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Continuing the theme from last week’s blog, here are more tips on working with your local tourism programs (and others) to promote your winery and increase sales. 

Thanks to Thomas Salley, Director of the Wilkesboro, NC Tourism Development Authority (www.explorewilkesboro.com) for this great information. This week Thomas’s tips are on working with others, in addition to your local tourism office.

It’s good business and good for business to network with other attractions in your community. It’s hard to get out and about when you’re minding the store, wines and grapes, but successful destinations always keep their Tourism director in the loop. One of my favorite things is connecting people with other people that I think complement their skill set to ignite collaboration within our district. B2B collaborations, especially online, are great ways to leverage credibility and add value to your marketing campaigns. Tourism people love to network with other tourism people, and we’ll promote what’s top of mind (i.e. the last thing someone told us), grand openings, anniversaries, milestones and events.

Other Organizations: There are many local and national organizations who can help promote your business. WineAmerica is a great resource for wineries big and small. Or band together with similar wineries to form a niche group (Rhone Rangers, Etc.) or a trail. Our winery trail was able to pay for most of its marketing efforts by hosting ticketed events that generated revenue. You may also consider affiliate memberships for other local businesses with winery ties. Look for state or regional organizations that are complementary to the wine industry to affiliate with: e.g. local restaurant and lodging association or the NRA – National Restaurant Association. If you are a winery owner and you are established in your field, find ways to introduce your wine to your others. Sponsor corporate events, speaking engagements, seminars. For example: Jay Raffaldini (Raffaldini Winery) gave a Ted Talk at a local event in Raleigh, NC. The talk encouraged people to visit and established the winery as both credible and relevant.

Don’t forget Universities and nonprofits: Partnering with nonprofits may open doors to your desired client base, expose you to influential members of the community and get your name out. Universities thrive from public/private partnerships. They can provide you with sound advice from other industries that they work with. Students may be willing to work on your projects as their projects for free or for a reduced fee. Students are also a good source for part-time employees. You may have the opportunity to talk to a class or two. These students will be loyal to your winery and visit when they are old enough.

A tip of the glass from me to you.

Elizabeth SlaterE Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.

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