Brella @ Austrian Wine

Setting the bar high with 100 CSAT at the world's first hybrid wine tasting event

Introduction

Austrian Wine (Austrian Wine Marketing Board, AWMB) is based in Vienna, and is a national service body for the Austrian wine industry. The organisation was founded in 1986 with the aim to strategically support, coordinate and maintain quality and sales.

Austrian Wine hosts a variety of events throughout the year, ranging from trade fairs where wine suppliers can showcase their goods to a broad audience, to smaller, more intimate events focused around the wines of a specific region.

For their first hybrid event, they turned their originally planned event in Moscow hybrid, inviting 160 trade visitors to taste 195 excellent Austrian wines.

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Flight Tasting Moscow 2021 © AWMB / Anjela Kotsoeva

The challenge

While some events are able to thrive in a virtual format, managing a virtual wine tasting is... difficult, one could say.

To fulfill their duty to showcase Austrian wines to the global market, they knew they had to have people actually tasting real Austrian wines. 

However, with the restrictions and strict safety precautions, hosting a tasting as they would have done in ages past would be impossible.

Goals

  1. Fill all their seats with winetasters
  2. Ensure high satisfaction from those tasters
  3. Facilitate efficient communication between winemakers and tasters
"We knew that we had to pull off something where we could actually have people tasting wines, and at the same time getting in touch with the winemakers."

While their audience would be no strangers to wine tastings, the experience of tasting wines without looking the winemakers in the eye would be foreign. This could negatively affect their perception of the event.

They would also be confined to their designated area to taste and interact with winemakers solely through a hybrid event platform. The communication channels would need to be solid and efficient. 

However, the organizing team had one thing in their corner - hunger.

"People were hungry for having tastings again," says Michael Tischler-Zimmermann, Head of International Markets. "Most of the wine bodies from other countries didn't do any tastings last year. We were one of the only wine bodies doing something in Russia, so people were really hungry for wine tastings."

So, with only 30 days to go, the Austrian Wine team decided to go big and bold and host the world's first hybrid wine tasting using Brella.

"We learned a lot through Brella. Statistics should not be underestimated. When you are trying a tool like this, you are of course relying on the feedback that you're getting, but the figures don't lie."

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Flight Tasting Moscow 2021 © AWMB / Anjela Kotsoeva

The solution

So how did they pull off gathering 160 people into one place without causing an outbreak?

The Austrian Wine team leveraged their partner networks in Moscow to find and send invitations to the right people, as well as enforce the necessary restrictions and regulations at the venue.

In terms of how it worked, each attendee could try as many wines as they liked from the comfort (and safety) of their own table.

But tasting the wines was only half the battle. Contacting the winemakers after the tastings for more information or to purchase was paramount to the event success.

So the organizers used Brella to facilitate live contact from the participants in Moscow to the growers in Austria, either through 1:1 calls in private video meeting rooms, or through live chat at virtual booths, complete with documentation and technical specifications.

Facilitate efficient communication between winemakers and tasters - achieved!

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Flight Tasting Moscow 2021 © AWMB / Anjela Kotsoeva

So were the participants satisfied with the hybrid experience?

"From the winemaker side, we got feedback saying 'wow, this is really something big'," says Tischler-Zimmermann. "'This is something you can build on. This is something you should keep doing and pushing in the future'."

"From the participants side, the best comment we received was from Roman Sosnovsky [President of the Moscow Sommellier Association]. He said that it was one of the best wine tastings he has ever had," says Oliver Chramosta, Team International Markets.

"This was a plan B scenario due to corona, but when he mentioned that this was one of the best wine tastings he could have imagined and he hopes that we are doing events like this again, that was a big honor for us."

"In general, we received so much good and positive feedback from our participants. Everyone was super happy about being able to have a wine tasting and the possibility to chat directly with the winemakers," says Tischler-Zimmermann.

Ensure high satisfaction from winetasters - achieved!

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Flight Tasting Moscow 2021 © AWMB / Anjela Kotsoeva

Attendees loved Brella as well, giving a CSAT score of 100, with 78% responding 'very satisfied'.

Here are what some attendees had to say about Brella and the hybrid experience:

  • "Technically perfect, no interruptions and chat-feature enabled instant communication."
  • "Everything worked perfectly!"
  • "Good talks, good video and sound quality - interesting topics for the target group."
"This was a plan B scenario due to corona, but when [the President of the Moscow Sommellier Association] mentioned that this was one of the best wine tastings he could have imagined and he hopes that we are doing events like this again, that was a big honor for us."

And through Brella's detailed analytic features, the team was able to understand intricate aspects of their event.

"The main benefits of Brella compared to other tools is definitely the post-event measurements. You can measure everything. The platforms we checked before, it was not possible to get the same statistics and analytics that you can get in Brella. This is a thing that is very important for us," says Chramosta.

"What we really appreciate is that [the Brella team] is willing to adapt still and evolve, and keep pushing for new ways. There is potential for us to make this event bigger and better, and therefore we like to keep pushing for new solutions and better solutions," says Tischler-Zimmermann.

We're more than happy to continue to provide a great experience for wine tasters around the world (and not just because Austrian wine is so good!).

To learn more about their amazing hybrid tasting, read a press release here or visit their website.

Hybrid events take many shapes and forms, but they all start with understanding the user journey.

If you need assistance in planning a great hybrid event, we at Brella are here to help. Contact us and we'll share our insights and best practices for hosting a successful hybrid event.

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