U.S. Beverage Alcohol Forum Debuts at WSWA

WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Beverage Alcohol Forum (USBAF) debuted on Thursday, April 5, 2012 at the WSWA 69th Annual Convention & Exposition in Las Vegas.

The attendees participated in five interactive panels, including:

  • Seduced by Social Media
  • Brand Activation
  • Industry Trends and Brand Builders
  • Navigating Brand Entry and Distribution
  • Building, Cultivating and Retaining a World-Class Team

“We put together a tremendously valuable series of sessions featuring a number of prominent industry experts and leaders. I’m pleased the attendees gained practical information they can use immediately to improve their ability to grow in the U.S. market,” said Craig Wolf, WSWA President and CEO.

Steve Raye of Brand Action Team highlighted the use of social media in getting brands recognized and accepted by consumers. “Social media is a critical tool for marketing brands today,” said Raye. “Marketers need to focus on presenting an authentic online voice and work on contributing value to the conversations occurring online.”

“To maximize distribution opportunities and ultimately brand valuations, brand owners must stay on top of the changing landscape of the U.S. beverage alcohol system.” explained John Beaudette of MHW, Ltd.

Jeff Grindrod of Brand Action Team presented ann overview on product trends both globally and in the U.S. He explained that “while the U.S. dominates the wine and spirits market overall, it’s important to be aware of what’s happening abroad as those trends will increasingly affect our marketplace.”

Mike Ginley of Next Level Marketing moderated a panel on to the concept of Brand Ambassadors. “The industry has become more competitive and sophisticated, making brand ambassadors an increasingly important component of a company’s marketing mix. Brand Ambassadors bring expertise and a personal touch that traditional advertising cannot replicate.”

Josh Wand of BevForce stressed that at the base of every strong company is a dynamic team. His discussion emphasized the importance of not just creating, but maintaining a dynamic company culture which motivates employees through means in addition to compensation.

To view these sessions, go to www.USDrinksConference.com orwww.wswaconvention.org. Don’t miss next year’s event on May 1, 2013 at the WSWA 70th Annual Convention & Exposition at Grande Lakes Orlando, Florida.

The USBAF is a partnership between Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) and the U.S. Drinks Conference (USDC) to provide practical insights and ideas for wine and spirit brands to enter and grow in the American Market. The U.S. Drinks Conference was established in 2007 by Brand Action Team, MHW, Ltd., and Next Level Marketing, a collection of alcohol beverage service companies whose experience exceeds over 75 years of industry experience specializing in the commercialization of wine and spirit brands.

Forum sponsors included media partners Beverage Media Group, Beverage Information Group, Tasting Panel Magazine, Nightclub & Bar Media Group and Bar Business Magazine—as well as Nixon Peabody LLP, Western Carriers, JF Hillebrand, Overton, Mast Capital Partners and Kuehne + Nagel.

About the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America:

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, Inc. (WSWA) is the national trade organization representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry. It is dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesale distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has over 340 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our members distribute more than 70 percent of all wines and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States.

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