In one week thousands of craft beer breweries, businesses, and fans will flock to Denver, CO for the annual Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America™. This is a must go to event for pretty much anyone associated with the craft beer industry, especially for emerging breweries.
Now, as exciting as craft shows can be, and especially the Craft Brewers Conference, it can also be quite overwhelming for first time goers. Where should I start? What should I focus on? Your mind can feel pulled in a million directions the second you walk into the convention center. SO, have no fear, MBEC is here!
We are here to provide 5 key points to help anyone, not just new comers, on how to navigate the Craft Brewers Conference!
Plan a Schedule
There are a lot of amazing panels to attend, as well as a large floor of vendors to see, so making a schedule – even a rough one – of what you absolutely want to see and do ahead of time, will help you avoid a headache and heartache. You can’t do it all, and you don’t want to burn yourself out, so planning a schedule will help tremendously to make sure you get to everything you want to.
This year the CBC has made it even easier to plan ahead with their mobile app. Utilize it! Plan out where each panel you want to see will be at what time, where the vendor you wanted to check out is located, and of course, find out where all the fabulous beer stations are located. This will help you to coordinate it all to work in the 3 days of the conference.
Make A list, Check it Twice!
There are a lot of amazing vendors at the BrewExpo America ™ (ourselves included!), and for a brewery this is an entire floor of resources and opportunities to learn more about services, equipment, etc. for your brewery. Make a list of booths you want to check out (make sure booth 1801 is on the list!) and to make sure you address all of the various needs you and your brewery may have. Making a list of places you want to check out while you are in town doesn’t hurt either. There are always things going on around town for the CBC, make a list of what you want to checkout! Lists will help keep you organized, and on track so you make sure you get all the info you wanted to get at the conference.
Don’t Forget your Supplies
Between attending panels, networking, and walking around the vendor floor for a grand total of 3 days, you will want a few supplies to help you.
- A notebook to write down everything. Whether your notebook is electronic or old fashion, make sure you have one! There will be a lot of information you will gather, having something to organize your thoughts will be a life saver. With so much going on, it’s easy to forget information – write it down and make it easy to understand for follow-up!
- Business Cards, a must. You will meet a lot of people, a lot of vendors, and you will be handing out your info left and right. Make sure you have enough!
- Backpack – no reason to carry everything by hand!
- Folder – You will obtain an obscene amount of flyers, brochures, business cards – a folder will help keep them organized. Make a folder for “EQUIPMENT VENDORS”, one for “SERVICES”, etc,, to help keep your mind straight at the end of the day, and for when you head home. It’s very easy to jumble everything into one and mistake who you liked, and didn’t like.
- Extra snacks. Between running around between panels, and potential long lines to get food at the conference, having extra snacks to keep you energized (and absorb the beer) will prove handy.
Make time for second Glances
Leave some extra time toward the end of the conference to swing back to any vendors you want to talk to further, or something you just want to take a second look at. Whether that is the beer station again to try a yummy beer, or a vendor, leave some wiggle room for a second go around on what you want to see, do, or learn about!
Deep Breath. . .
And have fun! The CBC is an amazing experience for vendors and attendees alike. There are amazing people, presenters, and breweries that will all be there, so take a deep breath and soak in the craft brewery goodness!
Minnetonka Brewing & Equipment Company is extremely excited to be headed back to the Craft Brewers Conference this year. Last year was amazing, and can’t wait for what Denver has in store for us this year! Can’t wait to try fantastic beer, and meet amazing people.
Be sure to stop by our booth, 1801 to see us! Grab an awesome giveway, see our equipment, and talk with our team members one on one to see what Minnetonka Brewing & Equipment Company can do to help your brewery, whatever size it may be.
To learn more about the Craft Brewers Conference, and to download their mobile app, head to their webpage at www.craftbrewersconference.com