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Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Opens 77th Annual Convention & Exposition Registration to Beverage Alcohol Industry

Event date: 
April 20, 2020 (All day)

Registration is now open for the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 77th Annual Convention & Exposition, the industry’s leading event that brings together wholesalers, suppliers, service providers, importers and exporters under one roof. This can’t-miss beverage alcohol industry event will be held April 20–23, 2020, at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. Taking advantage of early bird registration rates requires those attending to register by Friday, January 10, 2020. Register here:  http://www.wswaconvention.org/

For the first time in 77 years, retailers will be attending and be a pivotal piece of the programming in 2020. This makes the convention the premier industry gathering which showcases and recognizes all three-tiers of the U.S. beverage alcohol system — the global standard.

Returning is the highly anticipated and well-produced Brand Battle, WSWA’s version of Shark Tank, where pre-selected brands pitch our panel of industry experts and influencers — and receive feedback — live on our competition stage. Past Brand Battle winners include Gray Whale Gin, Bedlam Vodka, and most recently, Boukham Rhum and Seaside Grown. The WSWA Convention has served as a springboard for these brands, exposing them to immediate distribution deals, positive media buzz, and other brand-development opportunities.

The exposition’s Wine and Spirits Tasting Competition provides opportunities for new and existing brands to earn recognition while the Wholesaler Iron Mixologist Competition is an action-packed battle between the industry’s cocktail heavyweights before a live audience.

In addition to media and business-development opportunities, the convention creates an ideal environment for those ready to engage with trade press, social media influencers, and tastemakers in attendance. Several podcasts will be recording live from the convention floor, as well as bar studio-produced mixology sessions created for select high-potential brands. Media in attendance actively engage attendees, seeking out newsworthy personalities and products, and will collectively bestow the “Hot New Now Media Award” to an up-and-coming brand. Last year’s winner was Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, a unique craft product that experienced considerable growth in consumer demand after being singled out for recognition at the convention.

“Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey’s unofficial notational launch to our entire distributor network took place at WSWA’s 76th convention and exposition in Orlando,” said Daniel Walker, president of Infinium Spirits. “The recognition received and the ensuing distributor engagement makes Skrewball the most successful brand launch our company has ever had,” he added.

Returning this year is the Wholesaler Leadership Series, an educational forum created for beverage alcohol wholesaler leaders. The series offers panel discussions on the hottest industry trends and topics, as well as presentations with valuable insights given by leading subject-matter experts, all aimed at arming members with a competitive advantage.

Building on its inaugural success, the Supplier Leadership Series will be back and bigger than ever. Workshops, panels and information-rich sessions will be announced on the WSWA Convention site in the coming weeks. As an added benefit, select representatives from alcohol beverage retailers will now participate in these discussions, providing valuable consumer-focused insights for attendees. The Master Mixology class will return, featuring experiential learnings with trendsetting wholesaler mixologists. Both veterans and newcomers to the industry will pick up tips, tricks and cocktail trends from this interactive and action-packed experience.

“I attended my first WSWA convention in 2007, and have attended every year since, following in the footsteps of my father Rocky and grandfather Bill, who saw the convention as an essential date on the calendar for our business,” said Danny Wirtz, Vice-Chairman of Breakthru Beverage Group and incoming 2020 WSWA Chairman. “I am always excited to further relationships with our supplier partners and industry peers while discovering new brands and ideas emerging in our space. The WSWA convention is where the industry goes to network and collaborate.”

The General Session will showcase remarks from Wirtz and another top speaker, as well as WSWA President and CEO Michelle Korsmo.

“The WSWA convention and exposition brings together supplier, wholesaler and retailer leaders for a week of meaningful engagements, business-development opportunities, and comradery,” said Korsmo. “This convention continues to be the crown jewel of the beverage alcohol trade, and we’re excited to celebrate 77 years putting it on”,” she added.