A Comprehensive Guide to Attending the Biggest Specialty Coffee Event in the World
The 25th Annual SCAA Event is a BIG show! To maximize your experience, it’s important to show up prepared and with a plan. With the opportunity to interact face-to-face with hundreds of exhibitors, experience and taste some of the best coffees in the world, and take your skills and company to the next level, you’ll want to be sure you don’t miss any of the action by planning ahead.
Here are our tips for a successful Event experience:
Register early. By registering early, you can take advantage of early bird pricing and get peace of mind knowing that you’ll have a seat in our traditionally sold-out Skill Building Workshops. Early registration ends March 14, 2013.
Registration is now open at scaaevent.org.
Book a Hotel Room. Don’t forget about booking your hotel and flight ahead of time! Waiting often means you pay more and hotel rooms nearest to the Convention Center will most likely be sold out by March. The 2013 Event will be taking place around some of Boston’s most exciting events, including the Boston Marathon. The SCAA has reserved a large block of rooms available only to Event attendees, but they’ll surely go fast. Book by December 21st and take advantage of early bird hotel rates.
To find information on hotel options or to book your accommodations, visit: scaaevent.org/travel
Or, please contact an SCAA Housing Agent:
Toll Free: 800-826-0143
Know your goals and plan your schedule accordingly. Before you get to the show, familiarize yourself with The Event schedule of workshops, competitions, show floor hours, and social events. Create a list of goals or things you want accomplish once you arrive. We offer numerous ways to access the schedule prior to the show—plan accordingly!
Bookmark The Event website. The Event website will have updates on a regular basis. Schedule a weekly visit to the site to keep up on special announcements: scaaevent.org
Get to know Boston. The SCAA has compiled a comprehensive list of ‘must see’ attractions, venues, culinary experiences, and member shops located throughout the city. Make sure to schedule some time to explore the local scene after show floor hours.
Visit the City of Boston page under Resources at
Rain or shine, pack right. Knowing what to wear at the Expo is important. We all know it’s a rookie mistake not to pack comfortable shoes, but what else should you pack? Make sure you have the items you need to share contact info, take notes, and certainly pack for the weather. Remember, Boston’s weather around this time can be unpredictable, so pack with ‘flexibility’ in mind! Don’t forget to leave a little room in your suitcase for all the product giveaways and promotional items you’ll be bringing home.
Connect online. The best way to meet other Event attendees prior to the show is through our social media pages and online forums. Follow the hashtag feed #SCAA2013 on Twitter. Post and comment on the official Facebook SCAA Event page, and continue to go social upon your arrival in Boston.
Familiarize yourself with the floor plan. Download the SCAA’s mobile app (available March 2013) or visit scaaevent.org to review the layout of the show floor and plan your booth visits. The SCAA show floor has over 750 booths—so it’s smart to plan ahead! Remember, the Expo can be physically demanding, so wear comfortable shoes (you’ll be standing or walking all day).
Take advantage of educational opportunities. The SCAA Event is the largest single annual offering of SCAA courses and presentations. Be sure to take advantage of the many learning opportunities, such as panel discussions, Skill Building Workshops, networking sessions, and the array of competitions taking place in the Activities Hall. Remember, The Event kicks off Thursday, April 11, with the inaugural Opening Ceremonies at 5:30 p.m.
Visit the Innovation Showcase and Vote in the Best New Products Competition. The Innovation Showcase, located on the exhibit hall floor, is a prominent display area where you can review the newest, most innovative products available at The Event. For the second year in a row, you will also be able to vote by text for the “People’s Choice” category of the Best New Product Competition, so don’t forget your phone!
Think Green. To lessen your load, go paperless! Ask exhibitors if they have digital information available or if they offer a QR code link to their website. Remember to ‘favorite’ exhibitors in The Event App so you’ll be able to find their information easily bfore, during and after The Event.
Take a Break. Whichever side of the show floor you’re on, The Event is physically demanding. Take short breaks when you can, and have a quick energy source like nuts or granola bars on hand. And remember to stay hydrated.
Finally, think P.A.R. A Post Activation Report (P.A.R.) is always a great way to capture key takeaways and findings from your participation at The Event. During breaks, begin to prepare your P.A.R. by jotting down your thoughts, things you learned at the workshops, new products you may have interacted with, new services you feel your company may need, and any inspirational concepts that will help you take your company or skills to the next level. Trade shows like The SCAA Event are ideal vehicles to help you and your company remain competitive—make sure your P.A.R reflects all that you take away from your experience in Boston.