The COVID-19 pandemic has had a widespread effect on how businesses carry out their activities. The beer, wine, and spirits industry isn't an exception to this. Tasting rooms across the globe have closed their doors to help flatten the curve, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on tastings. Both national and local purveyors of beer, wine, and spirits have shifted their activities to suit the ever-changing landscape by offering curbside pickup, delivery options, and of course, virtual tasting opportunities. Last week, we covered the basics of putting together a successful virtual tasting program for suppliers. This week, we’ll explore the best practices for group leaders looking to plan their individual tasting events.
#GroupForward and Host Your Own Virtual Tasting
Tired of the basic virtual Happy Hour? If you’re looking to embrace the new normal by connecting with a group and keeping your social life busy while sipping your favorite adult beverage and learning more about new varieties - this guide is for you.
The key to making any event a success is creating an event people want to attend. Set up a pre-event survey to find the right crowd. To get the most out of your virtual tasting experience, it's important to #GroupForward with those who will enjoy the tasting experience as much as you do. Cast a wide net with your survey and center it around gauging the interest of your group.
Once you’ve got your tasting team together, you can set up a more intimate survey to find…
- The right time: Virtual tastings are best done when people can sit down, relax, and really enjoy the experience. Be sure to ask your tasting team what dates and times work best for them.
- The right price: A virtual tasting should be fun without breaking the bank. When it comes to the drinks we love, price points can vary widely. Knowing the comfortable budget range amongst the members of your tasting team will help you build an event your whole group can afford.
- The right type: To know which beverages are best for your virtual tasting experience, your tasting team must choose the right type of tasting. Choose between a horizontal tasting with different producers or vertical tasting with a single producer.
Define the Details
With your survey responses in hand, you’re ready to get down to the details and create your tasting event. You want to ensure that the experience will be interactive, engaging, knowledgeable, and fun. A few key organizational points to consider are…
- The host with the most: Learning about the varietals you’re tasting is one of the key components to this type of event. The host must be comfortable while speaking and make the session fun. If you’re an aficionado of the drinks you’ll be tasting you can take the lead and guide your group through the tasting process. If you’re looking for a less active role, you can look to book a tasting package through a brewery, distillery, or winery to use their professional guides or look to hire an independent tasting guide for your event.
- The best platform for your tasting: Great tastings involve two-way communication where guests are allowed to express their opinion, ask questions, and partake in different types of games. There are a plethora of video conferencing platforms available to you. We've put together a list of some of the top online spots for virtual group events to help you choose.
- The beverage supplier: Each participating household is expected to have at least 3-4 varieties to taste. Coordinating where and how your group will get those varieties for the event is key. If your tasting team is spread far and wide you may want to look into national brands to ensure pick up or delivery will be available for all of your group members. If you’re tasting with the local crowd, you can look into coordinating curbside pickup or delivery from a local winery, brewery, or distillery. If the tasting team is centered in areas where the above options aren’t readily available, don’t despair. You can plan your tasting around options available for pickup at your local grocery stores and spirits shops.
Promote and Manage
Now that all the details are confirmed, you’re ready to put together your event. From here you can invite your tasting team, promote the event to additional potential group members via social media, and start collecting payments. While it may seem like a lot to manage, especially from a distance, this can all be handled virtually just like the tasting itself. With GroupTools you can survey your guests, create a custom event page, promote your event, collect payments, securely accept any necessary forms for your event, and more.
Getting started with GroupTools is easy and free. Login or register today to start planning your virtual tasting experience. If you need assistance with your event, the GroupTools customer success team will be happy to help you every step of the way and will even offer customized templates like this one for your tasting event.