Networking: Major Focus for 2019 Coffee Fest Events

Nov 02

Holly Barrett

Networking: Major Focus for 2019 Coffee Fest Events

By: Holly Barrett

Coffee Fest, where the business of coffee gets done, will be in three cities in 2019. Specialty coffee’s popular business-to-business event will be in New York, March 3-5th at the Javits Center, in Indianapolis May 31st- June 2nd at the Indiana Convention Center and in Los Angeles August 25th-27th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Coffee Fest calls this the year of networking. “We have heard from business owners and past attendees that they want to meet with and learn from their peers, “says Coffee Fest Show Director, Erika Lowery. “In New York, we will launch our first Business Owner Networking Luncheon. We see this as the beginning of many networking opportunities offered at our events to bring together long-time attendees who attribute their start and success in specialty coffee to Coffee Fest.”

Attendees will also have access to over 160 hours of coffee industry & business education, be able to source new business suppliers & meet with existing ones, discover innovative & new products and equipment. Three unique coffee competitions will take place during the event with companies and individuals contending for top spots, trophies and cash prizes.

For the first time, Coffee Fest New York will be co-located with The International Restaurant Show of New York and the launch of Healthy Food Expo New York. Reprising the multi-show concept, Coffee Fest Los Angeles will be side-by-side with the Western Foodservice & Hospitality show & the Healthy Food Expo West. Attendees will have access to all three shows with one single badge price.

“Cafes have now embraced the model seen all over the country and are adding food options to their menu because it compliments coffee and offers a new revenue stream,” commented Lowery. “The restaurant shows will showcase foodservice opportunities.”

The restaurant farm-to-table trend has helped consumers develop a taste for locally sourced, fresh ingredients. In a lot of ways, specialty coffee can be looked at in the same way.

“Coffee Fest helps connect restaurateurs to the amazing specialty coffee choices that can be found in their own back yard to complement their menus and delight customers,” cites Lowery.

Coffee Fest will be in Indianapolis for the first time in its 25+ year history.

“Indianapolis will be a stand-alone Coffee Fest event and is appealing the surrounding major cities. Indianapolis is a great location for business owners from St. Louis to Milwaukee and will be a centrally located and cost effective destination,” says Lowery.

Over 200 companies will make up the tradeshow floors in all three cities, displaying equipment, business services, resell merchandise, coffee, tea, food and much more. Exhibitors will be invited to enter their products in the Product Showcase. Three industry professionals will judge each entry based on innovation and retailer appeal and awards will be presented to the top three consumable and top three non-consumable products in the showcase.

Attendees will also be invited to vote for their favorite product in the People’s Choice “Best of Fest” Competition and one winner will be awarded.

With several start-up educational opportunities & a wide variety of companies on the exhibit show floor, there are plenty of takeaways for anyone looking to break into the industry or further their business as a current owner or operator. Coffee Fest is designed for coffee roasters, café owners, restaurant owners, managers and baristas - essentially anyone in the coffee industry. People looking to start a coffee business or restaurant are also encouraged to attend.