Stacie Jacob to Lead Wine Association and DMO Workshop and Summit

We are very pleased to have expert Stacie Jacob lead our scheduled three-hour Winery Association and Tourism Promotion Agency Workshop and Summit.

Stacie JacobStacie has outstanding experience on both the winery association and tourism agency (including Convention & Visitor Bureaus, Destination Management Organizations, etc) side.

  • Served as the first-ever Public Relations Director for the Washington Wine Commission
  • Spent seven years as the Executive Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, one of the nation’s leading wine regions
  • Worked as Chief Executive Officer of Visit San Luis Obispo County, the county that includes Paso Robles but also has tourism assets including the Pacific Coast and Hearst Castle
  • Currently runs her own consulting firm, Solterra Strategies, which offers public relations, brand strategy, and marketing services

Stacie is probably one of the few wine industry leaders who has served as a chief executive of both a DMO and a winery association and thus is eminently qualified to run this workshop. The workshop will include real-life best-practice examples in the following areas:

  • Big-picture strategies for associations and DMOs in wine regions to help you decide where you should be headed as an organization
  • Possibilities for establishing significant and sustainable funding including major events and new tax or public-private funding arrangements
  • Ideas for collaborating with key partners including local businesses, other agencies, and even organizations outside the area.
  • Discussion of the nuts and bolts of managing an organization including staffing, premises, working with members, promoting outside the area, and much more.

This workshop is actually a “workshop and summit”. Stacie will be in communication in advance with those people registered to gather ideas, case studies, and best practices. We will also spend the final hour in discussion where all participants will be able to ask questions of and share ideas with their peers.

If you are a leader of a winery association or tourism promotion agency in wine country, this workshop is for you! You need not be registered for the conference to attend.

Which International Wine Regions Will Step Up Next?

The Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference is not just for those of us in North America.

At last year’s conference we had Sally Cope, Executive Officer of Ultimate Winery Experiences in Australia, as our keynote speaker. We also had an excellent session called International Perspectives on Wine Tourism in which representatives from Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Chile, and Ontario spoke about wine tourism in their region.

We again invite our colleagues from the wine and tourism industries outside North America to attend the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference. Here is what you can expect:

  • An opportunity for six of you to speak at the International Perspectives on Wine Tourism session.
  • If you are a winery association or tourism promotion agency, a free opportunity to staff a table and pour your wines at our Expo.
  • Valuable content on tourism and marketing that is generic to all wine regions of the world.
  • The ability to interact with wine tourism leaders from throughout North America and beyond, providing invaluable contacts for your future endeavors.

To participate, simply register for the conference today. You will be asked about staffing an Expo table in the registration form and we’ll contact you about possibly speaking at the conference.

Mobile Marketing Expert Scott Stanchak to Keynote 2016 Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference

Mobile marketing expert Scott Stanchak will provide the keynote address at the 2016 Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference, scheduled for November 8-10 in Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country.

Scott StanchakAccording to Stanchak, mobile now accounts for 60% of all time spent digitally and 90% of mobile time is spent on apps. So if you are not prepared for and involved with mobile marketing, you are losing ground to your competitors and contact with your customers.

Stanchak leads mobile marketing strategy for one of the nation’s leading newspapers and is the founder of Winery Passport, the wine industry’s most popular mobile app for winery tourism. Previously, Stanchak directed mobile marketing and product strategy for Avis Budget Group. He’s been a leader in digital strategy for over 10 years, including developing and executing mobile and Web strategies for multimillion-dollar brands such as NBA, AT&T and News Corp. Stanchak is also a well-regarded speaker, having presented in front of audiences at Apps World, CES, Mobile Marketer Conference and VentureBeat’s Mobile Summit.

Scott, via his company Bakburner Digital, has developed more than a dozen mobile websites and responsive websites including Winery Passport. Winery Passport is helping wineries improve direct-to-consumer revenue through increased brand exposure and customer relationships, was named the top travel wine app by Food & Wine Magazine in 2015, and has been featured in Forbes, and SiriusXM Radio.

We hooked up with Scott to get his views on speaking at the upcoming conference:

I am excited to present the keynote address at the wine industry’s premier event for wine marketing and tourism. There’s no better conference for those in the wine industry to learn the best tactics to get their brands in front of consumers.

Mobile is such an important piece, if not the most important piece, of the digital landscape today. Consumers spend more time on their smartphones than they do on desktops. Yet there’s so much about mobile, and how to market effectively on the platform, that remains a black box for many in the industry. My goal is to provide the audience clarity, actionable takeaways and inspiration about mobile app and web marketing.

Winery Passport’s objective is to help wineries reach this massive mobile audience by building brand awareness and customer relationships. This results in incremental direct-to-consumer revenue — from a mobile app. As Winery Passport has grown into the wine industry’s most popular mobile app for winery tourism, we’ve used data and feedback to create a platform that maximizes opportunities for wineries.

Texas is the perfect setting for this year’s Wine Marketing and Tourism Conference. There’s been tremendous growth and interest in the wine industry there and I am eager to taste some of the state’s finest wines.

I look forward to spending time with all the attendees and the opportunity to learn more about what others are doing in the wine and travel space.

