2014 Agenda

All sessions take place on the Paso Robles Inn property or within a 5 minute walk of the Paso Robles Inn.

The Grand Ballroom and the Matador are located on property.  The Park Ballroom and Park Place are a 5 minute walk from the Paso Robles Inn.

Wednesday, November 12

8:30 – 11:30 AM  Optional Pre-Con Workshops: Pre-con 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.

1:00 – 4:00 PM  Optional Pre-Con Workshops: Pre-con 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.

5:00 – 7:00 PM  Conference Registration, Trade Show, & Opening Night Regional Wine Reception:
(Grand Ballroom – on property at Paso Robles Inn) Check in to the conference, visit sponsors at the Trade Show, and enjoy the opening reception presented by Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media and featuring wines from across North America. This is a unique opportunity to try wines from New Jersey, Texas, and Michigan as well as West coast locations in California, Oregon, and Washington.

Thursday, November 13

8:00 – 9:20 AM  Conference Registration (Grand Ballroom Foyer)

9:20 – 9:30 A M  Conference Opening (Grand Ballroom)

9:30- 10:15 AM  Welcome to Paso Robles & San Luis Obispo County: (Grand Ballroom)
There is no better way to become acquainted with our host city and region than to hear about it from the local experts in tourism. Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County have become a major destination and market leader in wine tourism and we’ll hear how they got there and where they hope to go next.

10:15 – 11:45 AM  The Business of Wine Tourism: (Grand Ballroom)
We will hear from three leading industry experts about the business of wine tourism including current trends and what the future holds for the industry. Panelists include Paul Mabray of Vintank, Don House of IDMG Culinary Marketing, and Christine Bohle from Eventbrite, with moderator Michael Kaiser from WineAmerica.

11:45  – 1:15 PM  Lunch Break – on your own

1:30 – 2:30 PM  Breakout Sessions

  • Beer Tourism: Lessons for the Wine Industry: (Park Ballroom.  5 min. walk from the hotel.  1232 Park St. – to the left of F. McLintock’s.)
    The craft beer industry, as we all know, is booming. Riding the coat tails of this growth is beer tourism, which in its simplest form is visiting a local brewery when traveling but in its more advanced form includes full-service vacations in foreign countries provided by beer tour operators. Our panelists will discuss the current trends in beer tourism and talk about possible lessons for the wine industry. Speakers include Jackie Saunders from Visit Loudoun County presenting survey results from a beer tourism survey in Virginia, Brant Myers from Hop On Beer Tours, and Jamie Smith from Firestone Walker Brewery.
  • Working with Local Wine Tour Operators: (Park Place.  5 min. walk from the hotel.  1216 Park St. – to the left of the Thai restaurant.) 
    Wine tour operators expect a 21.4% increase in customers worldwide in 2014. There are now over 300 companies on our Complete List of Wine Tour Operators. We will hear from three tour operators, ranging in size from several hundred to 10,000 customers per year, about creating symbiotic relationships between tour operators, wineries, local associations, and other businesses. Our panel includes Coy Barnes from The Wine Wrangler, Sarah Wolcott from Zephyr Adventures and Taste Vacations, and Alon Yitzhaki from Israel Wine Tour.

2:45 – 3:45 PM  Breakout Sessions

  • Facebook for the Wine Industry: (Park Ballroom – 5 min. walk from the hotel.  1232 Park St. – to the left of F. McLintock’s.)
    Everyone has a Facebook page but is your page actually achieving results – especially given the changes made to business Pages in early 2014, limiting the reach they have to their own followers? Learn from expert Jeremy Schubert of Lunabean Media how wine tourism organizations can use Facebook to build brand reputation, reach both current and new customers, and increase sales.
  • The Reality of Tasting Room Merchandising: (Park Place - 5 min. walk from the hotel.  1216 Park St. – to the left of the Thai restaurant.)
    One expert estimates the non-wine merchandising market in Washington, Oregon, and California wineries alone at $500 million per year. Tasting room merchandising is big business plus it extends guest time in your tasting room and enhances their experience. Are you capturing these sales? Our speakers include Janet Tupper from Mercantile 12, Diane Thompson from Cortizza, and Kim Rodrigues from Summerwood Winery & Inn.

