WBIS – Where Wine, Business and Innovation meet

#WBIS – It’s not everyday you get to combine everything you love in life but when I was called in to a meeting with the briefing of “how about organising an event about the wine business”, there was something that ticked my fancy so to speak. The result was a day of seminars, new business pitching and a networking wine tasting.

#WBIS – Wine Business Innovation Summit 2013, Brussels from Marc Roisin on Vimeo.

Organised by myself, Marc Roisin (CEO and founder of Vinogusto.com) with valuable support from Jens De Maere (founder of Belgianwines.com) and a team of highly enthusiastic members of the Belgian wine scene, #WBIS was a great example of how  professional collaboration gets results. Growth and innovation were the themes of the day with nine seminars delving into the issues currently being affronted in today’s wine industry: – how to launch a wine brand – how to communicate to 25 – 35 yr old consumers – the ROI of catering to a community such as #Winelover for wineries or generic organisations – Video marketing – different approaches to selling wine on-line – the ROI of social media for wine producers and wine merchants – Wine tourism – is wine tourism the answer to increasing sales? – Unique wine identification & database management – The ROI of bloggers trips.. All themes that were chosen and voted on by our on-line community.

We selected the speakers for their expertise in each of the domains and for their ability to convey their message, views and experience to the plateau of well-qualified wine professionals that had travelled from all corners of Europe to attend. Despite #WBIS being a completely new event, we managed to haul in

  • Robert Joseph, well-known British wine critic come producer
  • Rich Tomko, CEO of Snooth
  • Finkus Bripp, multimedia specialist and creator of wineontherocks.tv
  • Miss Vicky Wine, social media whizz and wine producer
  • Andre Ribeirinho and Luiz Alberto, founders of the #Winelover community
  • Ryan Opaz, organizer of the EWBC
  • Stefano Soglia, expert on the development of wine tourism in Italy
  • Nico Bour, co-founder and CEO of Uvinum/Sportivic
  • Melanie Tarlant of Champagne Tarlant
  • Elena Zeni of Cantina Zeni
  • Jean-frederic Hugel of Hugel & FIls
  • Ward de Muynck of Chateau Castigno and Le Van Rouge
  • Filipe Jose Carvalho of Douro Spirit.

Following the exchange of opinions and experience at the round tables, #WBIS put the spotlight on wine business entrepreneurs with the #WBIS Business Awards. A panel of judges and a room full of qualified wine professionals were given the chance to hear 6 presentations from wine business start-ups. The 2-minute presentations were rated for their quality of presentation, degree of innovation, consumer focus and economic viability by the panel of wine business experts with three presentations scooping over 70 points. Vincod, a cloud service of on-line tasting notes for wineries grabbed the coveted #WBIS Business award.

It was then time to round off the day by uncorking some bottles at the #WBIS mega-tasting. Sponsors of the event Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur, Sfriso, Belgian Wines, Jaillance, Grenache Symposium and Hugel served their wines in the innovative Govino glasses provided by Hugel & Fils.

The 2nd edition of #WBIS will be held early 2014 – watch out for news: @Winebis