Below is the agenda for the 2012 Wine Tourism Conference, which took place November 14-15 at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California.
Tuesday, November 13
4:00 – 8:00PM Pre-Conference Experience: Tour, Tasting, and Dinner at Paradise Ridge Winery Optional excursion; requires advance registration (additional cost is $50pp); click on the title for more details. Departure will be from the front lobby.
Wednesday, November 14
8:00 – 9:15 AM Conference Registration & Trade Show (Ballroom)
9:15 – 9:30 AM Welcome (Ballroom)
9:30 – 10:15 AM Keynote Speech by Jean-Charles Boisset of Boisset Family Estates (Ballroom)
10:25 – 11:30 AM Panel of Wine Industry Leaders (Ballroom) with Steve Warner, President and CEO of the Washington State Wine Commission; Annette Boyd, Director of the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office; and David Bowman, Vice President of Marketing for FIJI Water, JUSTIN Winery, and Landmark Vineyards. Moderated by Nancy Light of The Wine Institute.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Organized Meet & Greet (Ballroom)
12:30 – 2:00 PM Trade Show and Lunch with Sonoma County Tourism and Sacramento International Airport (Ballroom)
2:00 – 4:00 PM Industry Track Sessions: We will break into four groups (Wineries – Courtyard I, Wine & Tourism Associations – Courtyard II, Tour Operators – Oak Room, and Other Wine Tourism Businesses – Alexander Room), which will allow you to meet others in your industry and get specific information relative to you. Each group will do introductions, have a general discussion, and share best practices. Please come prepared to present your own successes and challenges to your group!
4:15 – 6:15 PM Regional Wine Reception (Ballroom) Sponsored by Touring & Tasting: The first 40 winery associations who send a representative to the conference will receive a table to pour their wines.
6:30 PM Optional Dinner: Perfectly Paired Dinner at Lancaster Estate Optional dinner; requires advance registration (additional cost is $55pp); click title for more details. Departure will be from the front lobby.
Thursday, November 15
9:30 – 10:35 AM Panel of Tourism Industry Leaders (Ballroom) with Todd Davidson, Executive Director of the Oregon Tourism Commission; Traci Ward, Director of Marketing at Visit California; and Morgen McLaughlin, President and CEO of Finger Lakes Wine Country. Moderated by Dan Fox of Touring and Tasting Magazine.
10:45 – 11:45 AM Breakout Sessions (choose one to attend)
- Wine Tourism PR (Alexander Room): Getting a writer from the New York Times to stay at your hotel, visit your winery, or take your tour is a coup. But not every business will be in the Times. How do you go about getting PR for your wine tourism business, both in the traditional press and online? Learn how from Michelle McCue of McCue Communications and Kimberly Charles from Charles Communications.
- Social Media in Wine and Travel (Ballroom): Everyone is now using social media. How much time and money should you allocate to this? Should you focus on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube or is Pinterest or some new site the next great thing? Walk away with new insights and strategies from social media expert Andrew Healy of 3 rock marketing and Todd Iseri, Sales and Marketing Manager at the Napa Valley Marriott.
- Wine Tourism Around the World (Courtyard I): In Italy, most wineries are not open to the public on a drop-in basis. In Argentina and Spain, some wineries build a huge, compelling structure that brings in tourists based on architecture as much as wine. Learn how wine tourism differs around the world and what techniques you might be able to employ in your own business. Speakers include Sylvie Tannhauser from Brickell Travel, Courtney Quinn from Our World, Our Community, and Wendy Cheropita from Wine Country Ontario.
11:45 AM – 1:15 PM Lunch On Your Own
1:15 – 2:15 PM Breakout Sessions (choose one to attend)
- Up and Coming Wine Tourism Destinations (Alexander Room): Napa and Sonoma are no longer the only places people think of when they consider a wine tourism visit in North America. Hear from a panel of people who are in the trenches, turning what were once unknown areas into wine tourism destinations. Speaking will be Mike Steele from the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, Moya Dolsby from the Idaho Wine Commission, and January Wiese from the Texas Wine Trail. The panel will be moderated by Heather Herrig of Zephyr Adventures.
- Organizing and Promoting Successful Wine Events (Ballroom): Wine events produce crowds, which sleep in hotels, eat in restaurants, and drink wine. How do you create an event for your winery or your community and should you do this on your own or partner with others? Hear from Beth Costa of The Wine Road, organizer of many annual events, and Paul Asikainen of Conn Creek Winery, whose Barrel Blending Seminar was named Most Innovative Winery Experience by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.
- Working with Concierges (Courtyard I): Concierges are very powerful “gatekeepers” for the hospitality community, channeling millions of dollars of recommendations to the region they represent. They are the first to see evolving tourism trends, and are entrusted to make the best match so that both the guest and the vendor benefit. Hear from a panel of professional concierges about the guest perspective. And gain insight on how to develop a strong working relationship with Concierges. Panel is led by Colby Smith, Executive Director of the Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma.
2:30 – 3:30 PM Working Together in Wine Tourism (Ballroom): If you are working on your own to improve your wine tourism, you are probably missing out on opportunities. Cooperation is the key and a rising tide raises all boats. Wineries work with other wineries, wine associations work with tourism associations, and hotels work with everyone. Hear from Linda Bruno, Managing Director of Consulente International; Maggie Anderson, Marketing Director of the British Columbia Wine Institute; and Tim Zahner, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau. The panel will be moderated by Brian Baker of Chateau Montelena.
3:45 – 4:30 PM Final Keynote Speech by Amir Eylon of Brand USA (Ballroom)
4:30 – 5:00 PM Conference Close (Ballroom)
Friday, November 16
Consider participating in Flavor Napa Valley, a food and wine festival benefiting the Culinary Institute of America’s scholarship fund. Events are ticketed and you must provide your own transportation.