Tales of the Cocktail, the biggest cocktail conference in the United States, is going digital this year. As so many other large gatherings make changes in the face of a global pandemic, this conference is moving forward with gusto, just in a new direction.
Usually held in New Orleans each July, Tales of the Cocktail (affectionately dubbed “Tales”) first postponed the 18th annual conference to September, then subsequently pivoted to an all-digital format that takes place this week, September 21-24.
The conference is an important event from an educational and professional perspective, and it gives bartenders, industry pros, and cocktail enthusiasts the chance to network and connect. And this year, all that is taking place without the typical heat and humidity of July in the Big Easy.
Thanks to the new format, attendees can enjoy the programming free of charge for the first time. Tales leadership sought to give industry professionals the chance to virtually attend the conference amidst this difficult time, especially as many people have been out of work and traveling brings safety concerns.
The Tales of the Cocktail 2020 Digital Festival’s schedule consists of education fit for anyone—from spirits experts to novices—with classes ranging from Spirits 101s to advanced classes for bartenders. Look for chances to get moving with the “Beyond the Bar” programming that focuses on health and wellness. A number of seminars will cover current hot-button issues like COVID response, equality, and racial injustice, including a keynote presentation from author and public speaker Dr. Khyati Y. Joshi titled “Working Towards Equity and Justice in the Hospitality Industry.”
Since some attendees typically travel from across the globe for this event, Tales 2020 will offer its 29 educational seminars in a pre-recorded format for ease of attendance, and some will be followed by live Q&A sessions to allow for audience participation and engagement. Beyond these pre-recorded options, there will be 18 live seminars with panels featuring industry leaders that will engage with attendees in real time.
Those who usually visit Tales tasting rooms looking to learn about new brands will have the chance to do so digitally with more than 50 “booths” on the Tales website that will allow attendees to chat with exhibitors in real time.
Tales will also host its annual Spirited Awards presentation, a prestigious ceremony that offers recognition to those in the industry achieving excellence and inspiring others, on Thursday, September 24 at 4pm CT.
Learn more and register for Tales at talesofthecocktail.org.