A few observations from the first day of Coffee Fest:
- Smaller companies tend to be more interested in talking to a writer who doesn’t work for a major publication than some of the larger, more established companies. Not always, but it’s the impression I get.
- There are coffee nerds from all over the world.
- The Carraro booth is a good place to practice your Italian.
- Cherry cupcake is not a flavor I would recommend for a smoothie.
- If there were a competition for “Sexiest Espresso Machine,” Nuova Simonelli would win, hands down.
- If you want to be popular at a coffee trade show, bring your espresso bar and give away free drinks. People like chocolate too.
- If you don’t want to be popular, bring a selection of wooden stirrer sticks. The guys at that booth looked really bored.
- If you tell someone you work for Caffeinated PDX, they say “Oh!” and nod politely.
- The worst location for an exhibitor is the booth opposite the flashing LED sign exhibit. The guy working there probably has “Open” burned onto his retinas by now.
- Not everyone who works a booth needs to be extrovert, but they ought to at least be able to maintain a conversation.
- People can get excited about anything if they try hard enough. I got into a very engaging conversation with a woman about the effectiveness of single-direction de-gassing valves in barrier-type coffee bags. Go figure.
- My kids don’t know it yet, but it looks like they’re getting coffee swag for Christmas this year.
I’m starting off day two with an 8am class on “How to effectively compete with larger chains.” It better be good—I got up at 6:15 on a Saturday to get here.