Featured Hospitality Educational Sessions

Gain insights into current industry trends and learn more about the region’s unique resources

Morning Session 10am

Accelerating Customer Rapport

Some customers base their buying decisions strictly on economic factors while others need to establish a personal relationship with salespeople. This session takes an in depth look at how customers arrive at their buying decisions.

A self-analysis quiz will enable salespeople to “categorize” customers in an effort to determine the best sales approach. Logically if you can quickly learn to read your customer’s buying signals, then you will have an edge on your competition.

By Steven J. Steinhart, CHSE, CHME, Principal of Steinhart and Associates –  See full bio

First Afternoon Session Options 1pm

Secrets of Winery Sales Excellence, Part I

This session helps hospitality employees hone their sales and customer service skills and become leading ambassadors for their wineries and the entire Napa Valley.

Building on “Accelerating Customer Rapport,” this session lays the foundation of WISE standards of tasting room and direct-to-consumer (DTC) best practices — from adding ‘magic’ to the experience, to using rapport-building techniques to engage guests, to increasing sales skills and confidence. Results from the WISE Academy’s mystery shopping in Napa will be discussed to highlight effective practices.

With Lesley Berglund, Co-Founder & Chairman of the Wine Industry Sales Education (WISE) Academy – See full bio

Human Resources and Hospitality Law

Explore contemporary issues in the management of human capital in the hotel and tourism industry, within both macro and micro perspectives. Hot topics include hospitality law and human resource trends.

Panel discussion with Judith Rowlings (HR Director, Las Alcobas, Napa Valley, Tami Pacho (HR Director, Meritage Resort), and Cheryl Velasquez (HR Director, Hilton Hotel). Panel facilitated by Attorney Chuck Gravett. See full bios



Food and Beverage Trends

What’s on the horizon? What are the up-and-coming flavors? Learn what food and beverage planners are seeing more of and expecting more of, and how to work these trends into your business.

By Michael Galyen (Owner of NapaSport Restaurant and Bar) and Ryan Harris (Co-Owner, Contimo Provisions) – See full bios


Second Afternoon Session Options 2:20pm

Secrets of Sales Excellence for Wineries, Part II

This session builds on the material covered in Lesley’s prior session, diving deeper into sales. Learn fun and effective ways to engage guests, increasing their satisfaction and making memorable experiences through storytelling and brand sound bites.

Compelling brand stories and storytelling techniques make the brand come to life by building emotional connections that resonate with guests long after their initial visit. Those connections not only increase guest satisfaction and build loyalty, but also increase sales.

With Lesley Berglund, Co-Founder & Chairman of the Wine Industry Sales Education (WISE) Academy – See full bio


Creating a 5-star hospitality experienceCreating the Customer Experience

Creating an unsurpassed customer experience starts with understanding your customer and having a clear vision of how to plan the experience accordingly. It includes how to manage visitors during critical interaction points, ensuring satisfaction, all the way through to after the experience.

This session provides best practices to give you a strategic and practical approach to managing the customer experience.

Panel discussion with Don Rickard (Owner, Platypus Tours), Jim Treadway (General Manager, Bardessono Hotel and Spa), and Joseph Foss (Senior Hospitality Manager, Rutherford Hill Winery) – See full bios


Marketing strategy workshopGoogle Tools for Hospitality

With Google as the top internet browser, it’s critical to consider Google Tools for driving online visitors and sales. This session covers  all of the tools to market your hospitality business, including advertising, analytics, search, alerts, trends, reviews, and much more.

With Claudette Shatto, Instructor of Business & Entrepreneurship at Napa Valley College – See full bio