Wine Future 2021 and the virtual congress
Javier Luengo (@JavierGuiaPenin)
The third edition of the international Wine Future 2021 summit has come to an end after four days of lively talks between professionals from very different fields. Nearly 100 speakers took part last week in a congress that, for the first time, has had to transfer from a physical location, as it did in Logroño and Hong Kong, to a virtual one, in the midst of the pandemic that is sweeping the world.
The need to hold this event as a virtual meeting has taught us many more things than the congress originally planned. The participating speakers had the arduous task of tackling many of the burning issues surrounding wine and its challenges, such as the effect of Covid on the sector, transformations in wine consumption, the growth of trade barriers in the world, climate change and its effects, sustainability in wine..., in a format of 45-minute meetings, in which several professionals discussed each of these topics with each other.
Typical of these congresses, the expectations are always much more ambitious than reality: to provide answers for all the major issues of importance for wine. No one felt frustrated for not having solved the enigmas of the subjects dealt with, they are never fully answered, and certainly this was not the most important thing.
Wine Future ends with a handful of valuable lessons. The most important of all is the ability of human beings to solve problems. Recently we have witnessed this with the discovery of several vaccines against COVID in record time. Researchers from half the world put all their intelligence and knowledge to work together to advance the study of the virus, making the impossible possible. And to make all this possible, a fundamental tool was needed: technology. The fact that something like this happened in global health in so little time shows us that it is also possible to transform the reality of any other sector.
And that is how this International Congress began, with the possibility of reaching every corner of the world and bringing together professionals from different fields, nationalities, and profiles. And not only this, but also allowing people to attend and take part from their living rooms or offices, with no need to travel.
Throughout these four days we have seen that the problems of wine are not individual. We all struggle in some way with the same ghosts. What we thought was our own problem was equally true in another part of the world. The findings of some can help others if we can correctly interpret the data and adapt them. The importance of this information is a major factor, as the talk on data strategy, analysis and research made clear. At this event we listened to people who not only have a long professional career in the world of wine, but who in one way or another have lived transcendental experiences in the world of wine, some full of mistakes, others full of successes, which can help us in the future.
More accessible communication
Wine Future 2021 has been organised by the American journalist and broadcaster David Furer and the Spaniard Pancho Campo, ex-professional tennis player, music promoter and event organiser, a person who does not leave anyone indifferent. The truth is that Pancho Campo is an agile, restless and ambitious person, ingredients that have allowed him to create this third congress at the right time and in the ideal format, to show us that communication is today more accessible and necessary than ever. It is to Pancho's credit that he has brought the world of entertainment closer to such a classic sector as wine, something we urgently need to reach all audiences and consumers in a simpler and more casual way.
The interconnected world is capable of anything, as we have already seen. Now we need to internalise it, develop it and demand it in each of our sectors in order to put into operation the great machine that is the human being.