The Best Wine Event Ever…Really
One of the real joys of my work is helping clients put together their Wine Club events. These are events, get-togethers, parties and such designed specifically for those wine lovers that have joined a winery’s club, those people who regularly buy wine vintage after vintage. They need to be treated like the special friends they are.
COMEDY NIGHT IN THE CELLAR…WHAT A GREAT IDEA
One event we planned a couple years ago over at Mayo Family Winery and duplicated again this year was hands down the most successful event I’ve ever involved a client with: Comedy Night in the Cellar.
COMEDY OFF THE VINE…BEST WINE EVENT I’VE EVER PRODUCED
There is this comedian from Southern California, Howie Walfish (That’s his real name) who put together a company he calls "Comedy Off the Vine". Basically, he contracts with wineries to create comedy nights, bringing himself and a couple other comedians into a winery for a show of laughs. Howie nails the wine country, the winery and the visitors with commentary on the "wine country lifestyle".
LAUGHING AT THE GOURMET BUBBLE IN WHICH WE LIVE
I was talking to him yesterday about an upcoming show. In the course of this conversation he naturally goes off on a riff about the "Gourmet Lifestyle Bubble" in which we wine country types live. Really funny stuff…because it’s true. Napa and Sonoma wine country does tend to live in this bubble of epicurean delights that define our lifestyle. And when you sit back and listen to someone else talk about it from an outsiders perspective, it looks pretty funny.
Howie has played all the big comedy houses, done the TV thing and for some time was considered the top "Murder Mystery" comedian in Southern California. Now he’s branching out and taking on wine country. (Check out some video’s of his work….Funny!)
If any winery owners are reading this let me just say this: You will make your club members happier than ever before, create important loyalty and sell more wine on a comedy in the cellar event than nearly any other event you can think up. It’s as simple as this: Wine lovers are so pre-disposed to laugh at themselves once they are given the chance to do so.
Of course my message her to wineries is to go outside the box in creating events for your wine club members. Howie Walfish’s comedy nights, while the best and most successful "out-of-the-box" experience I’ve ever concocted, is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s possible. The epicurean bubble we live in up here tends to result in most events being the same: Meet the winemaker, drink his wine in the his cellar with candles, eat great food, buy something at an auction and listen to some jazz.
CREATING SMILES CREATES SALES
People are far more willing to open their wallet and be appreciative as they do it if they are happy at the time. I can recall listening to Howie go off on "the god awful amount of wine you people drink up here" and looking out at an audience in which every single face had a smile on it. My client ended the night with more loyal customers, more wine club members and a very long register receipt of the wines they sold that night.
Yes, this is a bit of a commercial for Howie’s "Comedy Off the Vine" services. But it’s also a call for more creativity in the world of wine events and wine clubs. Howie will give you that for sure. But there are numerous ways to accomplish this. And it’s good business.