The sessions will follow lunch and will each last 40 minutes apiece, with a 10-minute break in between. The breakouts are loosely organized into three different Tracks: Trends, Operations, and Beverage School.
In a first for BevNET, one of the sessions will feature a craft beer focus. “Craft Beer and NA’s: What They Can Teach Each Other” will provide insight into the synergies between the fast-growing craft beer category and the entrepreneurial non-alcoholic beverages that are served by BevNET. Brooklyn Brewery President Steve Hindy will join Peak Organic Brewery – and Organic Source Sparkling Juice – founder Jon Cadoux, as well as other industry experts, for the discussion.
Other new sessions include a category focus on Relaxation Drinks and an exclusive “Opportunity Briefings” session featuring presentations on potential entrepreneurial opportunities in functional products, natural channels, and Fair Trade certification.
For beverage industry entrepreneurs interested in expanding their knowledge of distribution, pitching their products to retailers, or handling a crisis, the Operations Track has three breakout sessions that are just for you: Coast Brands Group CEO Bob Groux will offer a presentation on the evolution of the current distribution map, and will be joined by other distributors and industry veterans to discuss the strengths of various DSD networks; the Channel Focus will delve deep into the process of pitching new products to and working within Warehouse, Drug, and Mass channels, with a panel run by channel expert Debbie Wildrick and featuring Target beverage buyer Ross Widmoyer, as well as experts on the drug channel and mass retailers including Wal-Mart, among others.
For the third session in the Operations Track, Robbie Vorhaus, one of the top crisis communications professionals in the world – one who has also helped develop brand strategies for several beverage companies – will lend his expertise to the industry to help executives prepare a Crisis Tool Kit that they can draw on during bumpy times.
For those in need of a deep dive into the world of beverage formulation, packaging, and manufacturing, the Beverage School Track features a lifetime of industry knowledge distilled into a three-session program. Part 1, Flavor and Composition, addresses questions dealing with both the initial flavor and formulation needs for companies developing innovative beverage products, as well as issues of flavor company capabilities, hot-fill vs. cold-fill, and the financial ramifications of many of the decisions that accompany product development. Part 2, Packaging and Co-Packing, will feature a discussion of the scalability of new products by manufacturing process and packaging options, as well as highlight a list of key questions for any beverage entrepreneur to consider when lining up a product run.
For the third Beverage School session, the on-shelf face of the product will be analyzed from a myriad of perspectives. Often overlooked despite its impact on a brand’s ultimate success, a well-designed label can be the doorway to sales or else a hidden pit of regulatory and legal troubles. A group of experts including lawyers, designers, marketers and branding pro James Tonkin will lead the audience through key decisions in developing this key link in the sales chain.