BevNET LIVE Winter 2010 took place on December 6 and 7 in Santa Monica, California. Over 330 beverage professionals gathered at the Loews Hotel for two full days of learning and networking. Highlights from the event included an all-star line-up of speakers, the presentation of BevNET’s Best of 2010 awards, and an all new Mini-Expo.
Carl Sweat, CEO of FRS, helped kick off the event with a presentation entitled “Keeping an Entrepreneurial Environment While Achieving Growth.” Sweat was just one of several featured speakers, including Honest Tea founder Seth Goldman, Jones Soda CEO Bill Meissner, and First Beverage CEO William Anderson. Presenters and panelists remain the key contributors of educational content for BevNET Live, offering real-life advice derived from years of experience in the business. From a panel of investors discussing methods of attracting financing to a mixed panel of entrepreneurs offering advice on coping with the rigors of the marketplace, as well as strategy sessions involving topics like building a board of directors or pitching across various retail channels, there was plenty of substance available for attendees to absorb.
In keeping with recent tradition, BevNET unveiled the winners of the 2010 Best of BevNET awards during the Santa Monica event’s dinner reception. Fourteen awards were given, many of them personally received by the winning companies and individuals. Mark Rampolla, founder and CEO of Zico, received the award for Innovator of the Year. In a new twist, many of the winners sat for “post-game” interviews with BevNET’s own John Craven and Jeffrey Klineman – providing insight and entertainment to an enthusiastic crowd.
BevNET LIVE Winter 2010 offered a rich array of networking opportunities, including the newly introduced Mini-Expo. The Mini-Expo ran for very lively two hours on Monday afternoon and featured offerings ranging from cutting-edge beverage formulations to old-fashioned ice cream floats.Also drawing large crowds was the ever-popular Sample Bar, which required four large coolers to hold the more than 60 brands provided by the attending companies. Similarly, the Shots Table offered a diverse range of functional shooters and mixers.
Overall, BevNET LIVE Winter 2010 was a vibrant gathering. Check out the following photo galleries from the event, organized by topic.