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50 Events, Bartenders Can't Miss (Part-1): Grow Professionally and Network with Industry Experts

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06/06/2023 From Cocktail Competitions to Industry Conferences, Here's a Comprehensive List.

Being a professional bartender is not just about mixing drinks but also about building connections and expanding your knowledge. Attending industry events is an excellent way to achieve both. Whether you're looking to learn about new techniques, and trends, or to network with industry experts, there are countless events available for you. However, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to attend. That's why we have compiled a comprehensive list of 50 events that bartenders should attend to grow as professionals and network with like-minded individuals. From cocktail competitions to industry conferences, this list covers everything that a bartender needs. So, get ready to mark your calendar.

Here is a list of  50 events for bartenders to attend.

1) Barra Mexico (BM) Cocktail Festival

Date: May 4 - 7, 2023

Location: Mexico.

Barra México, the trade show in Latin America specializing in opportunities for premium spirits industry professionals, invites brand owners and international bartenders to Mexico City on May 4 to 7 for their annual show. With a strict trade focus, Barra México is a business platform for companies seeking distribution in Mexico and Latin America.

Barra Mexico (BM) Cocktail Festival

2) Singapore Cocktail Festival

Date: May 5 - 7, 2023

Location: Singapore.

Celebrating its 9th year, the Singapore Cocktail Festival kicks off with the biggest Festival Village yet at the iconic Bayfront Event Space, followed by a 17-day spirited calendar that brings together the biggest and brightest stars in the world of cocktails.

Immerse in Brand Pop-ups, and get up close with world-famous mixologists from Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, and Australia. Explore the Artisanal Spirits showcase from different corners of the world, and enjoy the Food Street serving up flavors from Spain to Mexico and India. Plus live entertainment to get you into the spirit!

Singapore Cocktail Festival

3) Tokyo International BarShow

Date: May 13 & 14, 2023

Location: Tokyo, Japan.

The Tokyo International BarShow was the first to be held in Asia. It was held in conjunction with Whisky Live, a global event well-known in Japan. A world’s first to bring together bars, cocktails, and whisky with a hugely successful program that satisfied liquor lovers of all kinds.

Since first held in Tokyo Midtown in 2012 the event has continued to grow and boasted 13,500 visitors over two days in 2022.

Tokyo International BarShow

4) SMALL TOCC

Date: May 29th, 2023

Location: Toronto, Canada

TOCC is an education-focused conference aimed at bartenders, cocktail enthusiasts and the cocktail curious. TOCC began in 2018 and is the largest conference of its kind in Canada. For 2023, TOCC will look different than it has in the past.

SMALL TOCC is a one-day education-focused cocktail conference taking place will include 3 seminars plus tasting stations, cocktails, and an evening party.

SMALL TOCC

5) World Flair Association World Series

Date: June 27 & 28, 2023

Location: Warsaw, Poland 

This bartending competition is “an exciting new competition format that challenges bartenders across four key disciplines. It brings the ‘product experience’ back to the heart of where flair bartending started more than 150 years ago.

The challenge is broken up into four stages: Free Pouring, Speed Pouring, Craft Flair, and Product Experience.

The aspiring winners eventually get shrunk down to a group of ten, then six by the final round. With high-pressure eliminations, this challenge earns a place on the list as the most entertaining bartender competition.

World Flair Association World Series

6) Beer Mile

Date: July 1, 2023.

Location: Chicago, USA

The Beer Mile is equal parts gastric challenge and athletic endeavor, requiring competitors to drink a 355ml beer (5% minimum ABV) before every quarter mile of the race, totaling four beers over the one-mile course. 

If you love fitness as you love being behind the bar this is a good initiative to be a part of, even if for pure entertainment.

Beer Mile

7) Imbibe Live

Date: July 3 & 4, 2023

Location: London.

Imbibe Live unites the entire drinks industry to grow their businesses. Whether you’re sourcing and buying, or producing and selling, it invites you to share new products, and stories and build lasting relationships. Be where the future of the UK industry is determined.

Imbibe Live

8) Internation Bulk Wine and Spirits Show - IBWSS

Date: July 25 & 26, 2023

Location: San Francisco

The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) is an annual trade show and conference, open to trade professionals only, which takes place in San Francisco, CA. IBWSS visitors are buyers looking to meet up their demand for bulk wines, bulk spirits, private label programs, grape buying, or contract manufacturing.

IBWSS exhibitors are wineries and distilleries looking to sell bulk wine and spirits, producers and negociants who offer contract manufacturing/private label programs, and wineries/distilleries/importers who have one-time excess stock to clear. IBWSS buyers are other wineries and distilleries looking to meet their demand, Importers, Retailers, Distributors looking for private label programs, and negociants who are looking to meet growers and producers.

Internation Bulk Wine and Spirits Show - IBWSS

9) Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards

Date: July 27, 2023

Location: New Orleans, USA. 

The award categories spotlight a range of talent from bartenders, journalists, and brand ambassadors, to brands and media, to ensure each aspect of the industry is well represented and recognized for its contributions.

The Spirited Awards are composed of industry accolades, both U.S. and International, writing and media awards, and a few highly coveted, overall awards that transcend regionality including World’s Best Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu.

Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards

10) Tales of the Cocktail

Date: July 23 - 28, 2023

Location: The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans.

With hundreds of opportunities developed specifically for industry professionals from bartenders to distillers, Tales of the Cocktail is the drinks industry’s annual meeting place for exchanging new ideas, products, and techniques featuring in-person education, tastings, networking, and awards programming.

Since 2002, the global spirits community has gathered in the heart of the French Quarter for Tales of the Cocktail. What started as an annual walking tour of historic New Orleans cocktail bars has now become the world’s leading cocktail conference.

Tales of the Cocktail

11) Texas Bar & Nightclub Convention

Date: August 14, 2023

Location: Houston, Texas.

Hundreds of vendors from over 85 cities will showcase the latest and greatest ideas and products for bar, nightclub & restaurant owners, managers, and key personnel. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with other pros in the industry, recharge your batteries, and have some fun in Houston. Including our FREE concert for all attendees.

Texas Bar & Nightclub Convention

12) Moscow Bar Show

Date: September 6 - 8, 2023

Location: Moscow, Russia.

At Moscow Bar Show you can:

Visit more than 100 participating Russian and international exhibitors.

Discover new premium products and services

Meet key Russian and international bar experts

Watch the world’s leading bartenders make demonstrations and presentations

Take part in business programs with leading Russian and international bar operators

Taste new and exclusive products, cocktails, and ingredients

Discover the latest trends in world bar design.

Moscow Bar Show       

13) Sydney Bar Week

Date: September 9 - 13, 2023

Location: Sydney, Australia

Sydney Bar Week, presented by Australian Bartender, is an annual event that celebrates the vibrant bar scene in Sydney, Australia. The event brings together industry professionals, cocktail enthusiasts, and liquor brands for a week of seminars, workshops, tastings, and parties. Attendees have the opportunity to learn from top bartenders, discover new products and techniques, and network with others in the industry. Sydney Bar Week is a must-attend event for anyone passionate about cocktails and the bar industry in Australia.

Sydney Bar Week

14) International Bar and Beverage Trade Show

Date: October 9 - 11, 2023

Location: Berlin, Germany.

The largest trade fair for the bar and beverage industry. Bar owners, bartenders, distributors, and manufacturers from almost 90 countries come to Bar Convent Berlin (BCB) in Berlin every year to make new contacts, learn about product innovations and attend seminars. BCB has expanded its global network with further shows in Brooklyn, São Paulo and Singapore.

International Bar and Beverage Trade Show

15) London Cocktail Week

Date: October 12 - 22, 2023

Location: London.

London Cocktail Week is the world's greatest celebration of cocktail culture, taking place in October each year. Getting a London Cocktail Week wristband is the perfect way to explore the city's unrivaled cocktail scene - giving you access to specially priced £8 Signature Cocktails in hundreds of the best bars in London. Each bar we partner with is hand-picked for excellence and with a wristband valid for the full length of the festival - you can visit and explore them at your own pace as our tours are entirely self-guided. 

London Cocktail Week

16) Rum Fest

Date: October 14 & 15, 2023

Location: London, UK

The UK RumFest has gone on the influence of rum festivals and fairs all over the world including The Miami Rum Congress, the Berlin Rumfest, the Paris Rhum Fest and the other rum festivals in the Czech Republic, Sweden, Mauritius, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Hong Kong. 

An unmissable event for Rum & spirit lovers from all over the world, with intimate seminars, rum tastings & cocktail masterclasses hosted by master blenders, distillers, ambassadors and industry aficionados. Dozens of rum stands & booths showcasing over 400 rums & live Caribbean music & dancing during our end-of-show “Carnival Hour”! All under one roof!

Rum Fest

17) United States Trade Tasting - USATT

Date: October 17 & 18 2023

Location: Chicago

Next to business, USATT is best known for the cocktail nights, which is an informal platform to network with the industry and catch up on trends, patterns, and rising personalities, and all of it with a drink in hand!

This is the perfect opportunity to convert those connections that were made in the two days of business. With lip-smacking cocktails in the heart of the city and lots of conversations to catch up on, it is this party that is the perfect finisher.

United States Trade Tasting - USATT

18) Barbados Food and Rum Festival

Date: October 19 to 22, 2023

Location: Bridgetown, Barbados.

The Barbados Food and Rum Festival is a star-studded, taste-budded four-day destination event showcasing the talents of Barbados’ most renowned rum producers, chefs, and culinary personalities. Top international culinary personalities join in the fun, sharing their talents and tantalizing your tastebuds.

Barbados Food and Rum Festival

19) Barbados Rum Experience

Date: October 30 to November 04, 2023

Location: Barbados

At the Barbados Rum Experience, you will have the opportunity to learn from world-class speakers and professors. Experts in their fields and study of Barbadian & Caribbean history. It is time to move beyond pirates and parties and dive into the real history of rum and the Caribbean. We have worked with our fantastic speakers to develop a program that will give you a solid understanding of Rum history, the Caribbean story, and much more. Returning speakers for 2022 are Barbadians Dr. Richard Drayton & Dr. Tara Inniss. Newcomers for 2022 include the famed Caribbean anthropologist Dr. Lennox Honychurch and Dr. Frederick Smith.

Barbados Rum Experience

Header Image Source: Facebook

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