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Whisky Live 2007 - Currency opinion!

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Postby Paul A Jellis » Tue Dec 12, 2006 9:22 pm

At first I loved the idea of a 'VIP Club' or a 'Subscribers Club' and thought that I would gladly pay double for a ticket like that, but isn't that a sort of snobbery that the whisky 'image' can do without.

That could also lead to arguments between, exhibitors, the 'have nots' and the 'haves'.

I am also starting feel that I am being treated as a greedy, drunken git long before I even get there, if I go next year.
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Postby Matt2 » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:37 am

Nothing more to say really. Some of you won't be happy unless it is all changed to the way you want it, some don't care, and some are happy with it. Even had emails saying it is much better having less vouchers to start with.

Can't please all the people all the time. If you are coming, hope to see you there.

ps.. All samples are 15ml
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Postby fishboy » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:15 pm

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the official comment – I understand a little better the reasons for the change Obviously Whisky magazine and Whisky Live can't please everyone – but I wonder how many of those who’ve been to previous events will go again under the new system. I think the previous comment about consulting everyone except for the customer is pretty indicative of the mood on the forum. You guys have worked really hard to try to make us feel part of a community and this seems to count heavily against that!

I won't be attending the London event, but might go to Glasgow (although my friends and I could just as easily choose to spend our £50 in the Pot Still bar, where the measures are bigger, and the choice of whiskies just as good).

FB
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Postby ikendal » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Sorry Matt but I don't think you are reading the situation correctly.

I think we all understanding the reasoning behind the old structure of vouchers, whether we like them or not, is irrelevant. It is the new structure of vouchers that concerns me (and maybe others) and I for one feel it is ill-conceived. Hence the questions regarding its implementation.



With
Matt Page wrote:Nothing more to say really.

I assume you are happy to lose customers or WL attendees.
I agree you
Matt Page wrote: Can't please all the people all the time.
but you can seriously upset a lot of people in a short space of time! And as you may know from business getting those people back may be harder now you have lost them.

For the record, I will be attending, and will reserve judgement until after the event. However, as you have demonstrated, Whisky live cares little for my judgement or the judgement of others. It will carry on regardless.
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Postby Matt2 » Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:16 am

ikendal wrote:as you have demonstrated, Whisky live cares little for my judgement or the judgement of others. It will carry on regardless.


:evil: Sometimes I wonder why I bother even trying to answer your questions and discussing it here, from now on I will leave this topic to the event managers.

I've probably got myself in enough trouble already trying to explain.

-END-
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:39 am

Paul A Jellis wrote:At first I loved the idea of a 'VIP Club' or a 'Subscribers Club' and thought that I would gladly pay double for a ticket like that, but isn't that a sort of snobbery that the whisky 'image' can do without.

That could also lead to arguments between, exhibitors, the 'have nots' and the 'haves'.



It would obviously need a bit of working out, but I don't think it could be viewed as "whisky snobbery".
A club is for any group who have a collective interest and as such are able to do more than as just individuals. Take sport for example. There are many who turn up for an international rugby match, the majority of whish are not associated to a rugby club. Clubs get a preferential allocation of tickets before the general public but no-one seems to mind. That's the perk of membership. If you want to be part of it, join! I do take your point, but I'm not convinced that this would encourage snobbery. Snobbery to my mind, would be to exclude membership on the basis that an applicant prefers blends to malts, for example!
There are already many whisky clubs around the world (though none in Crieff so far :evil: ) and in principle I don't see why a "Whisky Mag. Club" could not be successful. After all we all read the magazine and contribute to the forums - we're partly there already :)
As regards preferential treatment at whisky festivals, there could be, as there are at many sporting events, members areas where more "contemplative" samples could be made available.
I'm sure the exhibitors would enjoy this as they would be conversing with those who have enough interest in the subject to join a dedicated club and it should be (though I never say never :roll: ) a better behaved crowd.

Just a thought :wink:

Matt - I think we all appreciate the difficult position the WL Organisers find themselves, but this thread occured because a decision was taken without apparently asking customers what they want.
Perhaps a short consultative exercise which included past attendees at WL (and those who post on these boards) as well as those in the industy, local authorities etc. might have been better PR.
Sure, we may have ended up with the same situation re tokens, but at least folk would have a better understanding of why that option was preferred, the political pressures on such events and other external factors that influence the decision. Albeit we might still disagree, I have no doubt that we would have valued being involved in the process.
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Postby The Fachan » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:00 pm

Is it possible to consider a system alomg the lines of what John Hansell has
at his Whiskyfest events in the US where there is a time set aside for members etc. to arrive earlier than Joe Public, similar to what happens at WL for the press at the moment.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:59 pm

Crieftan wrote:As regards preferential treatment at whisky festivals, there could be, as there are at many sporting events, members areas where more "contemplative" samples could be made available.
I'm sure the exhibitors would enjoy this as they would be conversing with those who have enough interest in the subject to join a dedicated club and it should be (though I never say never :roll: ) a better behaved crowd.

