Following is a draft agenda for the 2016 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference. All sessions will be held at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel unless indicated. Please note the agenda is subject to change.
Thursday, July 7th
1:00 PM Pre-Con Excursion: Jacksonville
We will continue to post more information about this excursion as it comes in including times, hotel options and details! Pickup will be Thursday, July 7th at Jacksonville Airport (likely around 1:00 PM) and drop off will be late morning on Friday, July 8th at the Marriott hotel in Tampa. Please note you should fly INTO Jacksonville and OUT OF Tampa if you join this excursion.
Friday, July 8th
11:00 AM Registration
1:00 PM Conference Opening
1:10 PM Introduction by Julia Herz of the Brewers Association: Julia has opened every conference since the first one in 2010. She offers an astounding mix of data on the craft beer industry combined with inspiration for those engaged in beer writing.
1:40 PM The Beer Industry in Tampa and Florida: Tampa and Florida are not necessarily at the top of minds for beer consumers but, like many areas of the country, The Sunshine State is going through a craft beer boom. We’ll hear from a panel of experts what is happening in our host city and state and what we can look forward to in the coming days.
2:40 PM Break
3:00 PM Beer By The Numbers: The beer industry in the U.S. is rapidly changing right before our eyes. A new brewery opens every day and new beer styles are gaining popularity. Existing breweries are merging and selling at a growing rate. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in applied economics, National Beer Wholesalers Association Chief Economist Lester Jones will provide a long view of the American beer industry, examining where the industry has been and where it’s headed. Understanding the demographics of beer drinkers, marketplace trends, and the economic principles behind a consumer’s “share of wallet” is critical for any brewery looking for sustained growth. Jones will present compelling data to help beer writers better understand the economic and demographic factors shaping who’s winning and who’s losing in the market today, as well as key industry issues to watch in 2016 and beyond. Don’t miss this crash course in beer economics!
4:00 PM Pre-Dinner Reception
6:00 PM Dinner
8:00 PM Beer Social Expo: This is the main “trade show” event of the conference. You’ll have the chance to meet all our sponsors, taste beers, and use your various social media platforms to express your thoughts and interact with other conference attendees.
10:00 PM Night of Many Bottles: Bottle share! Please bring one six pack of the beer of your choice to share with your fellow conference attendees. This can be from your home state, something you acquired and have been storing, or anything else you wish.
Saturday, July 9th
9:20 AM Two Breakout Sessions (choose one)
- Friends, Stories, and Sales – Actually Make Money Blogging: The key is to grow your number of followers, create engaging content, and then figure out what to sell via your blog. Very few beer bloggers make money now but there are many ways to add revenue streams to your blog. We’ll hear from Matt Cherry of iBlog Magazine.
- Increase Your Followers and Engagement on Social Media: Discover the do’s and don’ts of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & more as we show you how to garner more attention and engagement with your blog. This presentation will be specific to the beer industry and will be led by Kerri Butler of Zephyr Strategy.
10:20 AM Break
10:30 AM Two Breakout Sessions (choose one)
- Shareworthy (& Awesome) Visual Content Creation with Little to No Budget: Gina Schauland, Social Media and Event Promotions Coordinator at Deschutes Brewing, will share her favorite tips and tricks for staging, capturing, editing, and manipulating digital imagery to create shareworthy visual content. She will also delve into what she calls “snackable photography” – which makes use of audience segmenting and platform utilization to get the right images to the appropriate eyeballs. Please bring your DSLR cameras or your point & shoot cameras and smart phones.
- Analytics – Know the True Story of Your Reach and Engagement: Content creation and community engagement are the current buzzwords. But if you are not using the analytics tools of Google, Facebook, and Twitter you are working in the dark. Kerri Butler of Zephyr Stragegy (Zephyr’s new marketing agency) and Dave Rohrer of Northside Metrics will enlighten us.
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Content To Be Decided
2:00 PM Keynote Speaker – announcement coming soon
2:45 PM Break
3:00 PM Sour Beers – This was one of the highest rated sessions of the 2015 European Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference in Brussels. Participants learn about the scientific approach on how sours beers are brewed and aged. Indeed, making sours is science with a touch of magic. This session will make a clear difference between barrels and foeders. It will also allow everyone to taste several types of sour beers and blend their very own! Presented by Albert De Branandere of Petrus Sour Beers @BrouwerijDB
4:00 PM Live Beer Blogging: This is the signature event of the Beer Bloggers Conference. You will taste ten beers from ten breweries in 50 minutes, each of whom has five minutes to pour and explain their beer while you taste, judge, and write your views on your social media or blog – live!
5:00 PM Break
5:30 PM Depart for Dinner
8:00 PM Evening Party
Sunday, July 10
9:30 AM Over a Pint – Building Community in a Creative Way: Activate your local beer scene in unique ways that foster collaboration and community via events that become the hottest ticket in the city. Elle and Troika Brodsky (who met at BBC11 and fell in love) relate their experiences through the St. Louis beer scene, how to connect to new audiences, and how to think outside the box.
10:30 AM Beer Tourism – The Next Big Thing: Beer Tourism ranges from simply visiting a local brewery when you travel to actually planning a vacation around beer. Learn how important beer tourism is to breweries, to communities, and (potentially) to you.
11:30 PM Wrap Up and Announcement of 2017 Date & Location
12:45 p.m. Depart Tampa Marriot Waterside
1:30 p.m. Arrive at 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Pete for tour with Mike (owner) and tasting
3:15 p.m. Green Bench Brewing in St. Pete for tour with Kris (head brewer) and tasting
4 p.m. Sampling of other local breweries at Green Bench
6:15 p.m. Arrive at third brewery/dinner spot (TBD)
8:30 p.m. Post-Con Excursion Ends – Depart for Tampa Marriott Waterside