Vineyards make amazing venues for your events. But they are more than the wine they produce. If you’re a winery looking to raise profits in the off-season, or you’re just looking to book a corporate event, make it memorable with one of these five ideas.
1. THE HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR
Who says Halloween is just for kids? Vineyards make the best location for a large-scale Halloween party. Minimal decoration will be needed—the night will naturally cast spooky shadows through the gnarled twists and turns of the vines, and your dimly lit cellar rooms barely need to a decoration to entertain the idea of ghosts. A few fake cobwebs will do the trick.
ENTERTAINMENT: Set up a big screen in the vineyard, and set up a spooky film. Try something high-spirited and freaky, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and invite your guests to dress up as best they can (people are more likely to consume wine if they have to dress in fishnets and corsets…). If you’re a vigneron, what about a ghost tours that puts a spooky twist on the winery’s past?
FOOD: Steer clear of the pre-wrapped candy—opt for treats such as toffee apples. Many wine growing regions in Australia, such as the Granite Belt in Queensland, the Goulburn Valley in Victoria, and the Adelaide Hills in South Australia are also major apple producers, so take advantage of local produce and put gourmet candy apples on the menu as a festive treat. Why not assemble a classed-up treat basket for your visitors, with cheese, crackers, popcorn, and – of course—blood-red wine.
THE NEXT STEP: Get in early with your social media planning. This event will really appeal to your younger clients, so this part is crucial. Get in touch with us to help plan your campaign: we can even help you build an online booking system that will appeal to your target demographic.
Around Fathers’ Day, everyone’s looking for an alternative to socks and jocks. When customers come looking, surprise them with an alternative: a Father’s Day event that will keep them coming back year round.
ENTERTAINMENT: Start the day with a tour of the winery that highlights the founding fathers of the vineyard. Bring your clients in touch with the family that helped make your wine or company great, and make them feel a part of it. Create close relationships so that your company, or your winery will turn attendees into a base of loyal customers. Then, put the grassy knoll to use with a game of cricket: generation versus generation, and see the kids let their parents win for a change.
FOOD: Follow it up with a barbecue on the lawn and a wine tasting (victors get the first taste, and maybe a free bottle of the winery’s finest).
THE NEXT STEP: You need to reach out to a broad audience for this one. Some of your potential attendees will be on social media, but others will be more focussed around channels like email. You need to be fully on top of your email database, and one-hundred percent on your social media platforms to get this right—and you’re going to need help. Let us take care of the digital nonsense, and we’ll let you keep doing what you do best: making wine that brings people together.
3. MAD HATTER’S MOTHERS’ DAY
Put a fun spin on the traditional high tea for Mothers’ Day. After all, the Mad Hatter would definitely have had wine at his tea party….
ENTERTAINMENT: Take the theme of Alice In Wonderland and get decorating: think playing cards, ribbons, mismatched tea cups and pots, even chairs (take a visit to a few surrounding Second Hand stores and you’ll find more than you’ll need). Give everyone a croquet lesson, and turn the vineyard into a makeshift maze with surprises around every corner, and take your guests to Wonderland for a few hours.
FOOD: Raspberry sparkling wine cocktails, delicate little strawberry cakes, finger sandwiches, cheese. Wine labelled “drink me”…
THE NEXT STEP: A vibrant social media campaign is the best way to do this one. You’ll need to give guests a glimpse into what your party will look like before they sign up, and you’ll need to schedule posts carefully. You’ll need a online booking system to go alongside traditional channels if you want to maximise sales. We’ve got the know-how you need, and we’re here to make sure you don’t get lost down the rabbit hole.
4. VOICES OF THE VINEYARD
Follow the success of A Day On The Green Music Festival (sometimes referred to as “Big Day Out” for grown-ups), and celebrate the most perfect marriage of all: music and wine!
ENTERTAINMENT: The music, of course! It’s your choice: go big or small, pick a genre of music you think fits your winery or customer base best, and keep the music going all day or all night…Set up a stage, and provide picnic blankets for hire, as well as umbrellas for shade. Provide a premium package for guests willing to pay a little more, and give them access to a wine tasting and nibbles throughout the day.
FOOD: Have gourmet picnic baskets for sale, or put on a simple barbecue. Either way, you can use this opportunity to showcase local talent and local food that will draw visitors back to your region again and again.
THE NEXT STEP: Emails, emails, emails (here’s a guide on how to get them read by customers, too!). You’re definitely going to need online bookings. You’ll be swamped for demand if you do your campaign right, and you don’t want to lose customers because your website can’t take the demand. Before you go ahead, make sure you contact us to make sure your online presence is up to speed. And we can help you schedule those emails and social media posts, too.
5. A WHITE (WINE) CHRISTMAS IN JULY
This is a golden opportunity to take the worst of winter’s cold and turn it into a profit. Boost sales at a time that’s as far away from Christmas as you can get: think garlands of holly, handmade wreaths, and fairy lights on the vines.
FOOD: Give your guests mulled wine and a Christmas Roast: a family-style sharing situation, where they get to see the meat being carved in front of them, and pass around the potatoes.
ENTERTAINMENT: A bonfire would be perfect (OH&S willing). But if you can’t manage that, toasting marshmallows by a fireplace, or hot chocolate nightcaps will do everyone just fine. Maybe it’s too early for a few carols, but you might be surprised how the Christmas spirit can appear after a glasses or two of wine….
THE NEXT STEP: Once again, you’ll be needing both an online booking system (tips here!) and an online campaign. Share your planned menu via email to whet potential guests’ appetites. We’re here to help, so get in contact to ensure the greatest number of people know about you and your event.
The new essentials for events aren’t wine glasses and a dancefloor. What’s more important in the digital age is exposure and careful digital management. And guess what? We can do both of those for you. You know how to throw a party, and if you’re not worrying about social media, online booking systems, and a flurry of confusing emails, you’ll have a lot more time to ensure you do it justice. Even if you’re simply worried about the state of your current website, booking system, or email database, we know exactly what to do, and how to best take care of any issues. A great event is great for profits: make sure you’re ready, and get in contact with us at Dando.
Our case study, Dando Insights #2: Fruits of Your Labour, is an in-depth look at how effective online stores boost your bottom line. Using vineyards as example, it explores the benefits, and makes projections towards the future. For the evolving business, it’s essential reading. To see more information on this edition, click here.