If you have not yet done so, please consider registering for the WMTC today. Prices increase May 1!

Content & Speakers Announced – 2016 WMTC

We are happy to present the agenda for the 2016 Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference, in addition to some of the speakers.

The 2016 conference, as always, will present a combination of speakers from our host region and some of the top brains of the wine marketing and tourism industries from around the country and world.

We are very excited to have Sid Miller, the 12th Commissioner of Agriculture in Texas, providing a welcome to the conference. In addition, we have a panel of three wine and tourism leaders from the Texas Hill Country introducing us to the region and wine writer Jeff Siegel moderating two panels of Texas experts talking about government support for wine tourism and drinking local.

In addition, we are bringing in some of the top wine experts from California including PR maven Paul Wagner of Balzac Communications, filmmaker Dina Mande of Juice Media, Camron King of Lodi Wine who led Lodi’s charge to be the Wine Region of the Year in 2015, and Sandra Hess of DTC Wine Workshops. We are even offering up the expertise of two of our own marketing professionals, Beth Peluse and Robyn Scott, who will present specific topics on wine marketing.

The schedule is complete but we are still confirming speakers, including four representatives from international regions on the International Perspectives of Wine Tourism panel. Our keynote speaker is confirmed and we will announce this next week.

Please remember to register for the 2016 Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference soon! Prices increase May 1.

Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference Call for Content

The Call for Content for the 2016 Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference is now open:

Content Proposal Form

Please keep in mind several things concerning content proposals:

  • If you wish to apply to present during International Perspectives on Wine Tourism, please use the separate form
  • The last day to submit a proposal is Friday, February 26 (except for the International Perspectives submissions)
  • All content sessions should be related to wine marketing and/or wine tourism
  • The best sessions provide real-world examples and offer concrete, useful takeaways
  • We already have pre-conference workshops set up covering social media marketing, tasting room management, best practices for tour operators, and winery and tourism associations.
  • We will take all proposals, edit as needed based on our experience and prior history of presentations, and present to the WTC alumni for their vote
  • Those sessions that get rated as most interesting will be the ones accepted into the conference agenda
  • We will provide a free registration to all speakers but presenters must pay their own travel and hotel costs

The 2016 Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference will attract approximately 180 high-level attendees from around North America and the world.

The Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference – A New Name

The Wine Tourism Conference, in advance of its sixth annual event in 2016, is changing its name to the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference.

WMTC16smallChanging one’s event name could be seen as a pretty big deal. In reality, the change just reflects what the conference is already about: wine marketing and wine tourism.

In fact, in many ways the two are so entwined it is hard to separate them. Wine tourism, of course, is simply the visitation of wine regions by travelers. From an industry conference perspective, our goal has always been to provide valuable advice on how to grow and improve one’s own wine tourism offering. And growing wine tourism is all about effective marketing.

And so wine marketing has been a key component of the conference since the beginning. This past November, for example, we had content on digital marketing, no-cost guerrilla marketing, promoting your wine tourism business beyond your region, email marketing, and more.

We do think wine tourism is a special component of the wine industry. Selling out the cellar door is a hugely important revenue stream for many, many wineries and focusing on tourism is a critical way to grow that revenue stream. So we will continue to offer lots of content focused on wine tourism but will also continue to provide what we think is top-notch marketing content specific to the wine industry.

Wine Tourism Conference: Moving From Virginia to Texas

We have wrapped up the 2015 Wine Tourism Conference in Loudoun County, Virginia and your survey results are in! The conference:

  • Garnered the highest overall rating from attendees in the past three years and was on par with our first two conferences in Napa and Sonoma
  • Received the highest overall Content rating ever
  • Had the highest overall Organization rating ever

However, our goal is to constantly improve and we have made a number of changes to make the Texas Hill Country conference the best ever, including:

  • The lunch at local Virgina winery Stone Tower was a big hit and we have doubled up by planning TWO lunches at local wineries as part of the 2016 conference.
  • The content system we used in 2015 was very well effective and we are going to do the same in 2016. This will start with a Call for Content in January and then a vote among our alumni of possible topics.
  • We continually get calls to make sure content is specific and not general. We have already revised the Speaker Packets we send to all presenters to make sure everyone is on the same page in delivering actionable business information pertaining to the wine tourism industry and including real-life examples.
  • The international presence having an Australian keynote speaker and five speakers representing their countries on a Perspectives of Wine Tourism panel was a hit and we hope to replicate this in 2016.
  • We had distinct calls for extra events with more lead-time given. The good news is we now have a pre-conference excursion, post-conference excursion, pre-conference dinner, and post-conference dinner already set up and available for you to reserve. Keep in mind that while these cost extra, the conference includes two lunches and a dinner, which is pretty nice given the price!

Speaking of the cost of the conference, please remember we are pricing on a sliding scale in 2016 depending on when you register:

  • $295: Through December 31, 2015
  • $325: Through April 30, 2016
  • $350: Through September 30, 2016
  • $395: After September 30, 2016

So if you register this month, your cost is only $295 and that includes the three meals plus great content and networking!

