Today was the kick-off of BMTC20 in St. Petersburg, Florida. We welcomed over 225 beer industry members to the 4th Annual Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference. The morning started with two three-hour intensive certificate course, additional registration required. However, the conference officially opened at 1 PM and began with a welcome from Julia Hertz of the Brewers Association and industry update from Visit Tampa Bay.
A standout of the day was the “Sharing Best Practices” Summits. 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 had one or two moderators who kept the group on time and drew out the best contributions from participants. There were four summits consisting of breweries (78 participants), destination marketing organizations (32 participants), tour operators (35 participants) and brewers guilds (11 participants).
The opening day of a beer conference is not complete without some beer, of course. After the summits concluded, attendees met sponsors and partners while tasting beer and learning about beer tourism opportunities in the Unities States and throughout the World. Attendees really did take advantage of this time to say hi to old friends and network with new people.
The day concluded with an optional evening party at 3 Daughters Brewing. Around 150 attendees participated and there is nothing like hanging out with beer industry people. Everyone enjoyed the nice mild Florida weather while sipping on some local beer, playing games and enjoying food. This is truly the reason why we travel to new locations each year, to enjoy the local offerings.
If you could not make it this year, please stay tuned for our BMTC 2021 location announcement on Thursday.