Below is a draft 2017 agenda that will be finalized in the coming months. All events take place at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa, California.
Monday, November 6
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.
- Digital Marketing for the Wine Industry
- Practical Photography and Videography
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
- Best Practices for Tour Operators
- Winery Associations and DMOs Workshop & Summi
4:15 – 6:30 PM Wine Tourism Expo & Opening Night Reception: Check in to the conference and enjoy the Wine Tourism Expo and opening reception. Meet all our sponsors and enjoy wines from across North America and the world. This is a unique opportunity to try wines from states you don’t normally patron with your wine purchases. Find these great sponsors and more at the Expo: CANVAS, Craft Wine Association, Lake County Winegrape Commission, MI Grape & Wine Industry Council, Missouri Wine and Grape Board, Mt Hood Territory, Sacramento International Airport (SMF), Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Program, Touring & Tasting, Wine Industry Network, Wine Institute, Wine Road, Woodinville Wine Country Association, and Zinfandel Advocates and Producers. Staffing a table at the Expo is only $500 ($400 if you sign up on your conference registration form) and is free to non-profit winery associations and DMOs.
6:30 – 9:00 PM Wine Dinner: Optional dinner at extra cost to be announced later
Tuesday, November 7
8:00 AM Conference Registration: If you did not register last night, you can register this morning. Registration will be open all day.
9:00 – 10:00 AM Conference Introduction & Keynote Speaker Caroline Beteta: Caroline is President & CEO of Visit California. Caroline keynoted the first-ever Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference and was our highest-rated keynote speaker ever, so we are pleased to bring her back this year. See announcement.
10:00 – 11:00 AM The PR Expert’s View of the Wine World: Hear from some of the top Public Relations professionals in the wine industry about their predictions as to where PR, wine marketing, and wine tourism are headed. Details coming soon.
11:00 – 11:15 AM Break
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM Wine Country – It’s Not Just About Wine Anymore: Travelers to wine country are just as eager to experience local coffee shops, breweries, distilleries, and artisan food makers, not to mention participate in the legalized marijuana industry. Here from these businesses how they interact with wine consumers and how you can attract their customers.
12:15 – 1:45 PM Lunch On Your Own
1:45 – 2:45 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Three
- Marketing to the Luxury Consumer (Marketing Track): Learn how to market luxury goods and services to the the 4 + million individuals in the U.S. with liquid portfolios of $1,000,000 or more. This extremely successful presentation is a repeat from WMTC14. Our speaker is Alf Nucifora, Chairman of the Luxury Marketing Council.
- Perfecting the Guest Experience (Tasting Room Track): Learn how to deliver an excellent guest experience in your tasting room to groups of all sizes. Create unique experiences that those in a crowded tasting room will remember. Our speaker is Tammy Boatright of Ving Direct, which specializes in tasting room consulting and metrics.
- Working With DMOs (Tourism Track): Destination Management Organizations often do the heavy work for the rest of us, promoting wine regions to the benefit of wineries, hotels, restaurants, and tour operators. We’ll hear from a panel on the current state of DMO best practices and how you can best take advantage of the (usually free) services they provide.
2:45 – 3:00 PM Break
3:00 – 4:00 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Three
- Working With Wine Tour Operators (Tourism): An individual wine tour operator can bring hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of visitors to your winery or other business each year. Yet many wineries find wine tour operators to be more effort than is worth it or, worse, to bring consumers who are not really interested in purchasing wine. Hear from a panel of wine tour operators about their suggestions for how wineries, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses can work with them.
- Maximizing Tasting Room Sales Through the Visitor Experience (Tasting Room): Explore how thoughtful planning of an environment—architecture, design, layout, and attention to detail—can create a memorable visitor experience, build customer loyalty, and increase sales.
- Rethinking the Wine Consumer (Marketing): With a hyper-focus on the product and virtually no focus on consumers, the wine and hospitality industries are missing the greatest opportunity of all: how to understand, engage, and communicate with consumers. Our speaker, Tim Hanni, MW, of myVinotype, spends his time researching and explaining just this.
4:00 – 6:00 PM Wine Reception: Details coming soon
6:30 – 9:00 PM Wine Dinner: Optional dinner at extra cost to be announced later
Wednesday, November 8
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM: What We Know About Wine Tourism: Separate accepted “wisdom” from the hard facts by hearing from a company that has done recent research on wine tourism, including who wine tourists are and how they behave. Our speaker is Dave Bratton from Destination Analysts, which recently completed a survey of wine tourism in California for the Wine Institute.
10:00 – 10:15 AM: Break
10:15 – 11:15 AM: Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Three
- Getting Visual on Social Media (Marketing): Social media is an important part of marketing but many of us still rely on text updates to our Twitter or Facebook accounts, even in an age when millennials have moved the goal posts to make everything visual. Learn how to maximize your return on social media by incorporating photos and videos into your social media, from Twitter and Facebook to Pinterest and YouTube. Our speaker is Andrew Healy from 3 Rock Marketing.
- Experiential Travel in a Digital World (Tourism): Experiential travel is the rage. But how do you properly present the experiences you offer in a digital world via content, imagery, video, and creative messaging? Our speaker is Mike Cann from Wine Country Media.
- Craft Wine (Marketing): Hear from Carole Lawson, Founder/CEO of the Craft Wine Association, how the term craft has been moved beyond a marketing ploy to becoming a cultural term with an embedded understanding that transcends market verticals. We will see how and why craft is being co-opted across not just the beverage industry, but several industries and why that is effective. We will also examine how the big players in the wine industry are using the term to sway the market toward products that are clearly big-business while making them look as if they are “craft”.
11:15 AM- 11:30 PM Break
11:30 – 12:30 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Three
- Millennials & Wine (Marketing): The craft beer industry embraced Millennials and now has them paying over $20 for an 8 ounce beer. So why have so few wine brands been able to break the millennial barrier – and why is it so important they figure it out?
- Keep Customers Coming Back (Tasting Room): Learn innovative techniques to ensure first-time visitors become long term customers. Tips and tactics and in-depth information on what you should know about your customers to keep them coming back. Our speaker is Elizabeth Slater from In Short Direct Marketing.
- Best Practices in Global Wine Tourism (Tourism): Dr. Liz Thach, MW, will present several international success stories of wine tourism from her new book, titled the same as this session. The book is a collection of fifteen case studies from around the world describing methods used by highly successful wine regions and wineries to establish new wine regions, attract customers, create collaborative relationships with stakeholders, preserve the environment, and establish measurements for wine tourism.
12:30 – 2:00 PM Lunch On Your Own
2:00 – 3:00 PM Big Names in Winery Marketing: This panel will include some of the top marketers in the wine industry, those with decades of experience marketing wineries and selling wine. Hear what works and what doesn’t in winery marketing. Details coming soon.
3:00 – 3:10 PM Conference Close and Announcement of 2018 Location
Thursday, November 9
Wine Bloggers Conference begins with optional Wine Education Sessions and the evening Expo, Opening Reception, and Wines of the World celebration. Upon registering for the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference you will receive a discount coupon for $100 off the WBC.