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Bar Convent Berlin announces global expansion

Ahead of its 2015 show, Bar Convent Berlin has revealed plans to launch new editions around the world, starting with China in 2016.

Bar Convent Berlin is set to become “more international”

Speaking to The Spirits Business, Helmut Adam, co-founder of trade show Bar Convent Berlin (BCB), and Petra Lassahn, trade show specialist and event director at BCB, said they hoped to now make the show “more international” after partnering with Reed Exhibitions in February this year.

Following its launch in China, Bar Convent plans to expand into Latin America and then other global markets, but details have yet to be finalised.

“Last year, around 50% of our visitors came from abroad,” said Lassahn. “That is very unusual for any trade show.”

The international shows will be held at different times to the original Berlin edition and will feature some of the same speakers.

“Bar Convent is about both products from the local markets in which the show is held, and also about international brands trying to get into these markets,” said Adam. “When BCB started in 2007, only a fraction of products were home-grown, but now there are many more.”

BCB has experienced 25% to 30% growth in both visitors and exhibitors over the past four years and is now one of the biggest drinks trade shows in Europe.

This year, the show will feature a number of trade bodies, including Discus and ambassadors for cachaça and soju.

Once again held at Station Berlin on 6-7 October, 10,000 visitors and 170 exhibitors showcasing around 500 brands will attend.

Further expansion

For the first time this year, BCB has expanded into Hall 8, with a special showcase area called “Made in GSA”. The space will be dedicated to products from Germany, Switzerland and Austria, with samples of more than 60 spirits, liqueurs, bitters and soft drinks.

Another new feature is Brand Starter, the result of BCB’s collaboration with Distill Ventures – a start-up investment scheme created by Diageo and Independents United.

The one-day event consists of workshops focusing on a range of topics relevant to aspiring spirits entrepreneurs.

BCB’s 2015 lecture programme will be bigger than ever, with a total of eight stages accommodating an audience of up to 1,000 people.

Speakers including Phil Duff, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Edgar Harden, Jörg Meyer and Felipe Januzzi have been confirmed.

“We are very selective about the brands we let into the show,” said Adam. “We have never really experienced competition and our growth rate confirms this.

“I didn’t expect it to be so big when I started it and we had no experience in events. But it was a good idea at the right time.”

For more information on BCB 2015, go to the show’s website.

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