29
Jan
12

Boston Wine Expo Farmers’ Market recap

The purpose of this post is to share how the first year Farmers’ Market pavilion at the 21st annual Boston Wine Expo went and to plant seeds for more collaboration throughout the year among local farms, local businesses, events, sponsors and media.

Farmers' MarketThe Farmers’ Market pavilion recipe might be called “wine, women and farm”, but the integrated marketing had three key ingredients:

+ a high-profile event with great demographics attracting thousands of people each day

+ a strong advertising campaign in print, online and social media targeting women

+ participation of five key farmers’ market vendors and a fantastic state resource

As mentioned in a previous post, the inspiration for the Farmers’ Market was a conversation I had with some of the BWE team members who attended Exhale Magazine’s “Top Dish Boston” sustainable food event in October.

Here’s how it worked:

The Boston Wine Expo added Exhale Lifestyle Magazine for Women to its advertising mix in print, online and through social media.  Women represent the majority of wine purchases on-premise and at retail.  (I’m still looking to source this truism and need to find a verifiable source to note – please comment if you have one, I’d really appreciate it).

Exhale solicited participation from key Farmers’ Market vendors including Wilson Farm, Mama Micki’s All Natural, Piantedosi Baking Company, Boston Organics and Gabbie’s Goodies Bon Bons.

Exhale involved the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) as a promotion partner to distribute information, maps, collateral pieces and website resources about farmers’ markets, apple picking, culinary tours from Boston to the Berkshires, wineries and food producers across the state.

My takeaways from the Farmers’ Market at the Boston Wine Expo:

  • the Farmers’ Market pavilion attracted lots of attention and added an interesting extension to the BWE’s week-long celebration of food and wine
  • there’s a lot of interest from the general market, particularly women, in finding their own local farmer’s market and buying Massachusetts-made products from cookies to bon bons  to wine and cheese.
  • even though this winter event took place in root vegetable season and coincided with a Patriots’ playoff game to become Super Bowl-bound, the Farmers’ Market recipe worked well for all and set the stage for planting, growing and harvest seasons.

I’d really appreciate your thoughts on how this recipe can be improved and adapted.  Please comment.

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