Years gone by, the ‘Wine Trip’ became the favoured method of (hopefully) achieving publicity and promotion through invitation of a group of suitably-qualified journalists, or of gaining marketplace listings by inviting suitably-qualified buyers, to tour a region or area of wine production. These trips were invariably totally free of charge – usually even paying an invited journalist or buyer’s costs to travel to and from their own national airport – and often included some periods of Rest and Relaxation by programming visits to non-essential facilities such as street markets or museums or other features of local interest.
And due to the world-wide desire of growers and producers from every wine region around the world to become a part of the UK market, wine communicators or buyers in the UK traditionally had more international invitations of this sort than they could possibly accept……
But those days are gone.
Nowadays there are far fewer trips on offer to the wine press or buyers in the UK, and the trips that are offered have to be more carefully measured and tailored to suit the exact needs of both those extending the hospitality and their potential visitors. However, to really work effectively, this more precise approach dictated by both commonsense and the recession needs strong presentation in both directions. Invited guests need a trip designed to provide sufficient hard facts and information to allow production of an income-generating article, or of achieving an importing commitment, with as little time-wasting (as they would see it) as possible, whilst producers or associations extending the invitation need to be assured they are attacting the right sort of fully acredited specialists with the power to positively influence their respective markets.
Allora Solutions already successfully act as intermediaries in this way. Having worked alongside international journalists for decades, those in FIJEV, The Circle of Winewriters, the Wine and Spirt Education Trust and the Association of Wine Educators, having developed regular and positive links with wine buyers at every level, and having established first class relationships with major production areas and groups around the world – most especially in Italy – we have a proven record of trip efficiency. We ensure that, as far as compatabilty is concerned, we put the right people on the right trip to the right place and ensure that both parties get exactly what they want and need from the arrangements.
Sometimes this requires a high degree of diplomacy. Some regions will try to insist their visitors spend time visiting a famous monument, or that a vineyard will use up valuable time showing a corporate video followed by a comprehensive guided tour of a property before getting down to the real reason for the visit – a tasting and discussion the product between two expert groups. Frankly, there will frequently be occasions where the hugely internationally experienced visitors will know more about the production methods and viticultural practices of the property than the property owners do themselves.
And all the above applies to all trips involving wine buyers and/or journalists – but these are two groups whose differing requirements invariably means they are best separated, either by organising completely separate trips or by dividing a combined group into two separate teams after arrival.
These types of promotional trips are necessarily expensive but, correctly designed and operated, can still prove totally cost effective. We suggest that any region or area wishing to promote itself in this way, initially consult us before even designing the content and program of events being offered. Our experience can ensure that at the same time we can increase value for money and ensure costs are driven down to an absolute minimum.