DB Awards 2016: a report on the winners

Trade Event of the Year

Trade drinks event of the yearWinner: The Showcase by Enotria & Coe

The merger of Enotria and Coe Vintners was easily the most important occasion in either business’s history, and as such, the launch of Enotria&Coe had to be the new two companys’ biggest and best event yet.
Taking over seven rooms of the Truman Brewery and welcoming more than 1,800 customers, the event achieved record attendance numbers and, with a comprehensive digital strategy, achieved high levels of engagement.
Featuring a wide range of wines and spirits across five rooms (Sparkling, Europe, Brand Owners, Americas and Tri-Nations) the event showcased Enotria&Coe’s extensive combined portfolio in a dynamic format.

Overall the showcase pushed the boundaries of drinks events, finding an innovative way of incorporating a huge portfolio in a way that still allowed our customers to engage with producers, suppliers and our team in an immersive setting.
The event impressed the judges because,as it had it incorporating two new businesses into one event, it presented many challenges. Judges deemed it “successful and well executed” and praised Enotria&Coe for “clever touches”, like speed-dating, so the sales force met producers the day before the event.

Judges concluded: “They overcame the challenge of integrating these two big companies” with “a successful and well attended event”.

Consumer Drinks Event of the Year

Consumer Drinks EventWinner: Direct Wines for The Sunday Times Vintage Festival

The 36th Vintage Festival was deemed a huge success in 2015, making a profit, breaking attendance records and achieving a 94% customer satisfaction score.
Marketing for the festival included a personalised campaign to repeat visitors, plus customers based in London or commuter corridors. The event also expanded its What’s On This Weekend listings and Sunday Times presence.
The event involved four sessions of 3.5 hours, with customers having a choice of 300 wines, guided by a colourful handbook and WSET-qualified stewards. Many wines were poured by their producers, including Hunters from New Zealand, Paolo Masi from Tuscany and some “merry Malbec makers” from Argentina.

Among the special features of the festival were a lively ‘Spanish Quarter’ organised in collaboration with Wines from Spain where customers could discover the diversity of Spain plus try traditional food matches; a ‘British Market’ offering artisan food and a ‘Fine Wine Room’ which 400 customers paid to attend and taste such wines as Krug, Lafite 1990 and Penfolds Yattarna.
As ever, Hugh Johnson OBE was on hand to open the event. Judges said this well-established consumer event “was beautifully executed” and were impressed that it had mnaged to make a profit. It was felt that the festival was a textbook example of how to do a consumer wine tasting.

Consumer Drinks Event runner upRunner-up: The Whisky Exchange for The Whisky Show 

Now in its eighth year, The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show attracted more than 3,000 consumer visitors to Old Billingsgate to sample from 600 whiskies and 100 brands.
The Whisky Show aims to be both fun and educational, giving consumers a chance to try some of the rarest whiskies in the world and giving brands a platform to launch new products; while the event also raises money for charity.

Judges described this year’s event as “innovative” and “creative”. They particularly approved of the Whisky Exchange’s decision to include food pairings to stimulate visitors’ senses. While not groundbreaking the show was well executed and managed to raise the fine sum of £225,0000 for charity.

Judges felt organisers had taken elements from the wine world that worked, and recruited the right people to make the event work.

Drinks event of the year shortlist:

• Diageo Special Releases by Story PR
• Mercado Chileno by Wines of Chile
• Polo in the Park by Champagne Lanson
• The Sunday Times Vintage Festival by Direct Wines
• The Showcase by Enotria&Coe
• The Whisky Show by The Whisky Exchange

(Due to the large number of excellent entries, and the different requirements of planning and running an event for a trade, compared to a consumer audience, we decided to split this award in two)

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