Symposium, our Executive Series got off to an amazing start yesterday with a full house of delgates from around the world. There were a lot of wide smiles and excited reconnections at registration as over 300 coffee professionals converged apon the Anaheim Hilton. The day began with the State and Future of Specialty Coffee Part One with a panel comprised of Dub Hay, Senior Vice President of Coffee for Starbucks Coffee Company, Nathan Herszkowicz, head of the Brazilian Coffee Industry Association (ABIC), and James Hoffman, founding partner of Square Mile Coffee and World Barista Champion 2007 who discussed “Charlie Rose style” their predictions for 2011. The coffee break was not your standard brewed pot…in conjunction with the Single Serve Session we displayed a sampling of the major players in the single serve market right now and encouraged delagates to sample and compare. The hallway where the break took place in was certainly electric with baristas demonstrating everything from Siphon brewing to pour over methods.
This is it! The day that we at the SCAA have been working towards and looking forward to…well, since last year in Atlanta-the first day of the 2010 Expo!
The day concluded with Lex Alexander presenting on the importance of taste. One of the things that really struck me during this plenary session was the diversity of the room. Across the way from where I was sitting was the CEO of a major coffee company and a barista competitor sitting next to each other at a table. It was such a wonderful example of what Symposium is; not an exclusive event but rather the coming together of the people who not only count coffee as their life’s work, but their life’s passion. Those who care deeply about our industry and lend their voice to finding solutions and opportunities for its future.
Day two of the Symposium sessions will conclude at 5 PM today, followed by our Opening Ceremonies and Welcome Reception. I’ve been walking the floor as it’s been going up and, although I might be a bit biased, I have to say it’s looking amazing! Once our 700+ booths are fully set up and manned, it is going to be one heck of a show floor. Not to mention the USBC stage, COTY & Roasters Choice area as well as the SCAA Store….
Well, back to work! More updates coming soon-and don’t forget to check our Facebook Page for up to the minute updates and to meet and talk with other attendees.