We’re happy to share our July newsletter below:
The UK is officially open for business. For better or worse, the majority of the restrictions we’ve lived with for the past 18 months have been lifted.
So, we thought it was the perfect time to ask for a little feedback about the virtual events which have come to dominate our lives – and the in-person events many of us have been raring to get back to.
Last month, we surveyed a tight pool of UK trade professionals who had attended a Swirl event in the past 12 months. The findings were illuminating.
When we developed Swirl in the Cloud in the first months of the pandemic, we wanted to make the most of the opportunity to introduce event attendees to winemakers who wouldn’t typically be accessible without travelling to their vineyards. It was gratifying to see that 68% of respondents really valued this opportunity. Though, interestingly, having the opportunity to meet winemakers and importers in person was also ranked as the top reason for attending in-person events.
It shows that personal connection has a higher value than convenience. In a time where we are all starved of human contact – where we all newly appreciate the sheer luxury of setting the world to rights over a glass of wine – this finding feels especially prescient.
But accessibility and sustainability are still important values for us as we move into uncharted COVID-restriction-free waters.
70% of respondents said that they would welcome hybrid events in the future. To reach the portion of potential attendees who are unable or unwilling to travel, virtual events via Swirl in the Cloud will continue to be part of our offering.
At a time where we’re reflecting on many months of virtual-only events, we’ve also explored how the digital leaps we’ve made during COVID have enable us to host a global conference virtually.
The Old Vine Conference was a huge success – not least because the digital format enabled us to achieve things we wouldn’t have been able to at an in-person event.