Trade shows provide the perfect opportunity to window shop goods and services from hundreds of companies, all in one place. It is a convenient way for both buyers and sellers to connect and cultivate mutually beneficial relationships. If you are a niche brand, trade shows can provide a unique level of exposure that is hard to replicate. For all these reasons and many more, beverage trade shows are important events for spirit brands. That is why we will be taking a closer look at how to get the most out of each trade show experience and which upcoming shows are must-attend.
The Benefits of Attending a Beverage Trade Show
If you are a brand looking to secure new buyers and make an impression on important decision-makers, trade shows are a must. You can safely assume that attendees are excited, motivated, and poised to make some purchases. You will automatically have a captive audience. Compared to “cold targeting” sales tactics, beverage trade shows are infinitely more effective and efficient. With any luck, you can make a successful pitch, engage in some valuable networking, and secure some sales on the spot. At the very least, a beverage trade show will allow you to generate valuable leads at a relatively low cost.
Beverage trade shows are also an excellent opportunity to scout out the competition. You may be able to learn a lot by observing how successful companies are effectively marketing their brand. Their “secrets” will essentially be on display, which provides a level of transparency that is unique to the trade show environment. A technique that works from them may be useful to incorporate into your own strategies.
As an added bonus, you can leverage your attendance in your own advertising and marketing. It will reflect well on your brand to say that you attended a major trade show alongside major brands. This is especially true if you are a new or small brand. You can use some of their brand recognition to shine a spotlight on your company.
Showcasing your brand at a beverage trade show is a singular opportunity where you can engage with potential customers, expand your network, gain credibility and exposure, and get an up close and personal look at the competition. Purchasing a spot at a trade show is one investment that will continue to pay dividends and add value to your company.
How to Prepare for a Beverage Trade Show
Because a trade show presents such a valuable opportunity, you will want to go into it with a clear plan of action. First, be sure that you have a clear understanding of the costs involved. In addition to the table and booth fee, you may also end up spending money on display materials, staffing, marketing literature, and promotional items. Be sure that all these costs are accounted for in your budget.
Next, you will want to clearly define your goals and what you hope to get out of attending the trade show. Are you looking to gain brand exposure, close a certain amount of sales, collect contact information, help your brand stand out from the competition, or all of the above? Identifying your goals will allow you to focus your efforts.
Conduct Audience Research
It is also important to spend some time researching the trade show itself. You want to make sure that it is designed to attract your target audience. You can even reach out to people who have attended in the past and get some insights into what worked for them. Also, feel free to invite current prospects to attend and see how your product compares. It never hurts to offer a free gift as an incentive for them to attend.
Get Ready to Network
If this will be your first trade show, you might want to visit some other shows before you commit to a booth. This will give you a better idea of how others handle displays and interact with the crowd. Any staff should be well informed about the products and able to answer any questions. Keep in mind that you don’t want to stay stuck in your booth. Have someone capable who can run the booth while you network and exchange contact information with other exhibitors.
Setting up for samplings
As an alcohol producer exhibiting at a beverage trade show, you will want to make sure that you bring at least one or two of your products with you to sample. Along with a few bottles of your product, you’ll want to make sure you have disposable shot cups and a small trash bin for waste.
While you may make some sales at the show, for the most part, you will be collecting leads. The key to converting these into new customers is follow-up with them after the show. Be sure to make the phone calls, mail the advertisements, and send the emails and newsletters.
How to Stand Out at Beverage Trade Shows
The trade show floor is a busy place with a lot to look at, which can make it difficult to stand out. That is why it is important to design an eye-catching booth. Think about creating a simple and concise five to six word phrase that can be the center of your backdrop. You want to be able to tell a story quickly and draw in customers as they browse the aisles. Any photographs, press clippings, or testimonials can provide more detailed information and points of interest once they have stopped at the booth.
When it comes to arranging your table, place the larger items at the back. From there you can build levels by height with the shortest products at the very front for maximum visibility. If you are selling beer, think about creating a small bar where customers can pull up a seat. Wine and spirits brands can create a small lounge with comfortable seating. Either way, the goal is to get the customer to hang around and spend as much time as possible at your booth.
2022 Beverage Trade Shows
Craft Beverage Expo
March 8-10 | Louisville, KY
This expo and distribution conference will help you learn about new ways to grow your craft beverage brand while also allowing you to connect with other producers and customers from throughout the industry. This is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with your existing network and add even more valuable contacts.
- Full Conference Pass: Starting rate is $250 and ending rate is $460 (price increases by $10 each week)
- Single Day Conference Pass: Starting rate is $150 and ending rate is $360
- March 8-9th, 2022 Non Exhibiting Supplier Pass – starting rate is $375 and ending rate is $595 (price increases by $10 each week)
- March 8-9th, 2022 Non Exhibiting Supplier Expo – $50/$75/$100
- March 8-9th Expo Only – onsite rate is $75 while online is free to attend
VinExpo America & Drinks America Exhibition
March 9-10, 2022 | New York, NY
These two events will take place at the same location and bring the people from through all areas of the alcohol beverage industry for an in-person expo. The Drink America portion of the event has been added in response to the upward trend in consumption of spirits and ready-to-drink products. Attendees will be able to sample brands from all over the globe and learn about new services and accessories. Buyers will also be able to meet with new and established brands for networking and sales purposes. In addition to the expo, there will be two days full of educational programming.
Contact Beckie Kier, the event director, at [email protected] for more information on pricing
Future Drinks Expo
May 17, 2022 | San Francisco, CA
This single day event will welcome wine retailers, wine brands, wineries, vineyard operators, wine importers, and wine distributors. It is an opportunity to create a meaningful impact on your company and meet with 100+ companies that can help shape your vision for the future.
Exhibitor table – $1600
Expo Floor Pass – $40
Expo Floor + Conference Pass – $200
Bar Convent Brooklyn
Jun 14-15, 2022 | Brooklyn, NY
At this beverage trade show, bar professionals and beverage experts will come together to network and learn about emerging trends and new techniques and products for both international and US markets. There will also be plenty of demonstrations, panel discussions, and keynote addresses from industry leaders.
- Fill out the interest form on their site for more information on the pricing of the exhibition.
- Price: Three different pricing options for visitors: Early pricing, regular pricing, and on-site pricing. Choose from three options within each: 2-day, Tuesday, or Wednesday passes. Prices range from $48-150 for attending. Check the site for more detailed information.
Tales of the Cocktail
July 25 – 29, 2022 | New Orleans, LA
From bartenders to distillers, this event welcomes everyone from across the industry and is the leading conference for sharing ideas, techniques, and products.
Fill out the partnership inquiry form for more information. The partnership team will reach out to you about opportunities to get involved.
Miami Rum Congress
The Rum conference brings together brands, buyers, and consumers together to bring awareness to rum and the rum lifestyle. Brands will be able to showcase their products and there will be plenty of tasting opportunities for both consumers and industry professionals.
Ticket costs ranged from $45 – $200. Contact the administration at [email protected] for more information about later events.
Chicago Rum Festival
Chicago will also be celebrating all things rum this spring with a festive and information event.
Tickets to the festival can be bought through their site and range from $45-$200 including additional fees. Contact [email protected] for more information about hosting a table.
Women in Craft
This forum will help women in the industry gain valuable insights and advice about strategic ways to shape a successful career. Attendees should expect to make lifelong connections with other ambitious female professionals along with new tools and actionable resources.
- Exhibitor: Full Conference: $460, 1-Day: $360
- Non-exhibiting Supplier: Full Conference: $460, 1-Day: $360
- Non Exhibiting Supplier Expo: $50/$75/$100
- Expo Only: Online: Free, Onsite price of $75
If you need assistance, please contact customer service at [email protected].
USA Trade Tasting and Business Conference (USATT)
Oct 12 – 13, 2022 | Chicago, IL
This annual event hosts retailers, bartenders, importers, distributors and sommeliers and provides a unique opportunity to learn from and network with one another.
Early Bird: $2200 ends May 31, 2022
Regular: $2800 ends Aug 31,2022
Expo Floor: $40
Expo Floor+Conference: $150
American Distilling Institute 2022 Conference and Expo
Sept, 14-16, 2022 | St Louis, MO
This is the biggest collection of vendors that specialize in distilling equipment and service providers from across the globe. Attendees can expect hundreds of vendors spread over 50,000 square feet. There will also be education sessions and networking events.
Expo floor only day passes are available for purchase online.
