Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Winelover preparation for the winery visit -- guest post by Olga Mosina

In yesterday's post, I detailed the driving forces behind the creation of the Winelover Winery Visits Task Force, selection of the Task Force members, and the approach taken to accomplish the objectives. Since publication of that post I have been engaged in encouraging discussions which have led to the "unscrubbing" of the document and inclusion of recommendations targeted at the institutional winelover level.

As promised, today's post is Olga Mosina's writings on preparation for the winery visit.

a.    A winery hosting a group of winelovers is looking to increase media coverage and social media buzz as well as to acquire new ‘brand ambassadors,’ all of which will ultimately help to increase its brand recognition and sales.
b.    There are different reasons why a winelover chooses to go on a trip:
-    to get educated about the specific region and its wines;
-    (and, but not necessarily) to use this newly acquired knowledge to produce content;
-    (and) to increase his/her audience;
-    to meet like-minded people;
-    to network;
-    to have fun.
c.     The Winelover community has done a good job facilitating the above and now wants to increase the quantity and quality of the content its members produce and the audience for this content.
Suggested Pre-Trip Steps 
By signing up for a trip, every winelover already has an answer to the basic question: “Why am I taking time from my busy schedule and investing money to visit this particular region (instead of buying the wine in a store)?”

1. The Winelover community can formalize this step by actively encouraging/asking people to publicly reflect on why they are choosing to go on a trip. These answers/reflections can take one of many forms:
  • a pre-trip blog post/article
    • topics may include: wine grapes, styles of wines, famous wineries or personalities, history, etc., of the trip region;
  • a Facebook post (if the winelover does not have enough content for a full-fledged post/article);
  • a collection of photos;
  • a short video or audio;
  • other creative content.
2. The Winelover community should create a mechanism to gather and disseminate this content prior to the trip; for example, by featuring the best posts on its web-site and sharing the best content on social media. By doing so, the Winelover community will:
  • encourage participants to think about the trip ahead of time and do some research;
  • motivate people to create content by providing an opportunity for them to increase their audience prior to the trip;
  • encourage content creation by sharing high-quality examples;
  • make everyone better prepared for the trip by reading/viewing/commenting on other people’s content;
  • connect the participants of the upcoming trip;
  • create enthusiasm and a sense of anticipation prior to the trip;
  • improve winery preparation for the trip
    •  they will know who will be coming on the trip and what interests/questions they may have;
  • create buzz about the winery ahead of the visit;
  • make it easier to track content.
3. Research completed prior to the trip will help participants to stay more focused, ask specific questions, and collect better data during the trip. At the same time, no topics, creative styles, or research methods are being forced upon participants.

4. Creation of pre-trip content will make participants more likely to create post-trip content (either a follow-up on their earlier thoughts or something completely different).

Additional thoughts
If it becomes clear from pre-trip content that there are some specific interests in the groups, the trip can perhaps be tweaked to adapt to these interests. For example, if several people are interested in local food that goes with wine, or local wine tourism, or a specific style of wineries, some parallel visits can be arranged to accommodate these interests. 

Organizers of Winelover trips may choose to consider pre- and post-trip content as an essential part of the application process for future trips. This creates a simple rule for applicants: in order to be considered as a participant on the trip, one needs to submit content from (a) previous trip(s). 

Next Steps
The next step in the process is the actual winery visit. Winelover activities during this phase will be covered in Keith Edwards' upcoming post titled Winelover Site Visit.

©Wine -- Mise en abyme

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