By Dawn Dolan
Harvest is over, juice is settling into secondary fermentation and vines are waiting to be pruned, so it’s time to plan out the next year’s budget. With the North Coast Wine Industry Expo (WIN Expo) right around the corner, the timing for making budgetary choices couldn’t be any easier.
North Coast decision makers head over to check out prices, make connections, meet with vendors, new and known, and take advantage of the deals offered at pre-season pricing. Having the second largest wine industry show in North America nearby, with 300 vendors (and more on a waitlist) makes researching a much easier task.
If you live and work within reach, the 6th annual WIN Expo, held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, is very accessible. For those who haven’t yet been over to check out this one-day event, it offers access to new products and services along with key educational sessions on trending issues facing the North Coast wine industry. “We created the Expo to meet the needs of the most prominent wine grape growing region in the country and every year we try to take it one step further by continuing to expand the educational component and offer top notch vendor access. This was and continues to be our goal for this show,” says George Christie, President of Wine Industry Network, producer of the Expo.
Last year #ExpoDeals was launched, essentially a “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” for the wine industry. More than 60 vendors participated by offering one-day specials on production equipment, packaging, vineyard resources, and professional services. Discounts of 10-25% were commonly seen on items including website design, juice analysis, glass and bins, to name a few. Incentives or discounts were also given on big-ticket winery items like pumps and chillers as well as needed services.
Christie, who is the conceptualizer of the #ExpoDeals notes that, “This is a time of year when wineries often do their planning and some of the deals our vendors are offering will provide buyers the opportunity for significant savings.” On the exhibitor side, he notes, “If you are a vendor, it’s a benefit to have something special to offer so you can close the year stronger and have orders in place for the upcoming year. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Several vendors who have been participating in the WIN Expo in the first five years have expressed that they love this show, noting the quality of the attendees and the number of decision makers they see every year.
Reiterates Christie, “This trade show and conference has become a regular part of the schedule for many wine industry professionals. The best vendors are here exhibiting and there’s real business getting done. It’s the best buying show of the year.”