A taste of the conferences and courses available this winter

Tasty education

In the middle of this unpalatable economy, there may not be much taste for spending funds on anything educational.

That said, I was recently reminded of something said in a marketing committee meeting many years ago when I worked in post-secondary education: “If you can’t invest in anything else right now, at least you can invest in yourself.”

With several upcoming conferences, you can invest in your current business or the dream of starting a new one, especially if you’re pondering agriculture, the business of fermenting or distilling, or getting certified in beverages.

Interested in organics? Organic BC will bring the 30th anniversary of its conference to Penticton from Nov. 7 to 9. A grassroots network of organic certifiers, farmers, processors and consumers working to build healthy soil, ecosystems, people and communities, this organization’s conference promises a wide range of sessions, an off-site farm tour, a research facility tour, a packed trade show, and organic meals. Everyone is welcome to attend

Not long after, and also in Penticton, the Fortify conference will return. Fortify is a business conference and trade show for fermenters and distillers, featuring presentations from industry professionals and experts. If you’re in the booze business, adjacent to it or thinking of diving in, register to attend on Nov. 15. Sessions throughout the day will cover the themes of finance, marketing and HR. The day will start with a plenary session that’s been somewhat of a hot topic this year—Alcohol and Health – Why You Need to Worry about Changing Views.

Speaking of wine, UBC Dialogues will host Championing Climate-Resilient B.C. Winemaking on Nov. 7 in Kelowna, presented by UBC Okanagan and Alumni UBC in partnership with UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Also a hot topic, no pun intended.

Food, Wine, and Tourism at Okanagan College offers a number of classes and certificates, and some programs are a part of the StrongerBC Future Skills Grant, which can cover all or part of your tuition.

For something a little less formal, explore the remaining events of the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival, which run through Nov. 3, or pencil in an upcoming winter event. After all, sometimes simple networking over a glass of wine can present an unexpected opportunity.

If you missed the recent Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association Summit, you missed hearing from experts and leaders from key provincial and regional tourism sectors. The key takeaway, as our region recovers from this past season. Was now is the time for collaboration, planning, and preparation.

And now is the time to invest in yourself, your staff and your business.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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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]

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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