Q: Where will the WSWA 76th Annual Convention & Exposition be held?
The WSWA 76th Annual Convention & Exposition will be held at Grande Lakes Orlando. 4040 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando, FL 32837
Q: Who can attend the WSWA Annual Convention & Exposition?
The WSWA Convention & Exposition is open to wholesalers/distributors and suppliers of and to the alcohol beverage industry, along with approved mainstream and trade press. The convention is not open to retailers or the public. For more information, from the home page, please select the ATTENDEE tab from the main navigation bar and then click on STEP 1: WHO SHOULD ATTEND.
Q: What are the registration fees and how do I register?
Registration fees vary depending on registration type. If you are a wholesaler, or a non-exhibitor, select the ATTENDEE tab from the main navigation bar and then click on the PRICING tile.
If you are an exhibitor or Lower Level Suite holder, please select the EXHIBITOR tab from the main navigation bar and then click on STEP 6: REGISTER ATTENDEES AND RESERVE HOTEL ROOMS.
Q: Can I register on-site at the convention?
Yes, you can register on-site. WSWA will accept credit cards and cash only (no checks).
Q: Where will the WSWA convention registration area be located and what are the hours?
Convention registration will be located at Grande Lakes Orlando in the Palazzo Ballroom Foyer. Registration will open Sunday, March 31, at 8:00 am. See below for registration hours:
CLICK HERE for the full Convention Schedule of Events.
Q: What are the Exhibit Hall Hours?
Exhibit Hall Set-up:
Exhibit Halls Open:
Exhibit Hall Tear-down:
Q: When are the Lower Level / Traditional Suites Open?
Lower Level / Traditional Suite Set-up: All Lower Level / Traditional Suites must be set and ready for opening by 12:00 p.m. on Monday, April 1, 2019.
Tear-down: Suite Holders shall not dismantle their display or begin tear down prior to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, without prior written approval from either WSWA’s Senior Consultant, Meetings & Conventions or from WSWA’s Senior Director, Meetings & Conventions. WSWA, Shepard, and the Hotel are not responsible for any materials or product left in unoccupied suites.
Q: What are the Hotel and Registration Cancellation Policies?
All requests to cancel or substitute convention registrants must be in writing to the Meetings and Conventions Department.
Requests should emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Substitution Information & Cancellation Deadlines
1. Convention Registration, Lower Level Suites or Exhibit Booths:
Name substitution for registrants will be made at no charge. Please send an email to email@example.com with the name of the registered attendee and the name of the person who should replace that attendee. Please be certain to inform WSWA if hotel reservation changes are needed as well.
- A 100% refund, less a $50 processing fee, will be available for cancellations received by December 21, 2018.
- A 50% refund will be available for registration cancellations received December 22, 2018 through February 1, 2019.
- Fees will be forfeited for registration cancellations if received after February 1, 2019.
2. Traditional Suite Reservations:
Traditional Suite Holders shall receive a full refund of the first night’s room deposit, provided that the cancellation notice is received no later than seven (7) days prior to the reservation check-in date.
If the cancellation notice is received less than seven (7) days prior to the reservation check-in date or in the instance of a no-show, Suite Holder shall be charged one hundred percent (100%) of the suite rate for the entire length of stay requested on the suite request form.
3. Hotel Date Changes
Hotel reservation changes should be made by contacting Kathy Lebron-Diaz with Grande Lakes Orlando by email:
Group Accounts Manager
Cancellations: Must be made at least 7 days prior to arrival to receive refund of first night’s room deposit. Hotel cancellations must be made through WSWA in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Grande Lakes Orlando cannot process hotel reservation cancellations.
Q: What should I do if I registered but never received a convention and/or hotel confirmation?
Convention registration confirmations are auto-generated by WSWA after the successful completion of your registration and are sent to the email address provided during the registration process.
Hotel confirmations are auto-generated by Grande Lakes Orlando and will come from email@example.com. We suggest you add this email address to your safe senders list to prevent your hotel confirmation from going into spam. Hotel confirmations are sent to the email address provided during the hotel reservation process. Please be sure to check your spam for your hotel confirmation. If no confirmation has been received, contact Ryann Squier at Ryann@wswa.org or by phone at (202) 243-7508 as soon as possible to confirm your registration.
Please allow a minimum of TWO weeks for the processing of forms submitted by email or mail.
