his support to have the conference in Virginia. I sent him a thank you email after we had publicly announced the conference would be in Charlottesville and he promptly responded – on Monday, a holiday. The next day, the Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s press secretary contacted me and 24 hours after that, with my help, they had released a press release announcing the 2011 conference location. Hence the AP pickup.
We have been in full swing since the Walla Walla conference ended, 10 short days ago. We already have 31 people registered for next year, almost all of them Citizen Bloggers. That doesn’t count our organizers or initial sponsors. I haven’t even had a chance to analyze the survey results but will get to that soon!