Wholesalers seeking their next portfolio partner and wine, spirits and industry-related suppliers pursuing U.S. distribution or market expansion will find, “The Right Mix” needed to achieve business success at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 74th Annual Convention & Exposition coming to Grande Lakes Orlando April 18-21, 2017.
The alcohol beverage industry’s leading event returns to Orlando, with the 2017 theme, “The Right Mix,” to connect wholesalers with suppliers and other industry vendors, and to deliver an opportunity-packed schedule designed to translate time investment into bottom-line benefits.
Back by popular demand is “Brand Battle.” If you have a great brand with a compelling story and a strong business and marketing plan—then Brand Battle is the perfect platform to pitch to a panel of industry decision makers in front of a live audience. Our experts will provide contestants with candid, valuable feedback on brand, presentation and approach. Once accepted into “the Battle,” your presentation could lead to potential distribution opportunities by panelists or others in the audience. Brand Battle is part of the U.S. Beverage Alcohol Forum, a half-day educational program covering global topics as well as practical marketing and development strategies for suppliers and wholesalers.
Two General Sessions, sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council, will feature top-notch speakers in addition to remarks from the 2017-2018 incoming WSWA Chairman, Carmine Martignetti, President of Martignetti Companies, as well as WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf. WSWA will present the Lifetime Leadership Award, given each year to a wholesaler who demonstrates business leadership and industry philanthropy. The WSWA Educational Foundation will present the Sidney Frank Award, named for an industry giant who set new standards for innovation, community engagement and philanthropy. This award is given to an industry leader each year in partnership with The Sidney Frank Importing Company.
In recent years, both Exhibit Halls have sold out—and this year’s event will include more space to accommodate supplier demand. Lower Level and Traditional Hospitality Suites will showcase new and longstanding industry suppliers.
Along with two lively exhibit halls, the WSWA 74th Annual Convention & Exposition will feature the always-popular “Wine & Spirits Tasting Competitions,” in partnership with The Tasting Panel Magazine and The SOMM Journal. Last year’s event saw more than 600 entries across wine and spirits categories.
The action will continue at the “Call for Cocktails Mixology Competition” where brands execute original cocktail recipes, selected from pre-submissions, crafted front-and-center on the WSWA competition stage. Cocktails are then judged live by a panel of industry experts selected by The Tasting Panel Magazine and The Clever Root. Also returning is the “Wholesaler Iron Mixologist Competition,” showcasing the most innovative mixologists in the business and their ability to design cocktails incorporating a secret ingredient unveiled at the start of the timed competition. Tony Abou Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, will return as Executive Director and emcee for these on-stage competitions.
The WSWA 74th Annual Convention & Exposition will also feature the popular and stylish Opening Night Reception, sponsored by The Presidents’ Forum of the Distilled Spirits Industry and the popular Taste of the Industry grand tasting that showcases the industry’s latest trends.
“Last year, the WSWA Annual Convention & Exposition set new records for supplier participation, wholesaler attendance and competition participation. We’re already fielding requests for exhibit space and suite reservations and are on-track to produce another record-breaking event,” WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf said. “We encourage wholesalers and suppliers to register early because this year’s event will surely feature “The Right Mix” of education, information and bottom-line benefits the industry has come to expect from WSWA,” Wolf added.
To register, view exhibitor information, learn about sponsorship opportunities, and see current program information, please visit the WSWA convention website wswaconvention.org or call the WSWA Convention Hotline at 202-371-5682.