Board Retreat- Aug. 2021

Beth Costa on Jan 13, 2022

Laying the Foundation

  • Wine & Food Affair
    • 40 wineries agreed to host based on survey
  • Website updated with 2022 event dates
  • Assessments have gone out
    • 80 wineries | 19 lodgings – renewed to date
    • 26 wineries | 7 lodgings – outstanding
    • 7 wineries not renewing
  • Visitor Survey – information on ticket prices, preferences etc.
    • 1,300 responses interested in special offers
  • $12K sponsor from Healdsburg Tourism – social media posts, event tickets, podcast guests, consumer newsletter
  • Perks and Privileges – re-evaluated; looking at application with subscription option and special offers
  • Wine Road special newsletter – Road Runner. Consider re-starting?
    • Mobile Up – member subscription service, customized by Wine Road
    • Another option is a Sebastopol business offering an app that can be managed by wineries and Wine Road

Wine Road Subscription Plan

  • Need success stories to share with members
  • Wine Road tickets – 10% discount
  • Membership/subscription to all Wine Road events with a monthly fee
  • Create a multi-brand wine club program
    • A business model that is self-sustaining
    • Organization structure to establish the model?
    • Partner opportunities
    • Help Wine Road subscribers experience new wines
    • Mystery cases – anticipation for shipment
    • Add tasting ticket
    • Provide offer sheet by winery
    • How many bottles to include in the shipment?
    • Retail partner needs to be addressed first
    • Focus on top 5 shipping markets
    • How to address customer concerns about the wine in the shipment?
    • Build the brand for the Wine Road Wine Club

Next Steps

Beth will meet with a couple board members to plan out the approach

  • We are bringing the Wine Road to you
  • Quarterly wine shipments plus a monthly fee for membership
  • Top tier – One bottle wine/week + event tickets
  • Messaging/Podcasts talk about wines from quarterly shipments
  • Special events held in certain regional areas
  • Could create wines you can only get through Wine Road
  • Reach out to Bottle Barn about interest in partnership
  • Need to address the compliance issues [Wine Connect]. Shipping? Customer service?
  • Partner needs to be a quality organization
  • Core issue is dealing with customer experience. It is a Wine Road process and service.
  • Need to keep DTC wines protected by wineries. Specific products for the Wine Road offering.
  • How to continue to bring in new customers
    • Variety of shipment will bring in new customers plus retain them
  • Need to look at varietals offered in each shipment

Corporate Connections

  • Make corporate connections with a percentage to Wine Road
  • Use Wine Road connections to reach corporate entities
  • Clearinghouse for corporate entities to come to one location to refer to wineries. A conduit. Make the connection.
  • Premium for access or a percentage back to Wine Road
  • Link on website for corporate gifting program
  • Reach out to local businesses about offerings
  • Benefit for Wine Road members – diversification of Wine Road offerings
  • Under COVID, the business model for engagement is different. We are seeing increased interest from corporations for online events.
  • Reach out to corporate executive assistants to offer the services to corporate events
  • What is standardized approach to ensure it meets the Wine Road customer experience expectation?
    • Beth coordinates initial referrals to members
  • How to make it equitable for Wine Road member participants?
    • How are wineries selected by the corporation?
  • Short-term plan – website page – is there business case for offerings?
  • Long-term – corporate outreach
    • Greater investment of time to reach out to corporate
  • Virtual offerings -component
  • Onsite offerings – another component
  • Website – outline concierge services

Next Steps

  • Build website
  • Include in next Wine Road communication
  • Reach out to Wine Road members interested in offerings
  • Ask for feedback from referral
  • Generate a list of corporate partners (sell list to WR members).

Staffing Needs

  • Funds approved for staffing
  • Need to generate money first
    • Wine/Food Affair income
    • Renewed memberships
  • Critical to staff up if Wine Road Club is moved forward – absolutely!

Events: Wine and Food Affair

  • Can’t run the organization on events alone
  • Event reimbursement – Idea $2/pp up to maximum customer service levels/capacities
  • If the event is canceled there is no reimbursement
  • No guarantee on reimbursement at this point
  • Pricing – $150/weekend | $110 Saturday only | $70 Sunday only
    • 30-40 wineries
    • Food not as good
    • COVID restrictions
    • Reservation system will help
  • Change the name W/F Affair “Lite”
    • $50/day or $60 Saturday | $40 Sunday. $75, $65/day
    • 2-day event
    • Food both days (2 days)
      • Cap number of wineries you can attend in a day – 5 (factor in drive time)
    • $75/day with 5 bookings
  • Lower spaces available on Saturday; higher on Sunday
  • Close ticket reservations earlier so you can get a better event count?
    • Buy early to get wineries you want.
    • Close on October 26
  • No reimbursements
  • Food item listed in the program
  • No recipe required; encouraged
  • 500 ticket sales target
  • Same weekend in November (first weekend)
  • Beth will come up with new potential names and share with Board.

Posted by Beth Costa