Well I actually do have more than 75 slides we've just finished putting together. They're from the most recent Direct to Consumer survey; hardly a fraud. I think you would really appreciate all of the information, but the total deck of slides are only for original survey participants. There are some slides and information anyone can get though.
Among many interesting metrics and findings, the conclusions on Urban Tasting Rooms were pretty remarkable ... we could even say the discoveries are 'jaw dropping?'
Urban Tasting Room Failures
For quite sometime now, I've been wondering about the effectiveness of Urban Tasting Rooms. I haven't seen any good information to support their true worth. But our recent analysis for the first time shows that tasting rooms removed from the winery/vineyard have far less visitation comparatively, lower purchase revenue and far worse club conversions. By every imaginable metric we use today, the Downtown or Urban Tasting Room is a failure.
Ignoring for a moment the urban tasting rooms in places like Washington where the growing region is so remote from the population base, for most wineries, the reason to open a downtown/urban tasting room started with the thinking that 'we could attract more people to our brand if we we're in areas that attracted tourists.' That made sense, but that thinking overvalued convenience and accessibility as a consumer desire.
In the end what we've come to discover is what we already really knew: Visitors are seeking an experience. What we didn't fully appreciate is if tourists wanted to go to a wine bar to taste, that's what they would do. And if a downtown tasting room is too much like a wine bar, the consumer won't pay as much as they would at the winery. Wine bars don't attract winery tourists. They attract wine tasters.
When visitors go to wine country - wherever that is, they are coming to experience the winery and it is authentic appeal that they are seeking. Thinking from the other side, if tourists are going to San Francisco or any other tourist city, they aren't going there to taste wine because that's not where grapes are grown. In San Francisco they are going to see Alcatraz, the Golden Gate and Fisherman's Wharf.
All that said, there are actually reasons to have a downtown tasting room, but we've been measuring the wrong things, and viewing success wrong.
Live Direct to Consumer Videocast
I hope that's enough of a teaser to get you to sign up for the annual SVB/Wine Business Monthly Live Videocast where we will offer more dialogue on this finding and many more that actually might just be (wait for it.......) jaw dropping!
Please [register] for this year's live telecast which will take place this Wednesday, May 16th where we will discuss this, along with new survey findings. And if you can't make this time, registering will get you the link to the videocast replay when that's available.
This year's panel will include:
Amy Hoopes, Preseident of Wente Family Winery
Paul Mabray, Wine Industry Digital Futurist and Director, Emetry.com
Cyril Penn, Editor in Chief, Wine Business Monthly.
Date: May 16tth
Time: 9:30 am - 10:30 am PDT