Together, Visit Corvallis and the Heart of Willamette Winery Association started the process of transferring the paper passport of the past to Bandwango’s digital platform in 2020. This proved to be even more timely when COVID-19 changed the way tasting rooms could operate throughout Oregon.
Bandwango provided flexibility that paper passports couldn’t offer, with messaging capabilities that could let passholders know of changing precautions and openings and closings nearby.
With this flexibility, Heart of Willamette Winery Association was able to persuade 18 wineries, one spirits distillery and 1 cider house to join the new mobile-friendly passport in 2020, while keeping the same $30 price point of the paper passport intact.
When the digital passport hit the market in May 2020, Visit Corvallis and the Heart of Willamette Winery Association planned to keep the program seasonal, with the expiration date of all passes set to September 2020.
Within the first few months, wineries were seeing the impact of the passport on traffic to their tasting rooms. In fact, the response was so good that the two organizations decided to extend the life of the passport, changing the expiration date to November 2020 instead.
During the first season with Bandwango, the two associations tracked 200 purchases and 639 redemptions.
“After doing a physical passport for several years, working with Bandwango and utilizing their digital passport format was such a relief. The staff at Bandwango contacted all of the merchants included in the passport and worked with them for their individual sites, they assisted us with marketing the winery passport to those in our area and they handled all of the monies for each passport, depositing funds in our account on a monthly basis,” -Marcia Gilson, Secretary-Treasurer for the Heart of Willamette Winery Association said.
“Our organization didn’t even think twice about working with Bandwango the second year and we found that the ease of the passport assisted us in recruiting new members for our organization.”
“The reports that were supplied to us helped us understand our customer base. Sales seem to have almost doubled this year and we are looking forward to working with Bandwango for the upcoming third season of our digital passport,” Gilson said.
During the off season between passports, Visit Corvallis and the Heart of Willamette Winery Association worked together to improve the passport even more and prepare for its distribution during two separate seasons – May – Nov 2020 and Apr – Dec 2021.
In 2023, the passport included 16 wineries, 1 spirits distillery, 1 cider house and a combination of free tastings, discounts and merchandise. With over $150 worth in savings, the $45 price point is still enticing visitors and locals to sip and enjoy wine throughout the region. Planning for their 2024 Tasting Pass is now excitingly underway.
Additionally, the two organizations took advantage of Bandwango’s DXE Connect solution in 2021, which enables clients to sell passports via third party distributors like Rezdy.
Overall, the impact of the data captured by Bandwango has allowed both Visit Corvallis and the winery association to brag about their success more effectively to their stakeholders.
PASSPORTS SOLD SINCE MAY 2020
IN PASS SALES SINCE MAY 2020
*Stats are YTD December 2023
The future of the passport is bright, with both organizations agreeing to extend the program until the end of 2024.
The impact of the passport can be summed up in three simple ways: happy partners, happy customers and more profit.
Purchase your Heart of Willamette Wineries pass today here!