Another year is in the books, as the VIBE Conference wrapped up programming March 14 in Las Vegas. On-premise owners, operators, beverage directors, marketing vice presidents and food and beverage executives attended the third annual conference to learn the latest trends, sample the newest products and, of course, network with some of the top names in the on-premise beverage alcohol industry.
During the conference, more than 85 sponsor companies presented new technology, products and programs, including wine, beer, spirits, mixers and alcohol-free beverage products.
Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to listen to some of the industry’s foremost thinkers, including keynotes from Peter Sheahan, Founder and CEO of ChangeLabs; Niki Leondakis, President and COO of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants; and Chip Eichelberger, Peak Performance, Motivation and Sales Strategist. Warren Solochek, Vice President of Client Development at The NPD Group; Mike Ginley, President of Next Level Marketing; and David Henkes, Vice President of the On-Premise Practice at Technomic, shared groundbreaking beverage and consumer research. Other special speakers included Jon Taffer, president of Nightclub & Bar Media Group, and Stephen Barth, president and founder of HospitalityLawyer.com.
Barth emceed the conference, including the VIBE Vista Awards ceremony, which honored companies that have proven success in beverage sales, operational efficiency, training and service programs. VIBE will spotlight each of the programs in upcoming issues, including the top spirits programs in this issue.
The VIBE Vista Award winners are:
Best Spirits Program
Chain and Multi-Concept Restaurants, sponsored by William Grant & Sons:
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Ruby Tuesday
Hotels, Cruise Lines and Casinos, sponsored by Bacardi USA:
Omni Hotels & Resorts
Best Wine Program
Chain and Multi-Concept Restaurants, sponsored by Constellation Wines U.S.:
Morton’s The Steakhouse
Hotels, Cruise Lines and Casinos, sponsored by E. & J. Gallo Winery:
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
Best Beer Program
Chain and Multi-Concept Restaurants, sponsored by Crown Imports LLC:
Buffalo Wild Wings
Hotels, Cruise Lines and Casinos, sponsored by MillerCoors:
Caesars Entertainment/O'Sheas Casino
Best Adult Alcohol-Free Program
Chain and Multi-Concept Restaurants, sponsored by Monin Gourmet Flavorings:
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
Hotels, Cruise Lines and Casinos, sponsored by Monin Gourmet Flavorings:
LXR-Luxury Resorts &Hotels
Best Responsible Alcohol Service Program
Chain and Multi-Concept Restaurants, sponsored by the National Restaurant Association:
Best Special Event
Chain and Multi-Concept Restaurants, sponsored by The Boston Beer Co.:
Hotels, Cruise Lines and Casinos, sponsored by Finest Call:
JW Marriott Camelback Inn
Congratulations to all of the winners! Although the conference has just wrapped, event organizers already are looking forward to next year, hoping to make the attendee experience top-notch yet again.