Raising a glass for a final toast!
A winemaker might tell you that where necessary, a wine can be fixed or improved as you go - tweaking and adding to it as it develops. Sometimes, however, to improve it, you need to start afresh. It is time to work on a new vintage.
The DWCC is a product that we have been blending and refining for many years. The event has changed a great deal from its launch in 2008, but the core of the event has always been a unique networking opportunity for individuals who have exciting and diverse experiences or brands to develop.
Over the last 8 years, the conference has helped to create and foster many projects - thanks to a philosophy of making everyone feel an equal part of something, allowing new and established industry figures to work, talk, and play, together. Seeds were planted in tastings, workshops and meals in Austria, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, Switzerland and Bulgaria. Everyone had something to offer, and to learn, and we are grateful to the countless participants and sponsors who have come up to thank us for making this happen.
Our mailing list of past participants spans the industry, and the globe. Individuals who started off as wine business students, or ‘citizen’ bloggers, can now be found working alongside the attendees from the trade in the most important wine businesses and wineries out there.
The corridor conversations and crazy pitches of past conferences are now integral parts of industry marketing plans. The industry no longer needs to be convinced of the value of social media. There are new issues we need to address.
This has become increasingly difficult as the DWCC has needed to satisfy two distinct audiences with diverging interests.
On the one hand, there were those who were most interested in the ‘experience’ of the DWCC, built around the amazing host locations, the tastings, exhibitions, masterclasses, dinners and trips.
On the other, there was a growing audience for the professional ‘content’ of the DWCC sessions and who derived the most value from expert practitioners, practical technical workshops, case studies and inspirational keynote speakers.
Developing a single programme of value for everyone - squeezing this into two days in a new region each year, scheduling trips, and still retaining the friendly, familial essence of the event - has become very difficult.
For this reason, we have come to the conclusion that the DWCC, as we have been developing it for 9 years, has come to its natural end. There will be no more conferences under the #DWCC banner.
It has been a fantastic ride and we have made many lifelong friends. We hope to have influenced many people and made the wine world a better, more exciting place for the trade and consumers, and anyone who loves wine. This has not been an easy decision.
We will not be idle, however, as between us we will be publishing books, organising business and consumer travel to Portugal and Spain and building online communities for wine consumers. We will also continue to work on the Born Digital Wine Awards with Wine in Moderation for 2016 and of course we are always interested in discussing other new projects and ideas where we could help.
We’ve learned a lot from this experience, and so we are also developing an exciting new event concept, to be held in early 2017, details of which will be announced in due course. But that story is for another day.
We thank you all for your support, inspiration, and patience, over most of the last decade and look forward to sharing more exciting times together in future.
So long, and thanks for all the fish!