The Best Way to Learn Marketing in Wisconsin Winters

Growing grapes in Wisconsin

There’s no better place to practice marketing than conferences. And there’s no better time than a conference at Wisconsin Dells in winter.

Wisconsin Dells is the Las Vegas of waterparks. And even though the only splashing my husband and I do is that of our beverages (we’re no longer into public displays of our swimming fashion), we did enjoy last month’s Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference, put on in part by the Wisconsin Grape Growers Association (WGGA).

Woohoo, you’re probably thinking. Fruit and vegetables. Well, my husband and I are contemplating growing grapes someday, if/when we retire, so this conference turned out to be quite interesting.

I also picked up lots of marketing tips, particularly from the WGGA.

The WGGA is a small, non-profit, agricultural organization—understandably so, since viticulture is still relatively new to Wisconsin. But it’s vibrant organization nonetheless, and its really making headlines.

“I think WGGA is becoming a stronger, more effective association. Membership is growing and we have so many knowledgeable people in Wisconsin who are committed to making the wine and grape industry successful,” says Rebecca Rochester, who serves as marketing coordinator. “Over the past year, there has been a huge increase in media coverage on Wisconsin’s grape and wine industry. It has been very exciting to get the word out.”

So you know this “getting the word out” doesn’t just happen by itself, right? What’s WGGA doing to make this happen?

This past weekend my husband and I once again took a winter break and attended the Wisconsin Garden Expo. WGGA was there with quality-produced visuals, brochures and other promotional pieces. Obviously, the association is out and about, providing excellent information to the public.

They’ve also got an extremely helpful website. Interested in the feasibility of growing grapes in Wisconsin? It’s there. Need a list of Wisconsin’s more than 270 vineyards or 81 wineries? It’s there as well.

Most interesting is Rebecca’s marketing on Facebook. She’s got WGGA in our faces every day but she’s not at all irritating. She promotes wineries, job opportunities, and interesting articles like this one on the state of wine in Brew City.

So this is some of the marketing WGGA is doing. How does it compare to what your organization is doing?

We’d love to hear your good ideas!


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