© BCB/Gili Shani
14. October 2021 by Cornelia Tautenhahn
Restart and Debut: 8,000 Visitors at BCB 2021
Following a forced break on account of the coronavirus, from 11 to 13 October the BCB picked up right where it left off: as the meeting place of the international bar industry, a place to do business and – quite simply – ‘Bartenders’ Christmas’.
And the mood made one thing clear: “This is just want the bar scene needed.” The event’s restart and its debut at Berlin ExpoCenter City were both a success – because exhibitors and visitors alike believed in Bar Convent Berlin. BCB Director Petra Lassahn was pleased with the three-day trade show: “Our thanks go out to everyone involved in the event. We fought long and hard for the BCB 2021, and we are absolutely delighted that it has been a success. Our goal was to strengthen the industry after a very difficult period and get business moving again, which we achieved to great effect in many places. Around 8,000 visitors travelled to the trade show to experience the BCB in its brand new home at Berlin ExpoCenter City.
The industry is united
The BCB has traditionally been a very international trade show, and 2021 was no different as the event once again succeeded in bringing the industry together in a single location. This year's show brought visitors from 58 countries in all. In addition to Germany, there were large numbers on hand from Italy, France, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Belgium in particular. In spite of all the challenges currently facing the hospitality industry, the excitement in the exhibition halls was tangible. The industry is ready and able to do business, something that was made abundantly clear by all the product debuts and new bar concepts being showcased.
Exhibitors from 22 countries
210 exhibitors presented approx. 1,000 brands of spirits and fillers – among the most prominent were numerous gin varieties, followed by liqueurs, bitters, aperitifs, rums, vodkas and vermouths. Moreover, this year’s event saw smaller and newer brands playing a bigger role than ever before.
Top bartenders on the stages
The presentation programme not only focused on major social and societal issues impacting the bar industry, but also supplied practical knowledge for individual bartenders. Once again this year Angus Winchester was responsible for curating the programme, which will remain available online even after the BCB is over. Angus: “We had practical and informative sessions on critical issues like sustainability and gaining greater insight into overlooked or marginalised communities such as LGBTQIA+ as well as understanding the business of bars and what is common sense is not always practice.”
The BCB lent visibility to numerous trends from the scene, including ‘low and no’, an area that saw numerous product debuts. Food pairing as well as the combination of drinks and food was another area of focus. Sustainability in bar operations was also a big theme, here the focus was on the recyclability of food, among other things.
BCB and trendy Berlin bars
Even after the trade show, some of Berlin's trendiest bars played host to a variety of events where visitors, exhibitors and the media could get together and share views. Top bartenders from throughout Europe were on hand to show off their latest creations. Lassahn: “All in all, the BCB 2021 was a success. These three days and the many happy faces I’ve seen have been the highlight of the year for me. We are already looking forward to 2022.”
The next BCB will be taking place from 10 to 12 October 2022 at Berlin ExpoCenter City.
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).
“It was great to have the community back together again. We were able to speak to one another in person instead of digitally – this is just want the bar scene needed. Once again we were able to make progress in areas that had been neglected, areas where progress is only possible with in-person interaction. I’m glad they found a way to make all this possible again.”
Steven Lasner, Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador, DIAGEO Germany
“Naturally things were different than they had been the past ten years, but even though some of the international contingent were unable to travel to the event, it was still good to see the community again. It goes without saying that coronavirus restrictions limited some of the possibilities at the stands, but we are delighted that we have been able to meet our customers again. There was a lot of traffic at our stand, and it is clear that the bar industry is back in business in Berlin. A great deal has been happening in the city for the BCB – people are yearning to go out again. Nothing can replace in-person interaction.”
Ilja Slutskiy, Brand Manager, Zamora/ Licor 43
“We're happy to be back here again. Our stand in the Palais at Berlin ExpoCenter City offers a particularly emotional reflection of our THE BLEND bartender community programme. We were happy with the traffic on the opening day of the event. The new location offers more opportunities for socialising and for communicating key content. We are satisfied with the event overall and look forward to next year.”
Claudia Eichler, Trade Marketing Manager On Trade Fairs & Events, Beam Suntory Deutschland
“It is important to us that we once again expand our presence in the bar and restaurant scene – that is why we were here. We were surprised by just how strong demand was, including with regard to export enquires from international visitors. Mindful drinking is simply on-trend, and there is growing interest in non-alcoholic beverages. As a result, our product range was of interest to a lot of the visitors.”
Dorian Bresgen, Brand Activation Manager, Bionade GmbH
“This year marks the third time that we've been at the BCB with our Illusionist Dry Gin. Once again, the quality of customers and of our customer talks got even better. The event will continue to be a fixed date on Illusionist Distillery’s trade show calendar in years to come.”
Tim Steglich, Managing Director, The Illusionist Distillery GmbH
“We are delighted – we never expected such crowds. The past two days have really been amazing. It has been a lot of fun here at the BCB, and it’s great that the event could finally resume again. Our stand played host to a well-balanced mix of people from the industry, the hospitality trade and retailers.”
Sandra Winters, Regional Advisor GSA, Michter’s Distillery LLC
Image Source: BCB/Gili Shani
You can find Pictures of BCB 2021 at Flickr:
About the BCB
The BCB is one of the leading international trade shows for the bar and beverage industry. Every year, this is where a veritable who’s who of the German and European bar and beverage industry gets together to make new contacts, find out about the latest product innovations and attend educational seminars.
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