As bars prepare for a long stretch reduced operations due to the COVID pandemic, the numerous events surrounding the industry are also putting plans on hold. On Thursday (5.28), Bar Convent Berlin, the cocktail & spirit community’s marquis trade show, announced that their annual gathering will take a drastically different form this fall. #Spoiler Alert: The original plan to gather 25,000 people on the floor of Exhibition Centre Berlin has been scrapped.
Instead, the show will be revamped in a decentralized format dubbed, “BCB Special Edition.”
“We are aware of our responsibility, as a trade fair that unites many thousands of people in one place, but also as part of a globally networked bar scene. A bar scene that is possibly facing its greatest challenge ever,” said BCB Director Petra Lassahn in a prepared statement. “So we will be offering an alternative event format in the autumn. If our exhibitors and visitors can’t come to us, then we will go to them.”
Organizers said that pandemic-year manifestation will (obviously) make use of the digital networking that has been booming since the global lockdowns began. The medium would be particularly well suited for elements such as lectures.
As for the more community oriented aspects, the team stated that they are exploring options such as a series of satellite tastings and meet-ups in bars worldwide.
“Precisely because the industry worldwide is suffering from the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to ‘meet’ to gain strength and learn from each other and to exchange ideas in a safe and innovative environment,” Lassahn added. “We want the opportunity to get ourselves ready to grow and look forward to the future with confidence.”
In addition to the autumn revamp, BCB recently launched a series of support efforts aimed at the industry. For example, the team enlisted a law firm specializing in the hospitality industry to help generate content focused on the issues that the industry is currently encountering. Other offerings include virtual competitions, streaming seminars, and platform to facilitate job hunting.