Must Attend Beverage Trade Shows for Spirit Brands

Updated January 12, 2024

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.

Set Goals

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. 

Following up 

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.

2024 Beverage Trade Shows

Miami Rum Congress


Feb 9-11 | Miami, FL

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.

Pricing

Ticket costs ranged from $45 – $310. Click here to see all options.

ACSA’s 11th Annual Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade Show


February 26 – 28 | Denver, CO

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.

Pricing

Exhibitor Price:

Premium Exhibitor 10 x 10 booth: $ 2,750 Regular
Premium Exhibitor 10 x 20 booth: $3,950 Regular

Mid-Tier Exhibitor 10 x 10 booth: $2,500 Regular
Mid-Tier Exhibitor 10 x 20 booth: Regular $ 3,700

Standard Exhibitor 10 x 10 booth: $ 2,300 Regular
Standard Exhibitor 10 x 20 booth: $ 3,500 Regular

Visitor Price:

Member Rates

  • Full Convention Pass: $650 Regular
     Addtl Members: $450 Regular
     Distillery 101 Course $499
     Distillery Tours $129

Non-Member Rates:

  • Full Convention Pass: $895 Regular
    Addtl Non-Members: $775 Regular
    Distillery 101 Course $899
    Distillery Tours $169

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) Conference


March 4-6 | San Diego, CA

DISCUS and WOTVS taking place concurrently will provide an opportunity for our industry to participate in two events under one roof, interweaving the four pillars of WOTVS across DISCUS’ 5th Annual Conference – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Business Development & Innovation, Leadership Development, and Community Building, DISCUS’ robust conference programming – hear the latest on mission-critical policies, connect with spirits business executives at networking events, learn from industry thought leaders, and walk away with tangible insights to boost business.

Pricing

Last Year Exhibitor Price:

10X10 Booth: $3,300 (member), $4,400 (non-member)
10X20 Booth: $4,950 (member), $6,600 (non-member)

Visitor Price:

  • Nonmember: $1,595.00
  • DISCUS Member $1,395

Chicago Rum Festival


April 20 | Chicago, IL

Chicago will also be celebrating all things rum this spring with a festive and information event.

Pricing

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.

Craft Beverage Expo

May 7-8 | Reno, NV

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.

Pricing

  • CRAFT BEVERAGE EXPO FULL CONFERENCE FEES – $375
    • Fees includes entry into the two day conference program, access to two expo halls, live education on the show floor and daily happy hours.
  •  One Day – $295
  • TASTING & TAP ROOM EXPO FEES – $50
    • Expo fees include access to two expo halls, live education on the show floor and daily happy hours. 

Exhibiting

  • Standard 10 X 10 Booth (Early Registration  – by 1/22/24) $2,400.00
  • Standard 10 X 10 Booth (Late Registration – after 1/22/24) $2,800.00
  • Standard 10 X 20 Booth (Early Registration  – by 2/22/24) $3,600.00
  • Standard 10 X 20 Booth (Late Registration – after 2/22/24) $4,200.00

USA Trade Tasting and Business Conference (USATT)


May 22-23 | 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.

Exhibitor Price:

Visitor Price:
Expo Floor:

  • Super Early Bird – $30: The super early bird rate is an incredible opportunity to gain access to the expo floor at a significantly discounted price. Offer Ends On January 31, 2024.
  • Regular – $50: Regular ticket prices offer continued access to the expo floor, ensuring that attendees can make the most of this vibrant hub of beverage innovation.

Conference:

  • Super Early Bird- $150: Secure your spot at the conference during the super early bird phase, receiving a substantial discount on knowledge-packed sessions. Offer Ends On January 31, 2024.
  • Regular – $200: Regular conference ticket prices grant access to both days of enlightening sessions, providing unparalleled insights into the beverage industry.

Bar Convent Brooklyn


Jun 11-12 | 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.

Pricing/Exhibiting

  • 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.

Beverage Alcohol Retailers Conference


June 17-19 | Chicago, Illinois

The Beverage Alcohol Retailers Conference (BARC) has proudly established itself as the only off-premise beverage retailer event in the industry. This exclusive gathering brings together independent retailers from across the country for a chance to network, learn, and collaborate with industry peers and sponsors.

Pricing

Sponsor Opportunities

Registration

VinExpo America & Drinks America Exhibition

June 24-25 | 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.

Pricing

Contact Beckie Kier, the event director, at [email protected] for more information on pricing

Exhibiting

To book a stand/get a quote

Tales of the Cocktail


July 21-26 | 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.

Tickets will go on sale May 13th.

American Distilling Institute 2024 Conference and Expo


Aug 27-28 | Baltimore, MD

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. 

Pricing
Registration opens April

Exhibiting

Contact [email protected]

87th Annual Convention and Product Showcase


Sept 29 – Oct 2 | San Diego, CA

Held each year in the fall, the NBWA Annual Convention provides valuable education programs for the beer industry and introduces distributors to new products, technologies and vendors needed to run their operations. Don’t miss the Product Showcase Floor — a one-stop-shop to learn about the next hottest beverages and what services will help your company grow. This year’s show will feature over 200 companies showcasing new beer and beverages, exciting new technology and products that will help distributor companies save money!

Pricing

Last Year Member exhibit price:

10’x10′: $2,700
10’x20′: $5,800

Last Year New/Renewing Member exhibit rate:

10’x10′: $3,200
10’x20′: $6,300

Contact [email protected] for more information about exhibiting.

Sponsor Opportunities

North Coast Wine Industry Expo ~ Trade Show & Conference


Dec 5 | Santa Rosa, CA

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.  

Submit Topic Ideas

Sponsorship Info – More coming April

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.

FAQs

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 2024 Beverage Trade Shows in the United States? 

  1. Craft Beverage Expo
  2. VinExpo America & Drinks America Exhibition
  3. Future Drinks Expo
  4. Bar Convent Brooklyn
  5. Tales of the Cocktail
  6. Miami Rum Congress
  7. Chicago Rum Festival
  8. USA Trade Tasting and Business Conference (USATT)
  9. American Distilling Institute 2024 Conference and Expo
  10. ACSA’s 11th Annual Distillers’ Convention and Vendor Trade Show,
  11. 87TH Annual Convention and Product Showcase
  12. Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) Conference
  13. Beverage Alcohol Retailers Conference
  14. North Coast Wine Industry Expo ~ Trade Show & Conference

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