4:00 – 5:30 PM  Wine Reception with Paso Robles Wine Alliance: (Grand Ballroom)
Try wines from some of the most well-respected wineries in the Paso region as well as up-and-coming wineries you might not yet know.

6:30 PM  Optional Wine Pairing Dinner at Second Press

Friday, November 14

9:00 – 10:00 AM  Panel of Wine Tourism Writers: (Grand Ballroom)
Wine tourism writers often have a bird’s eye view on wine tourism regions around the globe. Hear from a panel of writers about their relationships with the wine tourism industry, what makes a region “hot”, and what you can do to engage them. Our panelists include Jade Helm from the soon-to-be-launched Wine Tourist Magazine, Wendy van Diver from Touring & Tasting Magazine, and Michael Cervin, wine and spirits writer and author of the wine travel book “California Wine Country” with moderator Mallory Spann.

10:00 – 11:00 PM  Wine Tourism as Perceived by the Major Influencers: (Grand Ballroom)
Hear from a panel of wine industry leaders from major brands who share with us their perspective of wine tourism and its effects on their company. Panelists include Natasha Hayes from the Crimson Wine Group, Brigid Harris from Diageo, and Andrea Smalling from Foley Family Wines. Dan Fox from Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media will serve as moderator.

11:15 – 12:15 PM  Break Out Sessions

  • Inside the Mind of a Luxury Buyer: (Park Ballroom. 5 min. walk from the hotel.  1232 Park St. – to the left of F. McLintock’s.)
    For the first time in recent history, the affluent customer has surprised everyone, marketer and pundit alike. Commencing with the recession of 2008, luxury buyers attached padlocks to their wallets and credit cards as they slashed spending of all types from autos to accessories, trinkets to travel, home remodeling to philanthropy. We will be taken inside the mind of today’s affluent consumer to understand the trends that drive the category and present a roadmap for better understanding this complex consumer, with a psyche to match. Our presenter is Alf Nucifora from the Luxury Marketing Council.
  • Service, Sales, and Knowledge: Better Promotion of Your Wine Industry Business: (Park Place. 5 min. walk from the hotel.  1216 Park St. – to the left of the Thai restaurant)
    This entertaining and interactive seminar will discuss how wine regions, individual wineries and related wine tourism businesses can promote and retain customers through properly trained front line staff. Jan M. Smith and Hilarie Larson will show you how to empower your team with the ability to: Cultivate Sales and Customer Loyalty – Increase your sales & memberships. Communicate Your Brand – Set your business apart from the competition. Embrace a Concierge Mindset – Provide the best in comprehensive service. Think Like a Sommelier – Use wine knowledge to capture and keep customers. Engage your Customers – Make them raving fans of your business.

12:15 – 1:45 PM  Lunch Provided by the Wine Bloggers Conference and Finger Lakes Wine Alliance:
(Grand Ballroom) Enjoy a taco buffet served with wines from the Finger Lakes, host destination of the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference.

1:45 – 3:15 PM  Eight Perspectives on Wine Tourism: (Grand Ballroom)
As most of us know, wine tourism in California is not the same as wine tourism in Virginia. However, it is also very distinct from wine tourism in Spain, South Africa, or Chile. Hear from eight of your fellow wine industry representatives from around the country and the world as each offers his or her perspective on wine tourism in 10-minute presentations.  This is one of the best ways to learn current, cutting-edge practices you can take home with you.

Jake Buganski, Visit South Jersey
Karel Bush, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council
Magdalena Kaiser, Wine Country Ontario
Tyler Madison, Kentucky Grape & Wine Council
Paolo Mendes, CAF – Madeira Vintners
Jo Rabchev, Seven Generations
Kyle Schlachter, Colorado Department of Agriculture
John Wurdeman, Living Roots

3:30 – 4:15 PM  Keynote Alan Kropf on Marketing Your Wine Tourism Business in the New Culture of Wine (Grand Ballroom)

4:15- 5:00 PM  Conference Close/Announcement of 2015 Location: (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
We will announce the date and location of the 2015 Wine Tourism Conference and you’ll have a chance to try wines from the host region!