Innbrew, present and future

The first week of April had two dates circled with a red marker on the beer calendar, due to the celebration of the second edition of the trade fair Innbrew, and the first edition of a very promising event, Rustic & Wild. For today, let's focus on the former.

In its second year, this B2B event had the challenge of consolidating itself as a recurring professional meetpoint, after a first edition that proved the potential for a fair of these characteristics, but that, in the midst of a pandemic, it became more of a reunion than a fully functional trade fair.

In this sense, I summarise below a series of quick thoughts and reflections after following the event both remotely and in person:

Continuity. With impressive figures, 1,870 assistants and 27 stands, the level of satisfaction of the exhibitors was, from my point of view, the great point to be covered in this second edition: without them, there is no possible continuity. And not only has the goal been achieved, but it has also been accompanied by a growth in quantity and quality of content in the form of talks and workshops -InnTalk and InnMeet-, which were already very well received in the 2021 edition. All of it ensures the continuity of this forum.

Utilisation. The evolution of the event will undoubtedly need to further accommodate the experience of the different participants, seeking the virtuous balance between costs -e.g. it is not the same to transport machinery than sacks of malt- and potential profits. The participants will have to analyse how to make a better use of the space that is enabled for them, and the organisation will have to continue accompanying them, delving into the segmentation of its offer.

Contents. The BrewHub, AETCM and round table talks look very solid, with a frankly interesting and well-produced training and debate offer that, if it was not enough, can be followed live through social networks. If we add the Innbrew TV interviews to the equation, the library of digital content that Beer Events is creating seems impressive, serving as a quality informative reference while becoming a powerful tool for disclosure of our beer scene.

Diversity. It is remarkable to point out the -right- decision of assigning the management of Innbrew to Judit Càrtex: a charismatic person within the sector, with relevant knowledge and experience, and a great capacity for work, leadership and generation of synergies. She dignifies and strengthens the female contribution within a sector that is still excessively masculinised, but with powerful figures and voices that shall be highlighted.

Diversification. Faced with the threat to its continuity caused by the pandemics, Beer Events has had the virtue of transforming itself internally and diversifying its business, mitigating its previous high concentration risk -i.e. betting its existence in the outcome of a single weekend-. The recognition of BE is cross-cutting within the sector, being its most dynamic player for years, and it is therefore magnificent news that they come out of it reinforced.

Future. For me, the big question mark for the future is the Barcelona Beer Festival, which in this transformation has lost pieces and has once again become a 100% consumer-focused festival. The last edition was very limited by circumstances and it is not representative for me, but a series of questions arise in my head about its future and evolution as an event, considering the pandemic and the current state of maturity of the sector:

  • Are high capacity festivals, in which the number of attendees is a success metric, still attractive?
  • Within the heterogeneity of consumers, shall we continue to segment the offer and target all of them within the same event?
  • Does it make sense to think about the introduction of new specialised formats, even recovering ideas that have not previously worked?

The previous ones are questions that, to a certain extent, can be extrapolated to other players of the industry, not only to events and its organisers. My vision is that the general public currently has many options and that, little by little, we have to move towards specialisation. It is when we make our own way that we shine in the eyes of others. Proof of this is the recent success of the Rustic & Wild festival, which I will review in the next post.

Salut i birra!

Disclaimer: I have not been involved in any aspect of the organisation of the second edition of Innbrew, although I have maintained a personal and professional relationship with Beer Events since its foundation, currently being an occasional collaborator of the company. Also, I got press accreditation to attend the event.


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