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Where's the after service?

Published:  18 January, 2007

The lifeblood of the wine industry is tastings. Be it on the Olympic scale, as in Vinexpo last month, or the small regional tastings that take place up and down the country every week of the year.

But there appears to be one missing element to all of this. The analysis, the feedback and the evaluation of just how effective and useful all these different types of activity actually are.

On these pages Warren Adamson of New Zealand Winegrowers asks the trade for their views on what they would most like to see out of the many regional events that they host.

It seems an obvious thing to do, but how often are we asked exactly what we want from the countless trade events we are invited to attend? The feedback from Vinexpo seems to rest largely on how little has been done to act on issues raised from the event two years ago.

In such competitive times it is hard always to find or even warrant the time to attend the tastings or trade events that you would like to go to. But it is even more frustrating to go along and then find little to take away with you.

There is a real opportunity to take the lead in this area. Yes, tastings may be the lifeblood of what we all do, but where is the follow up? How many people have you contacted after attending an event to find out what they have done as a result?

What wines have you stocked, what ranges have you delisted to make room for them? What else would you need to make your sales grow even more, a week, a month or three months after the event?

Too often the onus, understandably, is to get bums on seats, as it were, and find people to attend. But arguably the biggest win is in helping those who attend after the event, rather than before or during it.