This year's conference season was a smashing success, and it wouldn't have been as fabulous without our beloved conference-goers! From learning about honey immersion and the history of the USBG, to mental health in the industry and bystander intervention training, the education at the 2018 #USBGReCon was invaluably informative and inspiring. Some of the sponsored meals imparted knowledge through round-table discussions, while others did through the art of vulnerability via storytelling... And this year every attendee was granted an authentic #USBGReCon Coin, generously donated by US MEDALLIONS!
If you missed out this year, your FOMO is about to get re-stimulated; check out these impressive stats, group photos, and stoked quotes from folks who attended:
By the numbers:
445 - People in attendance
75 - Educational hours
41 - Presenters
“The sponsor meals were incredible! Getting to know the people behind the spirits is just as important to me as the spirits themselves.”
–USBG Los Angeles
“Really enjoyed the entrepreneurship, bar management, charity raising, and sour cider seminars. The sexual harassment seminar was also very useful. I appreciated how clear the USBG board was about the new changes coming to regional chapters.”
“Favorite experiences include distillery tours, seminars on rum, and seminars on sexual harassment.. Had a great time! 10/10 would do it again.”
“Thank you for organizing this. This experience was inspirational and helpful. I will definitely spread the word and participate again.”
"I can't say enough how much this conference means to me. To get together with all of you continues to inspire me. I love you all so much. Many thanks to all that made this conference so great. I will say #usbgrecon2018 pounded us this year! Thank you #usbglv you took care of us and made this event so memorable."
“Loved the variety of content for seminars - having unique subjects (like pairing spirits with honey) and a wide variety of products kept it interesting. It was my first USBG ReCon and I was thrilled. The dinners, classes, and outings went above and beyond my expectations! I left feeling so inspired and motivated, and can't wait to attend the next one. “
–USBG Minneapolis-St. Paul
“The presentation "Come at me Pro" was great! The first thing I did when I got back home was remake my resume/CV. Really enjoyed "The Giving Spirit" and how in depth it went into everything. The presenter was phenomenal. The Honey Seminar was really cool. I didn't get to participate because I was in World Class, but USBG Live on Instagram allowed me the opportunity to watch it. Swag Bags were great and very appreciated! This was only my second conference and it was such an incredible experience. This year really helped me a lot and the community and relationships built were great. Thank you for everything!”
–World Class Competitor
"I had a blast, I really can't wait for next year. I was originally on the fence about the time off, but I am so glad I went through with it. This trip to Cleveland reignited my fire for what the USBG can do. I loved seeing the city of Cleveland, it really opened my mind to Ohio, which beforehand I just regarded as Indiana's shorter neighbor. The people, presentations, the food, the drink, the bars, all excellent. It was easy to make friends, and easy to have fun, all while being informative, and reinvigorating me for the coming year. Thanks!"
“Just getting to meet so many industry people from all over was great. Talking shop and seeing what others are doing at their establishments is always a good learning experience. It was so great to be able to go to so many local bars/restaurants and see what is trending in Cleveland, and how well they are doing so many things. I feel I know Cleveland better […] next time I go to Cleveland I know what bars I want to check out.”
“I liked the opportunities to visit a variety of different local bars & restaurants, and get a taste for the local bar scene. I also very much liked the opportunity to learn more about the Guild and its history. Keep up the good work! The conference was great, and I can't wait to do it again!”
“I really enjoyed the more difficult conversations of our industry. I feel that a lot of us see ourselves as leaders of our community and it's nice being able to bring back things like Green Dot back and start talking about things beyond alcohol. “
–USBG Grand Rapids
“I attended as a start-up guild, this being our first year of generating members. We had a lot of opportunities to network, and were met with a lot of encouragement. I appreciated the structured itinerary, and the small details along the way (met in the lobby with a drink, or a balloon, before dinner). Leaving with an innovative piece of equipment like an iSi canister was fun to talk about. Being there on the night of cocktail fights was a plus!"
“The presentations were so great. I especially loved the round table discussions. That was an awesome way to start the day! I also really loved the storyteller dinner. The venue was lovely and the stories were inspiring. The food and dinners were really impressive this year. Everything seemed very well organized, and I enjoyed myself immensely.”
“The restaurants and bars were great. The volunteers and hosting teams were amazing - friendly, outgoing, cannot really improve on that. Also, the wide variety of speakers was smart - some were relevant to me, some not. But all were interesting and informative. See y'all next year! Also, I would give a non essential organ for Ingrid's shoe wardrobe.”
–USBG Greater Baton Rouge
“The quality of seminars this year was outstanding, especially the community and career development topics.”
–USBG Tampa Bay
"I want to give a huge thank you to the USBG, all of the sponsors and to all those that attended. Without the sponsors, the USBG wouldn't be such a great, affordable resource I never knew I could have. Without the USBG, I wouldn't have met all these amazing people. Without all of these amazing people, my birthday certainly wouldn't have been the same.
[O]nly for a split second I forgot that I was completely surrounded by people whose profession it is make others feel welcome. Everyone was so happy to meet me and talk about the same struggles and accomplishments they've made and from all over the states of this country. This was incredibly comforting, supportive, and encouraging. I was surrounded by like-minded, and very inspirational individuals whom I'm sure I will run into for years to come. I can't wait to see you all again. Thank you for the memories (some of which were forgotten. My bad.). Keep in touch, new friends! Cheers to you!"
"Also wanted to say a big thank you! It was so great getting to know my extended USBG family and learning what a true support and inspiration you and this organization can be! Rochester loves you xx (*even after the Pittsburgh chair incident*)!"
"Thank you, thank you D.C. your hard work did not go unnoticed. I learned a lot & laughed a lot. Also thank you USBG for bringing us all together. Until next time USBG family, work hard, play harder and mostly take good care of yourselves. If you're ever find yourself up my way, stop by for a visit, you've got friends here now."
AND! None of this could be possible without our generous sponsors!
Their dedication to adjacent education helps make these events a huge success. We appreciate you immensely! A virtual toast to you ALL!
Amaro Montenegro Beam Suntory Diageo
Bacardi Westland Distillery
USBG Chapters - Cleveland DC Las Vegas Miami Seattle
USBG National Charity Foundation
Astral Tequila Aviation Gin Bluecoat Gin Brown-Forman Campari
Camus Wine & Spirits Copper & Kings Don Q Rum Espolon George Remus
Guinness Kobrand Laird & Company Michter's Maestro Dobel Tequila Patron
Re'al Cocktail Ingredients Real McCoy Sombra Mezcal Till Vodka
Look for announcements for 2019's conferences starting in October, and get your tickets early... they WILL sell out!
Until next year... stay happy, healthy, and wise!