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Annual DWCC conference says farewell

Published:  11 April, 2016

The Digital Wine Communications Conference series that was held annually in different European wine producing regions has closed its doors.

The final DWCC conference was held in November of last year in Bulgaria.  The Vrazon team, Ryan Opaz, Gabrialla Opaz and Robert McIntosh, created and launched DWCC in 2008. Some of the UK's wine leaders and influential wine communicators at some stage in their careers attended or presented at the conference during its eight year run.

"Over the last 8 years, the conference has helped to create and foster many projects - thanks to a philosophy of making everyone feel an equal part of something, allowing new and established industry figures to work, talk, and play, together. Seeds were planted in tastings, workshops and meals in Austria, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, Switzerland and Bulgaria," according to a statement on the DWCC's website.

With the diverging needs of the audience it was becoming more challenging to serve those attending in the best possible way. According to the statement: "The industry no longer needs to be convinced of the value of social media. There are new issues we need to address. This has become increasingly difficult as the DWCC has needed to satisfy two distinct audiences with diverging interests." 

Ryan Opaz, one of the co-founders said: "Really it had become two conferences. There was a wine conference and there was a communication conference."

For Opaz the needs of the those attending as well as the communication needs of the wine trade have changed since they first launched the conference in 2008.

"When we started there were independent bloggers and we find now that communities do much better. A lot of past attendees have gone on to become brand advocates, regional representatives or work in PR roles.  The communication side of the wine trade is now professionalising. We need more of that.  We need companies that are investing in communication education, not just WSET training," said Opaz.

Over 300 delegates have travelled from around the world for this year's digital and communications conference

It was not an easy decision for the team. "It has been a fantastic ride and we have made many lifelong friends. We hope to have influenced many people and made the wine world a better, more exciting place for the trade and consumers, and anyone who loves wine. This has not been an easy decision."

But it will enable those that ran the conference to focus on new endeavours- so watch this space.

"We could have done it for a few more years, but it was time turn the page and start a new chapter," said Opaz.

Additionally Opaz said the Born Digital Awards that launched last year will continue on.

For the complete post see:

DWCC 2015