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- A leader;
- An events planner;
- One who enjoys the camaraderie with people interested in wine and food;
- One who will enjoy notoriety in your local wine community?
Then you possess the qualities we look for in a Tasters Guild Chapter Director.
What is the TASTERS GUILD?
Fundamentally, Tasters Guild has but one purpose – EDUCATION, and we have fun learning. It is a well-known fact that, when consumers become more educated about fine wine and food, their enjoyment and interest in life increases. The Tasters Guild is a wine and food appreciation society with retail, restaurant and winery affiliates across the country. These affiliations become the focal points for our members’ wine purchasing and dining-out experiences. It is our Chapter Directors who bring the excitement and the education of the world of wine to our members.
Directors are the critical element in the success of each Tasters Guild chapter. Directors make their chapter viable learning centers, and the international network of Chapter Directors creates the image of Tasters Guild as the most active wine and food appreciation society in America.
The chapter director is the sole motivator for the chapter and not the affiliate, although affiliates are extremely important to the organization. Besides providing wine specials and discounts to your members, affiliates are an invaluable resource in securing wines and speakers for chapter events and building chapter membership through recruitment of their clientele.
You, as the chapter director, will be focusing your chapter’s activities on consumer education and enjoyment. As the chapter director, you should:
* Open a local chapter checking account, for which you are responsible.
* Establish a private mailing address, such as a post office box.
* Register in your state for organizational status, whether it be for profit or non-profit (the national office will help with direction for this procedure).
* Develop events, be the host, arrange for invitations to be sent, confirm reservations and check-in your guests at each event.
* Guarantee at least five (5) functions per year.
* Communicate with your members in your chapter’s name (rather than an affiliate’s name) with letters, fliers, newsletters, etc.
* Communicate with the National Office on such matters as getting started, locating speakers and coordinating membership promotions.
How the TASTERS GUILD works:
Founded in 1987 to promote consumer education, our members have the opportunity to benefit from four (4) educational resources:
1. Wine & Food Tastings:
This portion of our program is considered to be the most important for our members. These events give the chapter the vitality and stature that is infectious to the membership and creates the word-of-mouth publicity that fosters growth – activity breed’s interest and participation. The national office has developed guidelines on “How to Plan a Wine & Food Seminar” and “Media & Publicity.” Once you are a chapter you will receive your copies of these indispensable guides.
2. The Tasters Guild Journal:
The Tasters Guild Journal is another source of information for our members. It contains articles on our national events, wine tasting and reviews, industry profiles, wine and food articles, travel offers and other news from around the Tasters Guild International Network. In addition, members also receive a subscription to one of America’s leading wine periodicals, “Quarterly Review of Wine,” which is an invaluable addition to their information base.
3. Sales Promotions:
Programs such as monthly wine and food specials for members are essential to linking the entire society network. These promotions bring your members to our affiliates. A similar program should be developed locally for the purchase of wines tasted at functions, so the wines featured could be offered at special prices for members who attend that event. Your local affiliate will realize immediate orders and low overhead from such a program. These programs solicit members to support your affiliate, demonstrate the buying power of the chapter and strengthen the bond between you and your affiliates.
An ever-expanding benefit of membership is the opportunity to participate in a variety of travel programs at “members-only” prices. Tasters Guild tours and cruises offer unique opportunities to tour vineyards, meet and talk with international wine and food authorities, and receive VIP treatment at wineries or aboard luxury cruise ships.
The ideal Tasters Guild Chapter is a three-part organization involving the Chapter Director, an Affiliate Wine Shop and an Affiliate Restaurant. Some Chapters also opt to work with a local Affiliate Winery or Wholesaler. The Affiliate Wine Shop is the resource center for each chapter – one of your most important allies in acquiring wines, speakers, members and working with the trade. It represents the principal wine source for your chapter members. An Affiliate Restaurant is the place where you hold tastings and dinners, and where wine can be sampled at its best – treated as a food in the company of fine cuisine.
Since each affiliate’s interest in Tasters Guild is essentially commercial, they are each required to pay annual dues. It is also important that their affiliation does not transform your chapter into a purely promotional vehicle for their commercial interests. This is a sure way to discourage membership; and it is one of your responsibilities as the Director to maintain the chapter’s identity and individuality. Each affiliate must apply for Chapter Affiliation and be approved by the national office of Tasters Guild (NOTE: If you wish to be both a Director and an Affiliate, you must fill out ALL required applications). Having an affiliate is one of the best things you can offer to your members, not to mention both the tangible and intangible support affiliates can offer you and your chapter. We strongly suggest you contact the national office for advice and guidance on locating and working with a potential affiliate.