VIBE Conference, Feb. 27-Mar.1, Lawrence “Laddie” Weiss


Taking place Feb. 27 – Mar. 1 in San Diego, the 2017 VIBE Conference offers chain beverage executives and operators access to interactive and educational workshops, beverage tastings, original beverage research and an impactful keynote session.  Celebrity mixologist and beverage expert Tony Abou-Ganim serves as the conference’s host.

  • “The Bar of Tomorrow:” Enomatic and Coravin were yesterday’s big innovations. This panel will present several technology innovators creating apps, solutions and services that will help create new ways to grow your beer, wine and cocktail programs. We will hear about technologies that manage real-time demand-based pricing, apps that drive new customers to your bar and apps that help your guests make informed decisions about where to drink and what to drink. We will also explore the emerging wine on tap category and self-service cocktail dispensing machines. This session is jam-packed with ideas and emerging technologies to define The Bar of Tomorrow.

o   Target Audience:  Agencies, Distributors, Operators, Suppliers


  • “Tell me What you Want, What you Really, Really Want:” How do you manage against a population who doesn’t want to be managed? Millennial consumers are vehement about not being branded, rejecting the status quo on principal, and proving elusive when being marketed to traditionally. This is true of clothing, music, technology and yes, even wine. Join Evan as he moderates a panel conversation of leading operators exploring what works and doesn’t, winewise, with Millennials and what eno-resonates with them while exploring wine list strategies to reap the benefits of this sizable and lucrative demographic.

o   Target Audience:  Operators-Beverage, Suppliers-Wine


  • “Get Your Day Part Groove on Track:” Hear from a panel of beverage industry experts about what it takes to continuously drive beverage revenue during key day parts, especially Happy Hour and Late Night.  What are the obstacles holding some brands back, including current legal ramifications in key states?  Where are millennials hanging their hats late and night and why?  In addition we will explore why chef driven food in the bar movement– a restaurant with unusually good drinks or a bar with unusually good food.  Appeal of eating in your bar is personal so how can you capitalize?

o   Target Audience:  Operators, Suppliers and Distributors


  • “Making Sense of Mezcal:” Tequila’s elder relative mezcal can unnerve even the seasoned drinker with its rustic tang and smoky assault. If tequila was Robert Downey, Jr., a wayward boy gone good, then mezcal was Charlie Sheen, unrepentant, unregenerate and bad to the bone. Accounting for a tiny portion of tequila’s volume, agave-based mezcal is increasingly interesting to cocktail makers and spirit fans. We’ll explore various types of agave used to make mezcal, how it differs from tequila, look at the traditional production methods and taste a few to reveal how, despite its reputation as a one-trick pony, mezcal offers a range of flavors.

o   Tasting  Target Audience:  Operators-Beverage, Suppliers-Spirits, Distributors


  • “Connecting with Hispanic Consumers to Drive Growth:” Hispanic consumers have become essential to U.S. businesses looking to succeed in 21st century. For more than a decade, Hispanics have accounted for over half of the total population growth in the U.S. Over the next ten years their continued rapid growth in the younger demographics will be in stark contrast to the aging non-Hispanic population.  How can restaurant chains better connect to drive consideration, visitation and loyalty? We’ll quantify the Hispanic diners’ contribution to the restaurant industry; analyze the evolving beverage alcohol preferences; and, discuss how to leverage Hispanic insights to better connect with this increasingly affluent consumer.

o   Target Audience:  Agencies, Distributors, Operators –Marketing, Suppliers

In addition to his work with VIBE, Laddie serves as founder and president of Weiss Foodservice Visions, Inc., which specializes in national account marketing and sales.  Before founding Weiss, Laddie had a 27-year career at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons.

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