BevNET Live -Summer 2010 Agenda – June 7 (Beverage School)



(LAST UPDATED – May 26, 2010. Subject to change)

8:00AM – 9:00AM – Breakfast and registration

9AM – 5PM
Morning Sessions:

Introduction: 9-9:15

9:15 Beverage Startup Discussion –  How to Be a Starter – Rob Ehrlich, founder of Pirate’s Booty, has recently entered the beverage industry by starting Rob’s Really Good, a line of drinks that reflect his philosophy that fun, healthy foods won’t just gain customers, but an audience, as well. Ehrlich, who built Pirate’s Booty from a standing start into a leading snack food company through nontraditional marketing methods that bolster a wholesome-if-off-beat brand image, will discuss his experiences and ideas about start-ups – specifically, that a good “start is what sparks success” — and how he is applying them to his foray into beverages.

10:00 Introduction to Branding – it’s not just the taste, and it’s not just the package or the design; how to make the connection to a critical mass of consumers through your visual brand. Featuring Ian McLean, the man who developed and designed the Monster brand concept.

Speaker: Ian McLean, President,McLean Design

10:30 Beverage/Networking Break

11:00 Distribution 101 – An explanation of DSD and other models of beverage distribution, what distributors are looking for from brands, and the best ways to work with and follow your products once you’ve landed the account. With New Age Beverage owner Tom Lebon – also the maker of his own entrepreneurial Xing Tea brand – and Mark Miller, VP of Sales at Hensley Beverage.

11:30 Meet the Retailers — Channel strategy expert Debbie Wildrick explains how new brands can succeed in a variety of retail formats.

12:00 Major Marketing Trends – PepsiCo’s Bonin Bough, Dig Communications’ Darrell Jursa, and Suite 101 founder Lara Bandler explain the social networking, word of mouth, and guerilla marketing techniques that can help smaller brands succeed.


2 Afternoon Sessions:

  • Breakout Sessions
    Rotation 1 – Attendees will be given the opportunity to choose, prior to the event, between three sessions:
  • a) Flavor & Function Trends – a primer on getting your liquid made: how to find a flavor house, decide on ingredients, and match your product to evolving consumer need states. Sponsored by WILD Flavors. Featuring Lori Murphy, Sr. Director of Global Key Accounts, Wild Flavors.
    b) Building and Managing a Sales Force – “Feet on the Street” are the key to building your brand – how to find and train your team. Presentation by Bill Sipper, COO, New Leaf Tea, with panelist Bob Miller, President, Futuristic Brands.
    c) Channel Strategies – Take a “deep dive” into the world of convenience and grocery in an attempt to master two of the most important channels for company success. Once you’re in the store, where should your product go? How many SKUs should you fight for? How do you maximize your shelf space, and which retail channels can let you do that? Presentation by Debbie Wildrick, with panelist Jim Tonkin.
  • d) Pitch Practice – Submit your business plan ahead of time for a live review with our expert panel for advice on distribution, financing, and retailing ideas. With Michael Burgmaier, Silverwood Capital; Randy Shanker, Canada Dry Bottling Co., of Lansing; Brad Barnhorn, Bevology.

2:40-2:45 – Session Change

2:45 Rotation 2 – Attendees will be given the opportunity to choose, prior to the event, between three sessions:
a) Packaging & Co-Packing in Focus – how do you decide where that liquid goes? Bottle, can, tetra, PET? How do you find a co-packer, a package designer, a label – and make them work for you effectively? Sponsored by AMCOR. With Jeff Deliberty, Director of Business Development, AMCOR, Mark Mitchell, CEO, Interrupt Marketing; Michael Zuckerman, owner, Zuckerman Honickman, Bob Occhifinto, President and CEO, NVE USA
b) Building your Organization and Keeping Score: With a sales force in place, you’ve still got major decisions to make for the rest of your team and your future plans. This presentation provides a road map for setting up your infrastructure and systems for growth – including supply chain and budget management – as well as for maximizing your ability to market, sell, and motivate your evolving organization. With Dash Advisors’ Danny Rubenstein and Janet DiGiovanna.
c) Financing Bootcamp – an interactive workshop on how to think about, prepare for, and secure funding for your beverage business. Led by Andy Whitman, 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners.

3:25-3:45 Beverage/Networking Break

Late Afternoon Sessions – Money Matters

3:45 Understanding Where the Money Goes: Basics on financial reporting and modeling, how a start-up beverage company should allocate its finances for maximum growth, and how to think about early stage capitalization and return on investment. With Ross Colbert, Zenith International. –look at biz plan models – outline focys what kinds of assumptions, who audience is, what needs to address

4:15 Investing in the Endgame: When the investment money comes, how will your role change? Do you want them on board, or should you go it alone? A discussion of investment models and partnership styles. With Brent Knudsen, Partnership Capital Growth Advisors.

4:45 – Financial Panel: Ross Colbert, Brent Knudsen, Andy Whitman, Mike Burgmaier


5:30PM – Cocktail Reception