I think that's what the masterclasses can achieve. I would be against a roped off area or - as noted above - bottles under the table as I think it could cause ill feeling amongst those who are excluded.

For what it's worth, I would expect to go to WL Glaschu (DV) and will doubtless have a good time. I do appreciate the efforts that go into organizing the event and also appreciate Matt's efforts to communicate the reasoning behind the decision - even though I may find the decision disappointing.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Dec 16, 2006 7:45 pm

I've read the arguments with interest, but have to say that I still consider the new system a 'rip off'. £25 for 5 vouchers, which might only get me two drams (oh, plus some food that I probably won't want). On the subject of which, they're not even full drams - only 15ml !

Simply put, £25 for 3cl of whisky. Must come from an expensive bottling!

And I've little sympathy with stallholders. If they've concerns about loutishness, they should lobby Whisky Live to employ more stewards.
But ultimately, it's their choice whether or not they choose to showcase their wares at the event.
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The great Whisky Live robbery

Postby haywardm » Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:22 pm

Only just caught up with this thread. Having been wanting to have a rant for sometime!!

I'm sorry, but in my opinion there is no doubt that the new arrangements are a "rip off" money making scheme, capitalising on the developing success of Whisky live. Paragraph Publishing should be ashamed of itself!

I've been attending Whisky live for years and am so angry about the new proposals, the obsession with vouchers and the introduction of the rating system.

Luckily, at WL in Glasgow 2006 most sensible distillers weren't enforcing the ridiculous rating system for those of us who they could tell were passionate about whisky. Many exhibitors were openly articulating there frustration at the organisers who they believed were forcing them into practices they didn't agree with. If it really wasn't about forcing people to buy additional vouchers for profit and genuinely was about responsible drinking then you would just provide a sensible number of vouchers in the first place and then not supply additional vouchers for further cash!! You would also have a zero tolerance policy on drunks, employ additional and highly visible stewards and refusa to serve anybody who is clearly intoxicated.

Last year's WL in Glasgow cost me and my girlfriend £220 for flights, £85 for a hotel, £56 for tickets. With food and other incidentals over £400! Even when we go to WL in London it costs us well over £150 as well when everything is added up. Although absurd to pay that for a days whisky tasting, we've always done it because we love whisky, the crack, meeting other enthusiasts, meeting distillers and also the opportunity to sample unusual or new expresions before shelling out big money.

However, the rot started to set in in Glasgow with the rating scheme and has now continued with the absurb new pricing system. Do you really think that reducing the price by 3 pounds, halving the number of vouchers available and throwing in a scabby burger is an attractive proposition?? Essentially, my ticket will now by me less than two tastings of a decent whisky!!

Out of principle we won't be attending anymore Whisky Live's until things change back again. I'd rather spend the money on several great bottles of malt or a weekend on Speyside visiting a couple of distilleries and being given a couple of decent drams!!

Hopefully consumer common sense and like minded people voting with their feet will show Paragraph Publishing that greed and lack of vision can be costly!!

Mike
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Postby Frodo » Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:37 am

Just curious, but I'd like to ask the folks that attended Toronto Whisky Live if the voucher system was used/enforced?
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:27 am

It was used, but not uniformly enforced.
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Postby haywardm » Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:18 pm

Hi Guys,
To be honest, at Glasgow 2006 it wasn't really being enforced by a huge number of the distillers exhibiting, just a few who clearly live by the philosophy "rules are rules". It seemed to be more of the exhibitor's admin team and marketing team members rather than the actual guys involved in distilling that were voucher mad!
Although most of the exhibitors that I spoke to complained of being firmly told by the organisers that it was imperative that they stuck to the rules as the local council were watching them. Interestingly, quite a few senior staff at some of the distilleries were also telling me that they were seriously reviewing their future attendance at Whisky live because of the huge costs incurred by them and the increase in exhibition costs to them.
I just think that it's the beginning of a slippery slope and the new pricing/voucher policy takes the fun and edge off what should be whisky lovers meeting, chatting and tasting freely.
Looks like I'm going to be heading over to Germany this year then?
:)
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:38 pm

It's normal in such an environment for a competitor to suddenly pop up on the scene.
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Postby haywardm » Sun Jan 07, 2007 10:45 pm

Competitor?
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Re: The great Whisky Live robbery

Postby Oliver » Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:32 am

haywardm wrote:I'm sorry, but in my opinion there is no doubt that the new arrangements are a "rip off" money making scheme, capitalising on the developing success of Whisky live.


