by Cristiane Roget
October 9-11 The Florida Retail Federation Annual Meeting held at the luxurious Omni Colonnade & Gateway Golf Course was one part extended family reunion and high profile industry pow wow. The conference encapsulates the entire Florida Spirits and Wine Industry. The 2011 Retail Beverage Council Educational Seminar & Trade Show is an annual gathering of spirit makers, government advocates, liquor and wine distributors, retailers with a bevy of brand ambassador beauties in the mix. The schedule includes liquor debuts, negotiations, golf scrambles and conviviality. Guests were on their best behavior; as brands tend to change distributors faster than a J.Lo marriage.
A focal point of the confab were the hosted Hospitality Suites. Among them were Southern Wine and Spirits, the mother ship of beverage distributors, Republic National Distributing Company and Premier Beverage of the Charmer Sunbelt Group. Liquor Group, LLC, Comrose Wine & Spirits, Infinium Spirits Distributors and Strategic Importers were among the many purveyors of eclectic portfolios of specialty tequilas, rums, gins, vodkas, wine and ultra premium libations for sampling.
The highly calibrated production hosted over 90 exhibitors. Spearheaded by the Retail Beverage Council of the Florida Retail Federation; Sherry Whitney, Scott Dick, and Mehgean Willoughby coordinated the highly calibrated production. The event was at once intimate, informative and a hotbed of wheeling and dealing. The RBC is based in Tallahassee with a mandate is to protect the regulatory and legislative issues pertaining to the Florida Liquor Industry. .
With Florida being one of the world’s most desirable travel and living destinations, the liquor industry has a built in customer. Living in paradise invites frequent visits to Margaretville and nights of ‘bubble’ and cocktail infused revelry.
With the theme ‘Working Together’, the Educational Seminar & Trade Show culminated in the 2011 RBC Golf Tournament at the Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate. The Resort boasts two championship 18-hole, a lighted 9 hole and a par 3 golf courses designed by architect and golf luminary Greg Norman. No stranger to the industry with his Greg Norman Estate Wines, Norman designed the authentic link style experience to be reminiscent of the great golf courses of the British Isles. The site also boasts the World Headquarters for the David Leadbetter Golf Academy.
Presided over by the Honorable Miguel Diaz de La Portilla, State Senator, District 6 of Miami, multiple seminars touched on topics as diverse as how small businesses implement ingenious ways to compete with the behemoths to regulatory issues to ‘Fat, Drunk & Stupid is No Way to Go’. Marketing companies on the trade floor were Centiv, Marketing on Demand represented by Suesie McCain, VIPictures.com joined Patrick Kahn, Founder and Producer of Snap! Orlando (snaporlando.com). Underwritten in part by the City of Orlando, May 3-6, 2012 Snap! Celebrates some of the world’s most illustrious Fashion photographers.
Jason Savino, President of Potions in Motion, Florida’s premiere mobile bar caterer with Howard Helfant of H Beverage Company bandied about proposals to underwrite next week’s Miami Beach fashion conclave, funkshion.com and the annual Casa Valentina fundraiser. Benefitting young adults aging out of Foster Care the posh gathering on October 22, at SoBe’s Bentley Hotel and will continue on to the gourmand’s watering hole Eden Restaurant and Lounge.
Celia Evans, producer of Los Angeles based SeaStar Productions confirms, “The by-invitation-only fundraiser will bring together luminaries and celebrities who are committed to the cause. For an invitation contact firstname.lastname@example.org. One Barrel Rum of Belize and Black Rum are among those considering the VIP Bar for SOS’s production of the original Bob Marley Band the Wailers and Pato Baton a virtuoso performed from the United Kingdom.
The Retail Beverage Council (RBC), a division of the Florida Retail Federation, is a statewide trade association representing the interests of the retail beverage industry in Florida. RBC is here to work for you and your needs in the Florida Legislature, and represent your interests before Florida’s regulatory agencies.