The 2018 Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference will take place March 6 – 8 at the Hotel Burlington & Conference Center in Burlington, Vermont. Please see below for the current agenda, subject to change.
12:30 PM – 6:30 PM Registration & Expo
1:00 – 4:00 PM “Sharing Best Practices” Summits: Included in your conference registration price, these summits allow you to learn from industry leaders, hear from your peers, and share your own best practices. Each summit will have a moderator and several experienced veterans who provide their opinions on a list of key subjects, each time followed by group participation. These are always very highly rated so don’t miss out! We will have Summits for the following groups:
- Breweries: Includes tap room managers, marketing, communications, etc.
- Tour Operators
- Destination Management Organizations
- Brewery Guilds
- Top 50 Breweries: Includes tap room managers, marketing, communications, etc.
4:30 – 6:30 PM Beer Expo & Opening Reception: Meet and taste beers from our sponsors from Vermont, around the US, and farther abroad. Non-profit or governmental brewers guilds and destination management organizations who register for the conference can staff a table to represent their region and pour their beers at no charge.
8:00 AM – 4:40 PM Registration & Expo
9:00 – 9:10 AM Official Conference Opening
9:10 – 9:40 AM Welcome from Julia Herz of the Brewers Association: Julia provides a high-energy, fact-intensive overview of the current state of the beer industry with a specific focus on marketing and tourism. Not to be missed.
9:40 – 10:40 AM Working Together To Grow Beer Tourism: Beer tourism is real and it is important to just about everyone: regions hoping to boost economic success, hotels filling beds, breweries promoting their tap rooms, and tour operators selling empty bus seats. While we can all work separately, perhaps more effective is to work with your beer and tourism industry colleagues towards a similar goal. In this panel, we’ll hear from a brewery, brewery guild, beer tour operator, destination management organization, and hotel on how each would like to cooperate with the other.
10:40 – 10:55 AM Break
10:55 – 11:40 AM Keynote: Announcement coming soon
11:40 – 1:10 PM Lunch: Lunch and a variety of local beers will be provided by our Vermont hosts.
1:10 – 2:10 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Three
- Marketing: Database Management and Email Marketing: Email marketing seems like it has now been around forever. Yet it is still considered one of if not the most cost effective forms of marketing available. And while you likely engage in email marketing and know many of the terms, are you confident you are segmenting your audience, writing emails to maximize open and click through rates, using a CRM database to the fullest, and monitoring your email deliverability statistics? You’ll learn how hear.
- Tourism: How Beer Revitalizes Downtowns: Is beer the cure all? Of course not. But we have seen it do some amazing things, including revitalizing the downtowns of small and large towns seemingly left behind by the technological era. Our panelists will present several different case studies of how beer, breweries, and beer tourism helped revitalize a downtown.
- Tour Operators: Creating the International Beer Tour Operators Association: After the 2017 Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference, a group of beer tour operators started communicating on Facebook about creating the International Beer Tour Operators Association. We’ll hear an update on current progress as well as discuss steps still to be taken.
2:10 – 2:25 PM Break
2:25 – 3:25 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Three
- Marketing: Advanced Social Media Marketing: Social media has been the rage for 10 years yet is still going strong both with consumers and with marketers. However, social media marketing always changes, both in terms of which platforms are hot and hot to maximize your investment. We’ll hear what is new with social media marketing, with a specific emphasis on the beer industry and on advanced techniques.
- Tourism: Craft Beer For Non-Craft Beer Drinkers: Craft brewers are great at selling their beer to people who already drink it, but what about the other 88 percent of the market? This session will discuss how to make craft beer — as a category — more relatable to non-craft beer drinkers, and how that will affect the bottom line. The discussion will be applicable not only to brewers but to anyone involved with the industry wishing to sell to a broader audience.
