Where are business deals made these days?
Over the conference table might be the traditional answer, as businesses continue to use the boardroom for presentations, meetings, and decisions.
Over Skype, might be another answer, reflecting the current way technology enables communication.
So, how about over lunch?
In past decades, the “power lunch” was the domain of men who left the office to meet over drinks and decide the future of corporations.
It’s the kind of behavior that’s now called “retro,” with current manifestations showing up on television and in theatre—just think about Mad Men, and the revival of How to Succeed in Business on Broadway. Both demonstrate a man’s world where lunch and cocktails with a client was how successful business got done.
Enter Wine Week. It’s a Smith & Wollensky tradition, where twice a year, in March and September, restaurants across nine different states celebrate a week-long adventure in wine tasting and food pairings.
The attendees are primarily businesspeople, and in this era that means more women than men, and more networking than good ol’ boy handshaking. But it definitely means business.
Companies use Wine Week as a way to reward employees or clients. They use it as a way to educate their employees for more formal social settings. And, yes, they use it to cut a few deals and set up a few future deals.
So, if you are a company or a businessperson wondering about the benefits of Wine Week from a business point of view, think about these observations:
- Wine Week is a great way to experience expensive wines at minimal cost ($10 to sample ten different wines, plus the cost of an entrée). This can give you a business advantage in future meetings of the minds over meals.
- Wine Week reaches a broad audience of people in the community. There is something to be said for the “see and be seen” approach to business.
- The demographic is getting younger. Wine Week is not for old fogeys. There is a new interest in wines in the Twenty and Thirty-something crowd, who are developing their palate earlier and are ready for more sophistication in their approach to food, wine, and business. You should take advantage of that, regardless of age.
Wine Week is celebratory in nature, with groups including people who work together, wish they worked together, or have worked together in the past. It’s not all business—it’s the opportunity for a social occasion, too, whether that’s business or pleasure. Just look at the number of friends who get together during Wine Week simply to enjoy the experience together. No matter your reasons for attending, Wine Week offers a new generation Power Lunch that encompasses all of the good things about that term—giving you knowledge, networking and opportunity all rolled into one.
The Power Lunch is alive and well and living at Wine Week at Smith & Wollensky.
See you there next time.
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