Stella Connect is a B2B Saas company focused on empowering frontline customer service teams and Kustomer is an omni-channel SaaS CRM platform specializing in customer service. And like many business-to-business companies, they had to stop all in-person marketing initiatives due to COVID-19. Suddenly, Stella and Kustomer couldn’t participate in events like dinners, roundtables, trade conferences and summits, which are crucial for building new business pipelines, accelerating deals and maintaining relationships with clients. As a result, Stella and Kustomer doubled-down on virtual events.
While webinar numbers increased slightly, there was no opportunity to create that 1:1 bond for the sales team like an in-person experience does. As a result, Stella Connect’s Events Manager, Kerrie Bond-Macinnes and Kustomer’s Events Manager, Josephine Minnow, turned to planning a virtual wine tasting. Kerrie had organized a successful in-person wine tasting event in New York in 2019 and knew that it was something that resonated with her clientele.
There were, however, concerns with the shift to a virtual offering:
- Would a virtual event like this attract high quality accounts?
- Would a wine tasting event work well online?
- Would there be an opportunity for the sales team to connect with attendees?
- How could we make sure its a unique experience (and that people would show up)?
In May, Stella Connect and Kustomer decided to research virtual wine tasting experiences – and Vin Social stood out from the crowd. With Vin Social delivering hand-curated wines to each registrant’s door in beautiful packaging, while utilizing a top events software to manage the experience, and with a Certified Sommelier at hand, it was clear that this was the best choice to move ahead.
The landing page was created on Splash entitled “Wine About it” – a cheeky pun to commiserate about the pandemic – and promotion was started to target top accounts at both companies.
The initial target was to have 20 hand-picked accounts register for the event, but once communications went out about the event it quickly sold out. Registrations ended up tripling to over 62 top accounts due to the demand.
A week or two before the event, the wine arrived at the registrant’s doors.
Two bottles of wine and printed educational cards were delivered in advance so guests could anticipate the event, do a little reading on the red and white wine in advance, and build excitement towards attending the virtual experience.
On the night of the event, attendees logged onto Hopin and were introduced to VinSocial, the winemaker, and the host companies – Stella Connect and Kustomer.
Once the host companies had their chance to brief attendees on their product offerings, the event moved onto the wine itself. Sara Moll, Certified Sommelier and CEO of Vin Social, spoke with Courtney Kingston, founder of Kingston Family Vineyards, about the wines and the history of her winery. This gave attendees an insight into the background and story behind the vineyard and the wines.
Then onto to the most important part – the wine tasting itself. Certified Sommelier, Sara Moll, taught the group how to taste wine like the pros and walked them through an interactive tasting of the two wines while answering questions from the attendees throughout the session.
In addition to Q&A, regular polls were set up to keep guests engaged throughout. The mix of Q&A and polls resulted in constant conversation and engagement among the hosts and attendees.
Once the wine tasting lesson was over, everybody was split into breakout rooms (pre-selected and curated by Stella and Kustomer) so that smaller groups could connect to talk about the wines and engage with one another on business related discussions. These “Tasting Groups” allowed for the sales team to speak directly to top clients and prospects, and for attendees to mingle amongst themselves.
The “Wine About it” event hosted by Stella Connect and Kustomer was a huge success across the board.
Here were the key stats:
- Registrations: 61 (initial target of 20 registrations)
- Attendees: 41 (61%)
- Q&A messages in Hopin: 250
Of note is the 61% attendance rate. The average attendance rate in the webinar industry is 44%, and this event blew that away.
For Stella Connect, the results extended to key business results.
- Multiple meetings booked within 7 days of event
- Multiple existing opportunities accelerated and deals closed within 7 days of event
If you would like to schedule your own bespoke virtual wine tasting event, just schedule a call here.