I've just finished another great conference (at least my third this month) and I checked back with Stan's blog post on the beer blog conference thingie and the clever people at Madison Beer Review posted this incredibly apt comment:
I’m not unopposed to the idea in theory. I am concerned that, unlike the relative California-centric locus of wine bloggers that no one American city will be convenient for everyone. Not to say that this isn’t a high-paying job, but some of us aren’t so lucky as to be high-paid attorneys who can afford to jet-set around the continent in search of the next great beer. Portland’s a great choice, but it’s expensive to get to. Denver’s a good choice, but they have GABF. Chicago isn’t a bad idea, but it’s expensive. San Diego maybe? Milwaukee? Detroit? Philly? The National Brewery Museum? Madison, WI anyone? Bah. Didn’t think so.
Let's be clear about one thing. I really don't mind the lawyer comments. I came from service - as they used to say in the old country - worked through law school, work for my city and have been blessed. I am a lucky man and wouldn't deny it. So these comments are very timely in that they reflect a huge and practical problem: we all can't be in the same place at the same time. So what if we didn't? What if we made it a regional experience where people get to a hub within, say, a six hour drive and somehow connect with the other hubs through, you know, that internet thing we have all been playing with for years?.
We have to be honest. Money is tight. But we should also admit that we are clever. Is there a way to pull this off in a way that people can afford and IT can assist?