Every once in a while I get to do something cool. This month I was invited to the Imperial Beverage trade show that was held in the early part of April. Now I know you are thinking, “what exactly is a tradeshow for a beverage distributor?” I wondered the same thing.
In my mind I was picturing a rally of sorts with different speaking engagements. I dreaded having to go to assorted meetings to learn how to better distribute beers or brand placement, you know all the stuff that no one really wants to go to anyway. Instead I was greated with almost a mini beer fest, with wine thrown in. The atmosphere was much more relaxed. And thankfully you didn’t have to worry about the random drunk getting in the way (or the super long lines for a prized beer).
The show had two dates, April 8th in Traverse City, Michigan and April 9th in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids is only
about an hour from my house (as opposed to the 5-6 hour drive to TC) so that was where we headed. They had set up in Noto’s conference center. This was an added bonus since we had never been to Noto’s before.
The atmosphere at an event like this is great for spending time with the brewery reps (sometimes you get lucky and talk to the brewer as well). Without the crowds you find at fests, you are better able to monopolize a few minutes of their time. To my advantage I was able to catch up with a few reps I haven’t seen in a while. I was also able to meet a few I hadn’t met
before. Which goes along with finding some beers that I had not yet had a chance to sample otherwise.