This March, I’m heading to the Wine Sisterhood Gathering in Napa. The event is organized by one of my digital marketing clients – the Wine Sisterhood – with a goal to educate, empower and inspire women through their community, content and other digital initiatives.
The Gathering blends a wine and food tasting experience throughout the Napa Valley with workshops about digital, social and mobile media. I’ll be teaching a workshop about using mobile apps for community building and marketing and Danielle Smith will be leading a session on digital video and media training. Not to mention a wine and cheese tasting workshop and other tasty – I mean educational – learning opportunities.
Here are 6 reasons why I love the Wine Sisterhood Gathering and am so excited to be there again this year.
1. It’s brought together by a company that truly gives back.
The women who imagined the Wine Sisterhood had a vision to empower women from the start. Each wine brand they produce is paired with a cause. Purple Cowboy supports Tough Enough to Wear Pink, a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research (Wine Sisterhood’s founder is a breast cancer survivor). Middle Sister promotes the Help a Sister Out campaign to raise money for food bank charities. Other brands support the arts. I love the idea of businesses that don’t just aligning itself with causes but to actually DO something to make a difference.
2. It’s about empowering women.
Almost every article you read about the “glass ceiling” or women not getting ahead zeroes in on the idea that women don’t often form the same kind of networks that men do and do not support one another as readily as men. What I love about the Wine Sisterhood is that it is built by women who fundamentally look to empower other women to be their best selves and do their best work. That ethos is built into the fabric of the company, and it comes from the top. The Gathering brings together women who will learn together, network, and form connections and friendships that can continue after the event. We all actively look for ways we can help one another.
3. I get to (re)connect with amazing friends and colleagues.
Many of you know that I’m based in very rural Alaska for my husband’s job so am incredibly isolated. The Gathering gives me an opportunity to see dear friends and make new ones in a more cozy setting than most conferences I attend. Wine Sisterhood celebrates the importance of girlfriends in a woman’s life. And speaking of girlfriends, in addition to Danielle Smith, some of the women attending the Gathering include Debba Haupert of Girlfriendology, Carol Gain of Girl Gone Travel, Rachel Matthews of A Southern Fairytale, Lorraine Robertson of Run, Wifey, Run and Dawn and Elizabeth of Party Bluprints.
4. It’s inspirational travel.
I love to travel. Solo travel, travel for business, travel with my family, you name it. I’m a sucker for road trips and kept an online journal during my year-long RV travels (at RVGirl.com) back in 2000-2001. Travel informs my work and my life. Traveling to the Napa Valley is magical. Between the weather, the sunshine, the expanses of vineyards, the food, the wine, what’s not to love? Traveling away from my usual environment helps open my brain, releases my creative juices, gets me unstuck. I welcome this opportunity to be in the moment in a new place and discover new things that I can think about and write about.
Anyone who knows me or has seen me speak can attest to the fact that I’m passionate about technology used to empower others in positive and useful ways. I am honored to be a co-host and presenter again this year at the Gathering. My focus will be social mobile apps and how to get the most out of them for connecting, building community, marketing and getting things done.
6. We’re honoring Leila Janah of Samasource.
In the spirit of giving back and supporting women’s work, this year, the Wine Sisterhood is honoring Leila Janah who founded Samasource, a nonprofit that connects people, especially women, living in poverty to microwork – small, computer-based tasks that build skills and generate life-changing income. The same concept inspired her to co-found Samahope, a new site to crowdfund surgeries in poor countries. Leila takes “Help a Sister Out” to a global level. I featured Samasource in my book about Crowdsourcing so I have known about – and admired – her work for several years now.
I hope you’ll join me in Napa from March 3-6 for the Wine Sisterhood Gathering. If it is anything like last year, the event promises to be an unforgettable experience.
(On a budget? Note that right now you can put down a 50% deposit to hold your spot then pay the balance in in a few weeks).
This event is now sold out!
What travel are you taking in 2013 for inspiration?