How’s the hair? Great, as always.
That came fast again. A few months of respite and a new lockdown was thrown over us again like a heavy dark blanket. We quickly had to ask ourselves how fast we could come up with a creative solution to the tours we couldn’t run. Not as a replacement, of course, as nothing can replace the direct experience of enjoying something with all your senses in the presence of others. But as a little interim taster of what the real thing feels like.
Can digital tourism work? Can a digital experience ever be an alternative to the real thing? We believe so, and even if we learn otherwise, we will give it a bloody good try.
Can tourism work online at all? Can an experience work on screen and be enough to leave guests satisfied — especially now when everyone has zoom fatigue? These are some of the core questions we’ve asked ourselves. We knew if we were ever to success, everything should be well thought through, coherent but also fun, from before to after the event itself. We decided on a resounding YES and once again put our heads together with friends and partners to make it happen.
And so our Slurp Sessions were born, relatively spontaneously. Well… with a little bit of luck too. We ran into a former colleague a month or so ago, who was planning a wine tasting event with their team to help boost morale in the company. With most colleagues working from home, and little to no possibility of meeting for a relaxed evening for dinner or a drink, online events seemed to be the only option. And we thought… yes, we can do this! We can create a fun evening for you all, with some excellent wines in the mix.
Just like our planned tours, we knew we wanted our online alternative to be people-centred. The stories and characters of both our partners and selected drinks would remain the backbone of the evening, whilst our attention would focus on our session guests, and how we could give them a taste of the real thing in a fun and engaging way. Our sessions should be informative, but not a dry lecture on the science of wine. They should be interesting, entertaining, relaxed, and most importantly, interactive. This last point is particularly important. How would we get people to take part and feel involved in the experience, even in a remote way?
We started by looking at the whole user experience, mapping out what would happen from the moment a guest would be interested in taking part in such an event, to the impact we might have on them afterwards. We tested it first with our partners, making sure we were telling the right stories, and that most of the big stones were out of the way. And then we tested it again and again with the following sessions, making the path smoother with every iteration. Feedback has been critical here, for us to understand what works and what doesn’t, with little tips here and there for what was missing.
As 15 guests turned into 63, we also had to quickly improvise on the logistical side of things. How to order the wine, how to ship it, how to have non-alcoholic alternatives, how to invite the right guests for the right sessions, and let them know what to expect and what to bring. Big thanks go to our partner Vincent Eymann for helping us out with our first large shipment of almost 180 bottles of wine and to our partner Schönfeld — Die Tee-Gärtner for providing the non-alcoholic alternatives.
We also quickly realised that there was a Goldilocks limit not only to the duration of the event — not too short that guests would feel left out, and not too long that guests would become bored — but also to how many people we could host at once. We wanted to make sure that every single guest had a good time.
Now that we’ve smoothed over the major kinks, we are ready to present you with our Slurp Sessions, ready for you to book. Three hours of evening entertainment, with three delicious wines paired with fun and games, three price options, and three variations on the wines (or non-alcoholic alternatives). White wine, red wine, or both, with buuuuuubles to get you started, and a few special prizes to end the evening with a bang.
It turns out our approach is perfect for companies that have seen their Christmas parties cancelled or families and friends who won’t be able to sit together so soon. We may all have to be physically distanced for a while longer, but we’re happy to bring you together in the knowledge that, in the end, we’ll all leave with the same molecules in our bellies. So if we can’t bring you to the wines, we’ll bring the wines to you.
Come and join us for an evening of fun and games with three delicious wines, from the cosiness of your home.