And by parties I mean all the unorganized events and conversations that occurred throughout the weekend.
There seems to be a lot of post-WBC11 talk online about was the conference valuable or not? were the sessions of interest to bloggers? I'd like to go out on a limb here, maybe, and say that I had more benefical conversations with other bloggers and people in the industry outside of the "conference."
I had a great conversation about why-we-wine-blog-when-we-don't-make-money with Swirl Girl Sweet of the Swirl Girls during dinner on Saturday night. I even table hopped just so I could meet her after a year of being "friends" on Twitter. Another great conversation we had was with William of Wild for Washington Wine. We talked about the big names in Washington wine in Room 606, a popular after-party place. And, of course, we met in-person many people whom we've been following on Twitter, which is probably the coolest part: seeing all the handles come to life!
These moments were worth the $95-price of addmission, the hotel, and flight fee. And really, let's be honest, if it weren't for the corporate sponsors, we wouldn't have drank (or spit) all that wine.
Sponsors seem to be necessary if wine bloggers want to drink all weekend for such a relatively low price, if you think about how much wine was poured. Unless, of course, us bloggers want to host the unconference conference and just get together in select cities and drink wine all weekend...but, then again, who would sponsor us?!
What do you think?