Caroline Rosen, president of Tales of the Cocktail since 2018, has announced that for the first time in 18 years, the event will be held online in September.
TOTC’s Digital Festival will be free to everyone, anywhere in the world. Along with a library of on-demand content that will be accessible by participants on their own schedules, there will be live sessions, mentorship opportunities, and brand events.
This year’s theme is “Catalyst” and will take place September 21 through 24. Not only will the education and brand experiences be free, the Spirited Awards will also be accessible at zero charge.
Branded “virtual booths” will offer participants unique, one-off experiences and new product launches. While some sponsors have had to make the hard decision to sit out TOTC 2020, many are returning and there are several new sponsors for this year’s event.
Rosen shared some of the virtual sessions she’s excited for participants to experience. Sessions within the Beyond the Bar track will address underserved communities, the spectrum of sexuality, and building equity within the industry (and beyond). The Culture track will feature a session identifying dangerous cocktail ingredients and techniques. Speakers from across the globe will share tips for thriving and surviving in the Business track.
When it comes to the Spirited Awards, TOTC has made category changes aimed at championing the industry more thoughtfully. For example, the organization has added the International Bar Mentor Award, and the Pioneer Award has been folded into the Spirited Awards. The Philanthropy Award will honor multiple recipients this year.
TOTC will be focusing on equity and inclusion for the Digital Festival and also as an organization. Tales has been working with respected outside partners to identify blindspots, such as diversity within their leadership and anti-bias training.
The 2020 TOTC schedule will go live at 10:00 A.M. Central Time on August 31, so add that date to your calendar.
We’ll miss seeing all of our industry friends in person to share experiences and cocktails, but we’re excited for the Digital Festival. “See” you in September!
I’ve been studying and writing about the hospitality industry since 2006. Like so many people, I started my journey in this business by working as a host, server and bartender. I was introduced to nightlife in Chicago, learning the ins and outs of nightclubs and after-hours hot spots.
After moving to Las Vegas nearly 20 years ago, I both co-owned a valet company and helped promote the club it serviced. That led to me taking on the role of editor for a Las Vegas hospitality industry publication.
A few short years later, I continued along my journey of hospitality industry reporting. I went from contributing to a major industry outlet to taking on the role of editor and content curator.