Allegrini 2018

Nedic (Iem): the future of wine promotion between technology and return to sociality

The founder, with Voglino, of Iem, historical leader in the organization of events abroad: “focus on quality to start again from September 2020”

When, in a few months or a few years, we will look back, wondering how it all began, perhaps we will remember how the first signs, by many, underestimated, of the vastness of the health crisis linked to the spread of Covid-19, came from the international wine fairs, which after a short resistance had to cancel all the events scheduled for 2020, bent by a reality that in the weeks became more and more tragic and global, with the whole world in lockdown and the borders between countries sealed, as never seen before, at least not since the Second World War.
After three months, however, Italy tries to start again, even the wine one, of course, gaining confidence every day that passes (supported by the data that mark a continuous improvement) but without ever losing sight of the final goal: to return to normality, which means, first of all, sitting down at the restaurant in peace, and then going back to traveling, promoting and selling Italian wines all over the world. Of course, it won't be the same world anymore, and, at least for the first time, it won't even be the same promotion, because, beyond resilience, something is bound to change, in the sign of innovation, as Marina Nedic tells WineNews, at the helm, with Giancarlo Voglino, of Iem, historical leader in the organization of events abroad of Italian wine.

After the forced stop of activities, which warms up the engines given the return to the field, starting with the new dates of the 2020 stages of the “Simply Italian Great Wines” tour (22-24 September Europe, in Copenhagen and Warsaw, 29 September - 1 October Russia, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, 26-28 October USA, in New York and San Francisco, 24-30 November Asia and Australia, in Ho Chi Minh, Singapore, and Sydney), passing through a whole new format, but already in development for some time, the “World Wine Web Masterclasses”, which allow the organization of virtual masterclasses conducted by expert local speakers, allowing producers to promote themselves virtually to distribution professionals, sommeliers, buyers, journalists, influencers and consumers. “The Covid-19 has been devastating from every point of view, especially in terms of human contact, which remains difficult, because you will have to maintain social distance for a while, and contact with those who live far away becomes difficult,” says Marina Nedic.
“For our business, it is a damage: the big fairs have been postponed until 2021, and even our events have been postponed, when possible, to autumn 2020, or canceled when it wasn't possible. We still need to move forward, build the future, which will certainly be different, still uncertain from every point of view, both in terms of contacts and travel, but we need to start building it. However, we must move forward, build the future, which will certainly be different, still uncertain from every point of view, both in terms of contacts and movements, but we must start building it. Starting - Marina Nedic explains to WineNews - from a new product, but up to a certain point, because we already had in mind to launch it: the “World Wine Web Masterclass”, which have a series of features that can be used even when the world will start socializing and dating again as it used to. It is a useful tool now but also in the future, where we want to multiply the presence, even digital or virtual, without having to use the resources and time to travel. The producer gets in direct contact with the end-user, in our case the trade of the international wine world, which we know well after twenty years of working in this sector. It is a trade that expects this kind of thing from us, that is, news from the Italian wine world live”.

This, however, certainly does not mean overcoming human contact, on the contrary, “it is an instrument that can be used alongside physical presence. I believe - continues Iem's founder, together with Giancarlo Voglino - that sociality, conviviality, and contact can never be completely overcome by technology. Which, however, can help to live sociality differently soon". But will it be possible to return, in 2020, to have wine events in which to taste wine together with producers, considering the many limitations that will have to be faced?” The second part of the year is a challenge for the world and the world of wine. The appointments in Italy will be fundamental to restore vitality to a sector that has been very impressed: they represent a moment in which conviviality and sociality can be lived again. Digital and technological tools will certainly support these events, representing - adds Marina Nedic - a new way of experiencing the world of wine, globalizing it even more, even in the absence of travel. For our events, those of “Simply Italian Great Wines”, for the second part of 2020 are planned, obviously with the utmost caution and hoping to be able to travel. For our events, those of “Simply Italian Great Wines”, for the second part of 2020 are scheduled, obviously with the utmost caution and hoping to travel. They will be organized following all the new rules that will be imposed to ensure maximum safety to those who participate, but it is important to resume this sociality characteristic of wine, because it is a pleasure of life, and as such should be shared.
Events and promotion of wine, will change its face in the medium term, and how? “It will be a different future from what a normal trend would have reserved for us, and therefore without the impact of Covid-19, but I believe that we will proceed in small steps towards sociality,
towards the possibility of meeting again, of interacting in person, with the use of technology to accompany this change, which will allow us to work at our best both in the short and in the medium and long term. Surely the events that will take place in autumn 2020 and in the coming months will be smaller and more focused, we will focus more on the quality - concludes Marina Nedic - of the interlocutors, which becomes essential in a context where you have to select at most 15-20 instead of 100, so the quality will be fundamental”.

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