After day 1, we started bright and early on day 2 with two breakout sessions. I went to “Increase Your Followers and Engagement on Social Media” and “Shareworthy (and Awesome) Visual Content Creation with Little to No Budget.” I learned about how things change and you should post new content and design, review keyword research every 6 months and building relationships. You are the producer, commentator, gatherer, joiner, observer, who is understanding options and adapting for a powerful social media presence. You must know your platform, post regularly, know what time of day you post produces good returns and Facebook audience is very engaging and large. It is okay to reuse photographs for content even years later. You can still tap into new users who might not have seen your photos. Don’t overuse photos though. Use tools and analytics to boost posts necessary for marketing.
After our morning breakout sessions, we were then taken to World of Beer with a four-course meal paired with Miller-Coors beers. First course that was served was a GIANT pretzel with beer cheese sauce or a spicy mustard paired with BeerGarten Tart from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Next up, a large sausage and cheese plate with a Belgian Table Pils from Blue Moon Brewing.
The main course was a pork schnitzel with a special keg of Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic (the real deal! Flown in special for us!). I’ve never had schnitzel and it was delicious! Dessert was my favorite with a pretzel bread pudding that paired with a Crispin Prickly Pear Cider. Finally, a cider poured!! It was light and refreshing! I’m glad to see cider was somewhere in the beer conference because it IS an emerging market.
Our afternoon session started shortly after we got back and it was on “Better Beer Writing” by Bob Townsend and The Beer Babe herself! With advice such as:
- Go back and read your posts.
- Read your posts out loud!
- Use Grammarly and Wordie.
Once their informative session concluded, Stan Hieronymus (the self-proclaimed accidental beer writer) gave a fascinating keynote. Use the “The Four Cs – Content, Commodities, Conversations, Connections.”
A quick break and setup of the Petrus Sour Beer tasting was underway. After a presentation, we were given a tray to pour our own beers and create our own sour! What a neat idea! Oud Bruin, Aged Pale (the Mother beer), Aged Red (my fav), and a 50/50 blend was placed on the table and you used the measured lines on the glass to formulate/blend your own personal sour!
Then, it was off to one of the favorite events! Live beer blogging, which I say is “controlled chaos” at first and then chaotic near the end as you’re trying to play catch up. For me, it was a bit chaotic from the start. Once we went to the location, we had less than five minutes to find a table, log on to the wireless with information provided and GO! There should have been more time for us to settle in (even if we were running late, it’s important to be connected at a LIVE blogging event). I felt as if I could not give proper attention and tagging to the brewery and Jon’s internet cut out half way during the session. How can you live blog and not have it update while you’re in the session?!
I was working from my phone (on my 4G) and it just didn’t feel like the last two live bloggings that I’ve attended. The brewers were fantastic with explanation and the “moving along within their five minutes”, it just needed to be “more connected” to give the “controlled chaos” the attention it deserved. Once I got into a rhythm, it felt like welcoming an old friend to the party.
We were then whisked off on several buses to our progressive dinner hosted by Visit Tampa (we were on The Brew Bus, which also has their own beers, which were sampled while driving to the next location). We were on a bus headed to Cigar City Brewing first. We were treated to some specialty beers or could visit the taproom and choose anything off the menu in exchange for our ticket that we had (I chose Trousseau). There was some food platters to enjoy as well.
We were then off to Coppertail Brewing for more small plates of food and beverage. Since I was still sipping on the Trousseau, I chose to not consume, but had a tasty plate of food. Before we left, we had a brewery tour and were whisked away to the last brewery.
I’d seen pictures of the sunset at Ulele and was kinda jealous, but by the time we got there, the setting was amazing! I was simply stuffed, but there was an array of beverages and food (oysters, pork and the BEST beer mac and cheese I’ve ever had!). We enjoyed the atmosphere immensely (I think it was our longest stop too) and it was a place where I would want to go back and enjoy the palm trees and a full sunset.
I did a whole bunch of Instagram throughout the day (of the lunch and live blogging), please take a peek.
If a full day of content wasn’t enough, many bloggers who still had it in them, had an after party on the patio of our host hotel, The Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina where more beers were shared and cigars were had.