2024 Agenda


Tuesday, November 12, 2024
11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.Registration Check-in
12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.Crunching the Numbers: Setting a Baseline for the State of the Wine Business 
November is the perfect time to take a look at what the data tells us about wine’s performance: harvest will have just wrapped; holiday sales are in full swing, and businesses are recapping 2024 operations and execution. This session will deliver the latest data in the bulk wine and grape market, distribution and depletions, and retail sales, setting the stage for the rest of the conference to provide context and strategies for the future.
1:45 p.m. - 2:35 p.m.Insights from CFOs: Trends, Solutions and Strategies
The Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University conducts an annual survey of wine industry executives to capture the current landscape and its opportunities and challenges. This session will feature a discussion with three industry executives who share how they are navigating business challenges, including investments into technology and data, alternative revenue streams, paying down debt in response to high interest rates, thriving in the current banking environment, pushing price and making smart acquisitions.
Emily Porter, Sonoma State University
2:35 p.m. - 3:05 p.m.Networking Break
3:05 p.m. - 3:55 p.m.Strategies to Succeed: What to Do When You’re Stuck in the Middle
The lack of access for smaller brands or interesting wines from larger portfolios isn’t getting any better—so what do you do about it? Sales growth is in the “uber-luxury” and bottom price tiers, and distributor consolidation is hurting midsized wineries most but there are things you can do to “un-stick” your brand and receive attention for your wines. This session will look at successful smaller and midsized brands grabbing retailer and consumer attention to see what we can learn from them.
Vanessa Conlin, Global Head of Wine Retail, Sotheby's
3:55 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.Thinking Creatively: Streamlining and Restructuring for Overall Success
When was the last time you took a look at your overall organization to see what could be outsourced, completed remotely, or done in a non-traditional way? Wine businesses across regions, price points and production sizes are feeling the pinch as costs of goods rise, capital becomes more expensive and wine sales slow, but before you lose a business entirely, it’s time to take a hard look and realistically assess what’s happening in your company. This session will look at ways to plan for slow cash flow, clean up expenditures and re-organize for maximum efficiency.
4:55 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.Networking Wine Reception
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Wine Industry Leadership Dinner
The Wine Industry Leadership Dinner is Invitation Only, as seating is limited. If you are interested in being added to a waitlist to attend the dinner, or have any questions, please email WBM@executivevents.com.


Wednesday, November 13, 2024
7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.Registration Check-in & Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m. - 9:20 p.m.Keynote: Finding Success and Going Viral: How Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits Promotes Sales Growth 
Josh is one of the top-selling brands in the market, finding sales growth when most are seeing some pullback. In this keynote session, President Tom Steffanci walks us through the mindset, strategies and activations that have made this wine so popular. Full of data, case studies and goals for the future, this session is sure to inspire ideas to help make your brands just as successful.
Tom Steffanci, President, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits
9:20 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. Unraveling Trade and Economic Policies for the Next Four Years—and How that Affects Your Business
In this session, Callum Williams, senior economics writer for The Economist, will once again provide an overview of the macro-economic trends that are shaping how all businesses move forward. Given the timing, he’ll also address what we know about how election results will affect federal debt, interest rates, economic and trade policies for the next few years. An attendee favorite, he’s back to highlight opportunities in global markets and deliver an honest look at geopolitics and the implications on the state of the economy.
Callum Williams, Senior Economics Writer, The Economist
10:10 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.Networking Break
10:40 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.Fighting Back Against the Anti-Alcohol Movement
It’s no secret that there is renewed sentiment against alcohol—so what should we do about it? From large prohibitionist organizations to state and federal government, it seems like everyone is out to shut down alcoholic beverage businesses. It’s a big, sticky subject, but with consistent and clear messaging, we can remind consumers that wine is the beverage of moderation and can be had. This session will include ways to legally speak to trade and consumers about wine and health, bust some of the prevailing myths that are floating around, and help attendees walk away with a unified message to powerfully change the narrative.
11:40 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Keynote: To Be Announced
12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.Networking Luncheon & Wine Bar