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Idea Fair

Hybrid Wine Events

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

One thing was for certain in 2020, the beverage industry was booming! Despite restrictions on common gatherings and events, or even the inability to stop at your local for a libation, people were tackling the trials of 2020, nearly doubling 'drink-at-home' alcoholic beverage sales industry wide.

Sure, we jumped on the bandwagon of cocktail kits, and even cleared out some back stock in our cellar with various promotions, but the true highlight in 2020 for the River Oaks Beverage Department was the capability of offering Hybrid Wine Events -- meaning we hosted events that could be enjoyed at home, or here at the club -- at the same time.

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?

On one occasion, the full wine dinner was offered at home, complete with a gourmet dinner and wine pairings, while they engaged over Zoom with the winemaker. In a separate event, the winemaker broadcast to the group while members enjoyed a more formal format at the Club, yet with the engagement of hearing from and speaking to the winemaker in virtual format. And most recently, the Club's Ladies Educational Wine Event was offered in two formats - in person OR at home. We hosted the event as we typically would at the Club, yet lived streamed the event as well for those at home. Ladies formed their own watch parties, complete with food and wine taken to-go from the Club.

In turn, the flexibility of these events, paired with keeping a consistent calendar of options, has allowed beverage revenues to return to normal levels far ahead of schedule.

About the author

Casey Newman

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