Dynamic Speakers, Hot Topics Announced for Direct to Consumer Symposium 2009

Marketing and sales experts inside and outside the wine industry will share direct marketing best practices at the second annual Direct to Consumer Symposium on February 24, 2009 at The Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa Valley. For more information, and to register, visit www.coalitionforfreetrade.org/symposium .

Presented by Coalition for Free Trade and Free the Grapes!, the Direct to Consumer Symposium is the wine industry’s premier summit on direct marketing and sales. “This is a must attend event for anyone involved in winery direct sales and marketing,” said event chairman Jeremy Benson. “We’ve confirmed some of the most accomplished wine marketers and experts to share their knowledge.”

The symposium will offer an impressive line-up of workshop sessions that will appeal to owners, sales and marketing managers, as well as tasting room and wine club managers:

  • The Three Critical Principles of CRM – Learn how to apply current technologies to manage your customer relationships, communicate in a relevant way, and learn best practices for measuring results. Moderator Matt Wood, VP of Marketplace and Direct to Trade at WTNServices and Ambrosia will lead a panel including Lesley Russell, VP of Direct Marketing and Sales at St. Supéry Winery and Vineyards; and Kathie Barclay, Direct Marketing Account Supervisor at Benson Marketing Group.
  • How to Drive Sales for Non-Club Customers – The current economic environment requires that wineries increase direct sales beyond wine club members. Learn proven strategies and tactics that will increase non-wine club member sales from experts including Alex Gile, President of Nexternal; Mark Parton, Founder and President of Call for Wine; and Alyssa Rapp, Founder & President of Bottle Notes.
  • The Capital “L” in Loyalty Marketing – A group of loyalty marketing experts will discuss best practices for customer acquisition, retention, the loyalty ladder and attrition within their business. They include Rick Rasmussen, Alaska Airlines’ Director of Customer Loyalty; Diane Binford, V.P. Enterprise Customer Value at Fresh Rewards 1-800 Flowers; and others to be confirmed.
  • Update from the State Capitols and Courts — What states are likely to consider direct shipping legislation and how may it affect wineries’ ability to access consumers? Steve Gross, Director of State Relations at Wine Institute, will provide a timely update on the post-election landscape. Tracy Genesen, Partner in Kirkland & Ellis LLP and legal counsel to the Coalition for Free Trade, will summarize direct shipping litigation around the country as it affects both wineries and retailers.
  • The Inside Scoop on Lead Generation by Source – Ever wondered how effective a winemaker dinner, consumer tasting or wine club event was? Bring your best ideas and your burning questions to this stimulating Town Hall-style discussion moderated by Jennifer Becker, Founder of Ensemble Marketing Group. She will also identify standard metrics terms and formulas to use in our industry, as well as ways to assess return on investment for each source of new customers.
  • Envisioning the Future of the Direct To Consumer Model – What will the direct-to-consumer marketplace look like in 2020 and how will those changes affect winery distribution, sales and financial valuation? Event chairman Jeremy Benson will moderate a discussion with Robert Nicholson, President of International Wine Advisors; Larry Moraes, VP of Marketing at Henry Wine Group; and other experts. Each panelist will provide a distinct forecast from their area of expertise, and its implication for winery management.

The event will begin with a keynote address by Bill Tancer, best-selling author of Click, What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why it Matters (Hyperion, 2008). Tancer will take us behind the scenes into the massive database of online intelligence, revealing the naked truth about how wine consumers use search engines, navigate the web, and search for wine information. Tancer is General Manager of Global Research at Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence company, and contributor to TIME.com.

For more information and updates on speakers and workshop sessions visit www.coalitionforfreetrade.org/symposium . Tickets are $250 per person through January 31, 2009, then $295. Registration includes participation in the General Session, Lunch, Workshops, Trade Show and Wine Reception. The first summit sold out, so early registration to the 2009 event is encouraged.

Trade Show to Feature Leading Winery Suppliers

The Direct to Consumer Symposium will include a trade show companies offering a variety of products and services to wineries. A number of suppliers have already committed to participate, including Nexternal Solutions, Call for Wine, Golden State Overnight, CORESense, Inc., Benchmark Consulting, Benson Marketing Group LLC, New Vine Logistics, Missing Link Networks, WTNServices, ShipCompliant and Wines & Vines Magazine.

Sponsorship packages and forms are available now for download from the event website at www.coalitionforfreetrade.org/symposium .

For other information, contact Toni Lizotte at lizotte@bensonmarketing.com or (707) 254-1115.