Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is pleased to announce the dates for Tales of the Cocktail® 2021 (TOTC). The world’s largest cocktail conference will return for its 19th year from September 20 – 23, 2021 in a digital format that will be available free of charge to cocktail professionals and enthusiasts across the globe, with supplemental physical activations in key cities around the globe, wherever safe and feasible. Additionally, The Foundation opens up its annual seminar process today for the 2021 conference.
September 2020 marked the Foundation’s first foray into converting its annual festival into a digital conference, a decision born out of necessity due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The organization connected thousands of attendees across 100 countries to experience over 125 events, broadening the depth and reach of its programming and audience. For 2021, the Foundation is offering a digital format once again to prioritize the health and safety of its attendees and ensure a global audience has complimentary access to participate in its programming. While the festival will largely be digital in September, the Foundation is still leaving the door open for local activations in global markets wherever it proves both safe and valuable for attendees.
The financial impact of the pandemic on the spirits industry heavily influenced the format and timing of this year’s event. The Foundation opted for Fall as opposed to its traditional Summer timeframe with the knowledge that early 2021 will continue to be a crucial time for establishments to focus on recovery efforts. The organization is once again offering programming complimentary to all attendees, so that cost does not present a barrier to education or opportunities housed within the TOTC platform. The Foundation intends to return to a primarily in-person format in New Orleans in 2022.
The 2021 theme for Tales of the Cocktail Foundation will be “Community.” Selected by the Foundation to underscore the global drinks industry coming together to share knowledge and compassion after an unprecedented year, “Community” also serves as a rallying cry for communing thought leadership to drive future advancement.
“As New Orleanians, we know resilience when we see it. There’s no doubt that the spirits industry had the tenacity and the grit to make it through 2020,” shared Caroline Rosen, President of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. “Now, as we look ahead to 2021, it’s time to focus on the goal of true advancement of not only our craft but our industry’s culture and how we rise together.”
Tales of the Cocktail 2021 will be hosted on a digital platform accessible across all time zones and will offer the educational, cultural and lifestyle programming that routinely draws industry and consumer attendees in the thousands. The conference will host a library of on-demand, pre-recorded videos in addition to live, interactive programming, networking opportunities and partner booths. Seminars, both pre-recorded and live, will follow Tales’ existing educational tracks – Beyond the Bar, Business, and Culture – and will provide attendees with the high caliber of education opportunities they expect from the annual conference. English closed captioning will be available for key seminar programming that is recorded in other languages. Those interested in applying to host a seminar can do so now via https://talesofthecocktail.org/initiatives/seminars/.
Additional marquee programming will return in 2021 and, for the first time, the conference’s wildly popular “Meet the Distillers” event will be converted to a digital stage. The festival’s annual Beyond the Bar program, dedicated to championing a sustainable lifestyle for the bartending and spirits community, will resume with a focus on virtual mental health and wellness initiatives. Further, the Spirited Awards® will host its 15th annual ceremony to recognize industry excellence from individuals, media and establishments during Tales of the Cocktail 2021.
Brand partners will once again have the opportunity to design and curate designated virtual booths. The booths will offer opportunities for personal interaction between brand and attendee, as well as a place for each partner to share information, content, and videos about their brand and products. TOTCF partners will also have opportunities to host virtual experiences, live chats, panel discussions, happy hours and product reveals within the TOTC schedule.