I was at a conference last week and the keynote speech was from Hermann Hauser (inventor of Acorn computers, Founder of ARM (the processor in many mobile phones)) - it was mentioned that the average life for a company is now 19 years due to rate of change of many factors affecting businesses.
To have a society that has “survived” since 1874 means by the very nature of moving from the 2nd industrial revolution into the 4th and the soon to arrive 5th means it has changed but luckily it has kept its original idea at the heart of these changes!
People have changed in terms of where they live, how they live, there access to information…
The Society moved from all printed materials to a website, to an app but they saw the importance of keeping their “audience” happy - still retained telephone orders, faxed orders etc
We now have to view this from a sales and marketing perspective - simply having some wines listed in the Decanter Awards, weekend supplements etc wont do in todays age - there is still a place for them but we have to acknowledge the power of social media and the market that it brings - I’m mid 40s and a heavy social media user (like going to AA writing this!!) but those 40 odd years have made me thick skinned to influencers, the famous etc - I can distinguish my targeted reading from the dross.
The Society has to move forward as (sadly) we will loose member every year and they need to be replaced. Replacements can come from anyone 18 to 108 but we have to work in targeting across the various methods that those generations will access - a review in the telegraph weekend, a piece on a TV show, an email or even instagram - its the current we live in.
If you don’t like it just stick to the media routes you like.
Now as I prepare for the 5th Industrial revolution - where my virtual cellar master will order on my behalf from a data set of my current cellar, my upcoming meals. social occasions, my guests, new trends, available funds and the use of Machine Learning to improve based on feedback loops - I’m off to twitter to see what’s being said about wine