U.S. Drinks Conference Attracts Standing Room Only Crowd in NYC

New York, NY (October 21, 2009) -- The third annual U.S. Drinks Conference, held October 13 and 14, moved from London to New York this year and expanded to two days to include a more diverse line-up of speakers covering a broader range of topics. Attendance more than doubled and led to standing room only crowds on both days.

The 2009 conference drew delegates from the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia interested in learning how to navigate the complexities of the US wine, spirits and beer markets from the three-tier system and regulation to distribution and consumer marketing issues. This year’s format included panel discussions and Q&A sessions led by some of the industry’s foremost authorities on the beverage alcohol business (see addendum for panel discussions and key note speaker list).

“The 2009 U.S. Drinks Conference was an overwhelming success,” noted organizer Steve Raye, Managing Director, Brand Action Team. “We structured the conference to focus on practical and useful information attendees could put to work immediately. Panelists perspectives ranged from large multinationals to independent entrepreneurs and they shared the valuable lessons they’ve learned on the street.” James Fellowes, CEO, The Alchemy Portfolio and former Diageo executive commented, “The 2009 US Drinks Conference was the most practical trade conference that I have been to in my 22 years in the Beverage Alcohol Industry.”

John Beaudette, President of MHW and conference organizer, commented, "Industry veterans got some valuable new information. The regulatory panel for example included industry counsel, TTB and state regulatory authorities who provided insights on processes and procedures that generated particular interest.”

While the U.S. economic news is still challenging, the overall tone of the conference was positive with recovery and opportunity at the center of the discussions. “The research we presented clearly shows that the beverage alcohol industry is recession-resilient,” said Mike Ginley of Next Level Marketing. “Certainly we’ve seen shifts in consumption from on-premise to off-premise and to less expensive brands and a shift to value, but overall, the industry is healthy and poised for potentially explosive growth as the economy continues to recover. For folks interested in introducing their brand to the US Market, now is the time to put the wheels in motion.”

The conference was developed and sponsored by Brand Action Team, Next Level Marketing and MHW Ltd. The 2010 US Drinks Conference will, once again, be held in New York City.

Visit www.usdrinksconference.com for information presented at the 2009 U.S. Drinks Conference and to watch for details on next year’s conference.

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