The beginning of 2017 was quite the rush for some of us in coffee. As you know, January 27th and 28th had CoffeeCon in Seattle at the Armory. On the last show, Jesse and I talked very briefly about that (though we didn't share much).
February 25th and 26th saw CoffeeCon down in Los Angeles – their third time with the show in LA, and the second at this particular location. Jesse did not go down for this show, but I did with Coffee Lovers Magazine. So in this episode of the podcast, we got into the experience of exhibiting at these shows and what it was like for many of the attendees that I spoke with.
CoffeeCon is a fantastic consumer-focused coffee show, bringing many exhibitors showing off their coffee and coffee accessories to coffee lovers of all levels of interest. They also have a series of classes from which you can learn everything from brewing better coffee at home to latte art, to the intricacies of water balance and stories from people doing awesome stuff in the coffee world – like Mokhtar's Yemen story (I'll have a video on that soon).
It is great to see coffee drinkers have such upfront accessibility for learning more about coffee, and it's a seemingly rare thing. Most people who attend these shows – assuming they haven't been to a CoffeeCon before – have never seen coffee in this light. It's as (or more, depending on who you talk to) complex and fascinating as wine, chocolate, or any other food or cultural special things we enjoy in society.
There are other shows out there, but this is the only larger event going around which is focused completely on coffee customers (pretty much all other larger coffee events are either half industry, or mostly industry-focused).
This actually makes a larger difference than you may think. As someone technically ‘in the industry,' my focus and presentation is entirely different when speaking with customers as opposed to other businesses, and I actually found it quite disruptive whenever someone came by to talk business (not counting ‘dead' times or before/after the show). It surely then follows that as a coffee consumer you are going to have the best convention/festival experience when the exhibitors and speakers are entirely focused on your needs/desires the whole show.
Anyways that's a whole nother topic unto itself.
I'll have a short tour video of LA CoffeeCon coming soon – until then, enjoy Coffee Lovers Radio. And let us know in the comments below what you think of the show!