From Celebrity Launches and Tasting/Mixology Competitions to Brand Battle, #WSWA73 Has it All

Apr 07, 2016
Keynotes Include: CNN’s David Gregory and Fearless Adventurer Aron Ralston as WSWA 73rd Annual Convention & Exposition Returns to Vegas April 18-21

Celebrity appearances and product launches from Channing Tatum, Christie Brinkley, and more…tasting and mixology competitions… Brand Battle to see who’s got what it takes to succeed … record level attendance from exhibitors and distributors, and much more are on-tap at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 73rd Annual Convention & Exposition.

More than 2,500 attendees are expected at the industry-leading event that unites U.S. wholesalers with suppliers from around the world April 18-21 at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. 

Highlights include:

  • Two General Sessions sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council, one featuring CNN’s David Gregory, formerly host of NBC’s Meet the Press, and the other offering an inspirational presentation from Aron Ralston, adventurer and subject of the film 127 Hours.
  • Two sold out Exhibit Halls as well as Lower Level and Traditional Hospitality Suites.
  • Popular events including the Wine & Spirits Tasting Competitions, the Call for Cocktails Mixology Competition and the unique Wholesaler Iron Mixologist Competition—under the guidance of emcee Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist.
  • New this year is the exciting “Brand Battle” where brands with compelling stories will pitch their product to a panel of high-profile industry insiders in front of a live audience.  Experts will provide candid feedback and suggestions on maximizing their approach—information that will benefit every supplier and wholesaler in attendance.  This session is just one of three compelling sessions offered on the final day at the U.S. Beverage Alcohol Forum.  Complete session information is available here.
  • The popular Opening Night Reception sponsored by The Presidents’ Forum of the Distilled Spirits Industry, and the Taste of the Industry grand tasting, and much more.

WSWA association leaders, attendees and exhibitors will take time to honor two industry giants: Larry Ruvo and Tito Beveridge.

WSWA will present the Lifetime Leadership Award to 47-year industry veteran Larry Ruvo, Senior Managing Director with Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada.  The award is presented annually to a wholesaler whose contribution to the association, the beverage industry and the community defines excellence, inspires loyalty and exemplifies leadership.

The WSWA Educational Foundation will recognize Tito Beveridge, founder of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, with the Sidney Frank Award, given annually to a person who has made exceptional industry contributions in addition to noteworthy philanthropy and community service.  The award is named for Sidney Frank, a leading innovator who built a number of successful brands and was an extraordinary philanthropist.  The award will be presented by Sidney Frank Importing Company CEO Jeffrey Popkin.

Suppliers will have the opportunity to be recognized with the Hot New Now Media Award, and all attendees will be able to vote for their favorite product for the Attendees Choice Award.  Visit for details.

WSWA is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesalers, distributors and brokers of wine and spirits.  Founded in 1943, WSWA has 366 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia and its members distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States.  More information is available at