Mark Prince gives a biased (and proud of it!) preview look at this year's SCAA show in Seattle, taking place April 15-18, 2005. Check out his comments on the trade show floor, the costs, the seminars, and the parties.
Posted Fri Apr 8, 2005, 12:41pm Subject: Re: SCAA Seattle 2005 Preview by Mark Prince
A very nice preview in which there shouldn't be any economic surprises. If I were going, it would be a bargain to join the SCAA as a cmember. Having been to the one in Anaheim, there is a lot of excitement walking the exhibition floor, seeing some of the legends like Schomer and Dr. John of Malabar Gold, and meeting the CoffeeKid, himself.
Posted Fri Apr 8, 2005, 1:18pm Subject: Re: SCAA Seattle 2005 Preview by Mark Prince
On behalf of the entire Coffee Kids staff I would like to extend an invitation to the Coffee Kids reception at the SCAA trade show on Saturday April 16th at 4:30pm in Room 615-616. There will be a brief presentation by Coffee Kids Founder, Bill Fishbein, with a few words from Thomas Fricke from ForesTrade regarding the Sumatra Relief Fund and Bruce Mullins from Coffee Bean International/Panache. Light refreshment and a no-host bar and a drawing for a 5 Kilo coffee roaster from Praxis International. Check out the details on the Coffee Kids website at www.coffeekids.org.
parity Senior Member Joined: 26 Jan 2005 Posts: 317 Location: Mountain View, CA Expertise: Just starting
Espresso: Rancilio Silvia Grinder: Rancilio Rocky, La Pavoni... Roaster: CO/SC
Posted Fri Apr 8, 2005, 2:51pm Subject: Re: SCAA Seattle 2005 Preview by Mark Prince
You missed one very important piece of information regarding this trade show....what is the swag quality like? How can you go to a trade show and not collect some great free swag. The only reason I go to trade shows it to pick up free stuff. Who really wants to talk to those boring people at the booths. Trade shows are kind of like Christmas and Halloween combined. And my cube at work is a shrine to swag. :) And I don't think I would have a wardrobe without going to trade shows!
Luciano_Allegretti Senior Member Joined: 10 Apr 2005 Posts: 2 Location: Vancouver, WA Expertise: Professional
Posted Sun Apr 10, 2005, 3:31pm Subject: Re: SCAA Seattle 2005 Preview by Mark Prince
Thank you Mark for another great article, I'm not a writer, so bare with me. I am costantly sending new customers and Caffe' owners to your site for information.
Unfortunatly the SCAA shows are priced out of range for most new shop owners, cost of the conferance, hotel, travel, food, and then bank for each class on top of that. Most new shop owners (under 2 years) are having a tough time with long hours (some work by themselves 12-16 hours a day), new employees, just learning to run a business.... etc. (To much to list here) It would be nice to see the SCAA have a rookie scholership for these new folks to our industry, that covers the entire show including classes.
THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO NEED IT MOST!!!
As you all know 90% of all the shops out there still can't pull a shot to save their lives. The people who suffer most are the end consumers of our industry.
And to fork out $1,500-$2,500 to attend a show (with classes) is'nt real high on their list.
If we want our industy to stay strong, then Specilty Coffe Shop owners need INFORMATION and lots of it, thats why I love sites like this one.
I know that a big portion of the problem stems from Equipment Distributors, Coffee Roasters, (not all of them) just trying to make a sale. 3/4's of all the Roasters and Distributors couldn't even pull correct shots at Seattle Coffee Fest in the fall of last year.
I know this sounds like I'm comming down on a lot of folks out there, but I like, a lot of others would like more consistancy in the industry. We, in Vancouver, WA are very fortunate to have 3 great shops in the area, (USBC champ, Lava Java, Paradice Cafe', and The Albina Press just accross the river)
So if sound like I'm SPOILED, I am. All of them make GREAT 5.5oz. Cappuccino.
I am very excited about the USBC creating more interst every year about correct espresso preperation.
But getting back to my point about the cost of these shows, while it is a great thing that the SCAA and others are doing to get more info out there, it would be better for our industry if we could help these new shops out a little.
MarkPrince Moderator Joined: 19 Dec 2001 Posts: 5,611 Location: Vancouver, BC Expertise: Professional
Espresso: KvdW Speedster Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder Vac Pot: A bit too many Drip: Bonavita Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sun Apr 10, 2005, 5:59pm Subject: Re: SCAA Seattle 2005 Preview by Mark Prince
I couldn't agree more with you and your comments.
One of the feedback things I get from people who I ask about Conference and why they attend (or why they haven't attended) is cost. And cost is becoming one of the biggest gripes.
From the other side of the coin, I hear "well, if they aren't serious about business, then they won't come - it costs money to make money, or these things cost to put on...". But IMO at least that is very isolationist and narrow minded thinking. It gets the hairs on the back of my neck up...
Conference does cost a lot. It's hard to get this point across to people who don't have to cover their own hotel costs, their own conference costs, their own employee costs, and the costs associated with leaving your place of business for up to a week. Back in the day, many who ran the show did know these things, but perhaps this sense has gotten lost with time...
The idea about a newbie "track conference package" is one I really like.
I think something that costs say, $400 to $500 but includes admission, at least one beginner comprehensive class (espresso, roasting, cupping, etc) and a flexpass for educational seminars or ticketed events (ie, say 2 a day, for each day of conference) would go a long way to beefing up attendance at the show, and making it more reasonable for the attendee. It could save potentially $500 or more, and I think even a $500 price tag, tied in with say less than $100 a day for hotel, and $40 a day for meals could keep it under $1000 for the trip, making it more reasonable than the $1500 to $2000 it typically costs now. And by doing a newbie business owner package, you achieve the mission of the SCAA - promote and educate specialty coffee. Not just to those who can afford the very high current rates.
Even better: I'd love to see the day the SCAA puts on a "Starting in the Business" package for Conference. Complete package including hotel, your choice of one intensive training session or such, and flexpass for 2 ticketed or "cost" seminars a day.... for $1,000 flat rate, and $700 for each additional attendee in your group. Just cover your airfare, and meals.
Wouldn't that be awesome? But the cynic in me doubts this would ever happen.
hopkin Senior Member Joined: 30 Jan 2004 Posts: 125 Location: Vancouver, Canada Expertise: Professional
Espresso: Synesso Grinder: Robur E Vac Pot: Hario Drip: Clover
Posted Mon Apr 11, 2005, 2:08am Subject: Re: SCAA Seattle 2005 Preview by Mark Prince
This year's official conference host: Starbucks
Shouldn't part of this trade-off-sell-out be that Corpbucks pay large, and subsidise for the little guys who are actually there to learn and advance coffee quality? But who knows, maybe they got the deal, and we don't.
How, I ask, can small coffee house owners travel to Seattle with perhaps 2 or 3 of their staff to visit all the great booths (including the awesome one by the Barista Guild) and further their coffee education without going broke?
If thats not possible, whats the point?
Listed on the SCAA fees is "Exhibit Hall Visitor" does this mean that anyone can visit the trade show floor for $60 for the weekend? This is more realistic. There seems to be many terms and conditions in the SCAA information that are left unexplained.
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