Following is the agenda for the 2016 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference. All sessions will be held at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel unless indicated otherwise. Please note the agenda is subject to change.
Thursday, July 7th
1:00 PM Pre-Con Excursion: Jacksonville with optional 9:00 AM pickup in the morning in Tampa
Friday, July 8th
11:00 AM Registration Opens
11:30 AM Drop off from Pre-Con Excursion at Tampa Hotel
1:00 – 1:10 PM Conference Opening
1:10 – 1:40 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 – 2:40 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 – 3:00 PM Break
3:00 – 4:00 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 – 6:00 PM Pre-Dinner Reception – Hosted by Green Flash: Join Green Flash for a pop-up festival experience and the opportunity to sample tasters from this year’s Green Flash offerings, rare barrel-aged goodness from Cellar 3 and hard to find Alpine ales straight from the brewery. Enjoy all of these from a commemorative glass exclusively made for conference goers! Ashley Routson AKA the Beer Wench and Green Flash’s Director of Beer Education, Dave Adams will be on hand to answer all your questions as you enjoy food & beer pairings, sensory stations, photo opportunities and more. Each attendee will take-away a one of a kind goodie bag. A pre-dinner shindig you don’t want to miss!
6:00 – 8:00 PM Dinner hosted by Tampa Marriott Waterside & Marina – Find out what is in store for attendees here (hint…do NOT miss this)
8:00 – 10:00 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
9:10 – 10:00 AM Two Breakout Sessions (choose one)
- Working With Brands: In some industries, such as food and fitness, bloggers regularly work with or even represent brands in return for product, cash, or other benefits. In the beer industry, this is much less common. We’ll hear from Caitlyn Connolly of Live.Sweat.Sleep.REPEAT on how she works with brands as a fitness blogger and discuss how her experience might apply to you as a beer blogger.
- 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 Robyn Scott of Zephyr Strategy and Clare Goggin Sivits, Digital Media Marketing Director for Rogue Ales & Spirits.
10:00 – 10:10 AM Break
10:10 – 11:10 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 Brewery, 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. Robyn Scott of Zephyr Strategy and Dave Rohrer of Northside Metrics will enlighten us.
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Lunch hosted by MillerCoors and World of Beer: World of Beer and MillerCoors have partnered to create an exceptional 4-course beer lunch for conference attendees. Beers and ciders from across the MillerCoors portfolio (Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s, Pilsner Urquell and Crispin Cider) will be featured alongside a mouthwatering menu from the culinary team behind World of Beer’s excellent Tavern Fare.
1:00 – 2:00 PM Better Beer Writing: Ultimately, if you blog or write about beer, the quality of your writing will greatly affect your success. We’ll receive advice from two experts in the field. Carla Jean Lauter has been blogging for nine years at The Beer Babe, writes a column at The Bollard alternative newspaper, and teaches effective communication to scientists for a living. Bob Townsend is editor of Southern Brew News, associate editor of Beer Connoisseur, and beer columnist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has contributed to All About Beer, Draft, Downbeat, Paste, No Depression, Stomp & Stammer, Playboy.com, the Village Voice and the All Music Guide to Jazz.
2:00 – 2:45 PM Keynote Speaker – Welcome Stan Hieronymus of Appellation Beer as the 2016 BBC Keynote!
2:45 – 3:00 PM Break
3:00 – 4:00 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 Brabandere of Petrus Sour Beers @BrouwerijDB
4:00 – 4:30 PM Break
4:30 PM Depart Tampa Marriott Waterside for Live Beer Blogging / Progressive Dinner
5:00 PM Live Beer Blogging brought to you by J.J. Taylor: #LiveBeerBlogging is a 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!
We are even filling in the transportation time with beer sampling as you are transported between venues on Tampa’s very own Brew Bus!
10:30 PM Return to Tampa Marriott Waterside
Sunday, July 10
9:30 – 10:30 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 – 11:30 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 AM – 12:00 PM Wrap Up and Announcement of 2017 Date & Location
12:45 PM Post-Con Excursion: Visit St. Pete / Clearwater: Depart Tampa Marriot Waterside
8:30 PM Return to Tampa Marriott Waterside or choose to stay the night at the gorgeous TradeWinds Hotel