With so many incredible beverage conferences popping up around the globe, it’s become a challenge for industry professionals to decide which to attend. To help in the matter, we’ve compiled a shortlist of emerging beverage conferences to visit in 2020. Attend one or all—these 6 conferences will keep you up to speed on the latest and greatest trends in the beverage industry.
Chicago Style | Chicago, Illinois
Equal parts think and drink, celebration and critique, party and platform, Chicago Style is revolutionizing the beverage industry as we know it. This annual conference is held in… you guessed it, Chicago—and it’s focused on rallying together a community of diverse beverage-lovers to promote sustainability, inclusion, and equity throughout the hospitality community. This year, the conference will take place on May 5 – May 7, 2020. If you’re thinking about attending, know that it’s a packed schedule! The Chicago Style does not go skimpy on its events; in the past, this conference has offered fitness events, happy hours, dinner parties, and seminars. All fun aside, the focus of this conference is to foster dialogue and connection over cocktails, mixology, and change in the beverage and hospitality industry.
Resistance Served | New Orleans, Louisiana
A hop, skip, and a jump south lands you in New Orleans, where the annual beverage conference, Resistance Served, takes place. Resistance Served is put on by Radical XChange, a New Orleans-based creative content agency that uses food and beverage as a way to form connections amongst people. Resistance Served is one of the platforms they use to do this. The conference goes from February 2nd to February 5th this year, which means 3 ½ days of dinner, drinks, and discussion. From dinners to cocktail pop-ups and seminars, Resistance Served is a conference that shines a light on the cultural focus of food and beverage in today’s world. Unfortunately, we missed this one this year, but we wanted to keep it here so you can put it in your calendar for 2021.
Oakland Cocktail Week | Oakland, California
Not one day, not two days… a whole week of cocktails! Oakland Cocktail Week is an annual celebration of all-things-beverage and food-related. 2020 will be the third year that Oakland welcomes hospitality enthusiasts to this conference with open arms (and open bars). Over 50 bars and restaurants participate in this pub crawl-style conference, where education intersects with cocktails in the best way possible. This conference is a chance to look back on the history of Oakland’s cocktail heritage along with a glimpse into the future of the industry in years to come.
Moscow Bar Show | St. Petersburg, Russia
If you’re thinking about attending this year’s Moscow Bar Show, you’re in for a few days of crazy! This annual conference is highly anticipated and highly attended each year. More than 5000 bar professionals will congregate in St. Petersburg to give their words of wisdom and tricks of the trade in the mixology industry. Each year has a theme, but nothing is off-limits for Moscow Bar Show. Bring your questions, toasts, and Russian-style drinking for this 3-day adventure!
Thirst Boston | Boston, Massachusetts
For four years, Boston has welcomed the annual Thirst Boston conference to steal the show with mixology experts, beverage education, and community gathering over spirits and cocktails. Thirst takes place at Cambridge Center for Adult Education and offers a smattering of beverages, ranging from traditional libations to locally-made cocktails. The conference lasts 3 days (April 24 – April 26, this year) and ends with a not-to-be-missed closing party called the Blender Bender. If you’re looking for good company, and even better beverages, Thirst may be on your list of 2020 conferences to attend!
Bar Convent Brooklyn | Brooklyn, New York
Held at the Brooklyn Expo Center, Bar Convent Brooklyn is a show for bar professionals, foodies, restaurant managers, and beverage directors to assemble to learn more about cutting-edge trends in the beverage industry. This year, the conference will be held on June 9 & June 10, 2020. The emphasis is on education, and lucky for you, most of it takes on a hands-on approach. At this show, you can work your way from a tasting room to a demonstration room and then back to the main stage—in other words, there’s a lot of flexibility for you to make this event what you want it to be! Bar Convent started in Berlin, and the show there is bigger in every way, so if you’re interested in a boozy visit to Germany, Bar Convent Berlin may be a great option for you.
Tales of the Cocktail | New Orleans, Louisianna
Spread out all across the city, this cocktail festival is primarily focused on education for bar professionals, but anyone can attend if they have an interest in the drinks industry. Tales of the Cocktail runs for an entire week, and in 2020 you’ll have to make sure to put in your request for time off from July 21st to the 26th. You may want a few extra days off though, as this festival is hot, fast and loud, so you may want to give yourself a little time to detox before heading back to work. The event is based out of the Royal Sonesta Hotel, on Bourbon Street, so you’re right in the action, and this is where most of the educational seminars take place as well as most of the tasting rooms, where you can enjoy all your favorite beverages.
Nightclub & Bar Show | Las Vegas, Nevada
Don’t let the name fool you, the NCB show is making some big changes in 2020, and is one of the countries best conventions for F&B venue owners and managers. The annual Nightclub & Bar Show runs from March 30th to April 1st, and offers a lot of educational seminars with a great focus on innovation in the industry, from BOH equipment to FOH technologies and products. Get involved with the F&B innovation center, where you can attend live expert demonstrations and tastings, or head to the all-new NxT experiential environment, where you can try out some of the newest creations, trends, and innovations in the industry. Be sure to hang around for the Beautiful Booze Guest shift at Golden Tiki on April 1st, to try out some delicious cocktails made by yours truly.
Ready for a drink yet? We sure are after this round-up of beverage conferences. This year, you can make the most out of your interest in spirits and cocktails by attending a few conferences for a little bit of education and a lot of fun. Which beverage industry conference do you plan to attend? Let us know!