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Okanagan-Taste

Fortify your business skills

For two years, those in the fermenting and distilling business fortified themselves at a gathering in Penticton.

Of course, things are a little different this year, but the annual Fortify Conference forges ahead on Nov. 24 with a virtual version.

Anyone from anywhere can join in for professional development in the form of speakers and presentations, plus explore a virtual trade show.

Just because those in the drinks biz – or those looking to get into it -- can't get together IRL (in real life), that shouldn't stop anyone from getting more knowledge to help run a winery, brewery, distillery or cidery.

Fortify 2020 is just one day, but it will be jam packed with info to help smaller artisan businesses navigate a fast-changing world in uncertain times.

If there was ever a year to take advantage of online conferencing from your business or newly created home office, this is it. No travel time, and you can probably choose to stay in your PJs, if you wish.

Break-out sessions this year cover:

  • Compensation
  • New employees
  • Navigating legislative funding and changes
  • Google ads
  • Email-ecommerce skills to increase web sales
  • Managing risk.

These topics are spread into three streams:

  • Finance and operations
  • Human resources
  • Sales and marketing.

The opening panel features experts from across Canada to discuss economic, alcohol, food and tourism trends.

Lightning talks were a hit at last year’s Fortify, and these five-minute speed presentations return with a line-up of experts.

The end-of-day keynote will examine how to be a great leader in good times and bad.

Bonus No. 1:

  • The all-day virtual trade show. Attendees can shop around without having to warm up the car and find parking on a cold day.

Bonus No. 2:

  • The first 150 registered delegates will have a “swag box” delivered to them full useful items, including gift certificates to buy lunch to enjoy from the comfort of home. And there will be breaks throughout the day for virtual networking.

The beverage sector continues to navigate through the challenges of 2020, and this is the time to move forward with planning.

Fortify is co-ordinated by the Business Alliance for Artisan Fermenters and Distillers and builds on the popular Wine Industry Roundtable previously hosted by MNP and FCC.

It was established to fill a need across industries for education, training and network opportunities to help B.C.’s breweries, wineries, distilleries, and cideries affordably access business supports and tools to increase viability and profitability.

Register here for #fortify2020: https://pheedloop.com/fortify2020/site/register/

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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