Although I’m not on the trade show management team, everybody at World Tea – news staff included – has been fielding lots of inquiries about World Tea East Conference & Pavilion since it was announced last month.

I thought I’d use my July post as an opportunity to answer some of the questions I’ve fielded most frequently over the last few weeks.

Q: What is it?
A: World Tea East is a regional educational conference and small pavilion of exhibits designed to offer World Tea Expo-quality content to an audience that can’t make it to Las Vegas for the big annual June trade show.

Q: Is it replacing World Tea Expo?
A: No.  World Tea East is being produced in addition to World Tea Expo.  In other words, there will be two World Tea events over the coming 12 months: World Tea East in Boston, September 22-26, 2009, and World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, June 11-13, 2010.

Q: Will World Tea East be as big as World Tea Expo?
A: No.  Whereas World Tea Expo has a general conference with 40-50 sessions, two specialized, three-day workshops, and an exhibit hall with 250-300 exhibitors, World Tea East will have a general conference with 15-20 sessions, one specialized, three-day workshop, and an exhibit pavilion with 10-15 exhibitors within the Natural Products Expo East show floor.  The specialized, three-day workshop at World Tea East will be the New Business Boot Camp.  It’s the only thing that is being reproduced in its full original scale for the East event.

Q: What is the involvement with Natural Products Expo East?
A: Seeing a growing interest in tea among their audience, the organizers of Natural Products Expo East invited the organizers of World Tea Expo to hold an educational program on specialty tea as part of the Natural Products conference.  In addition, World Tea will organize a small pavilion within the Natural Products exhibit hall to ensure that the leaders in specialty tea are there to fulfill the needs of buyers at the event.

Q:  How much does World Tea East cost?
A: Conference sessions are $40 each, except for focused tastings, which are $60 (to help cover the cost of the items being sampled).  The New Business Boot Camp is $675.  The exhibit hall is free to qualified buyers, such as tea room owners, specialty grocers, and restaurant managers.  Non-qualified buyers have to pay a registration fee.

Q: How do I register?
A: Go to the World Tea East website.

Q: Will you be there?
A: No, I’ll be manning the World Tea News editor’s desk in Las Vegas.  But rest assured, World Tea News will be covering World Tea East!