’s Sold-out “BevNET Live” Conference a Big Success

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BevNET Live Photo Gallery >>

With an enthusiastic sold-out crowd, a wealth of informative speakers and panels, and a strong focus on the nuts-and-bolts of the beverage business, the BevNET Live Entrepreneur and Innovation Forum, held on Thursday, May 14, in New York City, was a rousing success.

At a time when a slow economy and a drop in consumer spending might be hampering what had been a fast-growing business segment, the message from many of the speakers – a terrific roster of industry veterans who stretched from beverage distributors to successful innovators to investors and advisors – was that the right creative beverage product mixed with the right manner of operation can still result in a hit brand and even a growing fortune.

This year’s event featured a variety of panels, including sessions that discussed branding, innovation, money & investment, distribution, and exit strategies.  Key addresses came from Tom Burkemper of Anheuser-Busch’s non-alcoholic division, 9th Street Beverages; Seth Goldman of Honest Tea; Brent Knudsen of Partnership Capital Growth Advisors; Gerry Khermouch of Beverage Business Insights; and BevNET’s own John Craven and Jeffrey Klineman.  Attendees came from across the country, representing over 65 beverage companies ranging in size from startups to the Coca-Cola Co., Inc., Pepsi Bottling Group, and Red Bull, as well as beverage industry distributors, retailers, suppliers, and investors.

“The level of interaction between the attendees and the speakers extended past the stage and into a real feeling of community,” said’s president, John Craven. “And attendees didn’t show up to see and be seen – they stayed until the end, which seemed to us to be a real sign that our program and the networking opportunities were very valuable to attendees.”

The BevNET Live conference, which seeks to provide a place where aspiring beverage entrepreneurs can learn, meet and grow their businesses through interactions with suppliers, investors, and distributors, was the second event in what BevNET hopes will become a thriving part of the beverage business, which already includes the leading industry web site,, and the cutting-edge Beverage Spectrum magazine, which provides information on industry trends and new products to retailers, distributors and marketers.

Coverage of BevNET Live, including transcripts and event summaries, will be forthcoming on and in upcoming issues of Beverage Spectrum.

“I want to thank our speakers and participants, our sponsors, and our attendees for not just coming, but giving us their all during the day,” Craven said. “For me, having people eager to learn and communicate with each other about a business they all love means that we’ll see new, creative, and profitable beverage ventures for years to come. BevNET is privileged to have the opportunity to play a role in that.”

Future events are currently being planned.  Interested in participating?  Contact John Craven (617-715-9675) Interested in becoming a sponsor? Contact John McKenna (617-715-9677).

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