5 Reasons You Need to go to Coffee Fest

Wednesday January 8, 2014 // By Liam Bucher

Coffee Fest LogoSince it's inception and first show in Seattle, WA in 1992, Coffee Fest has become a staple in the specialty coffee industry, connecting coffee fanatics from every corner of the country to their favorite products and brands. The goal, to bring "retailers, distributors and manufacturers together... to help attendees build and refine their specialty coffee businesses."

Coffee Fest has grown to host three annual events, this year in New York, St. Louis, and Portland, spreading to major regions to accommodate as many fans as possible. Viewed as one of the best trade shows in America, as well as globally, Coffee Fest is the premier event in the specialty coffee industry to keep you and your business thriving.

The credibility is there and you have heard from friends and family about why attending is such a great experience, so why haven't you been yet? Stick with me and you'll see why you should be booking your ticket right now.

1. The Faces You'll SeeBPS Booth

Walking the floor for the first time is like stepping into your first candy store as a kid with ten bucks in your pocket and Mom and Dad hanging next door in the home decor shop. Your eyes will widen with joy and it will be extremely hard to choose where to go first, but don't worry, you have 3 days to see it all. 

Regardless of what products and brands your shop/distribution center offers to customers, you have the chance to meet the people behind the biggest names in the industry, like Torani, DaVinci, Big Train, Dr. Smoothie, Monin, Cappuccine, Ghirardelli and so many more including roasters and food companies. This is your chance to grab some one-on-one time with the people who know the product best. Learn about new applications for products, the history of the companies, and maybe even get to try something that is not on the market yet. Coffee Fest gives you the chance to walk away with extremely valuable connections and new ideas for your business.

2. Get Ahead of the Trends

Walk out of Coffee Fest like a BOSS after spending the whole weekend learning about the hottest new products and trends arising in the industry. Whether its the newest Grab-N-Go food item, or the best tasting coffee or tea product you have ever had in your life, you will know about it sooner than later, and that gives you the advantage, one step ahead to give your customers the best product possible before others have caught on.

Keeping current or staying ahead of the trends in an ever evolving industry can be the determining factor of an average year, or the best year yet.

3. Learn from the Pros

One of the biggest resources of Coffee Fest is the amount of Classes/Workshops available to attendees throughout the weekend. With about 20 classes a day, you can learn about everything from latte art to using technology to drive sales and loyalty programs, you can even obtain Barista Certifications.

No matter your business, there is at least one class that will help you walk away with something new to apply to your routine back home. I truly believe that these classes are worth their costs and would recommend that you try to attend at least one. If you don't feel like paying the extra money, check out the list of classes, as many of them are free of charge. For a full list of classes click here!

4. See the Best of The Best

Throughout the show, Coffee Fest is home to some of the coolest competitions in the industry. Check out the Latte Art Competition, America's Best Coffee House, and America's Best Espresso Competition. These are extremely fun to watch and draw pretty good crowds, so make sure you get in there early for a good seat.

The other competition I would suggest paying attention to is Best New Product. These are on display throughout the event with the winner being crowned on the last day, and feature the newest products in the industry, and a good indicator for you to look into some products.

5. The Schwag

While it isn't the highlight of the show, this aspect of attending actually can make you feel like a kid in a candy store. While participating in each of the four points listed above, you will be sure to find something to throw into your Coffee Fest bag, whether it be a BPS Yo-Yo, free samples, stickers, or something else. You may want to leave some room in your luggage because you will be bringing some awesome items home with you.

While walking the floor, take advantage of the coffee/tea/everything samples at booths, you may find a product that you must have for your customers (odds are you will).

I truly hope that you will take the time and look into attending Coffee Fest this year, you have three chances to make it and to learn so much more about the industry. If you plan on attending, make sure you stop by the Barista Pro Shop® Booth (249) in New York, March 7-9. We hope to see you there!

Want a discount on early registration, click here to download a coupon, courtesy of Barista Pro Shop!

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