Despite a challenging economy, the tea industry is flourishing as deals were made, products were sold and business connections were solidified at the 2010 World Tea Expo, held June 11 – 13 in Las Vegas, Nev. at the Las Vegas Convention Center. More than 200 companies exhibited at the show, 47 percent of which do not exhibit at any other trade event in the United States. In addition, more than 4,700 tea industry members attended the Expo, along with 1,100+ delegates from the co-located Natural MarketPlace event, who shopped the show floor and put event attendance near 6,000, up 68 percent over last year.
“There’s no stopping the specialty tea industry,” said George Jage, president and founder of the World Tea Expo. “While the global economy is slowly repairing itself, the tea industry is thriving. The energy, aroma and, most importantly, the business activities on the show floor is a powerful leading indicator of the explosive growth for specialty tea in North America in the year ahead.”
Beth Johnston, founder and CEO of Teas Etc., one the many exhibitors at the 2010 World Tea Expo, said, “It was exciting to see even more new faces at the exhibition. We were able to meet face-to-face with the tea industry, which allowed us to close numerous deals. Only the World Tea Expo gives you that kind of opportunity to market and sell your products and services to an eager buying audience.”
Runa, purveyor of the Amazon specialty guayusa and one of the many new exhibitors at the 2010 World Tea Expo, generated new business on the show floor. “As a first-time exhibitor, we felt very welcomed by the tea community,” said Tyler Gage, co-founder and president of Runa. “We built strong relationships with new clients and generated lots of international sales. We were excited to share this Amazonian tradition.”
Ready-to-drink green tea supplier ITO EN (North America) Inc.’s Rona Tison, vice president of corporate relations, said, “We had quite a bit of leads that we’re excited to follow-up on, and that’s a confirmation of the growing interest in the specialty tea industry.”
Manjiv Jayakumar, director of QTrade Teas & Herbs, also confirmed the type of qualified attendees that were present on the floor of the World Tea Expo. “We generated some significant new business leads for our raw materials, and we got to visit with a lot of our existing customers in person, which is highly valuable.”
Ghazal Sheei, marketing director at Rishi Tea, said, “This year has been another successful show for our company at the World Tea Expo. We’ve had the opportunity to meet with many new and existing partners, participate in great educational seminars and enjoy a wonderful awards ceremony, where we received two first-place awards for our organic and iced teas. The passion and interest for tea at this show is inspiring.”
“The 2010 Tea Expo was our best show ever,” said Judy Dawson, sales/product development, MarketSpice. “From the first hour of the show on Friday to the last hour on Sunday, we were extremely busy. We wrote several orders as well as made some fantastic contacts. We already signed up for next year.”
According to Sam Ritchey, training specialist at retailer TeaGschwendner, “Exhibiting at the 2010 World Tea Expo has significantly raised awareness of our brand, and this year’s show focused on increasing awareness of our franchise opportunities in the tea industry.”
The 2011 World Tea Expo takes place June 24 – 26 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Visit www.worldteaexpo.com to learn more.