Seventy South Australian wine producers and a panel of more than 10 experts recently took part in a three-part interactive webinar series to learn all about setting up and running virtual wine tastings. With the COVID-19 pandemic severely restricting domestic and international travel, as well as events, meetings and tastings, many Australian winemakers have been struggling to stay connected and engaged with their distributors and their customers.
Hosted by South Australia’s Department for Trade and Investment (DTI) in partnership with Wine Communicators of Australia, the webinar series was designed to help SA winemakers overcome the challenges imposed by the pandemic and broaden their reach to a wider domestic and international marketplace. The webinars were powered by RingCentral Webinar™ utilising the cloud platform’s user registration, host control, presentation, speaker panel, Q&A and recording features.
“This was the first opportunity we have had to use RingCentral for one of our webinars, and it’s similar to Zoom*, however I understand the RingCentral platform has increased security,” said Lynda Schenk, Executive Officer, Wine Communicators of Australia.
In the first session, introduced by the Chief Executive of DTI Leonie Muldoon, participants were given great insights into the ideal hardware, software and cloud platforms to use for webinars, video and social media from Achieve Video Marketing, a South Australian-based company that’s been running a regular ‘SA Wine Weekly’ show on social media featuring wine and food tastings with leading SA winemakers.
The second session focused on the best content and approach to use in creating a successful virtual tasting and the nuances of presenting to international audiences, ending with a fascinating presentation on conducting virtual tastings with Chinese wine distributors.
Some of South Australia’s leading winemakers featured in the third and final webinar in the series – Oliver Budack from Maxwell Wines, Anna Fisher from Zontes Footsteps, Justine Henschke from Henschke Wines – as well as wine commentator, educator, promoter and personality Dan Sims from Revel Global, who was very vocal in encouraging winemakers to explore new ways of promoting and selling their products.
“We had a really lively discussion with our panel of winemakers in our final webinar in the series, and incredible interaction and engagement throughout with our audience. The idea of using webinars, social media and videoconferencing technology to keep in contact with important distributors and buyers has really opened up people’s eyes for the possibilities not just to tackle the challenges we are facing right now in the wine industry, but also improving the way we do things in the future,” concluded Schenk.
You can find complete recordings of the Virtual Tastings webinar series on the Wine Communicators of Australia YouTube Channel.
* Wine Communicators of Australia was using the RingCentral Webinar™ add-on to RingCentral Meetings™ powered by Zoom, rather than the RingCentral Video platform.