Wine Tourism Conference 2015 Wrap Up and Presentations

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We had such a wonderful time in Virginia and now that we have all of the available presentations, we wanted to share them with you.

Find all of the 2015 Wine Tourism Conference presentations HERE

We have received a lot of great compliments and constructive feedback from our 2015 alumni. As we look forward to next year in Fredericksburg, Texas Hill Country, we are getting a good bit of our agenda planned out and set up early so folks can get on board as early as possible.

Check out the 2016 Agenda HERE  

For 2016, we are again going to offer pre-conference workshops for those looking for an intense day of learning. We will have new experts to throw down knowledge but most of the topics will remain the same as we got great feedback on the intention of the sessions.

See what we have so far HERE

Keep in mind that early registration for the 2016 Wine Tourism Conference is a GOOD idea…

  • $295: Through December 31, 2015
  • $325: Through April 30, 2016
  • $350: Through September 30, 2016
  • $395: After September 30, 2016

Ready to rock? Go right ahead and register HERE

Make sure to stay tuned with us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on sponsors, speakers and MORE!

Thank You for a Fantastic 2015 Wine Tourism Conference

To all our partners, sponsors, presenters and friends….THANK YOU for a wonderful conference this year!

I will be posting a recap and some highlights of the conference, plus of course the available presentations after Thanksgiving week on our website and sending all attendees an email with access to those.

As we start to turn into the New Year, we will continue to plan out #WTC16 in Texas Hill Country! This is going to be an outstanding location and the conference will be packed full of some new and exciting content. I will post updates to our website starting with this years presentations and then in January 2016, we will open up a call for content to get some ideas and suggestions flowing from you all for the 2016 agenda. I loo forward to hearing some new ideas as I have a few of my own!

Make sure to subscribe to stay up to date on new developments. If you are and attendee, please request to join our Wine Tourism Conference Alumni Facebook group so you can get new information and connect with your friends!

Lastly, don’t forget to register EARLY!  This year we are offering a huge discount for those who get registered before December 31, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and thank you again for a great #WTC15

Wine Tourism Conference Heading to Texas in 2016!

We are extremely excited to announce the Wine Tourism Conference will be heading to Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country on November 8-10, 2016. Registration is open now. See below for early registration discounts.

The facts about the Texas wine industry and wine tourism are impressive:

  • Texas has 3,500 acres of vineyards and 350 bonded wineries according to the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association (TWiGGA)
  • The Texas wine industry has a $1.9 billion annual impact a third of that is due to wine tourism
  • There are around 900,000 wine-related tourists in the state each year
  • Texas was recently selected as a Top Ten Wine Travel destination in the world by Wine Enthusiast Magazine
  • While neither Texans nor we think the comparison is apt, both Southern Living Magazine and CNN have called Texas “the next Napa”

What these bullet points don’t tell you is what I saw when I visited Texas Hill Country in September. The wine world there is simply rocking. The Texas Hill Country is nicely situated a couple hours from both Austin and San Antonio, giving it two huge bases for visitors but being far enough away to maintain a rural character. The small town of Fredericksburg, which will host our conference, is a cute town with tons to do and fits perfectly the need for a central hub to wine country. Most impressively, almost every winery I visited in the area not only served great wines but said they were full to the brim with wine tourists, barely able to keep up. It was truly impressive.

At the risk of gushing, which is not my nature, I can also say you will be amazed at the hospitality. Everyone I met warmly welcomed me to Texas and was truly excited about the Wine Tourism Conference coming to the area … even though it was still 14 months away. Check out this lineup of local partners and incredible events:

  • We are very proud and lucky to have Texas Hill Country Wineries, the Fredericksburg Convention & Visitors Center, the GoTexan program of the Texas Department of Agriculture, and the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association on board as local partners.
  • Woodrose Winery will be hosting everyone for lunch one day and Becker Vineyards is teaming with the local Frost Bank to host lunch a second day, giving us two opportunities to get out and see the area
  • In addition to two lunches, we have a fantastic dinner included at nearby Luckenbach Texas, where we’ll have dinner, wine tasting, and dancing to a local two-step band
  • We have optional dinners at an extra cost planned at William Chris Vineyards on the first night after the Expo and a visit to Fall Creek Vineyards and the legendary Salt Lick BBQ on Thursday night.
  • There is plenty to do in the local area and we are offering great excursions and activities for spouses and families, including a tour of LBJ’s ranch, hiking in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, a visit of Wildseed Farms, plus winery visits and shopping in Fredericksburg. See the Events page for all the events and activities.
  • In addition, we’ll have the normal excellent content including pre-conference workshops on Tuesday, breakout sessions, and a keynote speaker.

We are offering a significant discount for our early registrants.  Get your name in the hat for WTC Texas before 2016 and save:

  • $295: Through December 31, 2015
  • $325: Through April 30, 2016
  • $350: Through September 30, 2016
  • $395: After September 30, 2016

Having been there recently, I very much believe you will be impressed with Texas hospitality, the Hill Country Wine area, and the wine tourism boom that is happening in the Fredericksburg area. I hope you can join us and we’ll get to work on creating excellent content soon! WTC16 Registration