Q: Do I have to be a WSWA Wholesaler Member or Associate Member to attend?*
You DO have to be a WSWA member wholesaler to attend. Non-Member wholesalers may attend on an invitation only basis and/or upon approval by WSWA’s Senior Director of Membership, Bob Wiggins. For more information contact Bob@wswa.org.
You do not need to be a WSWA Associate Member to attend, however, WSWA Associate Members receive a lower registration fee and many other member benefits. For information on becoming a WSWA Associate member, please contact WSWA’s Senior Director of Membership, Bob Wiggans, Bob@wswa.org.
The WSWA Convention & Exposition is closed to retailers and to the public.
* All registrations are subject to review by WSWA staff.
Q: What events can I attend?
Registered convention attendees may attend all events listed on the schedule of events, unless the events are noted as invitation only or closed. Open events include the Opening Night Reception, Wine and Spirits Tasting Competitions, Taste of the Industry, General Sessions and Brand Battle.
CLICK HERE for the full Convention Schedule of Events.
Q: Who can attend committee meetings/ Board of Directors meeting?
Only WSWA Board of Directors Members and members of the noted committee are invited to attend. WSWA governance meetings are not open to all convention attendees.
Q: Who can attend the Shanken Communications Hot Brand Awards program?
Only Wholesaler attendees, award winners, and those invited by Shanken Communications may attend this awards program.
Q: When and where are the General Sessions?
General Sessions will take place on Tuesday, April 2, and Wednesday, April 3 in the Coquina Ballroom at Grande Lakes Orlando.
Q: Can my spouse/significant other attend?
Yes, however your spouse/significant other must be registered to gain access to all convention exhibit spaces and Convention events. Spouses and significant others of wholesaler members or associate members are complimentary; however, they must still register. All others must pay a registration fee. Please see the registration chart for the applicable fee to register spouses/significant others. Please note, if a spouse or significant other works for the company/brand participating in the convention, the spouse must register as an attendee or exhibitor, and not as a spouse.
Q: What is the attire?
The convention attire is both business casual and business, depending on personal preference. All events will take place at Grande Lakes Orlando.
Q: Can my company hold its own meeting, reception or dinner at the Convention?
Yes. Please contact Cindy Nachman-Senders via email at Cindy@wswa.org to confirm space availability.
Q: How will I identify WSWA members/wholesalers?
All badge holders are color and category coded.
Q: Are registration discounts available for multiple attendees from the same company?
No, there are no group discounts.
Q: What forms of payment does WSWA accept?
WSWA accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard, VISA, Checks and Wire Transfers. If registering on-site, WSWA accepts all credit cards previously listed or cash. Checks cannot be accepted on-site. A 3% processing fee will be added to all credit card transactions.
Q: How can I get a list of registered attendees?
Sponsors and exhibitors will receive a list of all attendees approximately one month prior to the convention, and then again a few weeks post-convention. Email addresses will not be provided.
WSWA member wholesalers should check the ATTENDEE tab of the website for current list of supplier attendees. Lists will be posted starting mid-January 2019.
All attendees will have access to a final list of registered attendees on the WSWA Convention App.
Q: Will you check badges at the door of the exhibit hall?
Yes. Everyone must wear an official WSWA badge to enter the exhibit halls and all WSWA convention events.
Q: What is a badge confirmation?
A badge confirmation email will be sent to the email address associated with your registration approximately one month prior to the convention. We ask that you review the information to confirm accuracy. The information on the badge confirmation will be used to populate the official Directory of Attendees. We ask that any required changes be communicated in a timely manner.
Badges will not be mailed in advance of the convention.
Q: What if I need to make a correction on my name badge?
If you would like to make a correction in advance of the convention, please e-mail Ryann Squier at Ryann@wswa.org. Once on-site, one of the WSWA staff at the Convention & Exposition Registration Desk can make necessary corrections to your name badge.
Q: How and where do I get my convention badge?
Convention badges and registration materials will be available at the WSWA 76th Annual Convention & Exposition Registration Desk which will be located in the Palazzo Ballroom Foyer at Grande Lakes Orlando.
Q: What if I lose my badge while at the convention?
There will be a $75 Lost Badge replacement fee. Please see WSWA staff at the Convention & Exposition Registration Desk for assistance.
Q: How can my company reserve an exhibit booth or suite?
Please go to the Exhibitors Tab for floor plans, pricing, registration forms and more information.
Q: Do I have to be a member to exhibit?
WSWA would be thrilled to have 100% of our exhibitors as associate members, but no, you do not have to be a member to exhibit. Associate members do receive preferential locations and discounted exhibit booth rates.
