Perhaps I have missed a category of event but during this lockdown period I think the Society could perhaps look at combining some of the events to present a more cohesive format.
It is great that there are several types of events going on, remote tastings, Q&A’s but the format of these events seems, dare I say it, slightly old fashioned in that they involve refreshing the forum as they are ongoing in real time. I might be the only one but I do not find these types of events particularly engaging but I think there is a broadly simple solution.
Take for instance, the Lunch with a Buyer: Pierre Mansour, on Tuesday 26th May, 1-2pm. Questions will be submitted in advance and on the day, questions will be answered between 1 and 2pm all the while the community also chats in the same thread. It tends to make the format quite unwieldy to read back and also not particularly visually appealing.
Would it not be possible to update these events, perhaps hold them in an evening and allow Members to log into a Zoom video chat (or similar) where, for instance, Pierre can be chatting with someone from the Wine Society who puts the questions which have been received to him in a conversational way on the video feed and he can answer them on the video. Time permitting, the conversation could be transcribed in the future and once the call is complete it can also be uploaded to Youtube for posterity. You could even combine such a video event with a tasting where Pierre and WS Members open up the same bottle of wine(s) and in addition to the questions which are being asked, they can also chat about the wine whilst the people watching the video call also taste it at home and chat about it simultaneously on the forum.
It could just be me, but I’d be more interesting in joining such an event and I think it could really play to the strengths of the Society and even if you are not available on the evening it takes place, the video can be packaged up in such a way that it can be subsequently enjoyed by Members who were not able to view it live.
For work, I have joined a number if video conference calls where the hosts (remotely) discuss a specific issue with a panel of speakers and it works very well. Anyone who wants can log into the call and watch the feed.
I think the events being organised are really interesting, I just think the presentation aspect of them could be improved and that a few different events can be combined into a really good event. For instance, a event where some Australian wines are tasted could be combined into a video event where the Australian buyer is present to not only discuss the specific wines being tasted but also answers questions which have been received by Members. You’d end up with a really interesting video chat which could easily archived on the WS site and would likely remain relevant for a long time to come.
Anyway, these are just my two cents!