We will be creating our 2021 agenda over the coming months, starting with a poll of alumni as to what content they wish to see, followed by a Call for Speakers. To stay up to date, please insert your email to the box on the right. In the meantime, please see our 2020 agenda below as an example.
7:30 AM – 5:15 PM Registration & Beer Trade Show (Grand Bay Foyer): Our sponsors and partners will have tables set up all day.
8:30 – 11:30 AM Beer MARKETING Certificate Course (Grand Bay North): This three-hour course will cover advanced marketing topics in the beer industry. Participants should already be familiar with the fundamentals of modern marketing. Our presenters are Kevin York of Kevin York Communications, who runs his own marketing company dedicated to the craft beer industry, and Neal Stewart, VP of Marketing for Deschutes Brewery and former VP of Marketing for Dogfish Head. Walk away with new office wall swag: a Certificate in Beer Marketing. Attendees must be registered for the conference and registration is an additional $95. You can register for the entire conference including this Course or, if you are already registered for the conference, register for the course separately here. Please see our Beer Marketing Certificate Course outline for complete details.
8:30 – 11:30 AM Beer TOURISM Certificate Course (Bayboro): This additional course is open to anyone but is recommended for Destination Marketing Organization’s and others new to the beer industry. Topics will cover an introduction to beer styles, demographics on beer consumers, a discussion of the current state of the beer industry, an overview of beer tourism, information on what motivates beer tourists, and specific information on what you can do to attract beer tourists to your region, brewery, or business. Walk away with new office wall swag: a Certificate in Beer Tourism. Attendees need not be registered for the conference and the fee for this Course is $195. You can register for the entire conference including this Course or register for the course separately here. Our presenters include Julia Herz from the Brewers Association, Mariah Calagione from Dogfish Head Craft Brewing, Dr. Neil Reid “The Beer Professor”, Leroy Bridges from Visit St. Pete / Clearwater, and Allan Wright of Taste Vacations and the BMTC. You need not be registered for the conference to participate. The fee for the course is an additional $195. You can register for the entire conference, including this Course, or if you are already registered for the conference can register for the course separately here. See our Beer Tourism Certificate Course page for complete details.
11:30 AM– 1:00 PM Lunch on Your Own: The Hilton is central and within walking distance of several restaurants. Check out one of the following during your free lunch time: Tangerine (on property), Gratzzi Italian Grille, Red Mesa Cantina, or The Avenue Eat + Drink.
1:00 – 1:15 PM Conference Opening (Grand Bay Ballroom): Hear briefly from the conference organizers and our local hosts Visit St. Pete/Clearwater.
1:15 – 1:45 PM Welcome (Grand Bay Ballroom): Julia Herz from the Brewers Association will once again set the stage on fire at BMTC and open the conference with facts, figures, stories, and enthusiasm about the current state of the beer industry.
1:45 – 1:55 PM Industry Update from Visit Tampa Bay (Grand Bay Ballroom)
1:55 – 2:10 PM Break
2:10 – 5:10 PM “Sharing Best Practices” Summits: Included in your conference registration price, these summits allow you to learn from your peers and share your own best practices. Most conferences are one-directional teaching from an expert to an audience. These three-hour sessions follow cutting edge trends in the conference organizing industry by using the vast collective experience of everyone in the room. Each summit will have one or two moderators who will keep the group on time and draw out the best contributions from participants. These are always very highly rated so don’t miss out! We will have Summits for the following groups:
- Breweries (Grand Bay North): Includes tap room managers, brewery tour guides, event planners, marketing, communications, etc. Our moderators will be Cameron Davis from Atlanta Brewing and Kami Perdue from Great Lakes Brewing.
- Destination Marketing Organizations (Bayboro): Our moderator will be Meghan Gearino from Visit Richmond, Virginia.
- Tour Operators (Harborview): Moderators will be Tonya Baskerville of Raleigh Brews Cruise and Zack Roskop of Knox Brew Tours. We will send out a survey to those participating in the summit with a list of topics so you can weigh in on what is most important to you for the discussion.
