Why Be a Vendor?
Our all-volunteer team is busy behind the scenes making this second year an event not to be missed! This event is unique and a great way for you to reach out to both wholesale and retail customers. Our industry-centric educational offerings for 2019 were truly astonishing with many luminaries of the tea industry such as Dan Robertson, Bruce Richardson, Dan Bolton, Babette Donaldson, Kevin Gascoyne, Sharyn Johnston, James Norwood Pratt and Jeni Dodd supporting us by teaching fascinating classes and sharing their knowledge with our industry attendees and 2020 will be equally stellar. Beyond that, some of these same phenomenal people will be joined by other equally wonderful tea industry insiders in helping us to educate the industry folks as well as consumers who attend the show.
While all 3 days are open to the public, the focus of the educational program will differ. On Saturday and Sunday, the program will feature both industry and consumer interest topics. On Monday, the program will focus on industry interest topics only.
An educated consumer is one of our big goals at this event. After all, the more education a consumer has on how to choose tea and why they should place a high value on it, the more tea our vendors will sell both at the show and after! And... the more tea every business in the industry stands to sell ultimately, as these educated consumers go home and share their new knowledge with their friends and families.
With our classes on offer, both industry and consumer sides alike should feel very satisfied with the educational value given by this event.
Now, we just need you to add value for tea shopping!
Our booths are reasonably priced for a 3 day event in a city with a large tea drinking population. In addition to simply being a metropolitan area that is home to 2.7 million consumers, Chicago is home to many cultures that already incorporate tea into their daily lives and we have outreach planned for all of them. We had 1200 attendees in 2019 which met our expectations for a first year event for this area and it was so well received that we expect the event to grow for 2020!
Most booths are a comfortable and familiar 10x10 size and come with pipe & drape, tables, table covers, chairs and trashcans. There are also a limited number of 10x16 booths. We do offer smaller booths for smaller businesses with our 8x6 spaces which also have tables and chairs included. Booth sharing is allowed.
If you are an informational only business and do not wish to sell anything, we have tables in the lobby that can be purchased for the weekend.
All booths must be occupied for all three days, whether by you or by your booth sharing partner.
Special Features for Vendors!
A participation-optional People's Choice Tasting Cup competition over the weekend will give you the chance to get more exposure with attendees. Samplings of your entries will be done right at your booth as well as the voting so you can engage directly with potential buyers for your teas.
Lest you think this is all about business, we've also got plans for a special ticketed event on each day including an afternoon tea, an evening Halloween tea, a lunch featuring tasting flights of teas, and we will have lunches available for purchase that can be delivered to your booth.
We will also be putting together a buyer-seller connection list that you may opt into. We will send your contact information to our list of industry attendees in advance of the show so you and they can connect in advance. We can also make a shared space available for private tastings with potential wholesale buyers and you also have the option to hold meetings in the venue's restaurant area, which has nooks and crannies that can provide privacy, or in the comfortable lobby space with wifi work area.
A lead collection app will also be available for purchase through a 3rd party.
Don't forget either that we have a beautiful venue, the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, in an amazing location, right in the Loop in downtown Chicago. Within easy walking distance to public transportation and restaurants as well as other attractions for when you are not at the festival. We have contracted with the hotel for a special rate of $169/night which is a steal considering the location and the fabulous rooms. (PS - we will discount a ticket to one of the meals by $5 if you email us your confirmation of booking from the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza!)
Visit our application page for a detailed pdf with the basics of what you need to know as well as a link to the actual application!