We are extremely excited to announce the 2014 Wine Bloggers Conference will be in Santa Barbara, California on July 11-13th. The conference has not been back to California since its first two years, in 2008 and 2009, and we know California and the Santa Barbara area will give us a good reception.
The conference will take place at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton, in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country. The population of the town is about 5,000, which means everyone will know we are there. The city is located right in the heart of wine country, which (if you have not been) is beautiful, with large open expanses and rolling hills.
We are working hard to arrange pre-conference excursions, evening events, and great content. Stay in touch for news to come by inserting your email to the right to receive a notice each time we update the site with news.
Please note we have not raised prices for Citizen Bloggers since our founding in 2008 – still $95. The Marriott has a maximum capacity of around 400 people, so it is probable this conference will sell out in advance. You can register online now.
We discuss this every year but it is worth revisiting how we make the decision to select a host location.
- First off, we only consider locations in wine areas and that have large enough facilities to handle our conference.
- Second, we won’t even think about a location unless there is strong local support and a gung-ho local leader who can help make things happen. We ask the local hosts to provide the sit-down dinner on Saturday and the Friday excursions into wine country. Anything extra, like access to speakers or tie-ins to other events, can strengthen a local bid.
- Third, we consider where the conference has and has not been located. We started in Sonoma and Napa in 2008 and 2009. We then moved around nicely to Walla Walla, Virginia, Oregon, and Penticton. It was time to return in 2014 to California and so this year we only considered possible locations in that state. In 2015, we will most likely head back east to consider locations anywhere but on the West Coast.
- Fourth, we seek input. We ask our Advisory Board, hold a public vote of our finalist locations, and have a private vote of past and current attendees – the folks who really matter the most. We take that input, consider logistics, and look at the strength of the local bid and come up with a winner that we announce each year at the preceding conference.
We hope to see you in Santa Barbara County in 2014!