The core of Bar Convent Berlin (BCB) are hundreds upon hundred of brands displaying their wares to thousands of industry guests. Still, BCB also features some other elements like a steadily growing education component. Neat Pour sat down with BCB Education Director Angus Winchester to discuss the seminars and such at the expo this week.
Winchester began by noting that BCB’s model is different than most other industry events. “This is a trade show. This is not education with parties. It’s booths and stands,” he explained. “But, it’s always had an educational component built around the outside.”
That outside component has only grown over the past few years. “It’s gotten bigger and bigger, There’s more and more education,” he told Neat Pour. Speakers, demo bars, a coffee stage. Seven or eight education options [running] simultaneously.”
The program is built around three concepts. BCB hopes to inform visitors about new knowledge, offering them the opportunity to learn something more about spirits and drinks. The second point of emphasis is creativity and entrepreneurship. The final point of the trident are real world problems and solutions. Likewise, the speakers are broken down by days beginning with a spotlight on owners & mangers followed by creativity on day two, and concluding with entrepreneurship on day three.
Once visitors stray from the expo floor, the format and speakers deviates from the familiar model as well. “There’s the stuff that the show controls and the exhibitor areas and you’re going to see the same names at the demo bars. Brands want to bring along their A game,” he noted. “But, I didn’t want the same names. I wanted to bring along some big names that people have heard of but haven’t seen.”
In addition, the lineup was largely devoid of the industry standard, panel discussions. Winchester said that decision was an effort to allow individual speakers more time to dive into issues deeply.
Further, the programming includes some basic, foundational offerings. “It’s important to remember that not everyone who comes here has been bartending for 15 years.”
Finally, for those who already hold plenty of knowledge, BCB partnered with the Wine & Spirit Educational Trust (WSET).
Photo by Martin Corriveau for Neat Pour