BERLIN, Germany — They came from five continents: visitors from Australia, Canada, Japan, India and even Panama, Peru and Mauritius once again turned the Bar Convent Berlin into the largest trade show of the bar and spirits industry, the place for manufacturers of spirits, sparkling wines, beers and mixers to get together with bartenders, bar owners and distributors from 79 countries.
From 8 to 10 October, a total of 14,416 visitors came to Station Berlin and the adjacent Kühlhaus and flocked to the numerous bar events in the German capital.
All signs are pointing to growth, and Station Berlin was completely booked again for BCB 2018.
A 17 per cent increase in the number of exhibitors and an internationality share of 68 per cent serve as evidence for the relevance of the show and for the strength of an industry whose innovations and stringent quality standards inspire cocktail enthusiasts around the world.
This year’s Bar Convent Berlin featured 433 exhibitors with 1,200 brands in the premium segment. Once again topping the list of spirits were gin, liqueurs, vodka, tequila and mezcal. Soaring, vermouth was represented at the show with over 30 brands.
For the first time, visitors had three days this year to enjoy all the action. “Everyone loved that we extended the show”, says BCB Director Petra Lassahn.
Accordingly, the number of visitors, at 14,416, was significantly higher than in the previous year (12,217) and spread evenly over all three days of the trade show. The exhibitors, who had more time for their business, were also very satisfied with this.
The visitors had more opportunities to attend the numerous exciting product tastings and the top-notch presentation programme. “The three-day format provided us with an opportunity to put together an education programme featuring a diverse range of topics and the stars of the international bar scene”, adds Lassahn.
Focus on education
Hospitality, entrepreneurial skills, the development of new drinks, sustainability and creativity were just a few of the topics covered in this year’s presentation programme, which for the first time was created under the auspices of the internationally renowned industry insider Angus Winchester.
The names speak for themselves: on stage were the likes of Sean Finter, Bobby Heugel, Joe Schofield, Frankie Solarik, Micah Melton and many more. As a result, the trade show provided bartenders, bar owners, bar operators and distributors valuable input for their daily work and the continued advancement of their businesses.
Standards are steadily increasing for the bartending profession, for example, making staff education and training paramount.
Says Angus Winchester, “We’re creating a lot of awareness about the fact that this is not just a lifestyle but a serious profession that should get the same respect as cooks or sommeliers can get – we’re a part of the restaurant industry.”
Covered by Fever-Tree co-founder Charles Rolls and brand innovator David Gluckman, among others, the promotion and development of entrepreneurial skills were also prominent themes of the presentation programme.
Brew Berlin and Coffee Convent Berlin popular ports of call
The great interest in Brew Berlin and the Coffee Convent Berlin, both of which took place as part of the BCB, showed that bars are increasingly adding craft beer, beer cocktails, coffee specialities and coffee drinks to their menu mix.
Brew Berlin demonstrated that craft beers can contribute their very own USP to a bar, winning over consumers with quality and uniqueness. But after a little bit of a makeover, traditional beers also impressed visitors – especially bartenders who serve beer directly to consumers.
Presenting innovative coffee products from coffee lemonade to coffee cocktails at the trade show, exhibitors at the Coffee Convent Berlin were equally happy with the response from the bar community.
Bar Convent Berlin 2019
The next Bar Convent Berlin will take place at Station Berlin and the Kühlhaus as a three-day event from 7 to 9 October 2019.
Two additional international events will be staged before then: the Bar Convent Brooklyn on 11 and 12 June 2019 and the Bar Convent São Paulo on 17 and 18 June 2019.
Note: The BCB’s visitor, exhibitor and floor space figures are calculated and certified according to the uniform definitions published by FKM – German Society for Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics.