Please note all sessions will take place either at the Inn on Baron’s Creek (IBC) or the Fredericksburg Inn & Suites (FIS), which is just across the street. All excursions and meals will pick up at Inn on Baron’s Creek.
Monday, November 7
1:00 – 8:00 PM Optional Lake Austin Wine Country Excursion: Please see the Events page for full details.
Tuesday, November 8
8:30 – 11:30 AM Optional Workshops: Pre-conference workshops are an additional fee of $125 for one or $200 for both morning and afternoon sessions. You do not need to be registered for the conference to attend these. Please see the Workshops page for complete details.
- Social Media Marketing and Online Advertising for Wine Tourism (FIS: Baron’s Creek Room)
1:00 – 4:00 PM Optional Workshops: Pre-conference workshops are an additional fee of $125 for one or $200 for both morning and afternoon sessions. Please see the Workshops page for complete details.
- Tasting Room Management (FIS: Cypress Room)
- Best Practices for Tour Operators (IBC: Van der Stuecken Room)
- Best Practices for Winery Associations and Tourism Agencies (FIS: Baron’s Creek Room)
4:30 – 6:30 PM Wine Tourism Expo & Opening Night Reception (IBC Nimitz Room): Check in to the conference and enjoy the Wine Tourism Expo and opening reception presented by Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media. Meet all our sponsors and enjoy wines from across North America and the world. This is a unique opportunity to try wines from Michigan, Maryland, and Colorado as well as West Coast favorites and East Coast standouts. You can register to pour at the Reception when you register for the conference.
6:45 – 9:15 PM Optional Dinner at William Chris Vineyards: Pre-registration required. Additional cost. See Events page for details.
Wednesday, November 9
8:00 AM Conference Registration (IBC Nimitz Room): If you did not register last night, you can register this morning. Registration will be open all day.
9:00 – 9:10 AM Conference Official Opening (IBC Nimitz Room)
9:10 – 9:30 AM Welcome from Bryan Daniel (IBC Nimitz Room): Mr. Daniel is Executive Director of the Economic Development and Tourism Division of the Governor’s Office in the state of Texas.
9:30- 10:15 AM Introduction to Fredericksburg and the Texas Hill Country (IBC Nimitz Room): There is no better way to become acquainted with our host region and state than to hear about it from the local experts in wine and tourism. Our panel includes Chris Brundrett of William Chris Wines, Andy Timmons of Lost Draw Vineyards, and Ernie Loeffler of Visit Fredericksburg, with moderator January Wiese of Texas Hill Country Wineries.
10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Panel of Professional Wine Tourism Writers (IBC Nimitz Room): Hear from professional writers about their relationships with the wine tourism industry and what you can do to engage them. Our panelists include Ursula Geiger from VINUM Magazine in Germany, Drew Lambert of The Wine Wankers website in Australia, Paul Franson of Wines & Vines Magazine, and Julie Pegg of EAT Magazine and RealFoodTraveler.com.
11:30 AM Buses Depart for Lunch at Woodrose Winery Buses will return to the conference venue at approximately 2:10 PM.
2:30 – 3:30 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose One
- Wine Country Videos (FIS Baron’s Creek Room): Learn what it takes to make an engaging video and how it can help define your brand and bring you more visitors. We’ll discuss everything from concept development to production to distribution. Our presenter is filmmaker Dina Mande of Juice Media.
- Drink Local Means Travel Local (IBC Nimitz Room): “Drink local” and “eat local” are not just buzzwords but philosophies of life for many consumers. This includes not only tourists who wish to try the local wine but also locals eager to visit their neighbor wineries. This panel of Texans includes food, drink, and travel writer Jessica Dupuy; owner Ross Burtwell of the wine-focused Cabernet Grill restaurant in Fredericksburg; and hospitality industry consultant Jim Traister. Our moderator will be Jeff Siegel, wine writer and co-founder of the Drink Local Wine Conference.
3:45 – 4:45 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose One
- Content Creation- Everything You Should Know (FIS Baron’s Creek Room): “Content is King” has been around for years but still isn’t well understood. Learn to generate content interesting to your audience, drive traffic to your website, and increase your search engine ranking. Our presenter is Beth Peluse.
- Creating Engaging Activities & Events (IBC Nimitz Room): Events are one of the major drivers of visitors to wineries and to wine country. Expert Beth Costa from Wine Road will be presenting to attendees about creating interesting themes, executing effective planning, ensuring financial success, and what works and more importantly what does NOT work when designing wine country events.
5:45 PM Dinner and Dancing at Luckenbach: Included for attendees, guests are welcome at an extra cost. See Events page for details.
Thursday, November 10
8:50 – 9:15: Welcome from Sid Miller, Texas Commissioner of Agriculture (IBC Nimitz Room)
9:15 – 10:00 AM Keynote Speech by Mobile Marketing Expert Scott Stanchak (IBC Nimitz Room)
10:15 – 11:15 AM Breakout Sessions: Choose One
- The Value of Working With Wine Bloggers (FIS Baron’s Creek Room): We are all aware of wine bloggers and have probably heard accolades and horror stories from those who work with them. The reality is working with wine bloggers is a bit like working with any media – you have to do your homework and engage with a blogger who is interested in and writes about what you do. We’ll hear from a panel of wine bloggers who have been in the trenches for years, have attended the Wine Bloggers Conference, and can provide advice on how to maximize your value when working with bloggers. Our presenters include Jason Stubblefield from CorkEnvy, Miki Finnin from The Vineyard Trail, and Ilona Thompson from PalateXposure.
- Working Effectively With Your Local University Wine Program (IBC Nimitz Room): Universities across the world are becoming more involved in wine and other craft beverages, both in terms of viticulture, winemaking, business, and tourism. Learn how to work effectively and make the most of your local university wine program, including such topics as what research is available on wine tourism from universities, how wineries and other businesses can get involved with student research projects, how to plug into student internship opportunities, best ways to hire wine business and wine tourism students, and opportunities to secure speakers from universities. Our presenters are Tim Dodd, Associate Dean at Texas Tech University and Director of the Texas Wine Marketing Institute and Chris Taylor, Director of the Beverage Management Program and Fred Parks Wine Cellar at the Conrad N. Hilton College at the University of Houston.
11:30 – 12:30 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose One
- State Sponsored Tourism Promotion (FIS Baron’s Creek Room): Does your state do enough to promote tourism in general and wine tourism in particular? We’ll hear from a panel of experts from across the country who will talk about how their state excels … or doesn’t … in helping promote tourism in general and wine tourism in particular. Our panel is composed of Bobby Champion from Texas, Jackie Saunders from Virginia, and Doug Caskey from Colorado with moderator Jeff Siegel.
- Modern Day PR :(IBC Nimitz Room) Is the day of the press release dead? Have the rules changed? Or is it just the technology that’s different? Learn how to engage with the press and get them to report on and support your wine business, including how and how not to work with bloggers and other non-traditional media. Our presenter is Paul Wagner, founder of Balzac Communications.
12:30 PM Depart for Lunch at the Becker Vineyards: Buses will arrive back to conference venue approximately 3:00 PM
3:15 – 4:15 PM Perspectives on Wine Tourism From Emerging Regions (IBC Nimitz Room): Yes, California often dominates the conversation around wine and wine tourism in North America. But wine regions throughout the US and Canada are booming, in many instances because of the support of local wine tourists. Hear from your fellow attendees who will each take five minutes to present on the challenges and successes of wine tourism in their region. Our speakers include:
- Lorri Hathaway, Michigan
- Chris Goblet, New Mexico
- Miki Finnin, Oklahoma
- Aaron Liersemann, Mt. Hood Territory, Oregon
- Nicholas Wilson, British Columbia
- Jess Koehler, Ramona Valley, California
- Cheryl Smith, Georgia
- Gillian Mainguy, Nova Scotia
- Rebecca Gushen, Maryland
- Kristin Ballard, Nebraska
- Devon Perry, South Jersey
4:15 – 5:00 PM Conference Close/Announcement of 2017 Location (IBC Nimitz Room): We’ll hear from representatives of the 2017 conference hosts and get to taste some of their wines to wrap up the conference!
5:15 PM Depart for Optional Reception at Fall Creek Driftwood and Dinner at Salt Lick BBQ: Requires pre-registration. Extra cost. See Events page for details.
Friday, November 11
8:00 AM – 2:00 PM Optional Wine Country Excursion to Guadalupe Valley: Please see the Events page for full details. You can register for this tour on the conference registration form.