As the wine industry continues to grow, the types of events held at a winery may hold the key to success. Americans love wine, as does the world. In 2018, California sold about 40 million dollars’ worth of wine. The number of operating wineries increased 5% to roughly 8,800 in 2016. If these predictions are accurate, the wine production economy will only continue growing throughout the 50 states.
An audience for your winery is there and clamoring for more. But so is the competition. How are you attracting new guests and setting your winery apart from competitors? One effective way is to host recurring events.
Host Weekly or Monthly Events at Your Winery
Most wineries tend to have large event spaces and promote them as sites for one-off celebrations like music concerts, family events, and weddings. While these events are very important to your community presence, be sure to invest in local and regional resources to host regular events at your winery.
For example, weekly or monthly events have the power to:
- Boost sales.
- Attract new customers.
- Build loyal patronage.
Unlike a one-time event, recurring events ingrain your winery into the community, making it a place for families and friends to build memories that last. Through word-of-mouth alone, your event could become a part of the social fabric, with guests choosing your wine over others to bring home or give as gifts.
Listed below are some of the different options for recurring events wineries can host. With the use of an advanced Winery POS system, you can offer special promotions or seasonal menu options, and most importantly, track your sales throughout the year to see any lasting impact.
Host a Sunday Wine Brunch
Brunch is one of the most popular mealtimes for consumers on weekends, and restaurants that serve weekend brunch see great success. If you have a kitchen, even a modestly equipped one, consider hosting a Sunday Wine Brunch. Your food offerings don’t need to be too extensive or complicated. This allows you to create a menu that complements the wine, and to offer special prices, such as a free bottle of wine for every $30 spent or 25% off bottles to boost sales.
Throw a Weekend Party with Live Bands
Good music attracts crowds; just look at how popular it’s become to travel across the country for a music festival. Start auditioning local bands, musicians, and performers for a weekend-long party every month. Choose musicians that your audience or community would like, regardless of your personal tastes. Whether it is monthly, quarterly, or during summer months, this is sure to please!
Additionally, consider a Bride’s weekend event. Have a variety of local vendors, such as florists, caterers, and rental companies. Most live bands will be happy to comp performances during this open-house style event. This could include wine tasting to a well-rounded wedding planning event for interested brides-to-be.
Host an Art Exhibit
Viewing an exhibit at your winery would be an attractive experience for art viewers. Your winery could host a monthly art-viewing party and serve your wine. New and potential customers would then learn about your winery and have a chance to taste the options for themselves.
Show the art throughout the month; this makes your winery available to a new group of visitors who come for the art but stay for the wine. Be sure to consider different levels of artists, from regional artists to local and budding artists.
Partner with Well-Known Restaurants
Restaurants are the bedrocks of communities and aligning your winery with the preferred dining establishments in your area would set you in front of new eyes right away. The wine-and-food pairing menu could be hosted at your winery or at the restaurant, depending on your kitchen equipment limitations; yet both would still present great marketing options.
Host a Wine-Down Weekend Gathering
If hosting brunches or live bands isn’t possible, then host a weekly event where guests can wind down after a long work week. A gathering of this kind works best at wineries with a cozy ambiance and lots of comfortable seating space. This type of event can also be monthly and quarterly. If you have a spacious outdoor seating area, start planning now.
Hold a Murder-Mystery Event
Many mid- to large-sized cities have murder mystery businesses. In partnering with such a business, hold a wine tasting event along with the murder mystery. People certainly enjoy this type of interactive theater as immersive activities are becoming more popular. This type of event is great to start out annually.
Some other options for recurring events to increase your community presence include wine and cheese pairings, wine tasting 101, wine walk (partnering with other local wineries in a downtown or condensed area), happy hour, flight events (3-5 2 oz pours), New Year’s Gala or any other holiday-specific event.
Also, consider holding charity events for local organizations and find a charity that your winery has a specific connection to.
Keep in mind, all events do need to stick with your brand, even when partnering with others for the event. Be sure marketing includes your brand, as well as things at the time of the event. Take time to market on social media, including Instagram or Facebook. Most importantly, for guests anyway, is a chance to win something extra for attending your event. So, remember to have door prizes!
The benefits of hosting recurring events are seen over time, requiring patience and consistency on your part. Over time, your winery will be ingrained into the community. Incorporate events that make sense for your winery and see results in just a few months.