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I have a personal stake in this issue. I’ve not had much time to take stock, but you may know that this blog and the producer Dinastia Vivanco supported last week’s tweetup (twitter sourced social gathering) in London in aid of charity:water – otherwise known as Twestival. It obviously benefits the charity, but what makes it worth it?

You could answer the question, “How effective is wine sponsorship?” in several different ways, so maybe I need to clarify this further.

Vivanco wines chilling at twestival

Vivanco wines chilling at twestival

1. Did the sponsorship achieve the organiser’s aim? Was it effective for THEM?

Well, I think this is the easy one. Instead of offering an indifferent wine selected mainly by price, as happens on so many occasions, we thought we’d get involved so that those who had invested their time and energy (and money) to support this cause (and bravely queued in the cold & snow) had a decent wine to drink. Every single comment I heard that night about the wine was positive – and not everyone knew I had helped to arrange it!

I hope that at least a few conversations out there were sparked by the wine. I know I met several really interesting people, some of whom I already follow, many that I don’t, just by talking about the wine. I even got the chance to buy Imogen Heap a glass of wine (I thought it impolite to hang around to ask her if she liked it – Imogen, any feedback?)

There was a slight issue at one point where the volume of people arriving meant that we weren’t allowed back into the section that had the wine bar, but we coped!

Before the event we said;

Sponsoring wine at such events is a tricky task. No-one comes for the wine itself (usually), and if it is doing its job, its major contribution is to a sense of fun, well-being and relaxed interaction for all those at the event, and in this case helping to raise lots of money for Charity:Water. This means that the wine itself may not be remembered.

On this basis, I hope we did succeed and help the charity & organisers, but I wonder whether we did actually manage to create some lasting impression?

2. Did the sponsorship achieve the sponsor’s aim? Was it effective for US?

Here, I desperately need your input.

I don’t want to sound callous or too commercial about this, but sponsorship has to offer value back to the sponsor if brands are to continue to support events such as Twestival. I don’t think anyone would hold that against us.

My simple objective was to get influential people, those on Twitter like you and me, talking about Dinastia Vivanco wines and maybe, just maybe, remembering the name amongst the thousands of available wines in the UK. We also want to help foster an interest in wine, a wine culture, online that helps individuals appreciate wine even more.

To achieve this we also made a number of videos (including a great short wine documentary) with Documentally to give you an idea of what Dinastia Vivanco are about instead of bombarding visitors with leaflets. We had hoped to show this on the night, but in the end that proved impossible.

I would LOVE to hear some feedback from those who were at the London Twestival as to what they thought of the wine. Any comment is useful. It represents the kind of honest customer feedback that Social Media excels at providing, and brands should be encouraging.

To incentivise you a little, I’m prepared to contribute another £1 to charity:water for each person’s comment made on this blog before Monday 23rd Feb* – whether it is a review, feedback, memory, suggestion or question.

I really look forward to hearing what you thought of the wines, and if you’ve had a chance to see the video, whether you’re intrigued enough to consider visiting.

Congratulations again to @amanda, @evarley and everyone else involved with London Twestival, and thank you to Charity:Water for giving us a way to make a difference in the world.

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* just in case, my only ‘terms’ for this offer are that 1) you were at London Twestival, 2) that the comment is about the wine in some way (comments about the beer or anything else are welcome, but not my goal), and just to limit my exposure (anyone remember Hoover flights?), 3) this is for the first 100 comments (don’t expect this will come into play, but you never know how things might get out of control)

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