The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2010

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Page 58 of 100

ON THE ROAD Travel Shake-Down H HOW TO PACK AND PREPARE FOR TALES OF THE COCKTAIL by Camper English eaded to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail next month? It’s time to start planning. The wild fi ve-day conference chock full of seminars, happy hours, pairing dinners and late-night parties is an easy event at which to have a great time but a challenging event for which to plan and pack. Take a look at the schedule and buy tickets to your can’t-miss seminars and events, as they do sell out. This year there are some scheduling changes: In addition to book authors scheduled to appear at specifi c times at the Carousel bar at the Hotel Monteleone (where the majority of Tales takes place), distillers will also have scheduled appearances. There will be more time between seminars this year—a full hour—so instead of run- ning from one to another, you may actually eat lunch and conduct meetings this year. As you’ll be in New Orleans at the end of July, plan for hot, sticky weather. Pack light, breathable fabrics and a hat and sunscreen for any time you’re outside. People with long hair may want to stock up on ponytail holders to keep the hair off their necks. Also, save plenty of room in your luggage for all the swag you’ll be bringing back. The Monteleone’s business center offers FedEx mailing services, so you can mail items home should you not want to carry them or check your luggage. As Tales is probably the best networking event in the cocktails and spirits industry, the most important items to pack are plenty of business cards. Networking with the outside world will also be easier this year, as the wireless signal has been upgraded at the Monteleone and an ISDN line has been installed for radio shows. Live-blogging will be easier than ever. When you get to New Orleans you may want to purchase sev- eral liters of water to leave by the bedside for when you get home after a long night celebrating. And in case you forget to drink it, pack some pain reliever and stomach soother for the mornings! Finally, schedule some time off either during, before or after Tales. You’re in New Orleans, one of the most amazing cities in the United States. Try to see some of it while you’re there. 58 / the tasting panel / june 2010 BARTENDERS: It’s time to invest in business cards if you haven’t done so already. In addition to your con- tact information, list your website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. You might also list your greatest recipe invention with a picture on the back. If you’re entering any competitions, bring all of your ingredients and mixers just in case. And of course, pack your bar tools. MEDIA AND PRESENTERS: You’ll have access to the media lounge, with its interview space, comfy seating, free internet and calm atmosphere. This year, not only is breakfast served daily, but there are lunches too. Media should remember to bring a voice recorder and extra batteries to power it. Presenters should prepare a handout or at least show a slide outlining where information from your seminar can be found and where you can be contacted: Don’t let your seminar end at Tales. BRAND REPRESENTATIVES AND SPONSORS: Pack extra product. In addition to any events you’re sponsoring, there are members of the media and plenty of bars in New Orleans in which to introduce your product. If you’re mailing items to New Orleans, make sure to track all your packages with a tracking number and bring those numbers with you to Tales. And instead of handing media a paper press kit that might get thrown out due to weight, you may try a branded USB drive instead. With all the swag given out at Tales, the easy-to-pack, high-quality stuff makes it home the most often.

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