BERLIN, Germany – “Tasty, amazing, fantastico, formidable, comunicativo” – these are some of things said by the 15,162 visitors who travelled to the Bar Convent Berlin from 86 countries to test new creations, do business, generate knowledge or simply meet their friends in the global community. Never before had so many countries been represented at the BCB. The Bar Convent Berlin has been the most important international event for the bar and spirits industry for twelve years now.
There was a great deal awaiting discovery in the exhibition halls at Station Berlin and the neighbouring Kühlhaus: 446 exhibitors from 48 countries presented some 1,200 brands, including spirits, sparkling wines, beers and fillers. The list of the top product groups was headed by gin once again this year, followed by liqueur, rum, vodka, tequila/mezcal, bitters and aperitifs. The BCB, which will be taking place at Berlin ExpoCenter City from 2020, grew yet again this year, with the number of visitors topping 15,000 for the first time (2018: 14,416) – Station Berlin was practically bursting at the seams.
“There is simply no way to fully comprehend the special spirit at this event without being here,” says BCB Event Director Petra Lassahn. “Friendships are established here between people from around the globe. All the industry’s knowledge can be found at this show, and it is also the most important business gathering for the spirits industry.”
The international make-up of the Bar Convent Berlin – with half of its visitors hailing from outside the country – not only demonstrates the importance of the trade show, but also highlights the strength of an industry whose innovations and outstanding quality are impressing cocktail enthusiasts all over the world.
Responsibility for people and the environment
Be it at exhibitors’ stands, in the supporting programme or as part of countless talks all over the BCB, the topics of conscious consumption and social and ecological responsibility were a frequent area of focus. The bar industry often sees itself at the forefront when it comes to the most urgent questions of our time.
“We are also continuing to build on the idea of our power in the social sphere, in diversity and sustainability. We realized that we have a wonderful platform and are using it,” says BCB Director of Education Angus Winchester. Numerous presentations at the show dealt with the industry’s social responsibility towards its customers and employees. “Combating racism and sexism are paramount,” says Winchester.
In all, the BCB featured some 120 hours of instructional content on eight stages, including presentations and tastings. Speakers and presenters representing a cross-section of the global industry came to the event from India, Singapore, the USA, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Spain, Nigeria and elsewhere to share their expertise and national bar cultures with BCB visitors.
Next station: Berlin ExpoCenter City
Next year, the global community will be heading to Berlin ExpoCenter City. Following stays in Berlin’s ‘Glashaus’, the ‘Postbahnhof am Ostbahnhof’ and ‘Station Berlin’, the BCB is moving to its new home beneath the Funkturm.
This was a necessary change, as it gives the event more room without sacrificing the Bar Convent Berlin’s special flair. Petra Lassahn has this to say about the new location: “The new venue boasts the Golden Twenties in the Funkturm, the 1930s look in the exhibition hall architecture, and the charm of the 1950s in the Palais – this atmosphere is very important to us.” With ‘City Life Spirits’, the BCB also has a new concept for 2020, when the event will be delivering the urban spirit of Berlin and other cities directly into the exhibition halls.
The new concept will serve as a unifying theme that can be seen in the architecture, content and interaction at the trade show. Every exhibition hall will be transformed into a hub of activity with hotspots and special shows, reflecting the trends of big-city life. Many exhibitors will become a part of this world, and visitors can look forward to a very special spirit in 2020.
Bar Convent Berlin 2020
The next Bar Convent Berlin will be taking place over three days, from 12 to 14 October, at Berlin ExpoCenter City. It will be preceded by two events outside Germany – Bar Convent Brooklyn on 9 and 10 June 2020 and Bar Convent São Paulo on 15 and 16 June 2020.
Please note: Figures for visitors, exhibitors and exhibition area at the BCB are calculated and certified according to the standard definitions of the Society for Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics (FKM).