The Big Deal: WSWA 75th Annual Convention & Exposition Hits Caesars Palace Las Vegas April 30-May 3

Mar 06, 2018
Washington, D.C.
Online Registration Open; Award Winners Announced Keynote Speaker, Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State (1997-2001)

The industry's leading event uniting distributors and suppliers will mark its 75th anniversary at Caesars Palace Las Vegas this year; registration for the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 75th Annual Convention & Exposition is open and the event's interactive registration and information website is live at


Wholesalers seeking portfolio partners or suppliers in search of U.S. distribution or market expansion--the WSWA 75th Annual Convention & Exposition is designed to deliver business results.


The event will take place April 30 - May 3, 2018 with the theme, "The Big Deal." Visit for complete exhibitor and attendee information and pricing.


Highlights for the 75th Anniversary Convention will include:


  • Keynote Speakers: Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State (1997-2001) and recipient, Presidential Medal of Freedom; and, Rich Karlgaard, Publisher of Forbes.
  • Brand BattleWSWA's version of Shark Tank, where pre-selected brands compete and pitch their stories to our panel of industry influencers live on stage. 
  • Newly introduced WSWA Leadership Series, provocative thought-leadership programming for Wholesalers and invited guests.
  • Two packed Exhibit Halls featuring the industry's most innovative products.
  • Lower Level and Traditional Hospitality Suites with both new and longstanding industry suppliers.
  • Wine and Spirits Tasting Competitions, which last year drew over 600 entries from across wine and spirits categories.
  • Call for Cocktails Mixology Competition, where 12 pre-selected brands execute original cocktail recipes, crafted front and center on the WSWA competition stage.
  • Our unique Wholesaler Iron Mixologist Competition, showcasing the best mixologists in the business creating cocktails that incorporate a surprise ingredient unveiled to the competitors at the start of this timed competition.
  • Two General Sessions, featuring high-profile speakers, remarks by WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf and incoming WSWA Chairman Barkley Stuart of Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits, as well as presentation of the Lifetime Leadership Award and the Sidney Frank Innovation Award.
  • The well-attended Opening Night Reception, sponsored by the Presidents' Forum of the Distilled Spirits Industry.
  • Our signature Taste of the Industry, a grand tasting highlighting a vast array of products.
  • An information-packed U.S. Beverage Alcohol Forum, with sessions on Industry Threats and The Power of Data and Social Media Influencers.


WSWA will also recognize two industry giants: Rob Sands and Bobby Harmelin.


The WSWA Educational Foundation will present Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands with the Sidney Frank Innovation Award, given annually to a person who has made exceptional industry and philanthropic contributions. The award is named for Sidney Frank, an industry innovator and philanthropist.


Bobby Harmelin, Executive Vice President of New Jersey-based Allied Beverage Group, will receive WSWA's Lifetime Leadership Award, presented annually to a wholesaler whose contribution to the association, the beverage industry, and the community, defines excellence, inspires loyalty, and exemplifies leadership.


"WSWA is excited to return to Las Vegas where our 75th Anniversary event will continue its long tradition of connecting suppliers with distributors and showcasing the beverage alcohol industry's newest brands, exciting competitions and that unique fun and value for which WSWA is known," WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf said.


"This year, we've provided even more value for wholesalers and suppliers with our popular and successful Brand Battle, where wholesalers can spot the next big trend and new brand, and product suppliers can learn from a panel of top industry experts what it takes to succeed in today's market," Wolf added.


To register, view exhibit information, learn about sponsorship opportunities, or view current program information, please visit, or contact the convention hotline at 202-371-5682.