S.Lucey's take on our 2010 Anaheim Expo
Here we are more than one month after our 2010 SCAA Expo in Anaheim. It's always a wonderful thing, this annual event. In a way, it's our industries' "new year." So much build up, so much preparation, so much excitement, and when it's all over with, we wait one more year to do it all again.
In this post, I've asked some of our industry leaders do shed some light on their own thoughts regarding things they did as a part of this year's expo. Before I go on however, I want to point you quickly to the official SCAA wrap up which can give you a run down of facts, videos, photos, audio sample, and a listing of this year's winners.
Total number of attendees: 8,025
Total number of 2010 Lab and Certification Course attendees: 1,440
The lab/Skill-building* attendance was 1,440 students across all 4 subject areas, including 240 people who participated in espresso workshops (not counting the tests). About 30 people attempted the Level 1 test.
*we are phasing out the term “labs” to describe any SCAA education. Starting with Houston 2011 Expo, any fee-based class regardless of whether it is hands-on or lecture based or a test, will be referred to as “Skill-Building.”
We delivered 41 lectures in several topics across our 6 SCAA Subject areas (Coffee Preparation, Coffee Roasting & Processing, Coffee Grading & Evaluation, The Coffee Business, Sustainability, and Global Issues in Coffee). Overall we offered over 70 hours of education in our lectures program. We don’t collect registration for lectures, as attendees are free to attend any lectures with a trade show badge for that day.
Most lectures attract about 20-30 industry professionals as an audience, although some, including “Developing a Training Program to Produce Exceptional Baristas“ by BGA Member Anna Gutierrez, were wall-to-wall, standing-room-only events. Along with Anna’s lecture, two of the other most popular lectures were “Seed to Roaster” (Andrew Miller) and “Meet the Green Buyers” which was a panel discussion with 7 of the industry’s leading green buyers answering questions from rotating groups (sometimes this was referred to as “speed-dating-style”).
The Professional Development committee has already started building the lectures and Skill-building programs for 2011 Houston Expo, and will be sending a call for presenters for lectures this summer for any member interested in submitting a presentation proposal.
bK: "Honestly, I think at this point in time, when there are no formal degrees and very few certificates in coffee or coffee tasting, all these championships are just another way of helping to legitimize us as coffee professionals. Does doing well in the Cup Tasting Championship mean you're ready to be a full-time coffee buyer? Not necessarily. But does it help your career and give you recognition for your time, dedication, and hard work, while giving you opportunities that you may not have had otherwise? I would say absolutely. Ultimately, it's a game that is quite a lot of fun to participate in...Just bring yourself and a spoon."
sL: Where do you see our industry going?
Ben Helfen and the BGA Cafe (Ben's baby)
When I first got in touch with Ben to write something for us regarding his thoughts on how the BGA cafe went, I was smacked with all the details he knew he'd be perfecting to make next year's BGA cafe even better.
I want to highlight that mentality. One that knows immediately, that after this expo is you're going to get to work and making the next year even better. That's the passion that the best farmers, roasters, and baristas have, and all roles in between. That's the mentality that keeps the industry improving each year.
Back to Ben's BGA cafe. Other things to applaud about the 2010 BGA cafe include the great amount of work put in by volunteer baristas. Around 30 baristas put in time to make coffee for the masses. It's safe to say that people were probably most excited to get coffee from our World Barista Champion Gyilim Davies, Australian Champion Scottie Callahan, Canadian Champion Sammie Piccolo, or the likes of US Regional Champs Mike Marquard or Lorenzo Perkins.
Just in case you didn't know, this year's coffee offerings were thanks to Cup of Excellence, which is a big step forward and something many people enjoyed. Companies that really brought the sweetness are Barefoot Coffee Roasters, Noble Coffee Roasting, Atlas Coffee Importers, Cuvee Coffee, Batdorf and Bronson, Honolulu Coffee Company and The Conservatory.
Many customers of the BGA cafe had the best drinks of their life - and Ben love's to hear that but knows deep down that he's excited to smooth his direction even more and deliver one step up, whatever that may be.
Ben Helfen - the BGA thanks you big time for directing this BGA cafe!
Mark your calender for next year's expo taking place in Houston Texas April 28 to May 1 2011.
See you there!