We absolutely love our live events around the country. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet our customers, introduce some new wines and just have a great time. However there is a lot of planning and organisation that goes on to ensure these events run smoothly. So today we’re going to take you through a review of the day from start to finish. Well, the start of the tasting anyway…I don’t get up after midday of course.
It’s time to catch the train to Birmingham.
Met up with the team from Norwich: Wine Buyer Dave Roberts, Wine Advisors Ben & Stewart and Customer Services Michael & Ricardo. Also the team from Preston, Andy and Amanda from finance. We like to get everyone involved in the Live Events so everyone gets chance to meet and interact with our customers. All of our staff love that part of their job (they also like to partake in a couple of wines themselves and enjoy a night out after!)
Set up starts! This takes 2 hours. 20 tables of wine to set up (131 wines), we try not to sample them all before we start!
Winemakers and producers arrive to ‘man’ their tables. We had 13 there last night sharing all their knowledge of their own wines, the wine making process, the area the grapes are grown, so much to learn from each one! They are part of our Virgin Wines family too! It’s always great to catch up with them at Live Events!
Doors open, lots of people eager to get in. Quite a few faces I recognise from previous Live Events in Birmingham and other cities. Lots of Live Events first timers too, we welcome them in with a glass, a brochure and pen and tell them there are 131 wines to choose from and they can sample as many as they like as many times as they like (just to make sure they are ordering the right ones!!) Their response is usually ‘how many?’ This is where we reassure them that they don’t have to try them all and there are no prizes for doing so.
The tasting is in full flow now. Plenty of wines have been sampled, and customers are starting to make decisions on which of the 131 will make the cut on their order form. It’s always great to see the interaction, our customers are a social bunch and they love having a chat with each other at the live events. There’s still a long way to go, so it’s back to work for me, ensuring everything is running smoothly.
Clear up! This is the bit none of us are that keen on! Hundreds of wine bottles/boxes to dispose of and the van to pack with equipment! This is where I have to sing the praises of Andy, he does every tasting and has this off to a tee telling us all exactly what to do! Which is essential because we are all starving by this point and want to get to the restaurant & bar!!
Andy and Amanda head off back to Preston in the van, a quick 2 hour journey on the M6. However me, Stewart, Riccardo, Michael, Luis (one of the producers), Dave and Dave’s sister, Mum & Dad go for Tapas and beers! Food was delicious and beers were very welcome!
It’s been a long day for everyone and the food and beers are starting to weight heavily. So it’s back to the hotel (after a slight detour due to my sense of direction!!) Straight to bed, everyone had early trains to catch.
Knock on door, got dressed, lady with pink hair and Stewart at my door. Pink hair lady asking if I know Stewart? Instant reaction was ‘Oh blimey, what’s he done?? ‘ (Sorry Stewart!) However, Stewart’s key wasn’t working and when she went to let him in there was a man snoring in his room!! 20 mins in reception trying to work out what happened?? 2 people booked in the same room with same surname!! Just what you need after a loooong day! Anyway, Stewart was given a new room and everyone slept happily ever after!!