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Core Conference Sessions Descriptions

Thursday, May 29, 2014

8:00am - 9:30am

Current Trends and Future Outlook for Tea

Join three of the world’s leading business marketing intelligence companies as they share exceptionally key information from their massive resources covering the booming specialty tea industry. A rapidly growing tea industry is thirsty for specific data, along with product trending paths and market catalysts. Expert analysts from these three ventures will both provide their individual summary spotlight on the industry and then join together for a moderated panel discussion. This information-filled session will be followed by a question and answer period. 

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
• Better understand the global and regional tea marketplace and industry.
• Gain specific insight to help your company capitalize on existing and emerging market opportunities.
• Highlight market data; including key top-line numbers, and insightful analysis.
• Comprehend the diverse factors catalyzing the industry: game-changers’, tipping points and leading market segments.
• See snapshots of new and novel specialty tea products.

David Sprinkle, Publisher, Packaged Facts
Lynn Dornblaser, Director of Innovation & Insights, Mintel    
Jonas Feliciano, Industry Analyst – Beverages, Euromonitor International
Brian Keating, Veteran Specialty Tea Industry Analyst, Sage Group  

How to Source & Select Your Teas

"Few questions are more fundamental when opening a specialty tea business than, ‘Where do I find my teas?’ and ‘What teas should I choose?” This workshop will start you on your journey of answering these questions. This is not a workshop on tasting and evaluating teas, rather it is in introduction to the art of deciding what teas are right for your business and how do you go about finding those teas. We will discuss different strategies and considerations on deciding on the right tea selection. Also, with an eye toward pros & cons, and practicality vs. ideal; we will also examine the many different ways to source specialty tea in 2014, and how to make your decisions between different suppliers and teas.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
• Identify a clear process and parameters by which to determine an appropriate tea selection for their own business.
• Weigh the pros and cons of importing their own teas.
• Discover strategies to find complimentary domestic supplier of teas.
• Apply policies to find complimentary foreign supplier of teas
• Implement a process to compare, evaluate, and make a decision between competing tea suppliers.

Speaker: Bill Waddington, Founder & President, TeaSource    

9:45am - 10:45am

Tea & Health

Experimental and human research studies suggest that regular consumption of tea is associated with an array of health benefits, including impacts on chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and obesity. Emerging research suggests tea may also play a positive role in cognitive performance, immune function, and bone health. Understanding the research approaches by which these benefits have been demonstrated and the relative strength of this evidence is essential before translating this information to the public.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
• List the major health benefits of tea consumption.
• Identify the bioactive constituents of tea.
• Understand the principal mechanisms of action underlying the health benefits of tea.
• Discuss the advantages and limitations of research studies on tea.
• List the emerging areas of tea and health research.

Speaker: Jeffrey B. Blumberg, PhD, FASN, FACN, CNS

Federal Trademark Registration: Are You Ready?

After many agonizing “do-overs” you have finally settled on a great name and logo. Are you ready to file for trademark protection? Come discover the nuts and bolts of filing for Federal Trademark protection, including the costs involved, and receive guidance on when to turn it over to an expert.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Determine if your name/logo is "trademark-ready."
•    Learn how to research your name/logo for conflicts.
•    Understand the costs involved to trademark a name or logo.
•    Know when to call in an expert.
•    Identify when to consider state-only trademark protection.

Speaker: Kristen Schneider, Small Business Consultant, Schneider Consulting

11:00am - 12:00pm

Success from the Front Lines

With the right approach, every small business has the potential for great success. While location and building a strong customer base are likely to play a role in that, one thing all successful retailers have in common is their commitment at working hard to make it happen. Join our panel of thriving tea retailers who are successfully working on the front lines of the industry. Moderated by Editor Lorna Reeves, of TeaTime Magazine, this group will share their expert advice, challenges and best practices straight from their industry experience.


David Barenholtz, Owner, American Tea Room    
Julee Rosanoff, Owner, Perennial Tea Room    
Emeric Harney, Store Manager, Harney & Sons Fine Teas
Shabnam Weber, Owner, The Tea Emporium Inc.
Moderator: Lorna Reeves, Editor, TeaTime Magazine

Cultivating the Next Generation of Tea Connoisseur

Millennial and Mosaic consumers make up 25% of the US population and exceeds $200 billion in spending power. Connecting with and cultivating consumers in this demographic is not only critical to sales today, but will define your business in the future. Let’s study how to Connect, Cultivate, Grow!

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Define a Millennial and Mosaic.
•    Understand generational trends and provide real world examples of those trends.
•    Identify how to relevantly connect with individuals in this demographic and understand common barriers to connecting with this group.
•    Develop a plan forcultivating connoisseurs in a sugar saturated culture.
•    Learn how to grow a tea business through social media and more importantly personal connection with students.

