It is impossible to provide enough in-depth coverage of some subjects crucial to wine marketing and wine tourism in the two conference days. Because of this, we offer optional three-hour workshops on Monday, November 6th at an additional charge. Due to the small group size and extended coverage, these workshops are often among the highest-rated aspects of the conference.

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 the workshops and can stay for the Wine Tourism Expo & Opening Night Reception on Monday evening regardless.

To Register

If you have not yet registered for the conference, you can register for these workshops on the main WMTC17 Registration form. If you have already registered for the Wine Tourism Conference or wish to register just for the workshops, you can do that via our WMTC Workshops Registration form. For information on the workshop speakers, please see the presenter names below and their bios on our Speakers page.

Morning Workshops (8:30 – 11:30 AM): Choose One

Eight Pillars of Digital Marketing: Robyn Scott and Beth Peluse, both of whom work for conference organizer Zephyr Conferences and each of whom has worked for digital marketing agencies in the past, will present Zephyr’s comprehensive “Eight Pillars of Digital Marketing”. The content will be tailored to the wine industry and is applicable both to those relatively new to digital marketing and those more experienced. The Eight Pillars consist of:

  • Website
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Content Marketing
  • CRM/Email Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Video Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Online Advertising

Practical Photography and Videography: We all know a photo is worth a thousand words and the future of online communication is video. Yet too many wine industry businesses  are not equipped to take, edit, and promote either photos or videos – and not ready or able to hire a professional to do this for them. In this workshop, we will learn how to utilize photos and videos in your marketing efforts from a practical standpoint, including use of smartphones, shooting techniques, basic editing, and effective marketing. Our presenter is Lisa Mattson from Jordan Vineyard & Winery, orchestrator of the Journey of Jordan wine blog that has won awards for its photography and videography. This will be a hands-on workshop, with participants actively taking and editing photos and videos on their smart phones, DSLR cameras, and video cameras. We will send out a questionnaire to registered participants in advance and tailor the workshop to participants’ needs.

Afternoon Workshop Options (1:00 – 4:00 PM): Choose One

Tasting Room Management: Tasting rooms are key to selling wine from the “cellar door” and are often the first and only impression of the winery for potential customers. A professionally-managed tasting room is so important it can mean the difference between being profitable or not for some wineries.

This workshop will cover all aspects of tasting room management, including staffing (hiring, managing, and training), layout, pricing, selling, wine selection and pricing, wine club memberships, non-wine merchandise, setting hours, deciding on whether to require appointments, and more.

Attendees will learn best practices for leveraging an ideal blend of technology and processes to convert first-time visitors into loyal customers and club members. A “tasting room management checklist” will be provided with five improvements that can be implemented the very next day. The workshop will be led by Sandra Hess, the founder of DTC Wine Workshops, which supports wineries of all sizes in the areas of e-commerce, CRM, DTC Strategic Planning, and Training Services. Sandra will have several experienced winery professionals with her to provide real-life examples of successful tasting room management.

Best Practices for Tour Operators: Join a couple dozen of your peers as we discuss best practices in running a tour operator business. While this workshop is designed for those running beer, wine, and food tours, it will be applicable to all tour operators (day tours or vacation tours) and those considering starting a company. We will discuss selecting a niche, identifying your target market, insurance, employees, guides, pricing, selecting tour locations, running great tours, and soliciting feedback. An extensive portion will be allocated to marketing. This session will include significant group discussion as we share ideas, talk strategies, and make friendships. The workshop will be facilitated by Allan Wright, who has an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has 19 years experience operating two tour companies (Zephyr Adventures and Taste Vacations).

Winery Associations & DMOs Workshop & Summit: Winery associations and tourism promotion agencies based in wine regions (Destination Management Organizations, Chambers of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, etc) work hard year round promoting their region to visitors interested in wine. These associations play a critical role in defining their region, creating awareness, and helping members achieve success. Each faces similar challenges: creating a vision for the organization’s direction, rallying their members to stay involved, funding and budgeting, gaining exposure outside their region, and more.

This workshop will focus on providing concrete advice for winery associations and DMOs in wine regions. Our presenters will include Ken Fischang, President / CEO of Sonoma County Tourism; Karissa Kruse, President of Sonoma County Winegrowers; and Jean Sessions, Executive Director of Sonoma County Vintners. These three agencies have done a stellar job at promoting wine and wine tourism in Sonoma County, are a model for the country (and the world), and will have lots to impart. At the same time, the workshop is specifically designed to be a sharing session so come prepared with your own challenges and successes.