Best events on Metooo: Beer tasting courses by Unionbirrai

With a fresh new year comes a fresh new episode of our “Best events on Metooo” series! In this series we’re presenting each time a case study of a successful event that was managed on our platform, to inspire you for your next project. Learn new creative ways in which Metooo can be used in the event management process, and make sure your next event will be a success!

This time we’re talking not about a singular event, but about a series of events organized all throughout Italy by Unionbirrai. Unionbirrai is the Italian association of artisan beer producers. More specifically, their events are beer tasting courses. Last year Unionbirrai was already successfully using our platform for their courses, and, as 2019 kicked in, they already have 24 (twenty four!) events announced all around Italy! Let’s see below what were their success ingredients!

The Organizer

Unionbirrai was officially founded in 1998 as the first association of small artisan beer producers. The association was created from a need of these producers to face together the challenges of being the pioneers of a new industry, on a new market, with a new product. The main challenge of these small producers was to face the unpreparedness of Italian public institutions in dealing with the particularities of this new industry.

Today, Unionbirrai has grown into a nationwide important organism that performs concrete action to help small beer producers. As members of the association, they have access to many advantages such as:

  • nationwide promotion and visibility
  • a community forum where they can discuss everything from best practices to laws, rules and regulations in the industry
  • two monthly trade magazines
  • significant discounts to courses, training, contests and other industry events that the Union organizes throughout the year
  • free helpdesk for technical and legal matters, and discounted consultancy from specialists in the industry

But there’s more: not only beer producers can become members of this association. Artisan beer enthusiasts, people who are simply passionate about artisan beer, can join too. The perks are mainly discounted participation in beer tasting events, field trips and events, and being part of an amazingly lively community.

The event: beer tasting courses in Italy

Structure

As said above, we’re talking at least 24 similar events in the first part of 2019 all throughout Italy. The structure is simple, there are two types of beer tasting courses in this series: “1st level” for beginner beer tasters, and “2nd level” for advanced tasters. The 2nd level courses end with an exam that is the first step on the path to be accepted in the professional Unionbirrai Beer Tasters group. Each course is structured into 11 distinct lessons, the same in every venue, spanning more or less around 2 months. Each venue, be it bar or pub, is an artisan beer producer, member of the association. So the courses accomplish a double mission: promotion for the association and promotion for the venue.

Communication

What strikes when you see the entire series of events is visual consistency. Although each venue is a different bar or pub, each event features the same picture for the 1st level courses, and the same picture (different from the first) for all the 2nd level courses. This, together with the presence of the association logo on the event background image, makes sure that the Unionbirrai brand is recognizable and also gives potential attendees the confidence that they’re dealing with an official event.

Each course event page features a complete series of information regarding:

  • lesson plan
  • dates and times
  • venue
  • contact information (there is a contact person both from Unionbirrai and the venue)
  • the mention that admissions are limited, which creates a sense of urgency in potential attendees

On the Unionbirrai website, the course structure and the process for becoming a professional beer taster are described in even more detail, and there’s also a page that centralizes all courses, and each course page links to its corresponding event on Metooo.

Ticketing strategy

The price for each course is consistent throughout all venues, with a slight difference (10 euros) between 1st level and 2nd level courses. It doesn’t look like a cheap event (around 250 euros) but if you think that the course includes 11 sessions, it’s actually affordable (less than 25 euros per session, and course materials, like tasting kits, are included). By displaying the price for the whole course and not per session, the organizers create a feeling of “premium” event which can do only good to the brand image.

Also to be noted about ticketing: each course has a different price depending on whether the attendee is a member of Unionbirrai or not. The price for non-members is 30 euros higher than for members. It may seem unfair, but hold up: non-members pay the extra 30 euros and they automatically become members for 2019. This is a great way for the association to increase membership numbers and to constantly grow as an entity with each event it organizes. And a great way for artisan beer enthusiasts to enter an awesome community.

And last but not least, speaking of membership: the association found a creative way to sell membership for 2019. They actually created an event on Metooo in which tickets are simply this: membership! They surely made their lives easier with collecting all online payments at the same place, which is our platform, way to go!

Lessons learned

Sometimes, simplicity really is the way to success. To this day, the courses branded Unionbirrai are the best selling event series in 2019 on our platform. Creating and maintaining a unitary, recognizable brand image, with consistent, clear information, a unified price structure across all the events and integration with their institutional website, is what distinguishes them. And last but not least, being able to manage payments and attendance for a wide series of events spread all across the country surely frees a lot of their precious time to focus on other aspects such as promotion and making sure their courses content is top notch. We hope this case study inspired you to apply these principles in your own future events!

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