Partnership Launched to Expand Educational Offerings at WSWA Convention & Exposition

Washington D.C. (March 8, 2011)—The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) has incorporated a newly expanded educational track to its upcoming 68th Annual Convention & Exposition April 10-13, 2011, in Orlando. The U.S. Drinks Conference USDC), established in 2007 by Brand Action Team, MHW, Ltd, and Next Level Marketing , will be coordinating the business-related programs at this year’s convention. In 2012, USDC in its entirety will be co-located with WSWA at their convention in Las Vegas.

The USDC has established a reputation for providing practical information that suppliers and distributors can use to introduce and grow brands in the U.S. market. The four programs that USDC will host are slated to feature industry experts and veteran influencers offering key takeaways that attending wholesalers and wine and spirit suppliers can put to work right away.


Sessions will be offered on Tuesday, April 12 from 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. in a multi-track format and will include:

· Social Media as a Marketing Tool

Attendees will hear a panel discuss how suppliers and on- and off-premise wholesalers are leveraging social media to make sales happen.

· How Brand Ambassadors Can Add Value

Suppliers may be paying for them, however, distributors can also benefit from the power of this dynamic resource to engage consumers at the point of purchase.

· Brand Builders: Case Histories of Successful Brand Launches, Expansions and Initiatives

Tune in for a summary “distillation” of the latest industry trends, from the retail, on- and off-premise and consumer perspective.

· Navigating Brand Entry: Understanding the Three-tier system.

Perfect for attendees who are new to market, this seminar will cover the basics of control versus open states and how to navigate the complexities of the unique three-tier system.

“Aligning our convention with WSWA allows us to reach a much broader audience,” said Steve Raye, Managing Partner of Avon, CT-based Brand Action Team, one of the organizers the USDC. “WSWA attracts 2,000 attendees; people who most benefit from the type of information that we provide at the USDC, along with those people implementing practical information on the front lines.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with USDC to bring added value and commercial substance to our convention program,” WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf said. “Our goal is to continuously improve the convention and introduce new and interesting elements for the attendees, and the business-related sessions offered this year do just that,” Wolf added.

The partnership between WSWA and USDC efficiently brings new elements to the traditional WSWA convention programming. Noted Raye, “Our partners in USDC, John Beaudette, Mike Ginley and Jeff Grindrod, all agree that there is a tremendous need to provide practical information that wholesalers and suppliers can use to increase sales and margins in this rapidly changing marketplace.”

Raye concluded, “Attendees have the opportunities offered by being at the WSWA convention and, simultaneously, have access to the information from USDC. They fit together very nicely.”

WSWA has also established a special one-day fee of $325 for individuals who want to attend the sessions, but are not able to attend the entire convention. Visit for registration information.

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