Issue #44

Coffee Talk

The coffee renaissance brews in events with cafés and caffeinated engagements.

According to the National Coffee Association, coffee consumption is up, especially among younger consumers, a “reversal of four years of declines as gourmet brews gain in popularity.” Furthermore, a recent “Money Matters” Survey Monkey survey report for investing app Acorn found that millennials have spent more money on coffee than on retirement savings.

Behind this trend, more so than caffeine, is coffee culture. Coffee brings people together. It kick-starts days. There’s an agricultural-based educational component to it, like there is with wine. Consumers are sampling blends and brews through coffee subscriptions. They’re dabbling in coffee cocktails. They’re upping their game with cold brew and coffee on tap. There’s even a conference for coffee lovers—CoffeeCon: The Consumer Coffee Festival, “the world’s first roving 100% consumer coffee festival and coffee university” that features tasting, brewing gear and classes. We’re thinking the art of selfie latte foam was covered.

For event marketers of coffee brands and beyond, coffee brings people together—especially free coffee. Coffee has long been an offering in trade show booths to draw in and keep visitors, but some exhibitors are taking it a step further. At Content Marketing World last year, NewsCred created a bustling coffee “shop” that served up local coffee product fresh on-site (with ornate drip stations), exchanging a hot cup for a scan of the visitors’ badges.

On the consumer event side, luxury hotel brand Le Méridien brought to life the “coffee Hubs” at its properties all over the world with pop-up cafés, including one in New York City in October on International Coffee Day. As featured in its Hubs, an expert coffee barista at the pop-ups served up destination-inspired coffee drinks (like cold brew coffee infused with red chili flakes and rice milk representing its Seoul location). The goal: “to showcase its commitment to coffee culture.”

NESCAFÉ in July targeted millennial coffee drinkers with the NESCAFÉ Coffee Taproom that eliminated lines and replaced baristas with self-serve, low-ley coffee taps. The event was set up like a speakeasy with a Sweet & Creamy product sachet serving as the “key” to get in. The understated space featured the taps, Wi-Fi, charging stations and sleek, modern seating.

When considering adding fuel to your experience, consider coffee as an event in and of itself, rather than a simple food and beverage add-on.

Trend The coffee renaissance brews in events with cafés and caffeinated engagements.

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