Paul Howard Articles, Blockchain, Blog, Wine Business Leave a Comment

wine2wine Verona. Giving it some.

wine2wine Verona – No Dry Ice or Flying Pigs

I’ve recently returned from wine2wine Verona. It lived up to it’s billing as an outstanding wine business conference, as previewed here. Now in its fourth year, this is the leading forum for the wine business worldwide.

What makes a great conference?

What makes a great Conference? Well, as a seasoned conference-goer and speaker, I reckon that the following essentials are on anybody’s list:

  • Learning something new that can make a positive difference for your business
  • High-quality content
  • Networking
  • A sense of community and engagement
  • A great venue, well-organised in detail
  • Online interaction with a dedicated App
  • Speakers that create “wow!” moments
  • Value for money
  • Clear conference vision
  • Oh, and fun. Yes, fun.

These requirements are not simple and can be difficult to achieve. However, wine2wine Verona ticked off every one of these points and offered more besides.

wine2wine Verona. Packed house

wine2wine Verona. Packed house

So my question to you is “how often do you get a great conference”? I’m sure we’ve all been to conference-hell at some time. Death by panel and powerpoint, without any practical takeaways. Bored senseless by the questionable expertise of droning grey men. Sometimes, in misguided attempts at creating a spectacle, there’s been dry ice and even flying pigs. A conference is never a Pink Floyd gig.  Yep, been there, seen that, slept through it. How many of us have gone home after such events and thought, “never again”?

Not here. When I got back from wine2wine Verona, my only regret was that it wasn’t longer. In just two days there were 100 speakers, 70 workshops and an excellent exhibition space. The conference was at Verona Fiere, an exhibition centre that is also home to VinItaly. Both the media and attendees from all over the world came in droves.

Personal highlights

The conference session highlights for me? My “wow!” moments included:

Sarah Abbott MW on Brexit

Paul Mabray on winery direct to consumer selling in the US

Robert Joseph on the future of wine

Ian Ford on how to succeed in the Chinese market

Rebecca Hopkins on selling wine through words

Steve Raye on how Amazon and Whole Foods Market will radically change wine retail.

Alice Fiering on how low-intervention winemaking can mean higher profits

Mike Madaio on wine Apps


wine2wine Verona. Taking notes

wine2wine Verona. Taking notes

Other moments will stay with me. A tasting of Josko Gravner wines led by Mateja Gravner and Ian d’Agata. Recording an Italian Wine Podcast with Monty Waldin. Enjoying the restaurants and bars of Verona. I met new faces and caught up with friends and colleagues.







My contribution

wine2wine Verona. Giving it some.

wine2wine Verona. Giving it some.

As for me, I was there to speak about Blockchain and Wine. You’ll need to ask someone else how that went, but it was an honour to take part. Beforehand, I wondered whether anybody would turn up, let alone “get it”.  I needn’t have worried. Afterwards, I spent most of my time with people eager to find out more and moreover, wanting to use it. The Italian press also picked up on it.

wine2wine Verona. Fun times

wine2wine Verona. Fun times

Leadership and teamwork

And finally, the real success of this event is due to the exceptional backroom team. They worked tirelessly on every little detail and ensured everything worked like a charm; from the cloakroom arrangements to the dedicated App. They were the real stars of the show.


Was it fun? Not ‘Arf! Business really can be a pleasure too.



Verona Fiere SpA
Vialle del Lavoro 8
37135 Verona

Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.