For 25% off BCB ticket prices, use promo code: VINEPAIR

Bar Convent Brooklyn (BCB) marks its triumphant return to the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint on Aug. 17 and 18. Arriving by way of Berlin back in 2018, the two-day trade fair has already emerged as one of the premier events for bar and beverage industry professionals –– and it’s easy to understand why: Hundreds of exhibitors from across the globe will converge, transforming 60,000 square feet of convention space into a vibrant panorama of immersive experiences and interactive demos.

The networking is nonpareil; if you’re looking to meet and greet with top names in the beverage business, you’ve come to the right place. But make sure you bring a thirst for knowledge because over the past several years, BCB has set a new industry standard in educational programming. This year will raise the bar further still, as a parade of world-class experts prepare to take the stage for the first in-person trade seminars of 2021. Whether you’re looking to build your own spirits brand, broaden the menu at your bar or restaurant, or broaden your horizons to become a more conscientious consumer, there is a panel waiting to welcome you, each meticulously curated by a specially formed education committee.

“The value is in the breadth of seminars and the talent and qualifications of the people presenting them,” says Colin Baugh, principal of Emblem PR, a beverage-focused communications firm. “They hit so many different parts of the industry — bartenders, owners, and operators, even PR people like me.”

A recently released preview of programming reveals sessions geared toward community-building, including “Solidarity, not Charity,” hosted by a who’s who of workers’ aid advocates. “The Ethos of Eco-Spirits” promises a practical discussion on how to implement best practices vis-a-vis waste reduction and biodiversity. It’s led by marquee experts such as Waluco Maheia of Copal Tree Distillery and Lynnette Marrero, co-founder of Llama San in New York. Elayne Duff and Tracey Eden are slated to curate a dialogue for those looking to become — or hire — a brand ambassador.

The networking at BCB is nonpareil; if you’re looking to meet and greet with top names in the beverage business, you’ve come to the right place.
The networking at BCB is nonpareil; if you’re looking to meet and greet with top names in the beverage business, you’ve come to the right place.

Indispensable expertise, to be sure. It’s also an obvious way to track the latest trends making the rounds. And yet it’s easy to forget that before BCB, these sorts of insights were much harder to come by. “When I first started bartending, resources to aid in understanding the products we work with, the history of the industry, and career advancement were limited,” explains Eric “ET” Tecosky, founder and owner of Dirty Sue, a line of premium bar mixers. “The educational seminars at BCB are incredibly helpful in growing the modern bartender, helping to recognize open doors when they present themselves, and giving us the know-how to walk through them.”

And for the aspiring entrepreneur, two days of BCB education can be nothing short of transformative. Take it from someone who knows. “Education is the cornerstone to innovation and growth within the beverage alcohol industry,” according to Devaraj Southworth, CEO and co-founder of Thirstie, a leading e-commerce platform in the beverage space. “Bar Convent Brooklyn’s seminars bring together true thought leaders to share first-hand knowledge, ideas, and perspective to continue to propel the sector forward.”

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the game. Even the most seasoned industry vets will settle into a seat at any of the conference’s four main stages and come away with fresh perspectives and, yes, fresh opportunities. You need only be open to receiving them. “It’s easy to write [seminars] off as stuff you already know,” admits Aaron Polsky, award-winning bartender and, most recently, founder of LiveWire Cocktail Co. “But, invariably, a brilliant person in the industry will shed a gem that will blow your mind. It happens every time. So pick something or someone that interests you and go in there just to see what happens.”

This year, Bar Convent Brooklyn is making its panels available digitally, for those who are unable to join in-person or prefer to participate remotely.
This year, Bar Convent Brooklyn is making its panels available digitally for those who are unable to join in person or prefer to participate remotely.

In fact, you don’t have to go “in there” physically at all. This year, Bar Convent Brooklyn is making its panels available digitally for those who are unable to join in person or prefer to participate remotely. You can access it all via the easy-to-navigate BCB website. And keep your eye on that space for frequent updates and additions to the programming.

If you are planning to be in Brooklyn on Aug. 17 and 18, pre-purchased tickets to BCB are still available here for $65 per day — or $80 at the door. Each session begins at 11 a.m. and closes promptly at 7 p.m. You’ll be joined by as many as 4,000 colleagues in an open environment as boisterous and convivial as it is safe and sterile. Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination upon entry. So, rest easy —you’ll need your energy. The entire beverage industry is eager to welcome you back to the wondrous world of live events, and they’ve been holding a seat open just for you. Class is officially in session.

“There’s always something to learn,” adds Baugh. “Whether it’s technical acumen, category education, or taking the next step in your career, it’s all available here.” So just make sure you are, too.

For 25% off BCB ticket prices, use promo code: VINEPAIR

This article is sponsored by Bar Convent Brooklyn.