Coffee Fest Chicago 2017: Anticipation

I’m heading to the Windy City in only four days…

I still cannot believe I’m going to Chicago for Coffee Fest this week!

It’s been so long since my last visit to a trade show, and so much in my life has changed since then. When I attendedĀ Coffee Fest Atlanta in 2015, it had only been one year since my first Coffee Fest, and our son was barely eight months old.

Now I’m gearing up for a return to the coffee community just two days after he turns three. Where did the time go?

Plans for the weekend

My visit to Chicago will be short, so I’m planning my time carefully. The only paid-class I’ve signed up for is Cold Brew U, and I hope to come home with more up-to-date knowledge on the methods and business of cold brew coffee.

I have a few other seminars in mind. An old podcast about tea got me curious to learn more, so I will sit in on Tea 101. I also plan to check out presentations on social media for business and marketing, a few things that make up my everyday responsibilities at work.

Of course, I won’t miss the opening night reception. Some of my favorite coffee friends won’t be there this year, but I’m sure I will see some familiar faces nonetheless.

Hectic Travel Schedule

When I visited Coffee Fest Atlanta, I drove up the night before and home the day after, so I didn’t miss a moment of the convention. A year before, Jamie and I stayed an extra day in New York for a bit of coffee-touring after three full days at the show.

This year is a bit different. I’m lucky enough to make the trip thanks to my awesome family, but I can’t be away from the boys for long (especially our toddler, whom I put to sleep every night.)

So I’m flying up Friday, barely getting to the hall while the registration counter is still open, so other than a quick jog around the show floor, my only activity is the evening reception. Then after a busy Saturday, I pack up Sunday and leave right after a couple of morning classes, before the rest of the show winds down.

It’s going to be a crazy trip, but I’ll be home for dinner Sunday night. Is it worth all the effort to fly up and back, only getting one full day at Coffee Fest? Well, by this time next week I’ll be able to say yes or no, but I’ve got to give it a shot either way.

…at least until they wise up and schedule a winter Coffee Fest in Florida. (hint hint)

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