Final Report: Bar Convent Berlin repeats as largest industry show
Visitors from 79 countries turn Berlin into the capital of bar culture
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.
“I’ve been going to the Bar Convent Berlin since its inception. The BCB has developed into an international trade show with ample opportunity for quality discussions. It was a high-level event. We had lots of international guests from countries such as Brazil, Lithuania, the Ukraine, Russia, Poland, the US and the UK. You’ll find a great mix of big players and smaller companies from the industry here.”
Tatjana Friedrich, Brand Ambassador, LILLET/Pernod Ricard Deutschland
“In addition to our Bacardi exhibit, we had a chance at this year’s BCB to present the espresso liqueur that resulted from the collaboration of Grey Goose and SpreeWood Distillers. Being the only spirits brand exhibiting at the still-new Coffee Convent Berlin was absolutely the right move and a big success. With Noilly Prat, we were pleased to bring not just the winner of the Mixology Taste Forum tests to Berlin but also a piece of southern France. Overall, we’re delighted by three fantastic days at the BCB.”
René Tempel, Bacardi Advocacy Manager, Germany/Austria/Switzerland
“This show is truly one of the industry’s best! The organisation is first class, the visitors have been as excellent as we could ask for. I know as the house of Angostura and Cucielo Vermouth we’d love to be back next year. Great job!”
Andy Holmes, Managing Director, Artisan Spirits Ltd.
“The Bar Convent was excellent for us. The move from Brew Berlin to Hall 1 clearly enriched the atmosphere of the event. The trade show is the coolest spirits event and an absolute must-attend show for us as the hometown heroes. We come here to present ourselves to a broad market, and we once again managed to make great contacts.”
Benedict Weisensee, Sales, Braukunst Berlin GmbH
“We’re totally happy. We had a very pleasant and, most importantly, international crowd of visitors at our stand. The change in the number of days evened things out a bit, giving us a little bit more time to spend with each visitor. Overall, we had excellent talks – with restaurateurs and retailers alike – and we received excellent feedback for our still-young product.”
Philipp Wauer, Pfeffi Back Office, Pfeffi-Likör GmbH
“We are very happy about the trade show in general. The great thing about BCB is that it’s the only professional trade show in Europe. We also do other trade shows, but this is the only one where people really know about spirits. BCB brings together people of the industry and the big brands from all over the world. This is a big success in comparison with other events.”
Eugenio Litta Modignani, CEO, TOVARITCH!
“This is our first time at the BCB, and the trade show was a complete success for us. We were able to deepen personal contacts as well as make new ones. We normally target specialist retailers and wholesaler with our product, but here we also reached those bartenders who are looking for unusual products. People reacted enthusiastically to our product.”
Torge Schiers, Press Officer, Taunus-Gin GmbH