To inquire about reserving a booth at our upcoming conferences or becoming a sponsor please email [email protected] or [email protected]
ACSA’s 9th Annual Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade Show
July 21-24, 2022 | Portland, OR
By bringing together the best suppliers and distillers, this event highlights the energy and potential of the industry. Ultimately, the goal is to further strengthen the alcohol beverage industry so that everyone can enjoy prosperity and thrive. This event provides the perfect opportunity to network and learn about new goods and services.
10×10 (single booth): $1,900
10×20 (double booth): $3,300
Member Attendee: $625
Non-Member Attendee: $825
85TH Annual Convention and Product Showcase
Oct 9 – 12, 2022 | Chicago, IL
The annual NBWA convention is the place to engage in valuable educational programs and showcase your products to over 1,600 experienced distributors at the Product Demonstration Showcase, on Monday October 10 from 12 pm to 5 pm. Only NBWA can exhibit at the showcase, so be sure to either become a member or update your membership.
New/Renewing Member exhibit rate:
Contact [email protected] for more information about exhibiting.
Beverage Forum 2022
The focus of this forum is the future of the beverage market, especially in light of technological advances. Innovation is constantly unfolding and this gathering will help you get a better idea of what it will take to gain and maintain a competitive edge in the current environment.
Attendee Price: $1,250.00
Exhibitor Price: $1,250.00
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) Conference
Jun 8-10, 2022 | New Orleans, LA
Today’s leading spirit industry executives, decision-makers, and supply chain partners will all be gathering in New Orleans for this beverage trade show to network and have thoughtful conversations about how to innovate and move the industry forward.
10X10 Booth: $3,300 (member), $4,400 (non-member)
10X20 Booth: $4,950 (member), $6,600 (non-member)
Regular pricing from Feb 1 2022 – May 31 2022
Early Bird: $795 (member), $995 (non-member) ends Apr 1, 2022
Regular: $1,595 ends Aug 31,2022
Beverage Alcohol Retailers Conference
This event is geared towards off-premise retailers and will allow peers to learn, network, and collaborate. Attendees will leave with new ideas about how to improve their business.
Sponsor Price: $395
North Coast Wine Industry Expo ~ Trade Show & Conference
This expo focuses on Napa, Sonoma, Lake, and Mendicino and will host over 3,000 wine professionals. In addition, around 300 exhibitors will be presenting their products and services. Educational events will address four main areas: Strategy and Leadership, Production and Winemaking, Sales and Marketing, and Vineyard and Growers.
10′ x 10′ Booth + Annual WIN Membership = $3,370.00
10′ x 10′ Booth = $2,350.00 (non-member)
10′ x 10′ Booth = $1,750.00 (member)
Booth Sharing Fee = $300.00
Beverage Trade Shows Wrapped Up
Everyone across the industry is excited to be back for in-person events, so you can expect a lot of energy and new ideas, no matter which events you attend. Just be sure to put a few on your schedule so that you can take full advantage of all the benefits these beverage trade shows have to offer.
What are beverage trade shows?
A trade show is where companies come together to display their goods and services. Buyers and distributors can learn about new products and make deals.
Why should I attend trade shows?
Trade shows are a unique opportunity to gain exposure to thousands of potential customers, learn what the competition is up to, and generate meaningful leads.
How should I prepare for trade shows?
Have a budget for the event. Find a trade show that speaks to your goals and target audience. Speak with people who have attended in the past, and invite your customers to attend.
How to stand out in trade shows?
Create an eye-catching booth with plenty of visuals, marketing materials, and a short slogan that will grab attention as people walk through the aisles.
List of 2022 Beverage Trade Shows in the United States?
- Craft Beverage Expo
- VinExpo America & Drinks America Exhibition
- Future Drinks Expo
- Bar Convent Brooklyn
- Tales of the Cocktail
- Miami Rum Congress
- Chicago Rum Festival
- Women in Craft
- USA Trade Tasting and Business Conference (USATT)
- American Distilling Institute 2022 Conference and Expo
- ACSA’s 9th Annual Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade Show,
- 85TH Annual Convention and Product Showcase
- Beverage Forum 2022
- Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) Conference
- Beverage Alcohol Retailers Conference
- North Coast Wine Industry Expo ~ Trade Show & Conference