Tricks of the Trade (Show): 9 Steps to Exhibitor Success

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[Editor’s note: Learn more about exhibitor opportunities at the NCA Annual Convention 2018 in New Orleans, March 15-17]

This post originally appeared on Perfect Daily Grind

Are you exhibiting at a coffee festival or trade show? Or considering it?

Exhibiting is a good business choice. It’s a straightforward, face-to-face way of engaging with your community and clients (current and future). It can allow you to shape the face of your business. And it’s an opportunity to make a more lasting impression than some methods of digital outreach.

Yet without the right preparation, you won’t see the return on investment you’re looking for. Being able to own your space and maximize your engagement with others is key but far from easy, while having to be “on” and present at all times can be a challenge. So before shelling out and setting up, make sure you’re ready.

Feeling daunted? Don’t worry; we’re here to tell you how to make exhibiting a solid business investment. Read on for our 9 steps to seeing an excellent return (and actually enjoying yourself).

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Coffee Shops Are on the Rise

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When it comes to coffee, convenience is crucial. Fortunately, a cup of coffee is never far from reach for the majority of U.S. consumers.

More people are drinking coffee out-of-home than ever, reaching a high of reaching a high of 46% in 2017, according to the NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends report. And they’re also opting for more specialty and gourmet beverages.

New market research from the NPD Group shows that coffee shops are popping up across the country to meet this increasing demand. In addition to coffee served at restaurants and other foodservice outlets, there are now 33,129 gourmet coffee shops in the U.S., a 2% increase in units from last year.

Additional highlights from NPD’s  Spring 2017 ReCount restaurant census include:

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What I Wish I Knew: Advice From Coffee Shop Owners

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The following post originally appeared in full on the Bond Street Small Business Blog

Starting a coffee business is not for the faint of heart. It will bring blood, sweat, and tears (plus a lot of caffeine).

Yet, there’s still something that makes the pursuit worthwhile.

And as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. So what better way to truly learn what it takes to successfully build a coffee business than to turn to those who know best?

The editors at Bond Street asked individuals behind some of America’s best cups  to share what they wish they knew before opening their coffee shops, or other caffeine-infused operations. The result is 33 pieces of advice that all aspiring entrepreneurs would benefit from knowing.

From mistakes made to tricks of the trade, you’re bound to discover at least one nugget of wisdom that will save you time, money, energy, and quite possibly your sanity — or all of the above.

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4 Practical Ways to Teach Second Wave Consumers About Third Wave Coffee

[Editor’s note: If you have no idea what this title means, check out this infographic explaining third wave coffee.]

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The following post originally appeared on Perfect Daily Grind
Written by E. Squires and edited by T. Newton

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent countless hours reading, researching, tasting, traveling, and diving deeper into our favorite drink. You love reading about farmers and their best practices. You spend hours perfecting your brew methods and your espresso shots.

But many, if not most, of your customers won’t be as interested in the minutiae of TDS and coffee processing methods. They simply want a shot of caffeine (plus or minus sugar). Sure, some customers will come for a quality coffee experience. A select few will even want to know everything. But these will be in the minority.

The thing about us in the Third Wave is that we’re desperate to share specialty coffee with everybody – but we can’t. Great customer service means understanding your customers and meeting them where they are, whether it’s simply a morning caffeine fix or a matter of helping them along their coffee journey in small steps.

Yet while you can’t force your customers to appreciate coffee like you do, you can open the door and allow them to walk through it. Getting the balance is hard, so we’ve come up with four practical ways to teach people about Third Wave coffee without preaching or being intimidating.

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NCA Speaks Out Against Seattle Beverage Tax

“As a regressive tax borne largely by consumers, the proposal can hurt […] hundreds of independent roasters, coffee shops, restaurants, retailers, and suppliers. Aimed at promoting a healthy diet, the tax would have the opposite effect if applied to coffee.”  – William M. Murray, CEO, NCA 

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The Seattle City Council will vote on introducing a “soda tax” in the city on Monday. The measure would put a one-cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages, and would impact coffee as collateral damage. Furthermore, small businesses would be disproportionately affected.

The National Coffee Association has submitted the following letter to the City Council to express the industry’s strong position on how the tax would severely impact the local coffee economy and that coffee should be exempt should any soda tax be ratified.

Read the full NCA comment letter.

In the News

Is Seattle’s proposed soda tax also a tax on sugary lattes?

Take Action

Tell the Seattle city council that levying a soda tax on coffee would have unintended and unanticipated consequences for the coffee industry and local businesses. Send an email to  council@seattle.gov, or call 206-684-8888.

Comments? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or get in touch at info@ncausa.org.

 

 

My First NCA Event

By Rocky Rhodes, International Coffee Consulting

NCA 2019 Convention registration now open

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I have been in the coffee industry for 21 years now. I feel I am pretty well versed in most things ‘coffee.’ That was until I went to the National Coffee Association Convention.

The attendees are made up of multi-generational coffee companies that have survived and thrived for 50, 60 – even over 100 years. I knew I had a lot to learn at this event.

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The Business Strategy Behind Your Local Coffee Shop

By Vivian Giang, Fundera

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The way Americans drink coffee has changed drastically. According to the New York Times, Americans drink less coffee today than we did in the past, but we’re drinking higher quality, better brewed cups.

In fact, according to a 2014 National Coffee Drinking Trends study from the National Coffee Association (NCA), daily consumption of gourmet coffee among adults in the U.S. is up 34% in 2014, a 3% rise compared to 2013.

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19 Signs of Executive-Level Leadership

By Bill Murray, NCA, CEO

See the full post on LinkedIn or visit the Coffee Career Center resource page for more leadership tips. 

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With thanks to Laura Freebairn-Smith of the Organizational Performance Group, for permission to cite her findings. 

Ensuring that the right organizational leadership is in place is a task that is so challenging that it has spawned an entire industry.

Whether you search the web or pop into an old-school brick-and-mortar bookstore, the amount of advice on offer about “being a leader” is staggering.

One of the reasons that leadership can be a challenging subject is because it pertains to human behavior. A second difficulty relates to things like stylistic differences, gaps between what is said vs. what is done, and self-promotion.

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