Speaker: Kevin Christiansen, Executive Director, Cafe Barnabas    

Friday, May 30, 2014

8:00am - 9:30am

Current and Emerging Regulatory Issues in the Tea & Infusion Products Industry

Members of the tea industry face unique and challenging regulatory issues. In this session, Kleinfeld, Kaplan, and Becker attorney Dan Dwyer will review some of the key regulatory hurdles industry currently faces as well as recent enforcement activities against tea products. He will also discuss emerging issues for the tea industry, including the status of proposed regulations implementing new requirements under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, and opportunities for engagement and cooperation offered by the American Herbal Products Association.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Understand the major federal regulatory requirements with which tea industry members must currently comply.
•    Identify several key state-level regulatory issues that the tea industry currently faces.
•    Discover the issues and violations that have triggered recent enforcement activities targeting tea products.
•    Know the status of several of the FSMA rulemakings as well as their potential impacts on tea importers and manufacturers.  
•    See the opportunities for engagement and cooperation on policy and related issues offered by the American Herbal Products Association.

Speakers: Dan Dwyer, Kleinfeld Kaplan & Becker (AHPA General Counsel)

20 Marketing Angles You Might Be Missing or Afraid to Use

In a lecture and workshop setting, explore the passion that inspired your business. Compare that with what you believe will seduce your customers. Then systematically cultivate your platform. Stating with a list of 20+ new-ish ideas, personalize your strongest possible tea message - the connection you want with your best customers.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Consider 20 new or under-utilized marketing messages.
•    Use their deepest passion for tea to hone their marketing.
•    Own it. Make it theirs. Don't parrot every other retailer.
•    Use their strengths to promote their business and their self.
•    Trust their passion, their strengths and the message they inspire to develop a loyal customer base.

Speaker: Babette Donaldson, Author, Blue Gate Books

9:45am - 10:45am

David & Goliath: Building Your Own Successful Tea Business Close to a Teavana

The session aims so help participants in creating a successful tea business in the same community, the same town, or even the same shopping area as a Teavana store (or other large specialty tea company).  The session will focus on how you can carve out niches in the specialty tea business that elevate customers' tea experiences beyond that of shopping at a large chain store, and to develop those customers into loyal promoters of your business.

Speaker: Peter Martino, CEO, Capital Teas

A Social History of Tea in the UK and the USA

To coincide with the publication of the new edition of A Social History of Tea, Jane Pettigrew and Bruce Richardson will tell the story of tea’s rise in importance in the culture and commerce of Britain and the USA.  Through 360 years, tea has grown from its initial role as an expensive aristocratic luxury beverage to become an essential part of everyday life.  Along the way it caused civil and international wars, brought about the introduction of new laws and taxes, influenced politics, architecture, interior design, manners, mealtimes and fashion. It affected trade, created wealth, sustained workers through the industrial revolution, gave strength to the temperance movement, and helped women in their fight for the vote. Today, its powerful and positive health message has led to an ever-increasing interest in the world’s favourite restorative, recuperative and refreshing drink.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Understand how tea first arrived in Britain and the US, and learn what teas were drunk at that time.
•    Learn how tea moved out of wealthy aristocratic circles into the lives of ordinary working folk during the 18th century.
•    Appreciate the importance of Chinese tea in both countries until 1839 and understand how and why that changed.
•    Discover the development of Afternoon Tea through the 19th century and learn what teas were drunk in Britain and the US during that period.
•    See the mechanization of tea in the 20th century, and how that changed the industry and the drinking habits of both nations.


Jane Pettigrew, International Tea Consultant and Writer
Bruce Richardson, Owner, Elmwood Inn Fine Teas/Benjamin Press    

11:00am - 12:00pm

Impactful Visual Merchandising for Retail & Online Stores!

Ever wondered how some stores like Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, or Williams-Sonoma create an instant buying reaction for their customers? Here you’ll learn how to create attractive, impactful displays for your store and you’re on line presence that will help set you apart you’re your competition and generate higher sales for your stores.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Learn how to create a “story” that makes your customers want to buy!
•    Receive written Visual Standards and Guidelines and learn how to TEACH them to others in your company.
•    See examples of “poor” vs. “good” vs. “excellent” visual merchandising looks like.
•    Experience a LIVE presentation on how to “build” a great feature.
•    Create a game plan of how implement great visual standards within your store or organization.

Speaker: Ellen Leaf-Moore, Owner, Fezziwig's Marketplace

Tea Room Survival

Why are some tea rooms more successful than others? They treat their business like a serious corporation – policies in place, employee training, interactions, and advancement. They keep trying new things, adding new events, changing with the times. They keep in touch with customers. They have more than one revenue stream.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Learn survival tips shared by numerous successful tea room owners.
•    Receive how-to advice for keeping things fresh and profitable.
•    Recognize how to tap into news and trends to keep your business on top.
•    Identify how to be more active and noticed by your community and beyond.
•    Create atmosphere that is suitable and welcoming to a variety of customers.

