North Coast Wine Industry Expo Expanding in 2013

Registration Open and “Harvest Special” Pricing Available

By Elizabeth Hans McCrone, Wine Industry Network

The 2nd Annual North Coast Wine Industry Expo at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, which takes place on Thursday, December 5th from 9AM to 4PM, has expanded into two buildings – Grace Pavilion and the Hall of Flowers – to accommodate exhibitor demand for 2013. Products and services from nearly 300 exhibitors will be displayed on the trade show floor and attendees can chose from four different conference sessions in the areas of Viticulture, Finance & Economics, Winemaking and Sales & Marketing.

“This is business event that anyone involved in the North Coast wine and grape industry needs to attend” says George Christie, Wine Industry Network (WIN) President. “The quality of exhibitors is as good as you will see at any trade show in North America.”

According to exhibitors who participated in last year’s inaugural event, the North Coast Wine Industry Expo in Sonoma County has advantages more conducive to business than shows they have attended at other, larger venues.

Steve Rosenblatt from Sonoma Coast Stone, a manufacturer of high-quality concrete wine tanks, was impressed by the ability to showcase his company’s wares – and by the access to Expo attendees.

“Our tanks are big; we’re talking about 4 thousand pounds. They’re hard to move,” Rosenblatt says. “When we heard about the North Coast (Expo) show, I thought, ‘fabulous! This is a good opportunity to show people what we can do.’ We put four booths together right behind the registration desk. It was great exposure. We’re right there when you walk in the door.”

Vanessa Topper, an exhibitor and owner/proprietor of Top Nest Designs, a company specializing in promotional products for the wine retail market, prefers the accessibility of the Sonoma County venue, as well as the overall atmosphere of this particular show.

“The first big bonus is that the Expo is right here in wine country, in our own backyard,” Topper says. “Plus, it’s an upbeat show. Winemakers are done with harvest; they’re happy to be here. It’s early in the year before people have shot through their budget at the other shows. And, it’s just really great access to our customer base in the industry. We can be business to business here. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Conference sessions begin at 9:15 AM and end at 3:45 PM. The first, involving Viticulture, is called Branding Your Vineyard. The focus will be on ways to create more value for your vineyard based on building the reputation of the “place” and who’s farming it.

The 10:45 session, a Finance and Economic Outlook called North Coast 2014 Financial Forecast, will explore industry trends and how those will factor into capital expenditures and overall financial decision-making for the coming year.

The exponential development of technology and its impact on wine production practices will be fully explored in the Production and Winemaking session that begins at 1 PM called Trending Technology in the Cellar.

The final session on Sales & Marketing that begins at 2:30 PM is Driving Traffic to the Tasting Room, and will look at tactics to attract consumers and increase visitor traffic to individual tasting rooms throughout wine country.

“These are great topics that people are going to benefit from and it’s fantastic to have it happening right here and at a time when we’re all planning for next year,” says Christie. “The advantage of staying local is that a lot of people can come, visit with the exhibitors, take in a session and still check in at work on the same day.”

“But it’s not just people from Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino who come to this show,” Christie adds. “We have attendees registered from as far north as Oregon and Washington and as far south as Paso Robles and Santa Barbara along with wineries from the Sierra Foothills here as well. We’re expecting up to 3,000 attendees this year. The place will be packed.”

Participants planning to attend in December have between now and October 31st to receive “harvest special” registration prices on their trade show floor passes.

For registration and more information go to: