Coffee Fest Education & Conference Programming

Contracted from January 2022 to help with a strategic overhaul of content, conference, show floor experiences, and education for the nation’s leading specialty coffee industry trade show, which has served the specialty coffee industry in the USA for over 30 years.

Post strategic overhaul, I continued directorial programming and on-site management for all 4 annual Coffee Fest events, held in different cities across America. To date, I have directed educational programming for 11 x shows in New York, Chicago, Louisville, Los Angeles, Seattle, Anaheim, Orlando, and New Orleans.

In my first year of programming content, I:

  • increased the number of paid workshop offerings and # of hours of content by 37%
  • increased the number of speakers at each show by 200%
    • 20% of speakers at minimum are now local leaders
    • 40% diverse speakers, up from 20% in years prior
  • increased the average overall education revenue 72%
  • increased the average per-attendee revenue by 17%
  • increased the number of seats sold from 40% to 70% of capacity

Each of the 4 annual locations has a show manager with whom I worked to design and implement brand-new show floor experiences, such as the Cafe Imports Cupping Corner which holds interactive cupping workshops and demonstrations, Mill City’s Big Red Roast Rig which drives onto the showfloor and delivers world class roasting education right from their truck, through to a comprehensive Latte Art Venue that hosts competitions (Latte Art Championship World Open) and small group intensive hands-on barista trainings.

New in 2024 is the Barista Playground, presented by Synesso and Ghost Town Oats, where we host demonstrations and hands-on classes all day long throughout the show.

One of my biggest projects is the Conversation Corner, which now features in every city and hosts panels of local and nationally recognized industry leaders for important conversations, from designing seasonal beverage menus, developing food menus, to sustainability and green coffee sourcing. I also collaborate with Roast and Barista Magazine to host mini-sessions in this area.