Project Description

The Challenge

Urban Wine Xperience is the one event of the year when all 20+ wineries come together to pour an array of whites, reds, roses, and sparkling. Harden Partners was brought on board to expand the impact and reach of the event.

More specifically, Harden Partners was charged with: 

  • Increasing local and regional visibility of the East Bay Vintners Alliance (EBVA) which includes over 20 urban winery members and the Urban Wine Xperience event.
  • Generating sales of 1,000 tickets to EBVA’s signature event, “Urban Wine Xperience”, from 400 ticket sales the year prior.
  • Position EBVA member wineries collectively as “Urban Wine Country” and promote it as a travel destination in messaging and media outreach.

The Solution

Harden Partners implemented a grassroots marketing strategy that included the following components:

  • Leveraging local media and using the EBVA’s growing social media community to hold a sweepstakes with ticket giveaway.
  • Physically canvassing surrounding areas with event flyers.
  • etting up multiple promotional deals via LivingSocial, TravelZoo, and Wineluv to increase visibility and sell tickets.
  • Months before the UWX a VIP reception was held to generate excitement about the upcoming events, forge and foster media and community influencer relationships, and educate attendees about EBVA and its members. Key influencers in media and politics attended.

Harden Partners pitched top tier media in the Bay Area to cover the Urban Wine Xperience in advance in event listings, profiles on vintners and articles focused on Urban Wine Country.

The Results

Harden increased sales of UWX to 1,000+ tickets, more than double the previous year’s presales. Two days before the event tickets were selling at such a rapid rate that sales were cut off and the event was announced as “sold out.” Harden could have potentially sold more tickets, a change of venues for the next year’s event to accommodate the interest was recommended. Media placements led to an estimated advertising value of more than $75,000. The total budget for the event was only $20,000.