WBIS – Wine Business Innovation Summit – 2nd edition

Wine. Business. Innovation. These are the three ingredients we mixed together when creating the WBIS event in Brussels in January. I say “we”, I’m referring to  myself and Marc Roisin, founder of Vinogusto and a passionate wine business entrepreneur, along with Jens de Maere, distributor and promoter of Belgian wines.

Earlier this year,  170 people bore the snow and sub-zero temperatures to travel to Belgium for the first edition of the Wine Business Innovation Summit. This January, we’re taking the event to yet another cold, beer-centric city : Munich.

WBIS Brussels

So why is that?

Well being a wine event doesn’t mean that we have to be in a wine region to enjoy it. This event is more about the business behind the wine industry rather than the wine itself although wine gets a spotlight during the guided wine tastings by the Wines of Germany and the German Wine Institute on Sunday. We’ll also have a moment on friday night to share some wine together.

Munich, like Brussels, is pretty easy to get to from almost everywhere in Europe. For us it’s important to chose a place that people can fly, drive train and coach too without too much effort. Being one of the largest airports in Europe, having direct rail links to France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy and then being easy to read by road, a trip to Munich shouldn’t turn into a logistical mission.

And what will we be doing there?

Just as the first edition, we turned to the on-line wine community to decide what they wanted to talk about and, via a poll and online voting, we can up with a range of topics for our programme of seminars. We limited our first WBIS experience to one day and some of the attendees told us they’d like to see more content on the Sunday so this year we’ve made a second half-day programme with more sessions and two wine tastings.

This year’s programme will include the importance of bloggers on the wine scene, the rise of wine clubs, how to become a professional wine writer, how video can make a difference to our brand, the importance of place Vs brand, the importance of consumers in driving sales. All the seminars are lead by experts in each field.

Who do we expect to come?

This is the question I often hear, “Who is #WBIS aimed at?” and here I have to say “people in the wine industry who are looking to grow and develop new projects”. I thnk its important in any business to learn, grow, develop and change. Some of the wine producers I work with have great vision – analysing their markets and developing new products to meet the needs of new consumers, knowing how they want to develop their business and very often they are looking for people to help them make that happen. We have entrepreneurs launching new projects to help consumers choose wines, provide services to wine producers or down the supply chain and we have bloggers and communicators looking to understand how the market is changing and how they can make the most of their role in it. WBIS is a collection of dynamic people looking to make headway, foster new projects and be disruptive in a traditionally conservative wine market.

On the WBIS website, we have the programme of the event as well as tips for where to stay and a link for registration

Video from WBIS in Brussels 2013