- Tour Operators: Working With Breweries, Brewery Guilds, and DMOs: Beer Tour Operators already realize their relationships with breweries are critical to their success. But equally important can be cooperation with local brewery guilds and Destination Management Organizations. We’ll hear from the other side of the aisle with a panel consisting of a brewery, guild, and DMO offering advise to beer tour operators on how they would like to cooperate.
3:25 – 3:40 PM Break
3:40 – 4:40 PM Live Beer Social: Live Beer Blogging is the premier event of the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference and we are adapting it for the BMTC in 2018. Sponsors will have five minutes to pour their beer for a table of BMTC attendees, present their story, and allow attendees to taste and evaluate the beers via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more. After five minutes, breweries will rotate to another table for a total of ten rounds and approximately 70 attendees. This is a fun way for attendees to taste a variety of beers and hone their beer tasting skills and for sponsors to reach an influential audience via small-group discussions while receiving an immediate impact on social media.
4:40 – 6:40 PM Reception With Vermont Hosts: Our Vermont hosts will put on a reception of Vermont beers to end the day.
9:15 – 10:15 Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Three
- Marketing: Protecting Your Brand: Legally protecting your brand is a key issue for any business in any industry. But with so many breweries and so many beers, the beer industry has a more difficult task than most. We’ll hear from a law firm with experience in protecting beer brands in terms of intellectual property.
- Tourism: Thinking Outside the Bottle & Can: Visitor Experience 101: A rich, multifaceted visitor experience can be a real game-changer for your brewery — and Lisa Cortese, a/k/a The Booze Stylist, will teach you how to create a robust, profitable engagement strategy with four critical components: 1) Rethink the basic, boring TOUR with new ways to encourage comfortable participation and build an emotional connection to your brand. 2) Explore the art of TASTING, learning how to highlight your products and educate visitors with tasting notes, suggested pairings, cocktail ideas and more. 3) Get smart strategies for how to transform your GIFT SHOP into a sustainable revenue source as you maximize selection — while carefully curating inventory to keep it relevant to both the brand and visitors — and support it with amazing customer service. 4) And get great advice for driving TRAFFIC by creating a welcoming, receptive public profile, from traditional advertising to smart social media tactics to partnerships with local and state tourism agencies.
- Tour Operators: Marketing For Beer Tour Operators: Many marketing practices are the same for all small businesses: website creation, search engine optimization, social media marketing, etc. But some items are different: partnering with breweries and local hotels, focusing on local SEO, and more. We’ll hear from a professional marketer and a successful beer tour operator specifically about what is likely to work and not work for your business.
10:30 – 11:30 Breakout Sessions: Choose One of Three
- Marketing: Online Advertising: Social Media, Paid Search, Display Ads, and Retargeting: We all like to think digital marketing via the Internet should be free. However, sometimes the most effective marketing is still paid advertising just, in this case, online. In fact, if you are not paying Facebook, you probably aren’t getting much out of your Facebook page. We’ll hear about four key areas of online advertising: social media advertising, paid search, display ads, and retargeting.
- Tourism: Draw Visitors by Telling Your Story: Some breweries are able to draw tourists simply based on a beer or beer they have produced. Some cities and regions are already seen as vacation destinations. But for the vast majority of breweries and destinations, tourists need a reason to visit. That reason is very unlikely to be that your city now has 10 breweries (many do) or that your brewery produces X beer. The way to connect with beer tourists is via your story and their emotions. We’ll learn how.
- Tour Operators: Coming soon
11:30 – 1:00 PM: Lunch: Lunch will be provided by our Vermont hosts
1:00 – 2:00 PM The View of Beer Marketing & Tourism From the Press Box: We’ll hear from a number of beer and tourism journalists about their thoughts on the state of beer marketing and beer tourism. Panelists will be announced soon.
2:00 – 3:00 PM: All-Group Session: Details coming soon
3:00 – 3:15 PM: Break
3:15 – 4:00 PM: Closing Keynote: Announcement coming soon
4:00 – 4:15 PM: Conference Close & Announcement of 2019 Location