First of all, thank you for joining us each week as readers of World Tea News. I am Cat Coughran, Brand Leader for World Tea Media and interim editor for World Tea News. I am very honored to be leading our exceptional brand and team through what has become an extraordinarily difficult time.
In early March, we decided to postpone World Tea Conference + Expo (WTCE) from June to October 15 through 18, 2020. We are still looking forward to hosting the event in Denver, Colorado. Colorado is my home, and I am very excited to welcome the World Tea community to Denver this fall! While it will likely be different, I am optimistic we will have a great meeting of the industry in 2020. We are exploring new ideas like bringing international delegates and speakers in virtually, doing online buyer and seller 1-to-1 sessions as well as other innovations in sanitation, social distancing, workplace safety, etc. We plan to show working examples for other businesses in our industry to leverage. If you are leading change in any of these areas, please let us know. We would love to share your stories and expertise.
This week, I sat down with FaithAnn Bailes, our Conference and Content Manager, to review some of the fun plans we have for WTCE. To get you excited about our event, here is a glimpse of what we are working on for this year’s WTCE.
Due to the new dates, we have re-imagined everything – including restructuring the Exhibit and Conference hours. Here is a look at what we are planning:
- Thursday, October 15, 2020 – Exhibitor move-in with a Denver Downtown Bar & Restaurant Crawl that night from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
- Friday, October 16, 2020 – Dedicated Exhibit Hall Day from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm. We are planning a fun day filled with prizes, activities, and more just on the Expo Hall floor! Also, on Friday, we have the “New to World Tea” first-timers meet and greet from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Then to fire up the night, our we are planning our first, themed Tea Party! from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm where we will also be honoring our World Tea Industry Award winners.
- Saturday, October 17, 2020 – We start the day with a Keynote speaker Sebastian Michaelis “In Good Taste” from 8:30 am to 9:45 am. We will be mixing it up with Exhibit Hall from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm and the Conference all day from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm – Tea Business Boot Camp for Beginners, Origins, and all your Core basics covering everything that you need to know about Tea Business. That evening you can go out to dinner then come to the Making of the 9 Dragons Tea Movie from 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm, or if any tickets are left, spend it tasting the Rarest of Teas with Kevin Gascoyne. (Best not to wait to buy a seat though. It sold out last year.)
- Sunday – October 18, 2020 – Sunday will be like no other closing day as we focus only on the Conference from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. Look for Tea Business Boot Camp Advanced, Skill Building Sessions, and Core to allow you to immerse yourself into the World of Tea Education. Spend that night or take a late flight home. Dinner in Denver is a great experience, and who knows, maybe we will do a wrap-up party.TBD.
I asked Faith what made the early days of Take Me 2 Tea, the forerunner event of World Tea Conference + Expo, click. She told me that in the first few years, the tea community was very involved in the event. We want that again. We want you to feel a part of WTCE, to be involved, and have fun while doing it. This year, there are lots of ways to get involved. Ask your favorite vendors or customers to come and be part of the experience. Nominate the best in the business for the World Tea Industry Awards. Participate in Denver Tea Week, where the city of Denver comes together to celebrate tea and offers tea specials. We have the entire city getting involved – mixologists offer up their favorite tea-infused drinks, chefs develop savory dishes using tea as an ingredient.
It is time for tea to thrive with new ideas and grow into an ever more thriving industry, World Tea Conference + Expo is part of making that happen. The show started with the purpose of bringing everyone involved in tea together to share information and provide education for everyone – to give the Specialty Tea Industry an expo, a gathering, and a place to call home. And, with times as they are, there is no better time to do just this.
Let us know how we can help your business navigate new channels of commerce and marketing. We are all going through this “current situation” together, and we can strategize for the future together too. Please feel free to contact us at any time about ideas and suggestions.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone in October!