On September 28, 2019, one of the most popular and leading-edge consumer tea expos in the world was held in Seattle, WA. This is the 12th year of this festival and the event was awarded the Best Grassroots Tea Education Campaign at World Tea Expo in 2018.  A total of 59 tea vendors attended this event this year, and more than 5000 tea lovers filled the floor for the two-day event. 

This is the second time Japanese Green Tea Company has hosted a booth at NW Tea Festival in Seattle. I was excited to be having a booth on the same floor as International Tea Sippers Society; the parent organization of T-Ching. 

Let me take you to the journey of what it is like to be on the vendor side of the event with some pictures I took before and during the event. 

Preparing for the Event

More than anything, preparing for the event is the hardest part of all the effort. Although we have done a number of events in the past, nothing is the same for each event.  Size, location, line-up of the products and availability, number of attendees, methods of sample preparations – all have to be planned carefully.  

All the items must be carefully packed and must fit in cars.  Luckily, we drove from Portland to Seattle for this event; but for an event that requires shipping, that also becomes a big challenge.

Setup to make samples inside the booth – lots of moving parts!

Setting Up the Booth

Each vendor has a specific time slot allotted for loading so the loading dock does not become crowded at one time. Our slot time was 1pm-2pm on Friday (the day before the event).  Oftentimes, finding the loading dock is also a challenge, as the loading docks are usually “hidden” from the public in many of the event facilities.

Empty floor on Friday, many vendors are not set up yet.
Now here is what it looks like on the event day.  Quite a difference isn’t it?
Here is our first look of the booth. We have to start from somewhere, so we are setting up the table.
The background is set, and starting to set the display. (This background takes so much time to put up…)
Lots of boxes filled with our products.
This is me setting up the booth.
And here is how the booth looked after setup.  What do you think? It looks clean, but took us three hours to get to this point!

To be concluded in NW Tea Festival Seattle 2019 – What it is Like to be a Vendor at a Famous Expo – Part 2

Images provided and copyright held by author