No question about it, the new scheme -- really, a [EDITED] -- will put more money in the pockets of the organizers and the attendees will get to drink a reduced number of samples!
More policing I think is a common sense and straightforward idea that would be at least worth seriously considering before being dismissed out of hand.
Raised prices and reduced numbers of malts that can be sampled at these events sort of defeats their purpose.... Trying to smooth it over with a lot of weakly contructed "explanations" -- really talking points -- is not a little disingeneous.... Getting all upset and worked up because we can see through the marketing talk which failed to allay justified concerns is laughable :lol: :lol:
This is the price we pay for the increasing popularity of single malts: more and more people are involved just to cash in on it at the expense (pun v. much intended) of anything else..... :?
Last edited by Oliver on Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:48 am

As I have now started my own "Whisky Club" I am considering spending some money on a couple of good bottles that I have never tried before, inviting my founding club members to get together and offer them an evening of sampling something special.

At the moment I can see more pleasure in doing this than travelling to either London or Glasgow for the WL event(s) this year.
But I will be keeping an eye on other peoples' comments and experiences and reserve my final judgement for that time, with a view to joining WL again at some future date.

MT
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Matt Page, tokens, Whisky Live London

Postby si_peacock » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:36 am

Hi all

First of all... Matt, I'm sorry that you feel sufficiently 'got at' to pull out of this thread. I completely understand your frustration at trying to defend a decision that you had (I guess) very little input into. As the person who liases with us quite often on the boards it must be hard for you to see both sides of the argument with the detatchment necessary and I know we all appreciate your efforts on the boards.

However, (you knew that was coming huh?) despite the fact that you've done your best to justify the decision by the event it is obvious to all that Whisky Live is in danger of alienating some of it's most loyal customers.

I know about marketing and the decisions that are taken to get to this point, and I also know that Whisky Live will be a great success this year financially. I'll still be going, along with a few friends who have not been before. I promised to take them as they missed out last year. Otherwise I'd be giving it a miss too I'm afraid.

I guess it's time that we realised that those of us who fund events like this are seen as cash-cows to event organisers. Until they see themselves in real danger of losing significant amounts of revenue they will seek to get as much as possible from us. And the sad fact is that once the trend has been set it is difficult to break it. If there is less interest next year the temptation will be to increase prices further to make up the shortfall.

I sincerely hope this doesn't happen. WL has been the best place for guys like me to go during the year. It always gives me fresh ideas for new whisky, ideas for new distilleries to visit, new contacts in the industry and a renewed pride in the industry.

Unfortunately, until economics start to work in favour of those who attend these things as delegates it is going to be impossible to turn things round in our favour.

So many suggestions have been put forward to try to improve things and to try to make the event more collaborative. I only hope that two things happen... that Matt will make a concerted effort to show our views to others in the organisers office and that WL itself is not on the road to an industry pat on the back rather than a warts and all event to showcase new developments to the people that really matter... the customers.

Thanks for all your efforts Matt

Simon
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Re: Matt Page, tokens, Whisky Live London

Postby Rob Allanson » Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:21 pm

si_peacock wrote: I only hope that two things happen... that Matt will make a concerted effort to show our views to others in the organisers office.

Simon


Dear all.

Let me assure you that all the views expressed here will be represented in the right quarters by Matt and myself.
Whisky Live is organised separately to editorial, hence I have not chimed in here.
But I have been reading the discussions, nothing like a healthy one eh?
Seriously chaps, we will take what has been said to the right places.

Rob
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Postby Frodo » Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:46 pm

Much appretiated Rob!!! Many thanks...
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:54 pm

haywardm wrote:
......... Interestingly, quite a few senior staff at some of the distilleries were also telling me that they were seriously reviewing their future attendance at Whisky live because of the huge costs incurred by them and the increase in exhibition costs to them.......



This can be another downside to increasing numbers. As Whisky Live becomes bigger and bigger the costs funnily may go up greater in ratio than a smaller event to stage to deal with the amount of people. There can be seriously higher costs in relation to council tax and insurance and these can up the cost massively.

That is not to say I too am dissapointed in thte decision. I was seriously think of spending the week-end in Glasgow or London this year but may have to reconsider and maybe go for Leiden or Limburg
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Postby si_peacock » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:23 am

Thanks Rob - really is appreciated.

As you say... nothing like a healthy discussion! :lol:

Looking forward to seeing you there

Si
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Postby The Dazzler » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:41 pm

Hi,

whisky live has very much turned into a global money spinner for the event organisers, (as a business nothing wrong with that), as long as they can keep it going and keep everyone involved happy enough to stay involved.

