Marvin Shanken with guests

The annual Sonoma County gathering just happened at Hotel Healdsburg, with their Napa party “coming soon.”

BYOM ~ Bring Your Own Magnum… and everyone did just that.

Each year, it’s a social get together of the most connected to this print and on-line magazine. As arriving guests walked up Matheson Street to the Hotel Healdsburg, magnums were tucked securely into the creases of their elbows.

Chef Paul Rosenbeck of Dry Creek Kitchen

It’s a time when old friends catch up, and new friendships are begun.

Wine Spectator’s publisher Marvin Shanken casually and quietly moved about, from location to location, politely chatting with people. His staff was also moving about the room, enjoying the moment. The foods presented were fabulous, with legendary chef Charley Palmer and his two sons carving a feast for all to enjoy. In each area, guests savored a melange of flavors… from jerk chicken, to balsamic or Caesar salads, steamed asparagus to exotic fish concoctions, gourmet pizza and Asian noodles, shrimp kabobs and caviar… it just went on.

Regardless of how challenging the economic times are right now for us all, including print media – while we all wonder where-the-heck it’s really headed, Marvin Shanken isn’t blinking… at least not publicly. His party continues to be an insider’s paradise with wining and dining, music and dancing.

Kim and Don Wallace of Dry Creek Vineyards

I’m going to make a prediction that M.Shanken Communications, Inc. is going to be surviving this current, electronics communications revolutionary challenge. I make that prediction because he’s evolving ever so slowly along with it. He’s quietly meeting the demands that are being put upon him as a publisher of print news first and foremost, while silently (at least publicly) adapting to the demands and challenges of electronic media behind the scenes.

Jose Diaz (Diaz Comm), Sally Nicholson of International Wine Associates

Right now, if you go to WS to read their Daily Wine Picks (for instance), while you’re reading that page, off to the right, a video advertisement takes over your life. Subliminally,  you’ll realize how alive the entire page is. Advertising seems to be just about everywhere, moving, begging you to become interactive with the page. Marvin Shanken Communications is moving forward, without a doubt, as we all continue to navigate the options and find ways to capitalize on where it’s headed.

Charlie Palmer with sons

And guests just partied on, like nothing revolutionary is happening; but, it is happening all around us. Not like it’s 1999 any longer, though.

I recently sat with a company that was discussing whether or not it should be advertising. The firm has the money to be doing it; however, there was great concern about the timing. One person asked, “Why should we advertise during a time when no one’s going to be buying what we’re offering?” The answer of course is the age-old question, “Do you want to be a small pebble on a big beach, or a big pebble on a small beach?” Anyone advertising right now is capturing the impressions that will be so necessary in the future, when money becomes released back into the economy.

Marvin Shanken is a platform to support advertising and editorial needs. And, he remembers each year to give back to the community that supports him. It’s sheer marketing genius and will allow him to evolve, regardless of the current growing pains.