Q: What is the cost of an exhibit booth or suite?
Costs for exhibit booths and suites vary based on size, location and whether or not the exhibiting company is a WSWA Associate Member. Please go to the Exhibitors: Review Exhibit Options for more detailed information.
Q: What is the size of an exhibit booth?
Exhibit Booths can be purchased in 10 foot x 10 foot increments. Please go to the Exhibit Hall Information: Exhibit Hall Pricing for more detailed information.
Q: Which companies exhibited or hosted a suite in 2018?
CLICK HERE for the list of 2018 exhibitors and suite holders.
Q: Do I have to pay a registration fee for a model to work my suite or exhibit booth?
Yes, all models working in the Exhibit Halls, Lower Level Suites or Taste of the Industry must register as a model. The costs are as follows:
- $275 for a model/ in the Exhibit Halls or Lower Level Suites. This registration will allow access to the Exhibit Halls, Lower Level Suites and Taste of the Industry.
- $125 for a Model who will only participate in Taste of the Industry. This registration will allow access to the Taste of the Industry event ONLY.
Q: How do I hire models?
WSWA does not hire or supply models.
Q: How do I make sure my space is secure?
WSWA is committed to providing a safe environment for the WSWA Convention & Exposition. We remind attendees that Grande Lakes Orlando is a public venue. Anyone – including people not attending the WSWA Convention – may be walking through the hallways so please follow these security practices.
- Do NOT leave your booth or suite unattended at any time during show hours or tear-down. The WSWA Convention & Exposition will provide security both outside and inside the exhibit halls when the halls are not open.
- Do not leave purses, briefcases, or other items of value in plain view.
- All attendees (including exhibitors) must be properly credentialed at all times.
- The WSWA Convention badge has specific artwork that relates to this year’s convention so be on the lookout for counterfeit badges that seem different.
- Both Lower Level and Traditional Suite holders are STRONGLY encouraged not to interact or conduct business with people who do not have a WSWA Convention badge. These people may not be legitimate members of the industry.
- Lower Level Suite holders will have keys to their suite; nevertheless, do not leave items of extreme value unattended.
- Do NOT use side doors to enter or exit the Exhibit Halls, or open doors to the “back of the hotel” from the Lower Level Suites.
- When tearing down and moving out of your exhibit space, Lower Level or Traditional Suites do not leave materials that have not been labeled and properly noted for action. Please arrange for carriers to pick up your materials when someone will be present.
- WSWA, Shepard, and Grande Lakes Orlando are not responsible for any materials or products left in occupied or unoccupied spaces – such as event areas, General Sessions, Lower Level or Traditional Suites, Exhibit Halls, pre-function areas, restrooms, etc.
See something? Say something! Any security concerns should be immediately reported to WSWA Show Management. You can always find someone at the WSWA Registration Desk or contact Cindy Nachman-Senders or Kari Langerman directly.
Q. How do I contact the WSWA wholesalers assisting with clearing and receiving my alcohol beverage samples for the WSWA Convention & Exposition?
For detailed information on how to get your alcohol samples to the WSWA Convention & Exposition, please refer to the WSWA Product Handling Guidelines and the Alcohol Beverage Shipping Regulations.
Detailed information for the WSWA member wholesalers who will clear product for the convention can be found on the website’s Contact page as well as in the Shepard Exhibitor Service Manual, which will be emailed to the exhibit and suite holder main contacts as well as posted under the Exhibitor tab of the of the website.
Q. What are the deadlines for receipt of my alcohol beverage samples and Point of Sale Merchandise (POS)?
ALCOHOL BEVERAGE DEADLINE: Alcohol beverage samples must be received in the wholesalers warehouse no later than March 1, 2019. Requests to pull product that currently exists in a wholesalers warehouse must also be received by the date. Please refer to the Alcohol Beverage Product Handling Guidelines and the Alcohol Beverage Shipping Regulations for more information.
POS DEADLINE: All POS materials must be sent to Shepard Exposition Services. It is more cost effective to send POS to the advance warehouse, as opposed to on-site. The deadline for receipt of materials to the Shepard Advance Warehouse is March 29, 2019. Point of Sale merchandise/materials are NOT to be included in with any shipment of alcohol to the wholesaler.
Q. Can alcohol be shipped directly to Grande Lakes Orlando?
No. Direct shipping or direct delivery of alcohol to the hotel is strictly prohibited. Any alcohol beverage product that is direct shipped will be subject to confiscation by Grande Lakes Orlando or WSWA.
