Back for a second year, the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB) kicks off today at McCormick Place. IWSB is the restaurant and hospitality industry’s only forum focused exclusively on operator beverage alcohol-related needs.
In addition to exhibits by established and emerging producers from around the world, the show features a series of free educational sessions led by industry efforts. On this year’s agenda are menu trends, including signature cocktails and alcohol- food pairings, as well as strategies to build bar program profitability, responsible service and innovative marketing and promotion.
“Even in this tough economy, consumers still make wine, beer and cocktails part of their restaurant experience, and professionals from all industry segments and channels are making the most of their bar programs by creating innovative signature drinks, suggesting pairing ideas and offering exciting new brands,” says Lorna Donatone, convention chair for the 2009 NRA Show and president, school services, for Sodexo. “Every business decision matters, and the outstanding education program will offer ideas, solutions and strategies to help increase margins, develop successful marketing and promotions, improve responsibility and maximize distributor relationships.”
National Restaurant Association research shows that wine by the glass and signature drinks are hot trends in restaurants right now. More than 1,600 chefs surveyed by the Association predicted that mixologists/ signature cocktails, functional cocktails and food-alcohol pairings would be the biggest trends in beverage alcohol service in 2009. And nearly nine out of 10 operators see wine by the glass growing in popularity this year.
IWSB takes place from 11 AM-4 PM today and tomorrow in the South Hall, level 1. Admission requires a separate registration fee ($55 for NRA members, $135 for nonmembers). Attendees must at least 21 years old and involved in the restaurant trade.
IWSB education program
IWSB education programAll sessions are free to IWSB registered attendees with a badge.
Sunday May 17
11:15 AM-12:15 PM
Wine Pairing with a Global Culinary Influence
Expand your view of emerging wine varietals to grow profits. Bill Briwa, senior chef instructor of wine studies for the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, will share insights to embrace collaboration between the chef and wine director to improve the customer’s dining experience.
12:45 PM-1:30 PM
Leveraging Your Relationship with Distributors to
Become More Competitive
A panel including Craig Wolf, president & c.e.o., Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America; Craig Purser, president, National Beer Wholesalers Association; Ken Fredrickson, v.p., Wine Marketing & Sales, Wirtz Beverage Group; and Dave Richmond, global brand manager, W.O.W., will explore how you can leverage distributor capabilities to enhance your business by offering value-added programs to your customers. These leading wine, spirits and beer distributors will present concrete examples of how they have implemented these programs with their clients.
1:45 PM-2:45 PM
Emerging Beverage Alcohol Trends, Implications and
Mike Ginley, partner, Next Level Marketing; Stephen Beaumont, writer, World of Beer; and David Pennachetti, president, Wine Guru Services, will talk about how to translate the latest beverage alcohol trends into successful bar programs.
3:00 PM-4:00 PM
How to Develop Signature
Drinks That Work
Liza Zimmerman, editor-in-chief, Cheers Magazine, will cover ways to create a signature drinks program that strengthens customer loyalty and enhances profitability. This presentation will showcase signature successes across independents, chain concepts, casual dining and white tablecloth operations.
Monday May 18
11:15 AM-12:15 PM
Pairing Beer with Food....
The New Trend at the Table Stephen Beaumont, writer, World of Beer, will explore ways to pair beer with food to improve the dining experience. Beaumont, a beer trends expert who is best known for his work pairing beer and food, will present success stories from leading restaurants.
12:45 PM-1:30 PM
Responsible Alcohol Service—Corporate and Front-Line
Develop a corporate culture that builds awareness, involvement and appreciation of responsible alcohol service. Tim Kirkland, the founder and c.e.o. of Renegade Hospitality Group, will lead a panel of restaurant chain executives who will share successful responsible alcohol service strategies.
1:45 PM-2:45 PM
Increase Your Beverage Sales Through Creative Promotions
Learn how to create innovative and cost-effective promotional strategies to drive traffic into your operation. Patrick Henry, president and c.e.o., Patrick Henry Creative Promotions, will lead a panel of beverage industry experts, including John McDonnell, president, Biaggi’s Restaurants; Cindy Busi, worldwide beverage director, Hard Rock International; and Doug Zeif, v.p. of food and beverage, Hilton Hotels.
3:00 PM- 4:00 PM
Mixing Messages: Making the Most of Your Cocktail Program
Pick up tips on building your bar program sales through an engaging, interactive format. F. Paul Pacult, director of Spirit Journal and founding partner of Beverage Alcohol Resource, will detail ways to increase sales, customers and motivated employees. IWSB Spotlights Beverage Alcohol Trends