Penticton Lakeside Resort is bustling today for the first annual Fortify Conference, which has brought craft breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries from across B.C. to learn about the business of artisanal booze.
The sold-out event hosted by the Oliver-based Business Alliance for Artisan Fermenters and Distillers has attracted more than 150 delegates for a day of networking, panels and trade show.
“All these sectors, regardless of what their end product is, at the end of the day they are all small to medium businesses,” coordinator Carolyn MacLaren said, explaining they all work under similar regulatory framework and face similar challenges such as hiring.
“We saw that there was a real opportunity and need for a conference that was focused on business and not production to help some of these small businesses with the challenges they face,” MacLaren said.
The day has been broken up into three pillars: financial and regulatory, human resources and branding.
Launching the trade show in Penticton, with its numerous wineries and breweries, was an easy choice.
The event, however, may move around the province in the coming years MacLaren said, noting strong attendance from Vancouver Island.
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