Speaker: Gail Gastelu, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, The Tea House Times

Saturday, May 31, 2014

8:00am - 9:30am

The Science Behind Health Claims on Tea Beverages: What are we really drinking?

In this presentation, how health claims on tea beverages are made and what the numbers on tea beverage label really mean will be discussed. Audiences will also understand tea, tea beverages (ready to drink tea), health benefits of teas and what really antioxidants are after this presentation.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Learn about teas, RTD (ready-to-drink or iced) teas, and physical/chemical differences between teas (white, green, oolong, and black).
•    Understand polyphenols and antioxidants as health promoting compounds in tea.
•    Have a practical understanding of two different analytical methods to measure antioxidant polyphenols in tea.
•    Identify the polyphenol/antioxidant claims on tea beverages.
•    Discover what’s really in tea beverages.

Speaker: Youngmok Kim Ph.D, Senior Research Scientist, Synergy Flavors

The New Face of Retail

Join some of the brightest up and coming stars of tea retail in the United States as they come together to discuss the current and upcoming trends in tea retail. This panel will include experts in the area of tea education, in-store blending, popup retail, bitcoin payments, and true tea sales. You do not want to miss this session!

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Identify current trends for a growing tea market in the US.
•    Understand the wide variety of choices retailers have for growing a tea business.
•    Enter the tea retail world with tools and knowledge for success.
•    Connect with education resources to engage with a more knowledgeable customer base.
•    Evaluate if new technologies such as Bitcoin and social media are appropriate tools for your tea retail business.

Austin Hodge, Owner, Seven Cups Tea
David Edwards, Owner, New Mexico Tea Company
Christopher Coccagna, Owner, T-We
Naomi Rosen, Owner, Joy's Teaspoon
Moderator: Elyse Petersen, Founder, Tealet

9:45am - 10:45am

The Crowdfunding Success Pattern

The purpose of this lecture is to share "best practices" alongside supporting data to showcase "success patterns" in the crowdfunding landscape. Designed for beverage entrepreneurs looking to leverage crowdfunding for a start-up project, this talk will use real life case studies to teach how to maximize success with this new funding model.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Understand the concept of crowdfunding.
•    Know how entrepreneurs are currently crowdfunding their endeavors.
•    Learn what the "core patterns" are for increasing the probability of success with crowdfunding.
•    Find out what the unique opportunities are for beverage makers in the crowdfunding ecosystem.
•    Discover how to get their crowdfunding project noticed by A&E Project Startup.

Speaker: Brian Meece, CEO, RocketHub    

Keeping the Customer Engaged

This course will teach tea room owners & store managers how to continually engage clients through focused customer programs, events & promotions. Attendees will learn about various options and the mechanics of implementing them successfully in their businesses.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Learn new ways to keep the customer involved.
•    Identify the pros and cons of each customer program.
•    Create a calendar of events and budget for each that will allow them to leverage advantages while still making a profit.
•    Decide which option is best for them.
•    Gage the success of their programs.

Speaker: Anupa Mueller, President, Eco-Prima Tea

11:00am - 12:00pm

Building Communi-TEA with your Customers Online

How can you use social media, online promotions and email marketing to increase customer retention and brand awareness? Can your blog serve as an educational resource while enhancing web visibility? This session will teach attendees some simple, actionable steps for building and maintaining an online social presence to drive sales.  Attendees will learn how to create an online community that brings their fans together from far and wide.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Obtain actionable steps for driving retail and wholesale sales via social campaigns and social community presence.
•    Use their online contacts to run successful and profitable promotions.
•    Create and manage multiple social communities without hiring a full time staff member (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc).
•    Creatively engage their community to keep their online presence fresh.

Speaker: Katie Young, Customer Service Manager/Social Media, The Tea Spot

Wellness Teas: Why Ignoring Herbs Could be Costing Your Business

Wellness teas, often overlooked by Camellia sinensis devotees, are central to what many consumers think of as ‘tea.’ Ignoring this market, and mental association, could be limiting your sales and growth. Find out why and what you need to do to tap into this huge and growing, health-conscious niche.

By the end of the session, attendees will be able to:
•    Understand the competition in 'wellness teas'.
•    Recognize the consumer demand and confusion between teas and 'herbal teas'.
•    Find out how to build a knowledge base to develop your own 'wellness teas'.
•    Get insight into finding out what (your) customers want from their teas.
•    Obtain action steps to meeting customer demand for 'wellness teas'.

Speaker: Toffler Niemuth, Founder & Developer of Belight Tea, World Vitae