- Brewery Guilds (Pier): Our moderator will be Paul Leone from the New York Craft Brewers Association
5:10 – 7:00 PM Beer Tourism Opening Reception (Grand Bay South): Taste beers and learn about beer tourism opportunities from around the United States and the world. Meet our sponsors and partners, taste beers from breweries throughout Florida, and learn about new beer tourism opportunities from Destination Management Organizations and brewery guilds from around the world.
7:00 – 10:00 PM Evening Party at 3 Daughters Brewing: Join us for dinner on your own, fun, and beers at 3 Daughters Brewing, one of St. Pete’s fastest growing breweries! Transportation provided by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. This event is included in your registration, but an RSVP is required for a bus count. Sign up here if you’re already registered for the conference.
8:00 – 9:00 AM Grab and Go Breakfast (Grand Bay Foyer)
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Registration & Beer Trade Show (Grand Bay Foyer)
9:00 – 9:45 AM Opening Keynote – Collaborating to Compete: Working Together to Enhance Beer Tourism (Grand Bay Ballroom): Dr. Neil Reid (The Beer Professor) will take us through current research on beer tourism, including who is traveling for beer and what their motivations area. He will use this research to provide suggested ideas you can employ at home to grow beer tourism at your own business or region. Finally, Dr. Reid will discuss an example from outside the beer industry in how various competing entities can cooperate to grow tourism. Dr. Reid is a Professor of Geography and Planning at the University of Toledo, with a specialty in local economic development. Since 2014, Professor Reid has been researching the growth of the craft brewing industry in the United States and its potential role in helping to revitalize neighborhood economies. To date he has published over a dozen journal articles and book chapters on the economic geography of craft brewing. Professor Reid authors a blog about the beer industry (www.thebeerprofessor.com).
9:45 – 9:55 AM Break
9:55 – 10:45 AM All-Group Session: Beer Media in a Changing World (Grand Bay Ballroom): Most attendees at the BMTC are highly aware of the constant, major changes in the beer industry. Just think of our media attendees who are living through constant, major changes in TWO industries: beer and media. We have had beer magazines fold and others stop print publication. New websites are becoming the go-to news sources. We will hear from a panel of beer media about their role in the industry including changes that can affect you such as reader demographic trends, what content resonates with audiences, how revenue generation affects stories, and much more. Our panelists include Kenny Gould of Hop Culture, Lynn Davis of Beer Connoisseur, Simon Jenkins from the Yorkshire Post in the UK, and Tara Nurin of Forbes with moderator Tom Wilmes of Spirited Magazine.
10:45 – 11:00 AM Break
11:00 – 11:50 AM Modern Guerrilla Marketing (Grand Bay Ballroom): The term Guerrilla Marketing was coined way back in 1984 as a way to describe unconventional marketing practices delivered on a low budget. Our speaker, Pete Slosberg of Pete’s Wicked Ale, will discuss a modern version of this tried and true marketing technique. The key to this modern guerrilla marketing is to always take a customer, not company view of the world. Pete will back up this theory with actual examples to bring the concept to life. Pete Slosberg started Pete’s Brewing Company in 1986 and created Pete’s Wicked Ale. The company grew over 100 percent annually for 10 years, produced the #2 craft beer behind Sam Adams, went public, and then was acquired. Pete not only lived guerrilla marketing but now travels the world teaching the concept to beer industry and other audiences.
11:50 AM – 12:00 PM Industry Update from Etix (Grand Bay Ballroom)
12:00 – 1:40 PM Lunch Hosted by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (Grand Bay Ballroom): Meet our hosts, enjoy a buffet lunch and try some local brews from Cage Brewing, Crooked Thumb Brewery and Dunedin Brewery!
1:40 – 2:30 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose a breakout session in one of three tracks: Beer Tourism, Marketing, and Events.
- Beer Tourism: CBTOA Annual Meeting (Skyway): Members of the Craft Beverage Tour Operators Association will be conducting its annual meeting. Open to all. Any tour operators interested in joining or learning more about the CBTOA should attend and follow the link above.
- Marketing: Beer Marketing – Let’s Get Real (Grand Bay South): In this session we’ll take a deep dive into three real-world examples of beer marketing done right. From brand launches and partnership-driven promos to full-fledged digital campaigns, Elle Tedder from BowStern Marketing Communications will walk through the “how” of deploying a successful, memorable marketing effort. This presentation of case studies will allow you to see behind the doors of a marketing shop, as we reveal the thought process and planning that goes into development of a results-driven strategy. Learn what questions you should be asking when starting any marketing endeavor, how to make the most of your dollars, and which activities will yield the highest results. You’ll gain actionable info that will inspire new ideas and help you better identify the best marketing approach for your situation.
