Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Impact of a Name Change

Some events can go unnoticed for decades because their name doesn't get anyone's attention. Yes the event might get some traction but think about how many more attendees you could gain if the name of the event was more appealing. How to solve this problem? Easy, change the name. An annual alcohol-industry trade show did just that! Simplifying their name this year to B.A.R. which resonated with show attendees according to an article by BizBash writer Jenny Berg.

Formerly called the International Wine, Spirits, and Beer event (or I.W.S.B.), the show is now called “Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants,” which has the fitting acronym of B.A.R. It takes place during the National Restaurant Association, Hotel-Motel show which was held this passed May at McCormick Place in Chicago. In 2014, the show moved from the convention center's Grand ballroom to its Lakeside ballroom, which has tall windows and lake views. The transition seemed to breathe new life into the whole two days which has the event programmers feeling like it was the ample opportunity to rebrand the event with a renewed energy. Thus B.A.R. was born. Without hesitation, the new name caught on extremely fast with attendees.

Photo: Oscar and Associates Photography

Along with a new name, the show had an expanded advisory committee this year. Formerly composed of only bar and restaurants operators, the new committee included suppliers and distributors as well. There was also an added opening keynote session with Sally Smith, C.E.O. of Buffalo Wings, and the “Star of the Bar” mixology competition hit the road for the first time in the months leading up the event, making stops in cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Las Vegas to select regional qualifiers.

Registration this year was up 12 percent over 2014, bringing the total number of registrars to 5,000; part of the increased interest could be chalked up to the rising relevance of bar programs to the restaurant industry as a whole. The craft beers, the spirits, and the cocktails being made from the concept of food and drink pairings, are crafted with culinary sensibilities to be enjoyed with a food pairing, or as a stand-alone culinary experience. Restaurants, being the original purveyors of great culinary experiences, are in a unique position to deliver on this concept. Check out BizBash for more stories like this one and devour the details of your rebranding process!

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