Monday, November 6
8:00 AM – 6:30 PM Conference Registration (Alexander Valley Foyer)
8:30 – 11:30 AM Optional Workshop: Pre-conference workshops are an additional fee of $125 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 (Russian River Valley)
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 (Russian River Valley)
- Best Practices for Tour Operators (Alexander Valley 4)
- Winery Associations and DMOs Workshop & Summit (Alexander Valley 3)
4:15 – 6:30 PM Wine Tourism Expo & Opening Night Reception (Alexander Valley 1 & 2): 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 Optional Dinner at Chevys: Enjoy a group dinner at your leisure all while supporting CA Wine Country’s local economy when they need it the most! A short walk from the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country, Chevys is a lively and informal CA-based Mexican restaurant chain with a colorful, family-friendly setting plus tequilas, margaritas, and, of course, wine! Reserve your seat today!
Tuesday, November 7
8:00 AM – 6:30 PM Conference Registration (Alexander Valley Foyer): If you did not register on Monday, you can register this morning. Registration will be open all day.
9:00 – 10:00 AM Conference Introduction & Keynote Speaker Caroline Beteta (Alexander Valley 1 & 2): 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 (Alexander Valley 1 & 2): 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. Our panelists include long-time wine industry veterans Jeremy Benson, Mark Chandler, Mike Dawson, and Kimberly Charles.
11:00 – 11:15 AM Break
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM Marketing to the Luxury Consumer (Alexander Valley 1 & 2): 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 interesting presentation is a repeat from WMTC14, where it was highly acclaimed. Our speaker is Alf Nucifora, Chairman of the Luxury Marketing Council.
12:15 – 1:45 PM Lunch On Your Own
1:45 – 2:45 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Two
- Keep Customers Coming Back (Russian River Valley): 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.
- Perfecting the Guest Experience (Alexander Valley 3 & 4): 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.
2:45 – 3:00 PM Break
3:00 – 4:00 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Two
- Maximizing Tasting Room Sales Through the Visitor Experience (Russian River Valley): 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. Our panelists are LisaMarie Kennedy from MacRostie Winery + Vineyards, Dr. Damien Wilson from Sonoma State University, Douglas Thornley from Gould Evans, and moderator Cyril Penn from Wine Business Monthly.
- Rethinking the Wine Consumer (Alexander Valley 3 & 4): 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 Taste of Sonoma County Wine Reception (Alexander Valley 1 & 2): Taste a variety of Sonoma County wines in this wrap up to the day’s events. We are proud these wineries – including some majorly impacted by the fire – are coming together to support the conference and promote the local wine industry. Featuring these ten wineries:
- DeLoach Vineyars
- Eco Terreno Wines
- Paradise Ridge Winery
- Pedroncelli Winery
- Ramey Wines Cellars
- Rodney Strong Vineyards
- SIMI Winery
- Three Sticks Wines
- Trentadue Winery
- Trione Winery
- White Oak Winery
6:30 – 9:00 PM Optional Dinner Sponsored by Wine Road With Fire Chief Todd Derum (Russian River Valley 2): Join our partner, Wine Road, as we celebrate Sonoma Wine Country and network with fellow industry attendees with an optional Tuesday night dinner right at the Conference hotel. We will be joined by Todd Derum, Fire Chief of CAL FIRE for Sonoma County, who will provide his first-hand experiences of the fire. Price includes meal and wines provided by ACORN Wines, Ektimo Wines, Deux Amis, Mounts Winery, and Kelley & Young Wines. Click here to view the menu and purchase your ticket.
Wednesday, November 8
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM: What We Know About Wine Tourism (Alexander Valley 1 & 2): 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 Two
- Getting Visual on Social Media (Alexander Valley 3 & 4): 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.
- Craft Wine (Russian River Valley): 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 Two
- Experiential Travel in a Digital World (Alexander Valley 3 & 4): 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.
- Best Practices in Global Wine Tourism (Russian River Valley): 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 – 3:30 PM The Wine Country Fires and Crisis Recovery (Alexander Valley 1 & 2): This panel will both address the actual fires that tore through wine country as well as discuss crisis recovery and how you can better prepare yourself for a potential future crisis in your own community or business. Our panel consists of:
- Sonia Byck-Barwick: Co-owner of Paradise Ridge Winery which tragically burned during the fires.
- George Rose: Well-known wine country photographer who will show slides and present his first-hand experience with the fires.
- Tim Zahner: Acting CEO of Sonoma County Tourism
- Clay Gregory: President & CEO, Visit Napa Valley
- Brad Calkins: Executive Director of Visit Santa Rosa
- Lynn Carpenter: VP of Global Marketing at Visit California
- Nancy Light, Communications Director at the Wine Institute (Moderator)
3:30 – 3:45 PM Break
3:45 – 4:45 PM Big Names in Winery Marketing (Alexander Valley 1 & 2): 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. Our panel includes Stephen Brauer from LDV Associates, Judd Wallenbrock from C. Mondavi & Family, and Amelia Ceja from Ceja Vineyards, with moderator Paul Wagner of Balzac Communications.
4:45 – 5:00 PM Conference Close and Announcement of 2018 Location (Alexander Valley 1 & 2)
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.