Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship 2016: Applications are open!

11953202_1020350674672352_8890161867509675900_nThe Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship was founded in 2009 to provide well established “citizen bloggers” with a stipend so they can attend the wine bloggers conference, further their knowledge, their network, the wine blogging community and the wine industry as a whole.  

As, unfortunately, not all who wish to attend can afford the costs associated with the conference, the scholarship was established to assist in this effort.  The citizen blogger scholarship recipients are bloggers who are not affiliated with a winery or other company in the wine industry with a demonstrated financial need. Specific attention is paid to bloggers who post regularly, have never attended the conference before and who might be students with a particular focus in wine.

The weekend of August 13-15, 2016, hundreds of wine bloggers, social media educators and leaders, and wine industry members will gather in Lodi, California, for the ninth annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) the premier conference for new media and the wine industry.

Lodi has been engaged with wine bloggers for several years, and frequently hosts both media trips as well as virtual tastings for wine writers around the world to experience the breadth of wines available in this region.  With the large number of wineries and variety of wines being produced, Lodi is the perfect location for wine bloggers to converge for a deep dive into wine, and the wine business.  

Situated just over 100 miles from the San Francisco Bay Area, and a short drive from the Sacramento metro area, Lodi is ideally located in California’s Central Valley.

An historical winegrowing region since the 1850s, the AVA was established in 1986.  Lodi’s rich farming history has helped maintain diversity in winegrowing, with a focus on Zinfandel, Iberian / French varietals, and more.

Applicants to the Wine Bloggers Conference are asked to describe their blog, their financial need pertaining to the conference, and why they are deserving of sponsorship. Stipends are awarded through a committee selection process based on the above mentioned focus criteria.

Funds are generated by donations from participating wineries and other industry entities as well as generous individuals. In 2015, the scholarship fund assisted 11 wine bloggers in attending the Wine Bloggers Conference in Corning, New York – the heart of the Finger Lakes, – from all over the world.  We supported 3 Canadians, a Brit, and several North American bloggers.  This international event brought wine writers from all over the world, bringing new light to the wine industry in the region, and creating wine tourism memories to last a lifetime.  One hundred percent of the funds supported the scholarships and bloggers received an average of $1000 to attend the conference including registration, travel costs and accommodations.

 

Thanks to a partnership with Enobytes, the Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship Fund is accepting donations as a US based 501(c) non profit organization. This means, that you can donate to the scholarship fund TAX FREE (subject to your tax professional’s advice of course). Donations are accepted via our donor page personal or corporate check (please let us know if you prefer this option as there are some specific rules for the 501c).

 

What we need:

We are looking for donations, of any size, that will go in to a fund to be awarded to bloggers based on need, length of blogging history, and written statements of why they qualify for assistance and wish to attend.

 

We give preference to established citizen bloggers, students in wine (MBA, BA, enology, viticulture, business administration), and bloggers who have never attended a Wine Bloggers Conference before.

 

We ask that corporate sponsors donate a minimum of $95, which covers the registration fee for a citizen blogger (though we gratefully accept ANY donation, large or small!).

 

What you get in return:

Premier Donors (donations of $1,000+) will receive free advertising on both Enobytes (banner ads) and my personal blog, as well as the WBC Scholarship site. These are to be formatted and scheduled dates will be chosen at the agreement of both parties.

You will also receive a write up on the WBC Scholarship Fund blog outlining your business and why you believe in bloggers and the conference.

 

In addition, we ask each winner to write a post stating what the WBC meant to them, what they learned, and personally thanking each donor.  Each Premier Donor is also entitled to participate in the Scholarship Donor party, where you can meet & greet the Scholarship Committee and all recipiants.

 

We are also looking for glass sponsors, to assist in creating keepsake glasses with your logo, as well as ours, on them to take to the parties and take home.  This was a huge success last year and we wish to keep it going for many years to come.  For $1,000, you will assist us in designing a stemless keepsake glass that will be sold at the Scholarship table, as well as given to donors of $50 or more.   This donation will sponsor 100 glasses.  Leftover glasses can be reused for your events or kept for the next Wine Bloggers Conference.

 

Gold Donors ($500) are entitled to particpate in the Donor Party and will have a bio featured on the website.

 

Silver Donors ($250) will have a bio featured on the website.

 

In 2016, we will be hosting a Donor table, where the WBC Scholarship Committee and former recipients will be available to answer questions, pour your wine or share your business information, and interact with the attendees.  This is a fantastic opportunity for you to present your company to over 300 industry & blogger attendees during the “Meet the Sponsors” event.

If you attend the WBC, you will also get a flashy new “Corporate Donor” ribbon for your badge that identifies you to our attendees as someone who supports bloggers.  Each recipient will also have a badge identifying them, and they will be seeking out corporate donors and individual donors for personal introductions.
For more information please contact info@wbcscholarship.com and visit wbcscholarship.com/america

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