Monday, April 28, 2014

71st Annual WSWA Convention Wrap-Up: "Honey, I Shrunk the Display Racks"

The WSWA Convention in Vegas never disappoints and this year was no different. The GAP team returned to Gloucester more inspired than ever after three days of conversations with old friends and new, exciting brand innovation, and amazing opening-night cocktails featuring sponsors Heaven Hill, Florida Caribbean Distillers, Sazerac, and Proximo. With guest speakers like real-life Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, and Captain Richard Phillips, who survived being hijacked by Somali pirates, this was a WSWA Convention for the record books.

The WSWA Convention is a premier event bringing together key distillers and wineries with exciting beverage brands along with other leading product and service providers within the industry. This was GAP’s fourth year as an exhibitor. And, for the first time, GAP was also a proud sponsor of the Convention. As always, our booth was a showplace for our latest innovative promotional items and custom displays and we were thrilled to connect there with old friends and to share what we do with new acquaintances.

GAP's Booth
In advance of the show, we wrestled with which of our award-winning display racks to bring to the sponsor hall. We ultimately called on the magic of Vegas (actually, one of our amazing partners) to shrink them down so we could bring a whole lot of them. These ‘miniature’ versions of some of our most successful displays were presented in a glass case, providing an amazing opportunity for us to share the creativity and diversity of our work. 
GAP's Display Case
In the spirit of market research, the GAP team experienced some of the emerging products in the wine and spirits industry, including cinnamon flavored whiskey and many new types and brands of vodka. Cinnamon flavored whiskey is huge right now, thanks to the success of Fireball, and many new brands are capitalizing on its popularity. In the vodka world, brands continue to differentiate themselves with interesting, new flavors and innovative packaging.

We also had the opportunity to visit several of our clients’ suites to sample some of their exciting new products and to gather additional insight into their marketing efforts. Some of our clients who participated in the conference were: Heaven Hill Distilleries, Phillips Distilling Company, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Florida Caribbean, and Imperial Brands.

And, two of our clients’ “hot” brands were amongst the award winners! Heaven Hill brought home a “Gold Medal” for Cinerator whiskey and Phillips Distilling Company won a gold for their latest UV brand launch – Sriracha

As a bonus, GAP team members Erica Nee and Nick Nappi appeared on this year's schedule of events (seen below). We look forward to seeing you all at next year’s show!

Erica and Nick!

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