“I can put everything directly into Gather, including menus, beverages, staffing, setup details, and financial pieces. Internal notes can be added and shared with the staff. This makes event planning and communication so much easier, plus our clients stay well informed.”
– Debra Kaiser
Describing Vines & Rushes Winery as “not your average winery” would be an understatement. Situated just a few miles north of Ripon, Wisconsin, the winery is owned by Ryan Prellwitz. He opened it in 2012 as a way to mesh his background in IT work and agriculture with his love of winemaking and entrepreneurial spirit.
Located on an established family farm, Vines & Rushes currently grows five acres of grapes hardy enough to survive Wisconsin’s winters. Grapes are also purchased from other Wisconsin-based vineyards to meet demand. The entire winemaking process, however, is completed onsite, from destemming and crushing to labeling.
On top of a successful wine business, Vines & Rushes Winery’s events program is also booming. They host live music at least once a week, craft fairs once a season, cooking classes each month, pairing dinners nine months out of the year, and a wood-fire pizza service three days a week. Their “Cause of the Mondays” event, which takes place every other Monday, spotlights a nonprofit that then receives a quarter of the evening’s proceeds.
Vines & Rushes Winery hosts more than 100 events a year. Because of that, their event coordinator, Debra Kaiser, knew that they needed a platform that would allow them to manage it all seamlessly while helping them grow. For that, she turned to Gather.
To help keep event details organized and meet their industry-specific needs, Vines & Rushes Winery turned to Gather to…
Better Communicate Event Specifics with Clients
Before adopting Gather, Debra was using a manual spreadsheet and Google Calendar to keep track of events. This made it hard to maintain the level of professionalism they wanted with clients. “We now have consistent, professional-looking, client-facing documents and templates,” she says. “Being able to lay everything out in detail and keep track of down payments, as far as what has been paid — [Gather] is a great tool [for that].” She also likes that, thanks to all the details and prices that can be included in documents, her customers don’t have to worry about hidden fees.
Increase Organization Between Team Members
Gather has helped increase the level of communication between Debra and all of the departments she works with daily, from owners to servers. It also keeps all of her staff members organized and on the same page when it comes to managing private events, which allows things to run more efficiently. “If I’m not here for a particular event, any employee could look up the event in Gather and know what has to be done, from the chef and the wine server to the person doing the setup,” explains Debra.
Make It Easier for Clients to Submit Event Inquiries
Debra was hired by Vines & Rushes Winery to grow their events program. So, naturally, one of her biggest goals was to increase awareness around the winery’s events. That’s where Gather’s lead form came in. Because it can be easily embedded on a venue’s website and allows event inquiries to come in 24/7, “anyone can submit [an event inquiry] and ask the questions they may have about hosting an event at our winery,” says Debra. “Being able to communicate back-and-forth with them about details through Gather is really helpful.”
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