The 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference will take place August 13-16 in Corning, The Finger Lakes, New York. Citizen wine bloggers, industry bloggers, and other wine and social media professionals will gather from throughout the world to meet, learn, and share at this, the eighth annual conference.

About The Finger Lakes

We have been working for years to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to New York. We first had the Finger Lakes region on our radar in 2010 when we worked with then-president Morgen McLaughlin of the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association to bring the WBC to the region in 2011. That event eventually went to Virginia, Morgen moved to Santa Barbara and helped us organize last year’s conference, and Finger Lakes was put on the back burner.

Until now.

The Finger Lakes Wine Country boasts over 100 wineries centered around the region’s three main lakes: Cayuga, Seneca, and Keuka. These wineries are responsible for yielding 90% of the total New York wine produced each year. Our host town is Corning, New York. In addition to being in the center of wine country and the home of Corning Glass, the town was named “Best Fun Small Town in America” in 2013 by Rand McNally.

Who Should Attend

  • Citizen Bloggers or writers who write about wine or the wine industry and who wish to network with other new media; learn from experts in writing, technology, and social media; and enjoy a fantastic weekend of meals and wines from The Finger Lakes and around the world.
  • Industry Bloggers who maintain a blog to support their winery or other wine-related business.
  • New Media Innovators who work in the world of blogging and social media.
  • Wine Industry members who would like to learn about new media or interact with bloggers.

Cost, Payment, Cancellation, and What is Included

The cost of the conference is $95 for citizen wine bloggers (those unaffiliated with a business or organization), $295 for industry bloggers (those whose blog is affiliated with a winery, retail store, or other business or organization), and $395 for non-blogger participants (industry, media relations professionals, friends and family, etc). To sign up as a Citizen Blogger, you must have an active (i.e. at least three current posts) blog that does not promote a business. Friends and spouses you wish to bring with you who are not clearly identified on your blog as part of the team need to sign up as a non-blogger. We are able to offer a lower price to citizen bloggers and wine-industry bloggers because it is for these folks our sponsors underwrite the conference.

Payment is required in advance by credit card. If you must cancel your registration, your payment is 50% refundable through July 13, 2015 and not refundable after that. Please note you can insure against losing your conference registration fee (and your airplane tickets) by purchasing trip insurance. This is only good for those of you traveling from outside of the conference area and staying overnight.

The conference includes multiple wine tastings, two dinners and usually several other meals, an afternoon of winery visits, and outstanding content. Not included in the conference price are your hotel, transportation to and from the area, and the pre-conference and post-conference excursions.

In exchange for the discounted rates for Citizen and Industry Bloggers, we respectfully request that you blog about the conference at least three times (Citizen Bloggers) or one time (Industry Blogger) for the $300 / $100 discount you are receiving. You can blog about anything you want – the conference, venue, host city, sponsors, speakers, wines, wineries, whatever. This is what keeps our sponsors attending and what allows us to give you a discounted rate.

Host Hotel

Our host hotel is the Radisson in Corning, where we have a room block and special rate of $159 (king or queen) or $169 (two doubles). However, as of July 16 the room block is sold out. It is possible there will be cancellations and you can try reserving a room by calling the Hotel directly at 607-962-5000. However, we do have a block reserved at the Staybridge Suites, the only hotel within walking distance of the Radisson. Please call the hotel directly at 607-936-7800. Room rates range from $169 to $189.

If you are interested in sharing a hotel room with a fellow participant, post a comment on our WBC – Alumni & Registered Attendees Facebook Group.

Arrival and Departure

The conference begins at 7:30 PM on Thursday evening, August 13 with Registration, Expo, Gift Suite, and Opening Wine Reception. If you are unable to arrive on Thursday, you can also check in on Friday morning. Content begins at 9:45 AM on Friday.

The nearest and by far most convenient airport is the Elmira Corning Regional Airport, 12 miles away, with direct flights from Chicago, Detroit, Orlando, and Philadelphia. If you arrive on Thursday, August 13th, transportation will be provided by the airport to the host Radisson Hotel. Transportation will also be provided back to the airport on Sunday, August 16th. We will arrange this as we get close to the conference date. If you do not arrive on Thursday, the easiest way to reach the host hotel is by taxi – reservations ensure prompter service (Bill’s Taxi: 607-731-8801, Terps Enterprises: 607-795-4426).

Other airports in the airport you might try include the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport (39 miles away) or the airports in Rochester (one hour 30 minutes by car), Syracuse (two hours), or Buffalo (2:15).

We will include more information about the pre-conference and post-conference excursions as it becomes available.

Weather & Dress Code

The average high temperature in the Corning area in August is a very pleasant 76 degrees. Nighttime temperatures drop to an average 53 degrees. The Finger Lakes region does receive precipitation year-round so please be prepared for rain.

Dress is “wine country casual”. What does that mean? Really, you should dress as you feel comfortable. For daytime sessions, jeans or shorts and a polo shirt are fine. For the Friday excursions into wine country, you should have good shoes and protection from sun or rain. For the Saturday evening banquet, many people will dress up a bit.