Personall I think the pricing and voucher does nothing for the distiller/stall holder as they will not see a penny of this, so it does not matter whether they take 3 vouchers or 1 voucher, it is a piece of paper only. Had the disitllers recieved any of this cash it would be an unfair way of working since someone like compass box would be taking 1 voucher for a Hedonism, where Chivas get 2 vouchers for their 18yo, two products which cost the same price.

I am sure the distillers will also be getting more and more frustrated with the Whisky Live events, they pay mega bucks to the organisers to be there, the same fee again if they want to hold a masterclass, then give away all their stocks WITHOUT recieving any money back from vouchers, then pay for staff, hotels and travell etc. Distillers see whisky live as a global marketing tool however the marketing purse of Diageo will be much bigger than that of Compass Box or Penderyn etc. We have seen plenty of distillers year after year decide against attending, (Glasgow is even worse than London). I think this is why we are seeing a casino and a cocktail stand appearing, and beers!!!!

A further note, if folks are being forced to pay for their drams surely it is the law that a measure should be 25ml, or has there been a wee loophole which says you are paying for a voucher and not an actual dram???

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Postby Matt2 » Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:06 pm

Views, comments and 'facts' posted here are the opinions of visitors to this web site and not official statements from Whisky Live unless stated otherwise.

Do not rely on the information posted here by visitors being accurate or true. If you are an exhibitor or visitor to Whisky Live and want confirmation on any topics or procedures please contact a Whisky Live rep - http://www.whiskylive.com
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Postby raysa » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:16 pm

I wonder if there would have been such a fuss about this if the pricing had been exactly equivalent but structured differently. Say £30 entrance including 10 vouchers. Or maybe £28 including 8 vouchers.

It's just that the 5-voucher allocation seems so obviously inadequate that it strikes a mean note. Bit like buying an electronic gadget and finding there's no battery supplied (or only one when it needs two!).

If I go this year I shall tell myself I've paid thirty quid and was given 10 vouchers, then I'll feel I've been better served.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:04 pm

I am pleased that Whisky Live is using the tokens to take such a responsible stand over excessive drinking. After all, alcohol and gambling are not happy bedfellows and this will hopefully reduce the number of people who take foolish decisions at the casino area at the London Whisky Live.
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Postby ikendal » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:27 pm

sorry everyone chiming in again

but nick has a point with regard to gambling. I am not too happy with a casino on site. especially linked to alcohol. if you see me there pull me away.
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Postby RufusA » Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:55 pm

Seeing as I kicked this post off I thought I'd add a bit of an update.

Personally I'm still not convinced about the new voucher system and feel it's more for the benefit of the organisers rather than the stall holders.

However I have decided to give it a "one last" chance anyway and will be going for a full day on the Saturday. If looked at as £30 for 10 vouchers then it *may* not be too bad. For me it will all come down to the stall-holders (a seemingly dwindling bunch).

If there is a strict "3 vouchers or no drink" policy with acres of big name glossy stalls staffed by PR people brought in for the day who know nothing about whisky (no names, no packdrill), then this will be the last one I attend. If however there are still a fair representation of smaller distilleries / bottlers who are willing to talk, have a relaxed attitude to vouchers and a shelf of unusual whiskies you can count me in. Not to mention the odd bigger name with a stack of "minatures" to put in your goodie bag.

Sadly the group of colleauges that I wanted to bring on the Friday evening has fallen through. As one put it "£15 to get in and it only buys you a small measure of whiksy doesn't seem good value".

Rufus.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:28 pm

Surely, if the aim was simply to "get drunk" you'd simply stay at home with a bottle of Aberlour A'Bunadh out of Waitrose. For £30, you'd be hammered!
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:10 am

ikendal wrote:sorry everyone chiming in again

but nick has a point with regard to gambling. I am not too happy with a casino on site. especially linked to alcohol. if you see me there pull me away.


There's a casino? :D
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Postby ikendal » Sun Feb 04, 2007 7:40 pm

insult to injury there is a £1.15 booking fee per ticket to purchase! :shock:

How else are you to purchase tickets without incurring this additional cost? why is not just included in the price of a ticket. How cheated do the whisky live organisers want us to feel?

:evil: not happy :cry:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:33 pm

I agree with ikendal. It's a bit petty don't you think?

I think it's time for one of the event organisers to post here to counter the perceived image that the event is less about promoting whisky and more about jumping on the cash-making bandwagon.
Why should whisky enthusiasts continue to support Whisky Live?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:40 pm

ikendal wrote:insult to injury there is a £1.15 booking fee per ticket to purchase! :shock:

How else are you to purchase tickets without incurring this additional cost?


Does this mean it is cheaper not to book in advance but just to turn up on the day and pay at the door without a "booking fee"?

Or os the booking fee cheaper than whatever is charged at the door for a "non-booking fee"?

I agree with Criefty that this does sound more and more like a "Let's make as much money as possible" attitude.
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