Family & FriendsExperiences

The State of Wine Country Tourism

  • May 01, 2020
  • By Agent Silver Fox

As different parts of the United States begin to re-open to the new normal, CellarPass has been hard at work with developing new features such as Zoom meeting integration, but one thing for sure is that going wine tasting will not be the same before COVID-19.

Last Thursday's email was a bittersweet one as we were able to for the first time in nearly two months, announce that some of our select properties are re-opening for business. It was odd because we've always been about marketing all of your amazing experiences and special events. And since our properties are indeed opening up, albeit with limited capacities and strict visitor guidelines, we felt that it was an important one to get out there as the amount of support and interest from our guests has been heartwarming.

With so much confusion, changes happening almost daily, it was important to start communicating with what properties are open and for those not open, when will they be? We also wanted to make it absolutely clear to all of our guests that just because some of our properties are open, it doesn't mean that everyone should jump in their car- and go wine tasting. Lastly, we wanted to set clear expectations that attending a wine tasting, will not be provided as we've all been accustomed to.

Localized social-distancing guidelines will need to be followed for many months will no doubt be difficult for our guests to understand, nor any easier for our properties to keep guests in check and following them. It's why we're urging a sense of caution to both sides to protect everyone as the last thing any of us need right now is a "reset" and start SIP all over again.


Book reservations for winery reservations


The State of CellarPass

Just like any other business, we've had our challenges. From enduring some extremely hard days, speaking with event organizers that are cancelling events or considering it- and some easier days where we get to brainstorm new features.

We've burned the midnight oil to deliver some pretty amazing features in days, not weeks or months because we know you need them now, not this summer. There's one particular new feature that we'll be talking about later in this email that we are very proud to share with you, many of you will breathe a sigh of relief once you get your hands on it. But on top of that, we've added plenty of other features while making hundreds of improvements to our website, both native apps and back office, all designed to save you time and ways to make you more money.

As the new "normal" sets in, we continue to reach out to our properties, offer training, consulting and speak to many guests on a daily basis that are anxious to come see you all. Our marketing and corporate outreach is getting a lot of attention as different regional associations are forwarding our emails to others, including us on statewide tourism discussions and the best of all is when you have taken a moment out of your crazy to just say "hi" to us. Just yesterday, we received two autographed bottles from Kix Brooks (of Brooks & Dunn- thanks Kip Summers!) for making their curbside program a huge success. That means a lot- thank you!




With all these unknowns and our communications with others to get to the known, it's generating a lot of traffic to our website. Google is recognizing CellarPass' outreach and authenticity of content and it continues to reward all of you with more guests checking out your business pages, event pages and booking their visits. The graph above shows the momentum we were having with our new website until mid-March as Shelter in Place orders spread across the U.S. What you will notice is that despite our conversion rate may have slid, the total number of impressions was not effected. Our total clicks are in a weekly pattern of 'curiosity' by guests who are checking to see if they can book or not. This is why it's so important to not completely shut off your availability, but to have a rolling blackout which we can assist you with getting set up in a few clicks.

Our average position for SER (Search Engine Results) may seem high, which makes sense since we've recently added thousands of pages of content as part of our v3 strategy. As Google indexes those pages, we'll see this average position go in our favor (lower so to speak), rewarding us with more click-throughs. We've achieved these metrics by adding more blog articles, but what has caused our spike the most is our website now offers the ability to book with more wineries, hotels, restaurants, activities and transportation options than ever. We've expanded into new wine regions (Colorado, Idaho, Tennessee, Virginia) and we have four more in early development. There's nothing else out there like the new offering guests a single site to get inspired to book their entire trip to wine country. And every week, it gets better and better. On Monday we've got a huge release scheduled that will introduce more new features and optimizations.

So, while we've provided hands-on support to all of you, all of our teams have stepped up to deliver on our promise to bringing you more guests than ever, while providing you all new features that will allow you to offer more experiences, offline and online. We launched an upgrade to CellarPass Table Pro yesterday and there's an update for Guest Link Pro that Apple is certifying at the time of this writing.Today, we're very excited about our announcement of our integration with the popular Zoom Meeting platform that showcases our technology prowess- of course another industry first feature for CellarPass, that we all know you are going to absolutely really enjoy.


Buy wine online and schedule curbside pickup


For those offering Virtual Tastings that have found it difficult to track and relate Zoom meetings to guests, this integration is going to change your life. Now available to all Professional Plan (and higher) subscriptions, the integration is offered at no additional fee, saving you and your team hours of tedious steps of manually creating Zoom Meetings and keeping track of it all. For those that have tried hosting hundreds of these, this is going to be the answer to your prayers!

We're also very proud to share that we didn't rush to get this done. In fact, you can say that we've overly-designed the feature as we went to the nth degree by adding advanced options such as the flexibility to automatically create unique Zoom Meetings for each reservation booked or add additional attendees on a per event basis. You can even setup default meeting passwords, use your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) or generate unique MeetingIDs.

We've even added a new [[ZoomMeeting]] tag to our reservation confirmation templates which will automatically replace this tag with the information your guests need to join the Zoom meeting, even the password and Meeting URL Link. Yes, once someone books, they will have everything they need and more. This alone will save you hours every week!

Need more information from the guest? Sure, with our new Attendee Question feature, you can add up to 3 questions that offers guests multiple choice answer options or simple fill-in answers. Our new Attendee Question report provides you a quick overview on a daily basis- and per event.

If you are Zoom'ing, you owe it to yourself and your guests to offer a better experience when registering for Virtual Events. And starting Monday, you too can start enjoying this really cool new feature that CellarPass continues to innovate and deliver industry-first features.

This will be available to all Professional (and higher) accounts, starting Monday, May 4th!


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