All alcohol beverage samples MUST be received by a licensed Florida wholesaler who will then arrange delivery to Grande Lakes Orlando.
In Florida, WSWA member wholesalers Breakthru Beverage Group, Republic National Distributing Company and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, clear and deliver alcohol for the Convention. Please refer to the point of contacts listed below:
Breakthru Beverage Group
6031 Madison Avenue
Tampa, FL 33619
Republic National Distributing Company
4901 Savarese Circle North
Tampa, FL 33634
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
4440 Old Tampa HWY
Lakeland, FL 33811
Please note that delivery dates and times have been pre-arranged for Breakthru Beverage Group, Republic National Distributing Company and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. All other wholesalers must contact Jessica Dominguez with Shepard to arrange for a delivery date and time window. Alcohol beverage products can only be received on the pre-scheduled dates and times. All alcohol beverage product will be received and inventoried by Shepard and delivered to the appropriate suite or exhibit space.
The hotel will refuse all direct shipments of alcohol beverage product and/or alcohol beverage that is delivered, albeit legally through a wholesaler, outside of the approved delivery window.
Q. Can alcohol beverage product be walked into the hotel?
No. You may not hand carry, walk, or otherwise bring alcohol beverage product into the Hotel via any method other than listed above. Alcohol samples that are displayed in booths, suites, guest rooms or the Taste of the Industry, that have not been received through a Florida wholesaler, where proof of registration and tax payment can be verified, will be subject to confiscation by WSWA, the Hotel or Florida ABC officials.
Q. Can Point-of-Sale (POS) and display materials be walked into the hotel?
Yes. Hand carried materials, defined as small cartons, packages or portable laptops weighing less than 30 lbs. may be carried into Grande Lakes Orlando and into the exhibit halls. Exhibitors may bring POS materials in using 2 wheeled small dollies or carts. The teamsters claim jurisdiction under all other circumstances. Bellman may not handle freight in the exhibit halls.
Q. Can Point-of-Sale and/or display materials be shipped to the hotel?
No. The Hotel will refuse any packages (other than small FedEx letter size or small packages) sent to a guest room over the WSWA show dates.
Q: What airport is closest?
Orlando International Airport Airport Code: MCO
Q: How do I get a taxi at the airport?
Taxicabs are available and are located as follows:
At Terminal A, on the Ground Transportation Level (Level 1), at Commercial Lane parking spaces: A5-A8 and A22-A25.
At Terminal B, on the Ground Transportation Level (Level 1), at Commercial Lane parking spaces: B5-B8 and B30-B34.
If you would like to arrange for a sedan service, please contact Mears Transportation Toll Free 1+(866)435-5686. Mears is the preferred vendor for Grande Lakes Orlando.
Q: Can I make a sleeping room or suite reservation directly with the Hotel?
No, you must make all housing and suite reservations through WSWA to receive the group discount and be affiliated with the convention.
Please note: BE AWARE OF PHISHING SCAMS. NO ONE REPRESENTING THEMSELVES AS BEING AFFILIATED WITH GRANDE LAKES ORLANDO WILL CALL OR CONTACT YOU DIRECTLY REGARDING HOTEL ROOMS. WSWA processes hotel reservations directly via the WSWA convention website or by PDF form. Only WSWA convention staff will reach out to you regarding your hotel reservations. If you doubt the validity of any email contact or phone call, please contact us for verification.
Q: What are the hotel cancellation policies?
All Hotel rooms, Personal Suites and Traditional Suites must be cancelled at least 7 days in advance of the arrival date in order to be refunded for your first night’s room deposit. All cancellations within 7 days of the scheduled arrival date will result in forfeiture of the first night’s room deposit. All cancellations must be made in writing to the WSWA Meetings & Conventions Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What are the hotel’s applicable taxes?
All room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes which are 12.5% when combined.
Q: Does Grande Lakes Orlando have a Fitness Center and Spa?
Yes, Grande Lakes Orlando has a state of the art full service spa and spacious fitness center on property.
Q: What dining options are available at Grande Lakes Orlando?
Grande Lakes Orlando offers several exceptional dining options.
At the Ritz Carlton
Highball and Harvest
Vitale, Spa Cafe
At the JW Marriott
Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen
The Sushi Bar
Q: What are the hotel’s check-in and check-out times?
Check-in: 4:00 p.m. Check-out: 11:00 a.m.