We the organizers of the Beer Bloggers Conference are happy to announce that several bloggers have taken the lead in organizing a Beer Bloggers Conference Scholarship to help a limited number of needy beer bloggers attend the 2010 conference, taking place November 5-7 in Boulder, Colorado.
First off, congratulations go to Ilya Feynberg of Damn That’s Good Beer!,who took the lead role in creating the Scholarship, and Carla Companion of The Beer Babe for helping with the scholarship application process. The two of them could use a bit more help, too, so if any bloggers (who won’t be eligible for funds) want to help with the scholarship committee, please contact Ilya and Carla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second, a little background. Two years ago, wine blogger Thea Dwelle from Luscious Lushes decided to create a Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship fund. The WBC Scholarship raised $3800 in 2009, distributed among 11 bloggers, and $4600 for the 2010 conference, distributed among 10 bloggers. Pretty cool stuff. And at the International Food Bloggers Conference, several bloggers were sponsored directly by Red Lobster, which earned the restaurant chain some press in the Orlando Sentinel. The BBC Scholarship allows for both general donations and specific sponsorship of bloggers.
The obvious question is: why should anyone donate to a BBC Scholarship fund? We believe there is a direct benefit to the industry. More bloggers attending the conference leads to more bloggers with better writing skills and larger audiences, which leads to more fans of the craft beer revolution. Bloggers are actively writing about and promoting craft beer and a stronger blogger community is good for craft brewing.
In simpler terms, we are not talking a lot of money. A citizen blogger pays only $95 to attend the conference and even with airfare and hotel costs thrown in, the total sum won’t be over $800-1000 per blogger for the three-day weekend. If even 10 craft breweries committed $650 each to fund 2/3s of the cost of a local blogger attend, that would have a significant impact on the lives of 10 beer bloggers. And it is not just breweries who could contribute – bloggers who are financially secure, distributors, or brewery employees all might consider donating $10 or more.
And finally a word of caution to beer bloggers – there is no money in the scholarship fund at this point and lots of bloggers would probably love to receive a scholarship! So help spread the word, contact your local brewery to point them to the Beer Bloggers Conference Scholarship, and consider donating yourself if you are able.
It is of course a bit late to be starting a Scholarship fund for a November 5-7 conference but if even only one blogger gets to attend this first-ever conference who otherwise wouldn’t, from our biased position we think that is a good thing.
Editor’s Note: The BBC Scholarship is independently run by a committee of beer bloggers. The Beer Bloggers Conference organizers are only providing hosting space on this site to increase the visibility of the Scholarship.