Immerse yourself in this two and a half day master program on distribution covering a series of in-depth workshops featured below. You’ll walk away with more than just theory—you’ll get practical applications that you can put to work immediately. It’s the best investment growing beer, wine and spirits businesses can make all year. See the full schedule-at-a-glance >>

Don’t forget to check out the myriad of turnkey products and services featured in the trade show hall just steps from the conference. It’s here where you’ll form partnerships that make sense for your small business and kick-start your success with the right solutions curated just for you. Plus, you’ll have access to FREE bottle photography and video sell sheets for your product. Tickets for the trade show are included in your conference registration—talk about a great value! Explore more trade show activities >>

Tuesday, December 4

Keynote: Cheryl Durzy, Founder & CEO, LibDib

The Distributor/Producer Partnership Part I: Finding the Right Distributor for Your Brand

To make the distributor producer partnership work, you need to find the right distributor to fit your brand. But how do you determine who is the best fit? Understanding your distribution needs, the distributor’s portfolio balance and the differences between large and small distributors is key to better determining your next step to identifying your new partner. Do you need the reach and resources of a large distributor? Or the personal attention and support of a small distributor? Or can you have your cake and eat it too (a combination of both)?

The Distributor/Producer Partnership Part II: Setting Expectations, Legal Documents & Contracts

You’ve selected your distributor, now what? Like any good partnership, be it a marriage or a business, it’s time to set the expectations.  Communication, deliverables, goals, vision, roles – each one of you plays a part in making the distribution of your product successful. Setting the terms will go a long way to setting expectations. Terms and contracts which are agreeable to both parties will pave the way to a successful partnership.  What do you need to know before signing on the dotted line?

The Distributor/Producer Partnership Part III: When the Partnership Changes, What Are Your Options?11:15am

What happens when your partnership changes? Just like any relationship – business or personal – change is inevitable, but some changes require more action than others.   As distributors continue to consolidate and craft and independent producers continue to grow, what’s best for your business and do you have options? Is there ever a time to “break up” with your distributor?  Do you have the right legal language in your contracts to protect your business in the event of change?

The Distributor/Producer Partnership Part IV: When the Partnership Changes, What Are Your Options?2:00pm

Continue the discussion on what are your options when your distributor producer partnership changes.

Distribution Strategy Part I: Do the 4 Ps Still Matter?

The 4 Ps, Price, Product, Placement, Promotion, have always been the cornerstones of distribution.  But with the proliferation of independent producers, the consolidation of distribution and the introduction of technology and regulatory changes are the 4 Ps still the driving factors for success?  Understand what roles self-distribution, DTC and tasting rooms can play in the overall success of your distribution plan and how independent producers can capitalize on the changing landscape.

Distribution Strategy Part II: Sales, Marketing & PR

Successful distribution requires a sales, marketing and PR strategy which is aligned with the overall distribution approach. Building a sales, marketing and PR strategy based on how and where – tasting rooms, self-distribution, home market, etc. – will be instrumental in your brand success. Partnering with your distributor and understanding their marketing and sales efforts as well as communicating on pricing and promotion will help you to build staff and programming to support everyone’s hard work. Learn how to align your efforts including education, product announcements and events to get the word out and increase product awareness and sales. And learn what all those acronyms mean too!


Wednesday, December 5

Keynote: Survival in the New Age of Independent Brands by Brian Rosen, President and CEO, BevStrat, Inc.

Join the discussion of where craft and independent products fit in the future of distribution. How important will these products be to distributors’ portfolios? What disruption does the future hold for distribution and how will it affect your brand? Bring your questions.

Growth Strategy Part I: Demand Planning for Growth Success

Picture this, running out of product just as your popularity is building.  Suddenly, you’ve lost your shelf space due to the lack of product. Worst nightmare, right? Proper demand planning is the key to avoiding this ultimate producer nightmare.  Learn how to align demand planning with your growth strategy to ensure your distributor is well stocked and you have the capital to keep up with growth.

Growth Strategy Part II: Launching New Products with Your Distributor

Launching a new product is a major event for any brand.  In addition to the time and effort that goes into development of the product, producers need to take the time to research the business side – where does it fit in the distributor’s portfolio? What price point is best?  How will marketing and sales be handled vs. other similar products in the marketplace? Understanding what roles, you and the distributor play in this process and how best to communicate will increase your chances of a successful launch.

Growth Strategy Part III: Measuring Success with Distribution Analytics

Measurement is vital to any successful business. Using the data, or distribution analytics, provided by your distributor partner can help you better understand trends and patterns to help your business grow. But what reports should you ask for? What data matters and what doesn’t? How do you track the information; how do you use it and why? Learn the value your distribution data can bring to your business.

Keynote: Nick Rellas, Co-Founder and CEO, Drizly

Expansion Part I: When and How Should You Expand Beyond Your Home Market?

Knowing when and how aggressively to grow is one of the most challenging questions for any craft producer to answer.  Are you winning your home market? How do you know if you are ready? Do you ever know? Understand what plans and resources you should have in place to win outside your home market where the rules aren’t the same.

Expansion Part II: The Next Frontier: Exporting and Overseas Markets

Overseas markets are the next opportunity for the independent producer as business continues to grow.  Learn more about the current climate and regulatory issues facing your products, the international distribution process and the impact exporting can have on your business.

How Craft Fits into the Larger Distribution Stream

Join the discussion of where craft and independent products fit in the future of distribution.  How important will these products be to distributors’ portfolios?  What disruption does the future hold for distribution and how will it affect your brand?  Bring your questions.


Thursday, December 6

Keynote: How to Win in the Retail Space by Elias Aguliera, VP of Spirits, Beer and Concierge Wine, Total Wine and More

Retail Strategy Part I: Understanding Control States

Control states can create a game-changing opportunity for any independent producer – if you can learn to navigate the waters. Understand the ins and outs of control states, the pros and cons of distribution in these different waters and what the benefits can be to those who are successful.

Retail Strategy Part II: Winning with Independent Stores

Winning your home market means being fully-shelved at your area independent stores. For some, you may be required to go through your distributor, but for others you may have the luxury of self-distribution. In all cases, independent stores require more effort, legwork and staffing to ensure your inventory shows up on their shelves. Meet representatives from various independent stores who will talk shelf space, tasting events, and how to partner with them to get your product in their stores.

Retail Strategy Part III: Growing into Chains

We all want our products on the chain store shelves, but what’s the secret to getting there? In a situation where you are dependent on the distributor/buyer relationship, how do you compete with the big brands? Join this conversation with leading chains to learn the ins and outs of shelf space, marketing, and distribution from the other side of the aisle.


Who can resist this opportunity? Register today!