- Events: Filling Your Event With the Casual Beer Drinker (Grand Bay North): Event organizers in the beer industry are often all going after the same people: craft beer geeks. But that leaves many events chasing a limited number of potential attendees. Josh Seago, Founder and Owner of Lou Dog Events, has had great success changing his event model to appeal to and market to the causal beer drinker. In this session Josh will explain why you should consider making this move, how you can reposition your events, and what different steps you can take in your marketing to fill your events.
2:30 – 2:45 PM Break
2:45 – 3:35 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose a breakout session in one of three tracks: Beer Tourism, Marketing, and Events.
- Beer Tourism: Brewery Tours That Work for Your Customers and You (Grand Bay North): Along with having a tap room and holding events, brewery tours are pretty much a staple of beer tourism for breweries. Shelly Claflin, Tour Manager at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan, will talk about building a tour program that reflects a brewery’s culture and history. She will cover operational details including online reservation systems, staff recruitment and training, tour content, and soliciting attendee feedback. We’ll hear about designing specialty tours that go beyond the standard facility tour, such as tours highlighting specific brand releases or featuring sensory experiences with ingredients. This talk will be useful for breweries of any size that have or are considering offering tours.
- Marketing: Achieving Growth in the Craft Beer Industry (Grand Bay South): Many in the craft beer industry have been lucky enough to achieve high growth rates as the industry has boomed. In this session, we’ll have two presenters who have two opposite views on achieving growth. Jeremy Ragonese is President of Uinta Brewing Company in Salt Lake City, the 42nd largest craft brewery in the country. Leigh Harting is co-owner along with her husband of 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg, Florida, which has grown to become one of the largest independent breweries in Florida in only five years. Jeremy and Leigh will talk about defining what growth means to an individual business and present strategies for how to achieve the growth you are after.
- Events: The Evolution of Beer Events (Skyway): With so many beer festivals and events these days, it is tough to set yourself apart. Whether you’re hosting a weekly trivia night, a new beer release party, or a large festival, it is stressful to plan, execute, and drive attendance. Good marketing helps, but that is only a part of everything you need to consider. In this session, we will focus on three aspects of events that are crucial to engaging your guests:
- Quality: Many bad events started with a great idea. We’ll discuss how to plan and deliver exceptional occasions your guests will enjoy and will return the next time the gates open.
- Education: The pursuit of great beer is a never-ending education. Help your guests along the path to beer enlightenment with ideas for fun educational activities like tastings, beer schools, and demonstrations.
- Excitement: You’re not just throwing a party, you’re telling a story. We’ll talk about sharing your brand at the event in a way that excites your guest. Afterward, they’ll be telling your story too.
3:35 – 3:50 PM Break
3:50 – 4:40 PM Breakout Sessions: Choose a breakout session in one of three tracks: Beer Tourism, Marketing, and Events.
- Beer Tourism: Attracting Tourists to Your Brewery In a Non-Tourist Location – Julie Wartell, PubQuest (Grand Bay North): While some breweries open in thriving business districts with a constant stream of potential customers walking by their door daily, most move in to areas that are not that way. Whether you are in a downtown (small or large) that generally shuts down at 5pm, a neighborhood with a reputation (possibly unwarranted) for crime and other problems, a rural area, or an industrial park, you are keen to attract people to visit. This session will present the research on and successes of how breweries attract tourists, including discussion of marketing to locals, attracting those from out of town, beer trails, beer maps, and other tourist-attracting efforts.
- Marketing: SEO Goes Local – Rich Owings, Local is Where It’s At (Grand Bay South): We have all heard of and are aware of Search Engine Optimization, or how to optimize your visibility on search engines. But brick-and-mortar businesses or just those with a defined target geography (which means most attendees of this conference) have special SEO considerations, called Local SEO. Expert Rich Owings from Local Is Where It’s At, will provide clear advice on the following subjects: optimizing your business listing on Google, getting found on iPhones via Apple Maps, improving your reviews and responding to negative reviews, and improving your own website for Local SEO. Completely updated for 2020, with all the latest strategies.
- Events: Volunteers in the Beer World (Skyway): Volunteers are often the key to major events, including beer festivals. But they can also be used by individual breweries for tap room events, by brewery guilds for their annual conferences, or even by tour operators or DMOs. Carol Dekker, who runs the 500-strong VolunBEER community, will tell us a little about her organization and provide details on using volunteers you can use at home including recruitment, insurance, benefits, documentation, legal issues, and more.
5:00 – 11:00 PM Dinner & Drinks: Walk three blocks to The Ale and The Witch, an American craft beer selected tap house with 32 individually unique American brewed craft beers on tap and 1 cask ale. $5 happy hour ends at 6:00 PM, but show your conference badge and receive $1 off all pints from then until close (11:00 PM). Plus, it’s Witchgrass Wednesday (Live Bluegrass Jam) from 7:00 – 10:00 PM. Grab dinner to go at a nearby spot (BellaBrava – Italian, SAB Cafe – Thai, or Rollbotto Sushi) and then enjoy the tap house’s large outdoor, two story courtyard while drinking great American craft beer and live music!
8:00 – 9:00 AM Grab and Go Breakfast (Grand Bay Foyer)
9:00 – 9:50 AM Breakout Sessions: Choose a breakout session in one of two tracks: Beer Tourism and Marketing.
- Beer Tourism: Drive New Customers To Your Business, Bring Them Back, and Increase Sales Using Facebook Messenger (Grand Bay North):Marketing guru Matt Plapp regularly works with restaurants, breweries, and tap rooms to do three things: 1) drive new customers to their businesses, 2) keep these customers returning, and 3) increase their average check size. The same principles can apply to most small businesses, such as tour operators or even PR companies. Matt will show us his secrets of using the hottest new marketing technique out there: Facebook Messenger.
- Marketing: Building Brands in Real Time (Grand Bay South): Marissa DeSantis and Adam Ritterspach from Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland will share their favorite tips and techniques for establishing brand standards, finding and staying true to your unique and authentic voice, and expressing your story in different spaces. From packaging to social media to beer dinners, we’ll explore the ways creative and consistent messaging can help breweries and other beer industry businesses stand out and inspire storied moments for staff, partners, and customers.
9:50 – 10:05 AM Break
10:05 – 10:55 AM Breakout Sessions:Choose a breakout session in one of two tracks: Beer Tourism and Marketing.
- Beer Tourism: Label to Table – Taprooms That Boost Brands and Drive Traffic (Grand Bay North): Your taproom is the one place you have complete control over your brand. Learn how to create an experience that matches and extends your brand, attracts visitors, and increases sales. What hours are you open? Do you have TVs? What glassware do you offer? How is the space laid out? Are kids and dogs allowed? All of these decisions impact how a customer interacts with your brand and how you define your community. Find out how to optimize that experience, and how taproom-only packaged releases can help drive traffic to your taps.
- Marketing: How Wholesaler and Brewery Can Work Together (Grand Bay South): Breweries who distribute through wholesalers often miss out on the many marketing benefits they can garner by working closely with their distributor partner. This panel will discuss areas of potential cooperation including festivals, branding, promotion, entering new markets, and cooperating within brewery guilds. The panel will consist of Jason Robinson, Director of Craft, J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida, Inc., Fred Malone, Vice President of Sales, Fort Myers Brewing Co, and Neil Callaghan, Business Development Manager, Cigar City Brewing. Our moderator will be Lindsey Parra, Craft Marketing & Special Events Manager from J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida, Inc.
10:55 – 11:10 AM Break
11:10 – 11:55 AM Closing Keynote: Tourism and Marketing in a Competitive Era (Grand Bay Ballroom): Bart Watson, Chief Economist at the Brewers Association, is making his debut at BMTC and will come prepared with the high level insight only he can provide. We all know the beer industry has changed in recent years, with a flattening of the growth curve and continued entrance of new breweries and other beer industry businesses. Bart will discuss this new competitive environment and how you can adjust your own tourism position and marketing programs to best succeed.
11:55 – 12:20 PM Conference Close and Announcement of 2021 Location (Grand Bay Ballroom)