Artisan Fermenters and Distillers Business Conference and Tradeshow

Wednesday, November 13, 2024

2023 Conference Presentations

SOLD OUT! Session details: Wine Night

The pre-conference wine night takes place on November 14, beginning at 5:30pm at OROLO Restaurant at Time Winery in downtown Penticton. SOLD OUT.

5:30pm: Arrival

6pm: Measuring Reputation, presented by Paul Rickett
A winery’s reputation is the result from the complex chemistry of qualitative and quantitative factors. These may be self-proclaimed or bestowed but the whole is nearly always more than the sum of the parts. This session discusses measures of reputation; how they can be used to improve competitive positioning and map the milestones on your road to Iconic.

6:45pm: Break

7pm: SWOT Analysis for the BC Wine Industry with Randy Brown of Brown Beverage Consulting Inc, and Al Hudec of Farris LLP
Let’s look strategically at the BC Wine Industry. What Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats are out there that are driving decisions being made today and into the future? We are at a major inflection point in our industry and decisions on what direction your business will go in are getting more complex. What are some of the regulatory implications of taking your business in a certain direction? What options are open to you given the climate of the market we are in? Plenty of time will be left for a healthy discussion following this presentation. 

7:45pm Social and Networking Time

Session details: Full Day

Our full day takes place on November 15 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Conference Centre.

9:00 – 10:00 Alcohol and Health: Why You Need to be Worried About Changing Views
Moderator: Dugald Smith, Rising Tide
Panelists: Karen Graham, Principal, WineDrops; Mark Hicken, Alca Intelligence, Inc.; Dan Malleck, Chair, Department of Health Sciences, Brock University; Stewart Muir, CEO, Resource Works Society

For much of the past few decades, moderate alcohol consumption was viewed as being beneficial for health or at least not harmful (e.g. the French Paradox). However, there has been a recent onslaught of negative attention focused on minimal and moderate consumption with claims that there is now “no safe level” of drinking. These assertions have been promoted by international health organizations such as the WHO and by anti-alcohol activists including some in BC. The arguments have been amplified by the media which may be causing the public to change their views on alcohol consumption. This Panel will provide an overview of the dangers for the beverage alcohol industry and discuss possible ways to counter this Neo-Prohibition movement.  

11:00 – 12:00 Morning Concurrent Sessions

Finance: Navigating your business through volatile economic times
Speaker: Desmond Sobool, Director, Economics and Deputy Chief Economist, FCC

Inflationary pressures, increasing interest rates, changing consumer demands and volatile weather events are increasing financial pressures on the sector. What does the future hold? Des will provide forward looking information on what your business can expect and the financial impact on sales, costs, and profitability over the next 12-24 months.

Marketing: Quick and Budget-Friendly Marketing Ideas 
Speaker: Leeann Froese, Co-Owner, Town Hall Brands

Join this workshop to discover savvy marketing solutions tailored for those facing tight budgets. Immerse yourself as you collaborate with a hands-on group activity to uncover actionable budget-friendly solutions to enhance your brand, social media presence, and customer engagement. This will be a fast-moving session with actionable ideas as the outcome.

HR: Practice Delegation, Not Abdication
Speaker: Shawnee Love, Owner, Love HR Inc

Delegation is an approach to increasing productivity and capacity ensuring that the leader is focused on the most valuable tasks which only they can do. It has the added benefit of developing team members and is necessary to growth. So, why is it so hard?

2:30 – 3:30 Afternoon Concurrent Sessions 1

Finance: Attacking Expenses Line by Line: Strategies to Increase Profits
Speakers: Geoff McIntyre, Partner, Business Advisory Services, MNP, Kenn Oldfield, Partner, Elysian Projects, and Gary Brucker, Owner, Barn Owl Brewing Co.

Craft beverage manufacturers are being challenged by sluggish consumer demand and rising costs driven by inflation. As a result, margins and profitability are under attack. Most strategies to address the assault will focus on the revenue side – increasing prices. But what about the expense side of the profit equation? This session will discuss strategies for identifying cost savings and improving efficiencies within your beverage business.

Marketing: Back to Basics Breakout Session 
Speaker: Danielle Barker, Reflect Media 

This one-hour session will cover key back-to-basics marketing tactics and tips to drive traffic to your website and visitors to your tasting rooms. We will chat about your website content, digital advertising opportunities, helpful software, influencer relationships, Google Business Profiles, Google Analytics (GA4), and more.

HR: Options for Filling Key Roles in Your Business – Job Sharing, Fractionalized Employees and Part Time Executives
Speakers: Robin Jones, Principal, Robin Jones Consulting, Erin Korpisto, General Manager, Synchromesh Wines / Terravista Vineyards, and Alan Dickinson, Owner, Synchromesh Wines

Small businesses require the same key positions that larger companies do but on a limited budget.  From CEOs to General Managers, CFOs to Marketing Directors how can you afford all these positions? Additionally, owners cannot be expected to be skilled with every facet of their business. Maybe it’s time to get creative. 

4:15 – 5:15 Afternoon Concurrent Sessions 2

Finance: Finding Opportunity in Catastrophe: How We Are Pivoting To Meet Our New Reality
Speaker: Danny Turner, Kootenay Peaks Advisors LP

Sometimes things don’t go to plan.  A bad harvest, a bad batch or even a bad season can wreak havoc with your plan.  But what if one bad year is actually more than one bad year? What if things just aren’t working and aren’t ever going to work? How do you know when it’s time to pivot to a new plan and start making steps forward instead of always sideways or backwards.  Come hear the story of our farm since the pandemic and how we have made some hard decisions to move away from things which worked for years until they didn’t.

Marketing: The Art and Power of Storytelling when Marketing Your Business
Speaker: Robin Jones, Principal, Robin Jones Consulting

When you use storytelling as part of your marketing strategy, you take customers on a journey and enable them to develop and feel emotions towards your wine. It stops being just a drink -and turns into an experience. Studies show that if you share a story, people are more likely to be persuaded (to buy), and in fact, stories are remembered 22 times more than facts. But not just any story will do. In this session we’ll talk about the power of storytelling, what makes a good story better, the important elements of the story, and how to structure it.

HR: Taking the Lead – Supporting Workplace Stress & Anxiety Through Uncertain Times & Beyond
Speakers: Valerie Lister, go2HR, and Terry Bertram, WorksafeBC

As hospitality businesses continue to be challenged by the impacts of climate change, wildfires, labour shortages and more… it can be incredibly difficult for business owners and leaders to effectively manage their own stressors, while simultaneously supporting the mental well-being of their employees. This interactive workshop will provide participants with insights and practical tools to help them recognize and respond to the signs of stress and anxiety in themselves and their employees.  You will also learn how these foundational pieces will help you build a framework for psychological Health & Safety (PH&S) that will prepare you to meet evolving regulatory requirements.