In its 10th anniversary year, the World Whiskies Conference has evolved to reflect the growing trends of this dynamic sector by becoming the Whiskies & Spirits Conference. It will take place, for the first time, in two continents on two dates, providing all parts of the industry with dual opportunities to learn from others and network with key decision-makers in the leading spirits markets of the world.
The 2015 Whiskies & Spirits Conference played to a full house at the stunning Lighthouse at Pier 61 on the Hudson. With ice floes cascading past the window in the frozen Hudson River, delegates were kept warm inside by a host of industry experts from around the world of spirits.
The day began with an inspirational presentation by Chris Bauder, General Manager and Vice President, Beam Suntory Whiskey & Cognac, who had much to say about the benefits of family values within a business, irrespective of its size and global footprint.
Joseph J. Magliocco, President, of Michter’s, one of the newer additions to the world of American whiskey, explored the exciting challenges when building a brand from the bottom up, and was followed by an exhilarating session from Ivan Bell, Managing Director of Stranger & Stranger. The audience were left filled with ideas on how to improve their packaging and positioning, all invaluable ideas that were put in to an international context by David Frost, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association and David Ozgo, Chief Economist at the Distilled Spirits Council.
Lunch brought the winners of the 2015 North American World Whiskies Awards, which can all be seen here, and the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame inducted three American heroes; Al Young, Steve Beal and Bill Samuels Jr.
Craig Wolf, President and CEO of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America set the pace after lunch, presenting a snapshot of the influence of the three tier system, and was followed by Dr. Nicholas Morgan, Head of Whisky Outreach at Diageo who gave a fascinating history lesson to put the Scotch category in context.
Brands came under the spotlight in the busy panel presentation “Own Your Market - Bring Breakout Brands to Life and Grow to Premium” from James Goll at 24-Group, Susan Mooney at SCG, and Raul M. Paredes from O-I, followed by an inspirational, rousing talk from James Espey OBE, Last Drop Distilleries, and Founder of the Keepers of the Quaich.
The day was rounded off with a fitting review of vintages in a presentation by Andy Hannah, Global Brands Development Manager of Inver House, leaving delegates with the opportunity to remind themselves that the spirits industry is all about the flavour.
To download the presentations from the day, click here.
“Thank you for a great day - very enjoyable”
“Learnt so much - thanks for the opportunity”
“Elegant, Classy, Special Conference”
“Well done! Love how the conference is in the US”
“I'm glad I attended - lots of great content. I'll be back next year”
“I just wanted to follow up and thank you for inviting me to speak at the fantastic event you put on. We had so much fun and such a great bunch of folks. Once again thank you for the conference. Brilliant!!!!!”
“Congratulations for putting together a superb conference – both in content and class. Having attended numerous such conferences all over the world in the last two decades of my association with the Spirits Industry - arguably I would rate this one of the very best.”
“Thanks again for the hospitality. The conference was very fruitful for us – long may it continue!”