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THE VISIT ISN’T OVER WHEN IT’S OVER After you’ve said goodbye, the visit is over but the relationship isn’t. So follow up! If you have a field team, great — that’s what they’re paid to do. If not, someone in distillery needs to be tasked with this responsibility. Always thank your industry guests for coming and ask if the experience met their expectations. Further, ask if the visit met their needs and if there is anything else you can provide. It’s good to be specific here — does a bartender need a branded shaker, a media outlet need more photos, or a reviewer need additional samples? By being specific in your follow-up, you’re communicating that you paid attention to their values and have respect for them. Then if they do have a post-visit need, fulfill it quickly; interest wanes fast. Multiple follow-ups can be useful for maintaining the relationship. If you receive value as the outcome of an industry visit — new account activation, cocktail menu placement, story, etc. — do another follow-up thanking the visitor for their continued attention to and support of your brand and extend an invitation to visit again.
INDUSTRY VISITORS ARE IMPORTANT VISITORS
Ask for Ray or Claire on the Spirits Packaging Team 800-457-5657 firstname.lastname@example.org
huge floor stock inventory
in multiple warehouse locations throughout North America.
custom bottle design and molds for your unique package.
over 100 years of expertise in the packaging industry.
By knowing what you want and what they want, an industry guest visit can generate strong mutual value. It is worth the time and effort to investigate and plan each industry visit to increase the likelihood the experience will convert to a positive outcome. Having a foundation of a strong brand identity, flavor messages and basic experience design plus staff training makes each individual industry visit easier to execute. But don’t rely on your standard tour as the industry visitor experience — that’s a waste of their time and drastically reduces the chances of your receiving strong value from their visit. Fundamentally, the industry visit is an opportunity for you to solve your visitor’s problem. Ideally, build the problem-solve that you are providing directly into the distillery visit experience to ensure that the value-creation message is received loud and clear, then follow-up to maintain the relationship.
Tim Knittel is a Bourbon educator, writer and event specialist in Lexington, KY. He formerly managed the culinary and VIP hospitality programs for the Woodford Reserve Distillery and is currently the Bourbon Steward-in-Residence for The Kentucky Castle. He runs Distilled Living which provides private Bourbon education, brand representation and distillery consulting services. He holds the titles of Executive Bourbon Steward through the Stave & Thief Society and Adjunct Professor of Tourism, Event Management and Bourbon Studies at Midway University. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM
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