The 2020 Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference kicked off today in St. Petersburg, FL, with two certificate courses: Beer Marketing Certificate Course and the Beer Tourism Certificate Course. This was the first year these courses were offered to attendees. Each course consisted of a three-hour intensive overview of the beer industry in general and focusing on beer tourism and marketing in particular. Here is a little more about each course and a takeaway.
Beer Marketing Certificate Course
Participants were asked to bring specific marketing challenges with them: grow my customer base in a new age group; increase engagement among our community, etc. The course then covered five different areas of marketing; marketing strategy, branding, content, analytics, and automation. After our presenters addressed each area, we flipped the script, and our presenters ask the audience for their experiences, followed by five minutes of Individual Application in which attendees wrote down how to use their new knowledge to address specific marketing problems. This allowed for participants to walk away with a marketing plan and Certificate in Beer Marketing, in hand.
Speakers: Our presenters were Kevin York of Kevin York Communications, who runs his own marketing company dedicated to the craft beer industry, and Neal Stewart, VP of Marketing for Deschutes Brewery and former VP of Marketing for Dogfish Head.
Our Takeaway: Don’t ignore the foundations of marketing, they are used for a reason. However, each needs to be specialized to you and your brand. You should know your target consumer, positioning statement, objectives, and communication channels inside and out, and each component of your brand strategy and content should resonate with your target audience.
Quote: “Your website is an extension of your brand. It’s another way people form a deeper connection with your brand.” -Kevin York
Beer Tourism Certificate Course
Similar in structure to the previous course, the Beer Tourism Certificate Course was designed for representatives of Destination Management Organizations interested in promoting their region to beer tourists but applied to anyone interested in this industry. Attendees were given information on beer consumer demographics, education in and tastings of beer styles, motives of beer tourists, how to facilitate more beer tourism, and of course, successful strategies in promoting beer tourism. Participants in this course also walked away with a Beer Tourism Certificate and can now be considered the “go-to” person for beer tourism in their office. The course ended with a beer tasting from Julia Herz, what could be better?!
Speakers: Presenters included some of the top beer tourism minds in the country, including Mariah Calagione from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Julia Hertz from the Brewers Association, Dr. Neil Reid from The Beer Professor, Leroy Bridges from Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater and Reno Walsh from Zephyr United.
Our Takeaway: It’s easy to get lost in a saturated market, but to stand out, you need to be different and creative. Leroy Bridges from Visit St. Pete/Clearwater gave great examples of how St. Peter was successfully able to bring new people to the area.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend this year, stay tuned for our BMTC21 location and information announcement on Thursday.