Discover how Switzerland's largest wine tourism event has reinvented itself through the online booking platform mescavesouvertes.ch.
The Covid-19 crisis and lockdown forced the cancellation and postponement of many events in 2020. Organisers had to reinvent themselves, digitise and hold on to ensure the sustainability of their activities. This is how the collaboration between the Office des Vins Vaudois and Smeetz was born.
The Office des Vins Vaudois (OVV)
The Office des Vins Vaudois represents the second largest wine appellation in Switzerland. It represents about 3'800 hectares and brings together more than 350 winegrowers. As part of its promotional activities, the OVV organises the Caves Ouvertes Vaudoises, the largest wine tourism event in Switzerland.
“Caves Ouvertes Vaudoises 2020” – Will they be maintained?
This was the question during the summer 2020. The Office des Vins Vaudois, in charge of promoting local wines, had to decide whether or not to maintain its flagship event: the Caves Ouvertes Vaudoises. This annual event was supposed to bring together more than 12,000 people to visit the region's wineries. Given the sanitary situation, organising this event in its original format was impossible, even though producers really needed it.
Reinventing the “Caves Ouvertes Vaudoises 2020”
Following the postponement and cancellation of the 2020 edition of the Caves Ouvertes Vaudoises, the collaboration between the OVV and Smeetz was born in the form of an online reservation platform: mescavesouvertes.ch. The traditional weekend of festivities gave way to a multitude of intimate "à la carte" rendez-vous. The public was invited to buy an online pass and to book up to 10 tastings over a period of 6 months on the online platform created for the occasion.
"Thanks to Smeetz we were able to bounce back. First by organising the Caves Ouvertes à la carte and then, by deploying a solution in the space of only 2 months, an online solution through a platform, which is called mescavesouvertes.ch." Benjamin Gehrig, Director of the Office des Vins Vaudois.”
A platform that brought together nearly 400 winegrowers in record time
Thanks to the flexibility and agility of Smeetz, each of the 400 participating winegrowers could be brought together under a single platform. Less than 60 days elapsed between the start of the project and the launch of the marketplace. The winegrowers can now publish their wine tourism experiences, their availability and manage their bookings on their own.
This was an ambitious project with many challenges:
- Support: Accompanying 300+ winemakers to update their availability.
- Promotion: Creation and promotion of a marketplace for all winegrowers.
- Tech: Setting up a pass to allow reservations on all the winegrowers' accounts.
On the visitors' side, mescavesouvertes.ch website allows them to search for winegrowers by region, label, to buy a pass and to book their tastings directly with the selected winegrower.
A step towards digitalisation
This project has also helped to push the digitalisation of wine tourism experiences for winegrowers. They now have access to an online booking platform that they would not necessarily have had access to without the support of the OVV. They also have the freedom to promote all their tourism and wine tourism activities digitally in just a few clicks.
"It's really something interesting, we launched an initial project and then were able to adapt this project to the circumstances." Benjamin Gehrig, Director of the Office des Vins Vaudois.
Moreover, this collaboration does not end here, but has opened the door to a multitude of opportunities.
"There are many projects planned for the future with Smeetz, for example, in Zurich with the roll-out of a bicycle wine delivery service called https://meinapero.ch/. The idea is to deliver the aperitif in less than an hour throughout Zurich."
Interested in a similar collaboration with Smeetz?
Founded in 2017, the start-up Smeetz is the 1# dynamic ticketing and pricing software based on artificial intelligence dedicated to cultural and tourism actors. Our goal is to simplify availability management and booking of your activities and events via our platform. Our clients include renowned institutions and tourism players such as the Chillon Castle Foundation, Lausanne Tourism, and the Swiss Vapeur Parc. Visit our website to find out more: business.smeetz.com.