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View Full Version : GABF Attending Worth it or not?



v2comp
05-07-2009, 06:42 AM
As a new Microbrewery, we are always going to have to watch our bottom line and cash flow as most businesses do.
with that in mind and given my past marketing/advertising experience, I wanted to ask for real impressions or real world results from attending the GABF. I already know that the exposure (that is, any exposure) is good for brand awareness., my question is really about personal experiences and perceptions rather than hard numbers.
in our situation, were not big enough for national or even regional distribution on a large scale, im thinking my attentions and dollars may be better spent on a focused, more local level.
Ideas, personal feelings and real world experiences is what im after, please post your comments.

beerking1
05-07-2009, 07:23 AM
Just starting in the Pro world myself (been a homebrewer for 25 years, BJCP judge for 23), but I am judging in the GABF for my 6th time this year.
Besides the exposure, I would say the other part worth considering is the networking. I have gotten to know many Pro Brewers during my time there, both large and small, well known and new guys. I have also gotten to know some of the suppliers you are likely to be dealing with.
Not as good a networking opportunity as the CBC, but worth considering.

You may also consider just sending in entries without attending. Chris Swersey does a great job running an outstanding competition, and us judges work hard to provide some meaningful feedback during our blind judging of the beers. If you think that might prove useful to your brewing operations, that may be worth the cost.

william.heinric
05-07-2009, 03:31 PM
I've only been to the GABF once, and I came away from it with a hefty dose of business cards, and some great contacts that have proven invaluable since October. I'd say send somebody who can network with other brewers, sales leaders, marketers, and/or suppliers, and see what comes up. You never know when you'll talk to someone who can show you the next step to regional distribution.

Another point: the multitude of other beers there, whether they are better than your beer or worse, will inspire you to keep improving and exploring.

Bill

v2comp
05-07-2009, 09:24 PM
I've only been to the GABF once, and I came away from it with a hefty dose of business cards, and some great contacts that have proven invaluable since October. I'd say send somebody who can network with other brewers, sales leaders, marketers, and/or suppliers, and see what comes up. You never know when you'll talk to someone who can show you the next step to regional distribution.

Another point: the multitude of other beers there, whether they are better than your beer or worse, will inspire you to keep improving and exploring.

Bill
good point......