For new breweries looking to sell product and extend their audience, it can be a great idea to look into trade shows. Every marketer knows that the key to selling product is to present it to the right audience, and there are few places better suited to selling beer than at trade shows that draw in folks who are interested in local foodstuffs and quality goods.
Locals will know about shows in their area, but nationwide events are just as attractive, if your brewery has a bit of cash in the budget for travel expenses. Consider some of these shows to extend your audience and sell your wares.
1. Summer Fancy Food Show, New York
New Yorkers love their beer, and they love their home-brewed local products. Plus, if someone is attending a fancy food show, he or she obviously has enough room in the budget for some local brews. With a vast audience, a large number of vendors, and a wide variety of sellers and products, this show is sure to attract people who will fall in love with your beer.
2. Waukesha County Fair, Wisconsin
If your brewery is more of the homegrown, we-brew-in-the-basement variety, this might be the perfect place for you. It draws an agricultural crowd, is five days long, and attracts an array of market-specific vendors looking for new products.
3. National Heirloom Exposition, California
If you are an eco-friendly brewery, this is where you want to be. Celebrating anti-GMO laws, heirloom vegetables, and organic growing, this trade show in Santa Rosa, California could be the perfect location to peddle your wares. Similar to this festival is the North American Organic Brewers Festival in Portland, Oregon, toward the north.
4. The Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show, Texas
This event in Houston is primarily designed to increase brand-name recognition for food suppliers, breweries, wineries, food growers, and the like. It’s hot in Texas, so who wouldn’t want to stop and check out a new brand of a nice cold beer?
5. Great American Beer Festival, Denver
This one is all in the name. It’s an obvious and logical choice for your brewery, and you and your employees will get to enjoy the beautiful Colorado environs. A great place to talk shop, get your brand name out, and find some new customers.
Preparing for a trade show
When it comes to preparation, be sure to have a variety of products, plenty of supply (particularly if you are traveling a long way), and a smile on your face.
For larger shows, come with a plan of attack if you are looking to talk business with any specific market specialists, and be certain to have a highly visible, professional-looking display. Your beer needs to be presented with the same care with which you brew it.